Ancient history and settlement.
Lake Mburo was originally gazetted in 1933 as a controlled hunting area and upgraded to a game reserve in 1963. The Banyankole Bahima residents continued to graze their cattle in the reserve until it was upgraded to national park status in 1983. The Obote government’s upgrade decision was intended, in part, to weaken the Banyankole, who supported anti-Obote rebels. It came at the time of the Operation Bonanza massacre of 300,000 people. As the evicted pastoralists were not compensated for lost grazing land or assisted with resettling, many remained hostile to the upgrade. The rangeland outside the park was subsequently subdivided into small ranges and subsistence farming plots.
In 1985, the second Obote regime fell and the previous residents of Lake Mburo re-occupied the park’s land, expelling park staff, destroying infrastructure, and killing wildlife. Less than half of the park’s original land area was eventually re-gazetted by the National Resistance Movement government in 1986