We drove for around five hours on Mbarara – Masaka Highway. In my company was, Justyna Sniezek, a Polish travel blogger on her maiden vacation to Uganda, and Nsubuga Robert, our safari guide. At long last, we saw a sign post written on, Lake Mburo National Park.
The tour guide informed us that we were 25km away from the park entrance. Our eyes feasted a stretch of isolated green vegetation dotted with impalas and zebras. Herds of these animals graze gently on the bushes as egrets perched on their backs.
Finally we arrived at the park entrance and came by several herds of animals. Giraffes, impalas and warthogs were camera shy and ran away the moment they saw the car approaching.
Given the name of the national park I curiously asked the tour guide where Lake Mburo was located because shrubberies covered a large part of the national park.
For around 25 minutes, we navigated through murrum roads which bear signposts showing different sites and headings around the part until we caught sight of Lake Mburo.
At the lake
On the shores, monkeys and warthogs walk freely past visitors. Likewise, there are just three structures; one is for keeping life jackets and boat equipment, the other a small house whose purpose I didn’t know and a grass-thatched open place which I later found to be a restaurant.
It was the ideal time for a boat cruise. I happened to be the only Ugandan in the place as the majority was of Asian origin. I sat far from Justyna and so conversation had nobody to chat with. The Asians were friendly and cheerful as they occasionally broke into wild laughter. They talked more Hindu than English. Despite the fact that we were hungry, we declined their offer to snacks their snacks to us.
Seeping in the serenity
In the mean time, Nicholas the boat rider, sailed slowly as he clarified and showed us different animal species on the water. The most interesting being the hippopotamus. “The hippos stay in water during day time and comes out during the night due to the fact that the sun affects their skin,” he said, including that they live in schools (groups of hippos) of seven and far from each other. Every school had only one male hippo to protect the other members. There are 500 hippos in Lake Mburo and you can only see them at the shores at night.
There were different animals, for example, crocodiles. Our informer told us the crocodile abandons the young one immediately after birth. With the waves slowly slapping the boat, it was all tranquil and unwinding. We had to come back to the shore.
The problem came when the engine of the boat got stuck in the mud at the shallow end near the forest. Everybody got worried because on the shores is the where the crocodiles are found. In 10 minutes, one of the Asians got the paddle and forcefully rowed forward. By some marvel the motor began again and the engine started again and we made it shore.
Did you know?
According to our Tours guide, Lake Mburo National Park has a variety, for example, zebras, impala, buffaloes, and more than 300 species of bird.
The national park sits on 260 square kilometers yet it is the smallest Savannah national park in Uganda.
Lake Mburo was initially gazetted in 1933 yet it was transformed into a game reserve in 1963. The Banyankole Bahima inhabitants kept on graze their cattle in the Reserve until it was upgraded to National Park status in 1983.