Embarking on a journey to explore the avian wonders of Lake Mburo National Park is an adventure like no other. With over 350 bird species thriving within its diverse habitats, this park is a veritable paradise for bird enthusiasts. Among its esteemed residents are some rare, yet frequently sighted, species, including the elusive African finfoot and the elegant white-backed heron.
Should you possess the skill to mimic the call of the papyrus gonolek, this magnificent bird may grace you with its presence at the edge of the papyrus. Otherwise, this papyrus-endemic species remains a seldom-seen gem. Your visit might also coincide with the rainy season, when the majestic grey crowned cranes engage in breeding and tenderly nurture their fluffy chicks in the swampy valleys of the park.
Lake Mburo’s birding delights extend to a plethora of African fish eagles that grace its skies. The park boasts a rich diversity of both savannah and water birds, featuring spectacular species such as the Narina trogon, Ross’s turaco, African green-pigeon, and the distinctive bare-faced go-away-bird, frequently spotted around Mihingo Lodge. An expert guide can help you track down the elusive Narina trogon. By listening for its distinctive calls, the guide can lead you close to the area it is calling from, offering you a chance to catch a glimpse of this charming and secretive little bird. With the aid of a recorded bird call, it becomes remarkably easy to spot them, as they’ll respond to the intrusion of their territory.
For the avid birdwatcher, Lake Mburo National Park presents an array of prime birding spots. The swampy valleys of Warukiri and Miriti, along with the roadsides between Rwonyo camp and the jetty, are teeming with avian life. Strategically placed viewing platforms offer exceptional vantage points at key locations, including the salt lick, Miriti Valley, and Rubanga Forest. Here, you might have the privilege of witnessing the Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Grey Crowned Crane, Black-bellied Bustard, Brown-chested Lapwing, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Brown Parrot, Red-headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Green Wood-hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, White-headed Barbet, Red-faced Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, White-winged Tit, and the enchanting Finfoot, among many others.
To further enhance your birding experience, a visit to Rubanga Forest is a must. Whether explored by vehicle or on foot, this forest holds a special allure for passionate birders. Prior arrangements can be made with the warden for this unique adventure. The exceedingly rare Red-faced Barbet, a species exclusive to Lake Mburo National Park, graces the forest with its vibrant presence, adding to the allure of this pristine wilderness.