Mburo will impress you

The attractions at Lake Mburo National Park will interest even the most sophisticated person. The long list comprises nature walks conducted on foot with a guide to furnish guests with knowledge about butterflies, flora and fauna.

There is also the boat ride and horse riding, which are interesting activities.

For photograph fanatics, the park offers spectacular views of the park’s terrain and wildlife. Visitors ride close to the animals either with their private cars or cars on hire.

The park also has the long horned Ankole cow, which is under threat of extinction.

The cattle graze along other wildlife like the burchellis zebras, buffalos, duikers, oribi, bush pigs and antelopes. There are also jackals, vervet monkeys and olive baboon.

Another thriller here is exploring the eastern shores of Lake Mburo by boat at the lakeside campsite near Rwonyo.

Stay warned, though, there are huge crocodiles and hippopotamus during the thrilling two-hour voyage. The bird species include pelicans, herons, cormorant fish eagles and the shoe bill storks. Fishermen with their own equipment may fish in the Lake under an arrangement.

Game tracks

The eastern side of Lake Mburo is served by a network of game tracks along which a variety of savannah animals and birds can be sighted. There are the zebras which frequent the grassy valley floors. This connects to the Ruroko track, which passes rock kopjes, home to the elusive klipspringer.

In the south of the park, the lakeside track passes through dense woodland. It is also an opportunity to see bushbuck and bush duiker. This gives the park a panoramic view.

Rubanga forest

Though small, this tract of forest on the western side of Lake Mburo provides a taste of the tropical high forest with closed canopy and is home to a variety of forest bird species. Rubanga can be explored with a ranger guide.

To get there

Lake Mburo National Park is right on the western highway between Masaka and Mbarara. Only 228 km away from Kampala, it measures 370sq km in size, but it is endowed with vibrant landscapes. There is gallery forest, then an open savannah and acacia woodland, rock Kopjes, seasonal and permanent swamps and openwater. Given its proximity to DR Congo and Tanzania, it a favourite regional conference destination.

There are two gateways to the park from the Mbarara Road. Approaching from Kampala then turning to Nshara gate is 13kms past Lyantonde. The junction for Sanga gate is at Sanga Trading Centre, 27kms past Lyantonde. Both junctions are clearly sign posted, it is about 20 minutes drive from either gates to Rwonyo. Plans are underway to pen the Katengyeto gate from Biharwe near Mbarara Town and Igongo Cultural Centre.

Accomodation

Uganda Wildlife Authourity provides a range of budget accommodation in the park. Permanent tents are available at the Buffalo tented camp. There is also a camp site positioned on the Lake shore. Up market accommodation are found at Arcadia Cottages and Mantana tented camp on top of a hill only 3.5km north of Rwonyo and at Mihingo Lodge.

Education Centre

The park has a Conservation Education Centre, 1km west of Sanga gate. This provides accommodation and an education hall for school groups, visitors, seminars and workshops.

Tariffs

For information on fees for park entrance and activities, please refer to the UWA tariff sheet. The current tariff 2011-13 is valid until the end of December 2013. 20% of all park entry fees are shared with communities living in the park boundary in order to spread the benefits of eco-tourism and generate local support for conservation

Source: New Vision-Uganda’s Leading Daily.

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