This national park that was designated in 1982 is just a 4 hours drive from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda and situated between the towns of Masaka and Mbarara. It’s the smallest savanna national park with a size of 260 km². It has an altitude ranging from 1,220m to 1,828m above sea level. 20% of the park’s surface area consists of wetland habitats. And the park consists of 5 lakes and the largest is Lake Mburo that lies with in the park boundaries.
The word mburo is similar to the "mboro", the Runyankole name of the cassine tree which has a powerful aphrodisiac effect. One such tree, showing signs of bark and branch removal, may be seen close to the Kigambira Loop crossroads. The park consists of open and wooded savanna forests, open and wooded savanna forests, acacia woodland, dry hillside, bushes thickets, forested gorges, rocky ridges, patches of papyrus swamps, narrow bands of lush riparian woodland line the verges of the various lakes and common trees like acacia gerrardii, acacia hockii, acacia polycantha, acacia sieberiana, Olea species and Boscia species.
This park can be a stopover since it’s a long drive between Kampala and the national parks in the Western Uganda. It also acts as the excellent game viewing were you will be able to see the zebras, impala, buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles, topis, elands and 310 species of birds.
There are different tracks that are used for game viewing which are the zebra track, then the Impala track, kigambira loop, kazuma track and then lakeside track. The Zebra track, this track will lead you to the Ruroko track junction, you will go through a wetland basin, then thick acacia shrub and woodland which consist of euphorbia species and olive trees. Through this track you will be able to view the Zebras. Besides that you will also view other species like bushbucks, oribi and reedbucks. The Impala track will give you the best opportunity to view the Impalas but you might also be in position to sight a number of warthogs, waterbucks, zebras and topis. Another track is the Kazuma track which goes through the wooded grassland where black-bellied bustards often patrol the area. The high Kazuma hill can be climbed by tourists to enable them to see what they could have missed. The five lakes within the park and the rolling hills become more visible and attractive. Through the Kigambira loop, you wi ll be taken to a wooded wilderness with scattered thicket. While here you will get an opportunity to see the bushbucks and bush duikers. Also the park has a diversity of water plants and animals and then both woodland and water birds that can easily be sighted along the Lakeside track.
There are over 310 species of birds and these include rare shoebill stork, crested francolin, tabora cristicola, nubian woodpecker, emerald-spotted wood dove, african fin foot, brown parrot, brown chested wattled plover, barefaced go-away bird, papyrus yellow warbler, red necked spur, black bellied bustard, african-grey hornbill, carruther’s cristicola, common quails, coqui francolin, white winged warbler, black-billed barbet, abyssinian ground hornbill, rufuos chested swallow, greenwood hoopoe, great snipe, blue-napped mousebird, saddle billed stork, lilac-breasted roller, Trilling cisticola, red necked spurfowl, temminck’s courser, african-wattled plover rufous napped and flappet larks, yellow-throated long claw and southern red bishop.
Because of Lake Mburo with a diversity of animal and plant species, you can have a boat trip which takes 2 hours on the lake and it will give you a clear opportunity to view different mammals and birds. The mammals include hippopotamus, crocodiles, and the birds like Heron, Pelicans, Cormorant, Black crake, Fish eagle and you may also see the rare Shoebill stork.
The nature inside is admired through this trail and the opportunity is there to walk in the circuit at their own pace, accompanied by an armed guide.
A walk to the nearby salt lick is a climax of it all. A strategically located wooden platform offers a chance to see at least four different species of animals at any one time while they lick the salty soil. The platform is strategically located in such a way that close observation can be done without distracting the animals from their salt licking.
This forest acts as the habitat for different bird species. There are more than 40 species of birds in the Rubanga forest and five of which are forest “specialists”. Some of the common species are the narina trogn, harrier hawk, grey-backed cameroptera, double-toothed barbet and greenpigeon. And there are also some common trees are erythriana, markhamia platycalyx, acacia and sapium.