Lake Mburo National Park is located in Kiruhura District in the Western Uganda. The park is in a closure proximity from Uganda’s capital city Kampala making it accessible. The size of the park is 370 square km regarding the smallest protected area in East Africa.
The park was gazetted in 1933 as a controlled hunting area and after turned into a game reserve in 1963, and later became a national park in 1983.
In 1985 during the regime of Obote, the 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.
The park is composed of a beautiful landscape, with rolling hills and idyllic lake shores that has a varied mosaic of habitats; forest galleries, seasonal and permanent swamps, rich acacia-woodland and grassy valleys supporting fauna of the area. But with its rich variety of habitats; dry hillsides, rocky outcrops, bushy thickets, open and wooded savannah, forest, lakes and swamps, it is home to a surprising diversity of flora and fauna and other ecological values.
Lake Mburo national park is the only home for eland, impala and klipspringer in Uganda. It is also home to the largest population of zebra in Uganda estimated at about 5,000 and contains the highest concentration of leopard found anywhere in Uganda.
Other animals of the park include; Buffalo, waterbuck, topi and warthog are also very common. Reedbuck and oribi can also be spotted in the open valleys during day game viewing. Hyena, genet, bush pigs and white tailed mongoose are often seen on night game drives.
Lake Mburo being in the centre, there are other 14 lakes in the area, forming part of a wetland system. This system is linked by a swamp some 50 km long, depending on Ruizi River on the western side. Five lakes, of which the largest is Lake Mburo, and others occur within the boundaries of the park.
The fifth portion of the Park’s area consists of wetlands both seasonally flooded and permanent swamps. The various kind of swamps are home to a wide variety of wetland birds, as well as the shy, rare sitatunga antelope. Lake Mburo’s surface and its wonderful vegetation are always changing, and it is awesome to take a boat cruise and experience the lake’s moods and watch the numerous hippos, some crocodile and unbelievable amount of African fish eagles. The lake is also one of the best places to spot the rarely seen African finfoot and white backed heron amongst many other water birds.
Lake Mburo National Park lies in a rain shadow of Lake Victoria the second fresh water lake in the world and the Mountains of the moon. This receives an average rain of 800 mm per year since it’s near the equator, the rainfall pattern is bimodal, with the long rains occurring from March to June, and the short rains from September to December.