Lake Mburo National park
Lake Mburo National park is situated in western Uganda in the districts of Lyantonde, Mbarara and Kiruhura along Mbarara high way. Lake Mburo National park is Uganda’s nearest protected area from Kampala the largest city of the country.
Lake Mburo national park was established in 1933 as a controlled hunting area and upgraded to a game reserve in 1963. The Bahima residents of Ankole continued to graze their cattle in the reserve until it was upgraded to national park status in 1983.
During Obote’s government, the park was upgraded with the intension to weaken the Banyankole, who supported anti-Obote rebels. It came at the time of the Operation Bonanza massacre of 300,000 people. As the evicted pastoralists were not compensated for lost grazing land or assisted with resettling, many remained hostile to the upgrade. The rangeland outside the park was subdivided into small ranges and subsistence farming plots.
In 1985, the second Obote regime fell and the previous residents of Lake Mburo re-occupied the park's land, expelling park staff, destroying infrastructure, and killing wildlife. Less than half of the park's original land area was eventually re-gazetted by the National Resistance Movement government in 1986.
Lake Mburo national park consists a variety of wildlife and these include: zebras, the protected area is well known home of attractive species of the zebras and can also be found in Kidepo valley national park in the Karamoja region, hippopotamus, impala, warthog, common eland, African buffalo, jackal, African leopard, and over three hundred (300) bird species. At 260 square kilometers (100 sq. mi), the park is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks. The park has camp grounds and permanent tent facilities for visitors. In 2009, the Uganda Wildlife Authority, which manages the park announced plans to introduce balloon tourism in the park.
Lake Mburo national park consists of 13 other lakes in the area, including Lake Mburo itself which is the large of all and in the center. The lake forms part of a 50km-long wetland system linked by a swamp. Five of these lakes lie within the park’s borders. Once covered by open savanna, Lake Mburo National Park now contains much woodland as there are no elephants to tame the vegetation. In the western part of the park, the savanna is interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges while patches of papyrus swamp and narrow bands of lush riparian woodland line many lakes.
National park activities
Birding is done in the swamps of the area since the swamp covers 20% of the parks land.
Boat cruise is done on Lake Mburo. This boat cruise can enable one to view a variety of animals like crocodiles, hippos and water birds.
Game drives are the most sought after activities in the park as they give a broader opportunity to view the various wildlife.
Night Safari-Game drive with high chances of seeing leopards and other nocturnal animals.
Walking safari to get close to the animals and nature.