Lake Mburo National Park is a very special place; every part of it is alive with variety, interest and colour. It contains an extensive area of wetland and also harbours several species of mammals and birds found nowhere else in Uganda. Its sculptured landscape, with rolling hills and idyllic lake shores has a varied mosaic of habitats; forest galleries, seasonal and permanent swamps, and rich acacia-woodland, and grassy valleys which all support a wealth of wildlife.
‘Rwonyo’ the Park Headquarters is only a 30 minute, 15 km drive from Mihingo Lodge. From here you can go on game walks or a boat trip on the Lake Mburo . Please see the map included for directions.
At 260 km2, Lake Mburo National Park is small in comparison with many other East African parks, but with its mosaic of habitats – dry hillsides, rocky outcrops, bushy thickets, open and wooded savannas, forest, lakes and swamps – are home to a surprising diversity of plants and animals.
At the centre of the Park is Lake Mburo , which together with 14 other lakes in the area forms part of a wetland system. This system is linked by a swamp some 50 km long, fed by the Ruizi river on the western side. Five lakes, of which the larges is Lake Mburo , occur within the Park’s boundary. Almost a fifth of the Park’s area consists of wetlands – both seasonally flooded and permanent swamps. The various types of swamps are home to a wide variety of wetland birds, and the shy, rare sitatunga antelope. Lake Mburo ‘s surface and its fringing vegetation are always changing, and it is delightful to take a boat out and experience the lake’s moods.
Lake Mburo National Park lies in a rain shadow between Lake Victoria and the Rwenzori Mountains, and receives an average of 800 mm of rain a year. Being near the equator, the rainfall pattern is bimodal, with the long rains occurring from February to June, and the short rains from September to December. The rains are rather erratic and unpredictable, but most rain tends to fall in April and November. The average recorded temperature is 27.5¡ãC with daily variations ranging from 21.5¡ãC to 34.0¡ãC. July and August are the hottest months.
The Park lies between 1219 and 1828 m above sea level. High hills and rocky, eroded ridges characterize the western part of the Park; here deep valleys support the forest found nowhere else. In the eastern sector, the rolling, wooded hills are intersected by wide, flat bottomed valleys, which are seasonally flooded and drain into the swamps and lakes. The Ruizi river flows in a south-easterly direction and forms part of the western boundary of the Park. Lake Mburo and its associated wetlands eventually drain into Lake Victoria.
The Park is underlain by very ancient (more than 500 million years old) Precambrian metamorphic rocks which belong to the ‘basement system’. Mihingo Lodge is built on one of these outcrops. Most of the soils in Lake Mburo are heavy clay and loams soils. Although surrounded by lakes there is hardly any ground water in Lake Mburo National Park due to the deep clay soils preventing any water from entering deep into the ground.