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Wildlife & Animals

Lake Mburo National Park Animals | Animals In Lake Mburo National Park

Over 68 mammal species have been recorded in Lake Mburo National Park including carnivore animals, herbivores, primates, and reptiles. The park is a common stopover for most Uganda safaris to or from the west e.g. gorilla safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

On your safaris in Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park is the most convenient and best place to spot zebras (holds over 5000 zebras). The park also holds various antelope species such as the beautiful Elands, Impalas, Bushbucks, Waterbucks, Topis, Bohor Reedbucks, etc. Other herbivores spotted include Hippos, Buffaloes, and Warthogs, there’re no elephants.

Lake Mburo park is the best place to spot leopards in the wild while on your Uganda tours. They’re best spotted while on night game drives where you’ll get a chance to see other nocturnal animals in Lake Mburo National Park including the hyenas.

Below are Lake Mburo National Park animals

Herbivores Animals In Mburo National Park

Uganda national park Mburo boasts several herbivores animals including numerous antelope species counting the herds of impalas only spotted here and in Katonga Game Reserve in Uganda.

Note that for many years, elephants have not been spotted in Mburo national park.

The following are the common herbivores animals in Lake Mburo National Park

  1. Cape Buffalo- Syncerus Caffer

The Cape buffalo is a large sub-Saharan African bovine. It’s among the  African safari’s big five (animals that early hunters referred to as the most challenging and difficult to hunt on foot). Cape buffaloes are widely regarded as the most dangerous animals in Uganda, killing over 200 people each year.

Cape buffalos are large cow-like animals with grey or black fur and reddish-brown young. Both sexes have heavy, ridged horns that grow straight, then curve down, then up. Buffalos commonly live in open savannas, as well as mopane grasslands. Their natural predators mostly include lions, hyenas, and crocodiles. On average, a Buffalo can live about 25 years in the wild.

During your Uganda safaris in Lake Mburo park, they can be spotted on a game drive or along the Lake Mburo shores, as well as around Rwonyo rock lick.

  1. Burchell’s Zebra- Equus Burchelli

The Burchell’s zebra can also be called the Plain zebra. It’s the only zebra species in Uganda only spotted in Kidepo and Lake Mburo National Park. Plain zebras have black and white stripes all over their bodies, with fading stripes on the legs, and each zebra has distinct stripes unique from the others, much like fingerprints on humans.

Zebras live in small groups and usually congregate in larger herds near water and food sources, but they retain their identity as family units. In Lake Mburo park, they are can be found in woodlands while on a game drive however, in the dry season, they’re spotted along lake Mburo.

  1. Rothschild’s Giraffe

A Rothschild’s giraffe, also known as Giraffa camelopardalis Rothschild, is one of the unmistakable large animals in Uganda that you should not miss seeing on your Uganda trip in Mburo park. A giraffe is the world’s tallest animal, towering about 5.5m above any other animal and most plants. It has pale orange-brown patches and is famous for its long incredible neck and 45cm long tongue which allows it to feed on tall trees.

The giraffe’s front legs are significantly taller than its hind legs, resulting in a steeply sloping back from the shoulders to the rump. Please note that giraffes live in small herds mostly in savannahs, grasslands, and open woodlands.

Giraffes have fewer predators, but they can be preyed on by hyenas, lions, crocodiles, and leopards on rare occasions. In Lake Mburo NP, if lucky, they can be spotted while on the game drives.

  1. Hippopotamus- Hippopotamus Amphibious

A hippo is the third largest land animal on the planet, after elephants and rhinos, weighing between 1,300 and 1,500kg. Hippos are visually stunning animals, with barrel-shaped torsos, wide-opening mouths with large canine tusks, nearly hairless bodies, and pillar-like legs. Despite their stocky body and short legs, hippos can run at 30km/h over short distances.

Hippos are Ugandan native animals, known to kill more people than any other animal in Africa (over 500 people each year). Hippos spend the day lying in the water next to each other to stay cool and hydrated, but just before night, they leave the water to feed on land, traveling 3- 5km and eating approximately 40kg of grass before returning to the water at sunrise.

