Uganda: Lake Mburo National Park (Part 1)

On 29th March we left Ruhengeri via the Cyanika border, the most SW border with Uganda, and proceeded over a rather wet and muddy mountain pass through Kibale and on to Mbarara. Filling up with fuel we realised the weather was a bit more favourable than that in the SW although the hint of rains remained. Another 50km brought us to the turnoff for Lake Mburo where the road to the gate (9km - allegedly) is dirt/mud/slush-puppy but not severe.

Getting to the gate at 3.15pm we were well beyond the missus' off-hand prediction we'll be in time for lunch at the lodge - still approximately 12-15km away. Anyway with not much time to spare (and potential rain looming) we 'rushed' on, stopping I think 3x for a bird (including a Green Sandpiper) or animals - by far the most frustrating way of driving through such a fantastic park.

Sod's law
, at the lodge the sun was out and it was lovely and warm. Here I got to take my 1st photos in the NP -a Spotted Bush Snake. Eventually we'd come across 4 just around the pool and the bar.

View from the pool, bar & restaurant was certainly nothing to complain about...

Some of the birds we did manage to see through the rush and at the lodge included Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Ruppell's Long-tailed Starling (zillions), Black-headed Gonolek, Double-toothed Barbet, Bare-faced Go-away Bird and Green Pigeon. Nightjars heard included Black-shouldered (very very similar call to Fiery-necked), Square-tailed (Mozambique) and Freckled.

Ruppell's Long-tailed Starling
Morning kicked off with a cacophony of nightjars, Go-away Birds, Doves, Starlings, Francolin and Spurfowl and some seriously loud Ross' Turaco (I always forget how loud these lovely looking twats are) This morning we were also booked for a 10am boat trip on Lake Mburo with a drive to park HQ of 45min (wildly under-estimated if you ask me). The missus realised that with me driving this was impossible as we would need minimum 2 hours given that she knows I wasn't planning on doing a repeat of the previous day's scan of the park.

We set off with more than 2hrs to get there but alas the last half hour had to be "rushed" again - at this stage I was seriously grinding my teeth. Before the rush some animals and birds did happen along including Slender Mongoose (a very hasty one - was he also on the way to/for the missus?),
Palm-nut Vulture (spotted by the chief spotter in the passenger seat aka the Missus) Some other sightings along the way;

Defassa's Waterbuck

Lesser-striped Swallow

A warthog trying its best to get rid of as much grass as possible at Park HQ

Part 2: The Lake Mburo Boat trip


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