game drive

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park Things to do and see – Accommodation – Uganda wildlife safaris

Lake Mburo National park, the smallest national park in Uganda is about 4 hours drive from Kampala and can connect easily to Queen Elizabeth National park and Bwindi Impenetrable national park; which is home to mountain gorillas that can be tracked on our gorilla tracking safaris.

The beauty of Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National park is blessed with rich diverse animal and bird life with more than 315 different bird species for those interested in bird watching safaris and 68 different mammals that can be seen during game drives, guided walking safaris, horse riding safaris and nocturnal safaris. The mammals include impala, buffalo, leopards, zebras, elands, topis and recently about 16 giraffes were relocated to this beautiful jewel of a national park. You will see lots of hippos wallowing into water on a boat safari on Lake Mburo. Some of the animals in this park are found no where else in Uganda. It is less crowded too so you will likely have the whole park by yourself.

Most of our Uganda safaris include a visit to this beautiful national park. If you are interested in any of our safaris and you would love to explore Lake Mburo national park, contact us.

Wildlife at Lake Mburo national park

There are over 68 mammal species in Lake Mburo National Park which can be spotted easily during the game drives and the wildlife boat trips. The park has well maintained tracks that make it easy for game viewing. Animals to look out for are impalas, a type of antelope that is found only in Lake Mburo National park, in the whole of Uganda. Other antelopes include the eland (one of the large and shy antelopes which are found only here and in Kidepo Valley National park), bush backs, Defassa Waterbuck, Topi and other animals that include African Cape buffalo, hyenas, an only lion that comes and goes, warthogs, and Zebras

Birds in Lake Mburo national park

Lake Mburo National Park is home to about 315 bird species which makes birding one of the top activities in the park. Because of its different habitants, there are savanna, forest and water birds in this small underrated national park. Some of the birds include Crested Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Red necked Spur, common Quails, Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Blue-napped Mouse bird, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Bee-eaters and the Cheeky bronze-tailed starling and the crowned crane which is on the Uganda emblem. On the boat safari, you will look out for the African Finfoot, shoebill stork, Malachite, pied and grey headed kingfishers, African fish eagle among others

Top Activities in Lake Mburo National Park

Morning and Night safari Game drives in customized safari vehicles with pop up roofs

Visitors in Lake Mburo national park can go for guided nigh and day safari games drives. Both times are perfect for game viewing since animals are very actives during those times. Uganda Wildlife Authority opened and maintains wildlife game drive tracks that make it easy for visitors to spot the animals in the park.

Lake Mburo national park is one of the few animals where night game drives take place with supervision of a ranger guide from Uganda Wildlife Authority. The night game drives offer chances of seeing the nocturnal animals that include bush babies and leopard. The other animals to look out for are warthogs, zebras, and the different types of antelopes. The game drives normally take about 3 hours

Wildlife boat safaris in Lake Mburo National Park:

One can go for a 2 hour wildlife boat safari on Lake Mburo which is found inside the National park. Animals come to the lake to drink water, offering many animal sightings on the boat safari. Expect to see crocodiles, more than you can possibly imagine hippos, monitor lizards, buffalos and different types of birds that include African Fin Foot, different types of Kingfishers, weaver birds, African fish eagle, lapwings, hamerkop, shoebill stork, and herons among others. You will have stunning views of the distant hills that surround the lake.

Birding in Lake Mburo national park

Lake Mburo national park is a bird watchers haven because it is home to over 315 species of birds. Birding will be better around Ruganga forest with a ranger guide, Warukiri, Rwonyo area, and around the salty lick area. It is so easy to go birding in Lake Mburo National park and the birds to look out for are white winged tit, Bare-faced Go-away bird, White-headed Barbet, Red faced barbet,  Red-shouldered cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed Cisticola, Brown parrot, Grey crowned crane, Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, and black bellied bastard, night heron, malachite and pied kingfisher, African fish eagle among other birds.

