Before we had officially entered the park we saw zebra, casually grazing on the side of the road along side big horned cattle. Even the cattle were fun to observe, being so unusual from our experience.
Lake Mburo is one of only three locations in Uganda where you can see zebra, and certainly the only park this far south.
It was already exciting, because zebra are one of those animals that immidiately pull you into Africa as though you could be no where else. And to see animals on the side of the road before we had really entered what could be deemed ‘their territory’ was even more promising.
They were Burchell’s zebra, and this is the only park in the rift region where they live. Each of their crisp stripes looked as though they had been carefully painted in turn.
Lake Mburo is also the only place in Uganda we would see Eland and Impala – both at opposite ends of the antelope size scale with the Eland being the largest species of antelope there is.
There is something beautiful about Impala. Their shiny coat and delicate features.
On one of my first safaris I was told ‘you can always tell which is the most popular impala, because they will have the most shiny coat. The others will line up to groom them’. Made me sad to see a not so shiny one after that!
I used to always recommend people only spend a night at Lake Mburo, as a stop over for the ‘main event’ of gorilla tracking. I think it was this underestimation that surprised me so much. Changed my opinion entirely being there in person.
Even though we travelled in the wet season (late November, early December) we saw an abundance of zebra, waterbuck and impala.
Amoung other other sightings there were bushbuck, topi, ververt monkeys, warthog, bush squirrel, bush rabbits, buffalo and a very fast dik dik and mongoose we caught unawares.
One of the things I love about Uganda, which was apparent right from getting off the plane in the airport, is there is always something to see.
This place is a birders paradise, with something around every corner. Fish eagle in one tree, snake eagle in the next, as well as the more frequent glossy cape starlings, guinea foul, doves, black headed gonolek, hornbills and more.
We weren’t even on a real game drive – we were simply on our way to our lodge.
After my first safari experience, in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve in South Africa, I am still more excited to see things we ‘happen’ across than things you go ‘hunting’ for with walkie talkies and teams of trackers. It somehow makes the whole experience more real when you stumble across something.