Welcome To Lake Mburo National Park.
Mburo and Kigarama were brothers who traditionally lived in the savannah flat landscapes that are apparently occupied by Lake Mburo grazing their own Ankole long horned cattle. One night one brother Kigarama dreamt that the area in which they had settled for years was going to flood causing them to drown which he shared with his brother Mburo in the morning with a proposal that they migrate from the area to the adjacent hill. Unfortunately Mburo did not believe him and opted to stay in the area while Kigarama continued and migrated to the adjacent hill. It did not last long before floods hit the area drowning Mburo and his belongings in a mass of water that later was to result into a lake. The lake which was formed was named after Mburo while the adjacent hill was named after his brother Kigarama who had settled there. This legend of the formation and nomenclature of Lake Mburo has passed on from generations to generations and when the surrounding area was being gazetted as a game park, the name Lake Mburo could not be left out.
The land where the Uganda safari destination of Lake Mburo National Park is perched were traditional rangelands of the Bahima pastoralists who cherished it as an ideal ground for grazing their unique breed – the Ankole Long horned Cattle. The land because of its beauty was also a grazing ground for the Omugabe of Ankole. The lake which is apparently at the center of the park was the permanent source of water for livestock, humans and wildlife since the area is prone to prolonged droughts. The people’s entry and utilization of resources started to be restricted when the area was declared a controlled hunting area in 1935 before it was eventually declared as a game reserve and a national park in 1963 and 1983 respectively.
Covering a geographical surface of 26okm2, Lake Mburo National Park is poisoned in the political boundaries of Nyabushozi County, Kiruhura District 4km east of Mbarara town the largest town in the region and 240km about 4 hours’ drive from Kampala – the Uganda’s capital city. Lake Mburo National Park is the smallest savannah park in Uganda with impressive typical savannah landscapes that are marked with ancient Precambrian rocks that are over 500 million years old. The open expanses of savannah rolling combretum has continually been lost as a result of increasingly invading thicket whose expansion is facilitated by absence of elephants that would have tamed it.
Lake Mburo National Park shares a series of five lakes of which Lake Mburo is fully located within the park boundaries while the larger Kacheera extends to the parts of Koochi. The locals draw much cultural attachment to the ancient landscapes in the park including the Precambrian rocks, the lake and other amusing sites like the Kazuma hill.Read more
Regarding wildlife, Lake Mburo National Park is mostly known for concentrations of Impala antelope that exists nowhere else in Uganda, the populations of Burchell’s zebra far above Kidepo and Pian-Upe where similar species exist, herds of elands the world’s second largest antelope after the Roan antelope which also used to exist in the park before it got extinct, defassa water buck, bush buck, topis, reed buck, wart hogs and Klipspringer thriving in the rocky out crops. The sitatunga antelope thrive in the wetland vegetation that aligns the lake swamp system in the park; predators like spotted hyena, leopard and serval cat also exist in the park. Counts of Nocturnal species including; hare, porcupine, Aardvack, white-tailed mongoose, honey badger, side – stripped jackal, bush pig, spotted hyena, serval cat, jenet cat, civet, thick – tailed Galago and black galago. The lions got extinct from the park in 1970s. The water environs of Lake Mburo contain hippo concentrations.
The range of 350 species of birds thrives in Lake Mburo National Park. The park presents an ideal ground where birders on Uganda safaris tour encounter acacia associated birds and the environs around Rwonyo camp present rich opportunities for encountering mosque swallow, black – bellied bustard, bare faced go-away, black-bellied bustard and Ruppell’s long tailed starling. Most of the bird species in Lake Mburo National Park are the southern species at the northern limit of their range such as southern ground hornbill, black-throated and black collared barbets and green-capped eremomela. The swamp environs contain papyrus endemics including; papyrus gonolek, blue-headed coucal, white winged and papyrus yellow warblers which of recent have not been recorded elsewhere in Uganda. The Red faced Barbet is endemic to Lake Mburo National Park.