Guided Nature Walks in Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is one of the two national parks in Uganda where a visitor can go for a guided nature walk. You must go with a ranger guide from Uganda Wildlife Authority. We highly recommend this rare activity where you will spot the wildlife of the park on foot.

The ranger will tell you which foot print or droppings belong to which animal and you will approach the wildlife at such a close range. This is an opportunity that should not be missed out while on a safari in Uganda. The early morning walk normally begins at 7am after early breakfast and one has high chances of seeing hyenas returning to their dens and hippos returning to Lake Mburo. The walk too provides opportunities of spotting out some of the forest and savannah birds. The morning guided walk can be done before you proceed to your next destination and is wrapped up by a walk to the top of one a hill that offers stunning views of nine of the fourteen lakes in the region.

Horse back safaris in Lake Mburo National park:

A horse back safari in Lake Mburo National park is one that should not be missed while in this beautiful diverse park. The rides are between 2 to 3 hours on well trained and maintained horses. The horse rides are for all different levels of riders and will offer great opportunities for game viewing of the different animals in the park that include African cape buffalo, Zebras, Topi, Impala, Eland, warthogs, etc

Sport fishing at Mazinga

Lake Mburo is a designated sport fishing area and anglers can go sport fishing at Mazinga. One will need a sport fishing permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority which we can arrange, and better to come with your own fishing equipment. It has 6 types of fish that include lung fish, mud fish, cat fish among others and tilapia is the most common one. The method of fishing in Lake Mburo National park is catch and release

Community and cultural experiences in Lake Mburo National Park

A visitor in Lake Mburo National park may go for communitu cultural experience in the neighbouring communities. The people in these communities are mainly cattles keepers of the Endangered Ankolelond horned cattle. On these activities, you will learn about their lifestyle, how to milk cows and process ghee as well as listen to stories told by the people. Note that a certain percentage from the money paid to the national park goes to the neighbouring communities to help with conservation and for the communities to benefit from the park

Accommodation in Lake Mburo National Park

There are different types of accommodation in Lake Mburo National Park that suit every traveller. Some of the lodges, border with the park but you will feel like you are inside the national park

  • Mihingo Lodge- Luxury
  • Rwakobo Rock- Mid range
  • Arcadia cottages Lake Mburo- Mid range
  • Mburo Safari Lodge- Budget
  • Eagles’ Nest- Budget

How to get there:

Road transport: It is about 5 hours from Entebbe and 4 from Kampala to Lake Mburo national park. From this park, you can easily connect to Queen Elizabeth, Kibale National park, Rwenzori Mountain and Bwindi Impenetrable national parks

Suggested safari itineraries that include lake Mburo National Park

Safari Game drives in Uganda’s National Parks

Safari Game drives are no doubt one of the highlights of any Uganda safari or African safari at large and can be combined with other safari activities that include gorilla tracking and gorilla habituation, chimpanzee trekking and habituation, mountaineering and bird watching safaris.

Safari game drives in Uganda involve going into the savannah plains of the different safari national parks, with a 4 x 4 WD safari van or safari land cruiser, with every traveller having a window seat. Safari game drives can last from 2-3 hours to a full day’s excursion, sometimes wrapped up with a bush breakfast.

What does a safari game drive mean?
The word ‘game drive’ means two different words; Game and drive. Game is referred to the wild animals that live and move freely in their natural habitats in the Savannah plains. Game includes elephants, giraffes, and African cape buffaloes among others.
Drive on the other side is referred to as driving with a vehicle- searching for game. So a game drive basically means driving with a safari vehicle in national parks and wildlife reserves searching for especially big game

Sunrise safari game drives

Game drives are a typical safari activity. We recommend going for a full day game drive for better game watching opportunities
Game drives normally start early in the morning at around 6 a.m. since this is when animals are most active.

You will always have early breakfast before you head out to the Savannah plains for the game drives. Unless you are doing a bush walk or another activity, you will likely go on two game drives per day while on safari. You will spot lions and hyenas hunting, vultures feeding on leftovers of predators, watch elephants, giraffes, and lots of antelopes that include the Uganda Kobs among others.