On your Uganda wildlife safari in Mburo park, they’re spotted on the banks of Mburo lake as you are on a boat cruise.

  1. Common Eland- Taurotragus Oryx

The Common eland (Eland antelope) is a spectacular antelope also known as the Southern eland. It is the largest savannah antelope in Africa (Eastern and Southern Africa) with an average weight of about 500- 600kg. Males can weigh up to 1,000 kg.

This lovely antelope has a genuinely smooth coat. Males have a darker coat with a bluish-grey tint and a series of vertical white stripes on the sides, while females have a tan coat. The males’ throats have a large dewlap, and their foreheads have dense fur. They are frequently seen near Lake Mburo’s shores, mostly during the dry season.

  1. Bush Buck- Tragelaphus Sylvaticus

A Bushbuck is a nice-looking common antelope species found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, rivers, and forested areas. Bushbucks are generally solitary or territorial browsers and close relatives of the Nyala however, bushbucks are a bit larger.

Female bushbucks have a light brown coat and all sexes have around 7 white stripes and white spots on the sides. The ears, chin, tail, legs, and neck also have white patches.  Only the males have horns. They can be spotted along Lake Mburo’s shores.

  1. Defassa’s Waterbuck- Kobus Ellipsiprymnus

A Defassa’s waterbuck is a lovely large antelope that is mostly found near permanent water sources such as valleys, rivers, and lakes. These antelopes have long bodies, necks, and short legs, as well as coarse hair and a mane on their necks. Only males have horns. Waterbucks, in particular, have a cream-colored patch (a bib) on their throat.

They have a shaggy brown-grey coat that emits a smelly greasy secretion to repel predators and acts as waterproofing when the animal dives into the water. It is mostly found near the shores of Lake Mburo.

  1. Impalas- Aepyceros Melampus

Impalas are medium-sized antelopes. They feature a glossy reddish-brown coat and only males have slender lyre-shaped horns. Some people confuse Impalas with Uganda kobs, however, Impalas are lighter in build and have reddish-fawn upper parts that become paler on the sides. Their chest, belly, throat, and chin are all white, with a distinctive black ear tip.

The Impala’s tail is white with a central black line on the upper surface and a vertical black blaze on each buttock. On your Uganda safaris in Mburo park, they’re more likely to be spotted along Lake Mburo’s shores, especially during the dry season, but they’re also possible in woodlands as on game drives.

  1. Topis- Damaliscus Lunatus Jimela

Topis are medium-sized antelope with a lovely reddish-brown to purplish-red coat. Many people confuse Topis with Jackson’s hartebeest, but the two are not the same. Topis have distinct black patches on their face, upper forelegs, hips, and thighs.

Both sexes have thick-ringed, lyre-shaped horns that measure 30- 40cm in length. On your safari Uganda tours in Lake Mburo National Park, Topis can be seen around Lake Mburo especially during the dry season as they come to take water. You can also encounter them in woodlands while on guided walks or game drives.

  1. Sitatunga- Tragelaphus Spekii

In contrast to other antelopes, Sitatungas are swamp-dwelling antelopes that are excellent swimmers and can hide underwater, living only their eyes and nostrils visible. In appearance, Sitatungas resemble Bushbucks. Males have long, twisted horns, and the females’ coats are a reddish-chocolate brown color.

Sitatungas have white patches on the throat and close to the head in addition to numerous stripes and spots all over their body and white facial markings. Males grow a rough, scraggy mane. If lucky, in Lake Mburo National Park, it can be spotted in the Warukiri and Miriti swamps.

  1. Bohor Reedbuck- Redunca Redunca

The Bohor reedbuck is a lovely, robust antelope with a brownish-yellow to greyish-brown coat (yellower than other reedbuck species). Its undersides are white, and its tail is marked white. Only males have horns, which are between 25-35cm long, and hook slightly forward from the forehead.

On your safari in Uganda Lake Mburo National Park, Bohor reedbucks can be spotted around the shores of Lake Mburo and also while on a game drive.

  1. Oribis- Ourebia Ourebi

An Oribi is a small (12- 22kg) antelope found in eastern, southern, and western Africa. Oribis have a slightly raised back, a long neck, and long limbs. They have a glossy yellowish to rufous-brown coat with a white chin, throat, underparts, and rump, as well as a large black sound glandular patch below each ear.

