Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park

When you think about safaris in Uganda, most people are quick to reference the more famous Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth national parks. For the more adventurous or exotic travel-seekers, you’ll hear of people making the long, grueling trek up to Kidepo National Park. In my opinion, one of Uganda’s most lovely parks is only a three to four hour drive from Kampala yet most people have never been there!

Lake Mburo National Park’s close proximity to Kampala makes it a must-see destination. It’s only a 234 km. drive and is located between Masaka and Mbarara. While it is lesser-known than the other larger game parks in Uganda, it definitely makes for an incredible getaway or long-weekend trip!

This beautiful park is rich in wildlife of all kinds: game, birds, and fish. A few fun facts about the game you can expect to see at Lake Mburo: It’s the only park in Uganda with impala! Also, zebra and eland can only be seen here and Kidepo National Park. You can also find the following other game in the park: topi, klipsinger, eland, Cape buffalo, warthog, hippo, leopard, monkeys, baboons, and hyena, among others. The park claims to have one male lion and is in the process of transferring two female lions (for obvious reasons) but only the luckiest of visitors will have a chance to spot him!

Lake Mburo National Park

There’s no shortage of activities offered in this park. When I went, we opted for a night game drive because I was desperate to spot some of the nocturnal animals like leopards, hyenas, and mongoose. Night drives are always exciting no matter what you end up seeing but definitely remember to pack warm clothes. It gets quite chilly at night!

Another fun idea? Take a walking safari! Now this particular activity sounds incredibly dangerous but have no fear: a UWA park ranger will accompany you as you stroll around the salt lick at Rwonyo, walk the shores of Lake Mburo, explore the Rubanga Forest, among other trail options. The ranger will go above and beyond the role of bodyguard to provide you with expert insight on the birds and game.

Other fun activities include horseback safaris, boat rides on Lake Mburo, and sport fishing at Mazinga. If you’re a fan of East African birds, you’re in luck! Lake Mburo National Park is a prime bird watching spot and is home to an estimated 350 different species of birds.

Lake Mburo National Park

Keep in mind the UWA Park fees. The current daily rates are $30 per person if you can prove resident status with 2-year work permit. For visitors, the rate jumps up to $40 per person, per day. Pay close attention when you book your accommodation because some lodges are considered “inside the park” and you’ll have to pay the daily fee regardless if you’re going out on game drives or hanging by the pool reading a book. The vehicle entrance fee is 20,000 UGX for Ugandan-registered saloon cars and 30,000 UGX for SUVs and 4x4s.

When it comes to finding accommodation in the park, there are a handful of options that cater to different budget levels. The Uganda Wildlife website offers a nice list of lodging options with their contact info. One newer lodge, Rwakobo Rock is not listed but I’ve heard great things about it so make sure to check it out!

Lake Mburo National Park

My husband and I chose the lovely Mihingo Lodge for our weekend getaway. It’s definitely on the luxury end of accommodations but we splurged for an anniversary gift and it was worth every Shilling! I highly recommend their luxury safari tents. The accommodation is designed with private tented cottages and they’re spread out across the property, which adds the appreciated elements of privacy, peace, and quiet. Plus, it’s one of the only lodges in the park with a swimming pool which, during Uganda’s hot season, is pretty key!

We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend getaway to Lake Mburo National Park. It’s a great place to recharge and soak up the serenity and lovely views. I highly recommend adding it to your Uganda travel bucketlists!

About Lauren McBride

Hey, I’m Lauren. I’m what you’d call an “expat by marriage.” When my husband and I stepped off the plane in Entebbe in June 2012, I had no idea what I was in for: the breezy traffic on the open road, enjoyable boda rides through the heart of town, or the gentle, lingering smell of exhaust blowing in my face. I continue to be amazed by the strong community in Kampala, the arts, the delicious food, and the fun hangs around this town. I’m committed to sharing the very best of Kampala with you through this website. Contact me anytime with your ideas, feedback, or jokes at