After the sunrise game drive, you return to the lodge for real breakfast, and relaxing since the animals rest too during the afternoon heat. But in most national parks in Uganda, in the afternoon you go for a boat safari, to watch animals and birds that come to rivers for water or go for a sun downer in some of the best scenic places in the different national parks.

Night  safari game  drives
In Uganda, one can go for night game drives in some of the National parks, with your safari guide and a ranger guide from Uganda Wildlife Authority. The night game drives may start from 4:00 pm returning at 10:00 pm latest. A spotlight is used to spot the different animals.

Night game drives offer a whole new perspective to a Uganda safari and allows travelers to experience the mysteries of the African bush after dark. Travelers will get a chance to see the nocturnal life such as porcupines, mongoose, leopards and other animals that love the dark.

Animal seen on a Ugandan safari        
Expect to see the big four animals that include the elephant, leopard, African Cape Buffalo, and lion. With rhino tracking at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, a sanctuary aiming at breeding and re-introducing rhinos into the wild, one is able to see all the big five animals.

Other animals to look out on the game drives include bush back, water back, Uganda kob, warthog, giant hog, giraffes, mongoose especially white tailed, jackals, Jackson’s hartebeest , zebras, ostriches, among others
There are quiet a number of birds too that can be seen while on game drives and boat safari. Every national park in Uganda has common and special bird.

Safari vehicles used for safari game drives
Safari games drives are usually guided and conducted from 4 x 4 customized safari vehicles. These are either customized safari vans or land cruisers with a pop up roof that makes it easy for wildlife viewing.
Most of these vehicles carry a maximum of 7 people, each person with a window seat, all this making wildlife or game viewing fun and easy to spot different animals

Why you should go for a safari Game Drive in Uganda

  • You get guided around, learning about the different animals in their free nature
  • You learn about wild animals and their way of life
  • You come across many animals than you could possibly imagine
  • You get to see the big 8 animals of Uganda (Elephant, Lion, Leopard, African Cape Buffalo, Rhino, Giraffe, Chimpanzee and mountain gorilla)

National Parks for the best safari game drives in Uganda
Below are some of the national parks and wildlife reserves in Uganda where a traveller can go for safari game drives

Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Queen Elizabeth National parkis one of the highest and rich bio diverse national parks in Uganda. It is home to about 98 mammals and is the most visited national in Uganda. It is located in Kasese in Western Uganda and offers great classic African safari game drives.

The park is home to countless animals that include elephant, leopard, lion, African Cape buffalo, a number of different types of antelopes, wart hog, giant forest hog, baboons, tree climbing lions, chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge etc. The park has well developed game drive tracks through the Kasenyi area and North Kazinga plains and Ishasha sector that is home to tree climbing lions; to make game viewing possible and successful.

Travellers can go for an early sunrise game drive which is highly recommended, with a safari guide to look out for the early risers like the lions and hyenas. Sunrise game drives normally begin at 6.30 am for about 2-3 hours.

Murchison  Falls    National     Park
Murchison Falls National Park is the largest national park in Uganda and offers great game drive experiences because of its different animal species found here.

Morning, afternoon and night game drives are available and do take place from the well maintained game drive tracks, with Buligi track in the northern bank of River Nile.

With a safari guide, one can see and photograph different animals that include leopard, lion, elephant, giraffes, mongoose, hyenas, jackals, baboons, patas and black and white colobus monkeys, warthogs, duikers, Oribi, Jackson’s Jackson’s hartebeest , leopard, tortoise different types of antelopes. For clients staying in the Southern bank, they can go to a new track called the honey moon track where some giraffes where trans-located to.

If you have time, don’t miss night game drives to be able to spot the nocturnal animals.

Murchison falls National park is well situated close to Budongo Forest, which offers an opportunity for chimpanzee tracking in this rain forest, and it is also close to Ziwa rhino sanctuary, where a traveller can go for rhino tracking, thus offering a great possibility to see all the big five animals plus man’s closest cousin; the chimpanzee.