Only males have horns that are slender and upright, ridged to about halfway up, and smooth and pointed at the ends. On your Uganda trip in Lake Mburo park, you may see them near Lake Mburo’s shores and at a water hole near Mihingo Lodge during the dry season.

  1. Common Warthog- Phacochoerus Africanus

The Common warthog is a savannah and woodlands-dwelling wild member of the pig family. On average, Warthogs weigh about 45-150kg. They are unmistakable due to their amazing pair of tusks that protrudes from their mouth and curve upwards. These tusks are used to fight other hogs and to protect themselves from predators.

Their head is large, and they have a mane that runs down the spine to the middle of the back. Warthogs have sparse hair covering their bodies, which is usually black or brown, and a long tail that ends in a tuft of hair. They can be seen near Lake Mburo’s shores, especially during the dry season.

  1. Bushpigs- Potamochoerus Larvatus

The Bushpig is a member of the pig family inhabiting forests, woodlands, riverine vegetation, and cultivated areas. Bushpigs look similar to domestic pigs, but they can be distinguished by their blunt muscular snouts, small eyes, and pointed tufted ears.

Bushpigs range in color from reddish brown to dark brown. They have a lighter-colored mane that stands up when the animal is tense. The upper parts of the face and ears are also paler. Though recorded in Lake Mburo National Park, they are hardly spotted due to their nocturnal habits.

Other Herbivores Animals In Lake Mburo National Park

These include:

  1. Klipspringers
  2. Dik-dik
  3. Hares
  4. Rats such as Cane rats, Langer cane rats, Striped grass mice, Harsh-furred rats, Unstriped grass mice, Common swamp rats, etc.
  5. Squirrels such as the African tree squirrel and the Giant squirrel
  6. Pangolins
  7. Porcupines for example, the East African crested porcupine

Carnivores Animals In Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo national park Uganda boasts numerous carnivores animals including Leopards, Serval Cats, Side-Striped Jackals, etc. Note that, for many past years, Lions have not been spotted in Mburo national park.

Among Uganda national parks, Mburo park is the best place to spot Leopards on safaris in Uganda, mainly on a night game drive however, still possible on a day game drive.

Below are the common carnivores animals in Lake Mburo park

  1. Leopards- Panthera Pardus

Many people often confuse Leopards and cheetahs, but they can be distinguished. Leopards are more muscular than cheetahs, have rosette-shaped spots on their limbs, and have no black tear marks. A Leopard is among the incredible African safari big five game, preferring dwelling in wooded and rocky habitats and thus, rarely seen due to its solitary and secretive nature.

A Leopard hunts using stealth and power, usually getting to almost 5m to its prey before attacking and can run at speeds of up to 58km/h. In Mburo national park, they can be spotted on rock-out crops (at Leopard rock), mainly during night game drives however also possible in the day time.

  1. The Spotted HyenasCrocuta Crocuta

The Spotted hyena is also known as the Laughing hyena. It’s the sole member of the genus Crocuta. Hyenas have sloping backs and dark brown spots. and They have got powerful jaws strong enough to crack open bones and slice through the thickest hides.

Hyenas give birth to 2-3 cubs who are born with their eyes open. Female Hyenas undergo a difficult time while giving birth as they give birth through their narrow clitoris. During parturition, their clitoris ruptures to allow the young to pass through, the mum takes about a week to heal.

Hyenas are typical nocturnals and don’t hunt for themselves in most cases, instead, they feed on what other animals, such as lions and leopards have hunted by stealing from them. Hyenas have outstanding hunting skills capable of killing an animal large as a wildebeest. In Mburo park, you can spot them usually, early in the morning on nature walks to the western side of the park or on night game drives.

  1. Serval Cats- Leptailurus Serval

A Serval cat is a nice-looking African wild cat. It has a small head, large ears, a golden-yellow to buff coat with black spots and stripes, white marks on the ear, and a short black-tipped tail.

