LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
Lake Mburo National Park is one of the largest five lakes that are near by the wetlands, and it accounts for only 20% of this unique lake found in western Uganda. The park covers only 370km² yet it has 5 lakes within. It’s situated between the towns of Masaka and Mbarara taking you about 4 hours to get there. Lake Mburo National Park is the only place where you can spot the impalas in Uganda, antelopes as well as the Elands. There are also many herds of buffalos and Zebras with in this national park.
This park was initially gazette in the year 1933 as a controlled hunting Area and it was later up graded into a game reserve in the year 1963. The Bahima Banyankole residents also continued with grazing their own cattle with in the reserve till it was up graded into a national park status in 1983. The government of Oboteput up a decision of up grading the park which was a part that was intended to weaken the Banyankole, who were supporting the anti Obote rebels. Since the pastoralists that were evicted were not compensated for the lost grazing land and were not also helped with resettling, many of these remained very hostile to the formation of the park. The rangeland that is found outside that is park and was then divided into small ranges as well as the subsistence farming plots.
In the year 1985, which was the second regime of Obote fell and the past residents of Lake Mburo also re occurred in the park land and expelled the park stuff, as they destroyed the infrastructures as well as the wildlife. More so, less than half of the park land was re gazzetted by the NRM government in 1986.
The pre Cambrian rocks also trigger Lake Mburo Area, with the rocks that comprise a mixture o Cenozoic Pleistocene to the recent rocks, solely granitized –granitoid as well as the highly granitized rocks plus the Karagwe ankolean system. The argillite rocks also dominate more arenites as well as the silty rocks that are usually distributed as a thin band throughout the whole area. This area is also dominated by the erratically soils that are so sandy loam as well as sandy clay loam.
Lake Mburo wetland system is a huge socio- economic value and it’s a source of water or the domestic usage, wildlife and livestock. This system is also a source of the pasture or the local herds in the drought period, a source of fish as well as materials off crats and the thatching. The location of the park is near Masaka- Mbarara highway that makes it so easily reachable from Kampala.
Lake Mburo national park has got a tropical climate and is situated in the Ankole southern climatic zone. The lake also lies with in the rain shadow area that is between Lake Victoria and Rwenzori Mountains. The park has got two seasons including the dry and wet seasons that receive the bi- modal low rain fall that ranges between 500 and 1000mm. the rainfall also tends to be so erratic as well as unreliable, that causes the low pastures which affects the wildlife behaviors that includes the birds and creates the demand on the park by the known local pastoralists. The temperatures here also range between 23-25 degrees and evapotranspiration of the areas in the northwest, north and in the north east to east that ranges from 450 to 1600mm. Also the areas in the south and in the south west of the national park always experience lower evapotranspiration that ranges between 1300 to 1450mm.