Lake  Mburo national   park
Lake Mburo National Park, the smallest Savannah national park in Uganda is located conveniently between Kampala, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi impenetrable National parks. It is the only park in Uganda with an entire lake within its borders.

It has a great network of safari game tracks through acacia woodland, wetlands, rocks, grassy areas and game drives here are not long because of its size.

Safari game drives in Lake Mburo National park normally take place at 6.30am for the sunrise game drives and 7 pm for the night game drives. These are the best times since animals are moving freely for food in the park.
Animals to look out for are Zebra, eland, impala (only park with impalas in Uganda), hyena, leopard, bush babies, baboons, buffalo, giraffes among others.

Apart from morning and night game drives, one can go for horse back safaris, walking safaris, water safaris and birding safari.

Kidepo Valley national park  

Kidepo Valley National park is a semi-dessert national park located in the far North Eastern part of Uganda. CNN voted Kidepo Valley National park as one of the best national parks to visit in Africa. This is because of this beautiful endless scenery, African sunrises and sunsets, largest prides of lions and countless herds of African Cape Buffaloes.

About 77 mammal species call the national park home, making it perfect for classic African safari game drives that take place early morning, in the afternoon and in the night.

Game drives take place around the Narus Valley, morning ones starting at 6:00 am, and afternoon ones at 3 pm. The animals to look out for are elephants, lions which sometimes rest on rocks in the park, different types of antelopes, cheetah, bush baby, bush pig, jackals, giraffes and much more.

You can also go for a one hour long game drive to Kidepo Valley, which is very scenic. Kidepo Valley River is seasonal and during the dry season, the sand is so beautiful, adorned by palm trees. It should be noted that there is not much wildlife here, but it is part of the park where Ostriches are commonly seen. The drive takes you to Kanangorok hot springs and towards mountains, across the Sudanese border.

Toro  Semuliki  Wildlife  Reserve
Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is one of the less travelled reserves in Uganda but it is underestimated. There are three game drive tracks across the Toro Semuliki Wildlife reserve savannah. Animals to see here include the forest and savannah elephants, buffalo, water buck, Uganda Kob, crocodile and with a bit of luck you may see the pygmy hippopotamus. Other animals include the leopard and the bush babies.

Safari game drives in Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve normally take place in the early morning, afternoon and in the night. The night offers great opportunities to spot the nocturnal animals like the white tailed mongoose among others.

Important points for safari game drives

  • Off road driving during night and morning game drives is not allowed inside all national parks. This is to prevent vehicle-damage to the environment. Please don’t force your guide to do so. If caught, there is a fine to pay to Uganda Wildlife Authority, and one may be banned from the national parks
  • Night game drives offer a great opportunity to spot nocturnal animals that include bush babies, genet cats, mongoose, aardvarks, and owls among others
  • Bring sandbags to steady cameras
  • A good binocular is recommended
  • Wear layers during the morning game drives. You go for the morning game drives when the sun is rising and so the temperatures are low, but as the game drive goes on and the sun is fully out, it gets hot.
  • Always wear a sun screen and an insect repellent
  • If you go on a game drive, make sure you carry your sunglasses and a hat. In case you come back after dark, don’t forget to take something warm to wear.
  • During a game drive you will have a possibility to stretch your legs, always stay close to the vehicle
  • When you go for a bush toilet, make sure to tell your guide. Please do not go by your self
  • In a lot of National Parks and Game Reserves it is not permitted to go off-road during your game drive.

General safari requirements

  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Water proof trousers
  • Long sleeved Shirt/blouse
  • Water proof raincoat/jacket
  • Sun Cream
  • Gloves
  • Insect repellent
  • Backpack for carrying water/packed lunch
  • Camera
  • Light safari clothing’s i.e. shorts / sleeveless for the day
  • Warm clothing / sweater for the evening
  • Anti Malarial / Yellow fever vaccination