Serval cats mainly prey on rodents, frogs, insects, reptiles, and small birds as they are capable of jumping over 4m up in the air. If lucky, on your Mburo national park Uganda safari, it can be spotted in the woodlands while on a game drive.

  1. Side-Striped Jackal– Lupulella Adusta

The Side-striped jackal is a beautiful nocturnal dog-like carnivore that is slightly larger than the Kidepo National Park’s Black-backed jackal. It has buff-grey fur, a darker grey back than the underside, and a black tail with a white tip. White stripes run down the sides from elbow to hip.

The side-striped jackal is less carnivorous, and its diet consists of small mammals, fruits, maize, reptiles, eggs, and birds. It can be seen on a game drive in the open woodlands. On a lucky day, it can be spotted in the open woodlands while on a game drive.

Other Carnivores Animals In Lake Mburo National Park

These include:

  1. Mangoose such as the Banded mongoose, Greater grey mongoose, Lesser slender mongoose, White-tailed mongoose, and the Marsh mongoose.
  2. African Civet
  3. African wild cat
  4. Genets
  5. Honey badger (the ratel)
  6. Aardvarks
  7. Weasels e.g. the African- striped weasel
  8. Viverrines
  9. Hedgehogs for example, the East African hedgehog.

Primates In Lake Mburo Park

Lake Mburo National Park has got 2 primate species and includes the following:

  1. Olive Baboons- Papio Anubis

Olive baboons are large monkeys with powerful limbs. Baboons have green-grey fur and a frightening appearance due to their dog-like pointed muzzles and powerful jaws with long pointed canine teeth.

On your Uganda safari holiday in Lake Mburo park,  they can be spotted while on a game drive or a guided nature walk in the open woodlands and thickets.

  1. Vervet Monkeys- Chlorocebus pygerythrus

Vervet monkeys are attractive monkeys that can easily be recognized by their black faces with white hair fringe. Their coat hair color is mostly grizzled-grey overall. An obvious way to identify males is by their turquoise-blue scrotum. In the Rubanga forest, they can be seen.

Reptiles In Lake Mburo Park

Lake Mburo National Park boasts numerous species of reptiles however most of them are hardly spotted, the commonly encountered include:

  1. The Nile Crocodile- Crocodylus Niloticus

With an average weight of about 225-414.5kg and an average length of 9-4ft, the Nile crocodile is the largest and most incredible freshwater predator in Africa, only found in 26 African nations. It can be found in a variety of aquatic habitats, including lakes, rivers, and swamps. Nile crocodiles have amazing thick, scaly, and well-protected skin.

Crocodiles are cold-blooded animals, therefore they spend most of the day basking with their jaws open from 9 am to 4 pm, “especially if not disturbed and the weather is sunny”. This prevents them from overheating by regulating their body temperature.

They are apex predators, very aggressive, and can kill almost any animal that comes within their range. Their diet consists mainly of fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. On your Uganda tour holiday in Mburo national park,  they’re found on the banks of Lake Mburo.

Other Reptile Species In Lake Mburo National Park

  1. Lizards include the monitor lizard, snake lizard, and common house lizard.
  2. Snakes counting the Black mambas, Puff adder, Spitting cobra, African rock python, Green mambas, Gabon viper, Slender green snake, and Boomslang (tree snake).
  3. Chameleons such as the Bright green chameleon, the Smaller chameleon, and the Pigmy chameleon.
  4. Skinks for example the Red and black skink, Side-striped skink, Speckled-lipped skink, Grey-black limbless skink, etc.
  5. Geckos such as the Black-throated dwarf gecko, Blue-bodied agama, and Uganda house gecko.
  6. Tortoises for example, soft-shelled turtles, western hinged tortoises.


Regardless of its being the smallest savannah park in Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park has been a must not miss paradise for most Uganda wildlife safaris to the west. Some of the amazing animals in Lake Mburo National Park include numerous antelope species such as the beautiful Elands, Impalas, Topis, Waterbucks, Bushbucks, etc.

Other commonly spotted Lake Mburo National Park animals include herds of Zebras, Buffalos, Hippos, And Crocodiles, plus Leopards, Spotted hyenas, Side-stripped jackals, Serval cats, etc. Lions and elephants have not been spotted in the park for a long period.

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