Uganda is known for offering vast tourist safaris but it cannot be bird watching if it has not been done from Lake Mburo National Park. This smallest National Park in the country amazingly offers the best birding experience that will leave the tourist sold that indeed Uganda is the Pearl of Africa. It was named after a myth about two brothers called Mburo and Kigarama who used to live in a big valley that Mburo drowned in due to floods. The park is located in Kiruhura District and it’s officially called Lake Mburo Nakivale Wetland System. The park hosts over 300 bird species, other wildlife includes impala, African buffaloes, hippopotamus, Zebras among others.
Birding in Lake Mburo
Uganda has over 1000 bird species and 135 bird species cannot be sighted anywhere else in the country apart from Lake Mburo National Park. There are three types of bird species namely savanna birds, water birds and forest birds. Savannah birds include francolin and wood peckers, water birds include African fish eagles, jacana, king fisher, cormorants, herons and pelicans. Forest birds include African fin foot, white headed barbet, wood-dove, grey crowned crane, Nubian wood peckers, red faced barbet, emerald-spotted bird, common scimitar bill, among others.
Why birding in Lake Mburo is important
Birding may sound like a waste of time and money to one person but fun to someone who can get hold of the benefits of watching birds. Kids usually engage more with birds during their plays through imitating their sounds, chasing after them, counting them, racing which one flies highest or fast and other myths connected to birds such as the white egret. All those activities are part of birding but as kids grow into adults they tend to move away from such fun activities because they considered them to be for kids and some can’t even waste time to watch birds yet they are significant to nature as they are as well unique on their own.
It provides an intimate relationship between people and nature hence they learn how to preserve it through donating to support local conservations, advocating for wildlife recreation hence protecting the wilderness in general.
Best time to do birding
Just like any other safari, the best time do go birding is during the dry season because it offers the best opportunity for tourists to hike and carry on with other tourist activities. On addition to that, April-May and November-October are also ideal for birding because of the migratory birds from Europe and North Africa that flock the park giving tourist extra species for views and a birding trip would cost around USD 4700.
Other activities to do apart from bird watching in Lake Mburo
Lake Mburo is known for its birding safaris that it offers but it doesn’t mean that tourists who fall short of birding cannot visit the park. For individuals who are not shaken by bird watching, the park offers a lot more activities that can get the tourists delighted about their experience as follows.
Night game drive
This tourist the opportunity to view nocturnal animals likes leopards, porcupines, illusive leopards among other animals.
Bike trails enable tourists to adventure the park in an hour while having different views of Bush backs, antelope, buffaloes and other wildlife present in the park.
The tourists are guaranteed sailing on the waters of Lake Mburo while they view wildlife that frequents water areas during the dry season like buffaloes and antelopes.
Lake Mburo has six fish species that is the tilapia, mud fish, lung fish and the halo chromic. Tourists interested in fishing safaris should come along with their fishing equipment and also obtain the necessary permits from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Horseback riding safari
Viewing wildlife while at the back of a horse can only be done at Lake Mburo which gives it a distinctive feature from the other National Parks in the country. The horse back riding takes usually 1-3 hours under the guidance of trained stuff and a game ranger.