LAKE BUNYONYI

LAKE BUNYONYI

Think of the most charming places in the world, and think about Lake Bunyonyi! Visit Uganda and discover the unmatched beauty of Lake Bunyonyi. Located in the Kigezi Highlands, Southwestern Uganda is a spectacular Lake Bunyonyi. This is the deepest Lake in Uganda and comes second in the whole of Africa.

Famous as place of many little birds, Lake Bunyonyi depth measures about 44m and 900 meters. It is a special water lake lying at an altitude of 1962 meters and has a width of 7 km & 25 km. Lake Bunyonyi has 29 islands concentrated within it with some often visited during visitor tour in the area/

Location & access

Lake Bunyonyi is a beautiful Lake located in Southwestern Uganda close to Rwanda border. From Kabale, the lake is accessible within 53 km and from Kisoro, drive for 48 km.

Lake Bunyonyi is also touristic feature on the 2,000 Ugandan shilling note. The lake is a perfect honeymoon spot and especially if you want to escape the bustling Kampala city.

Top attractions and activities to do in Lake Bunyonyi

Kahunye Island

Kahunye Island is a magical island with some wildlife. These include zebras, Uganda Kobs, waterbucks, DeBrazza monkeys and many birds. It is on this island where you can find Lake Bunyonyi Eco Resort. From this island, it is possible to connect to Echuya Forest on a hike.

Birds & birding tours

Lake Bunyonyi is island-dominated area, and also hosts diverse bird species. It is a destination with a total of 200 bird species. These include grey crowned cranes, herons, weaver birds, slender-billed baglafetch, egrets, Levaillant’s cuckoos, cardinal woodpeckers, white tailed monad, African kingfishers, African harrier hawks, streaky seed eaters, fan tailed widow bird, speckled mouse birds, great cormorant, pied wagtail, common stone chat, and more.

Boat/canoe ride

Canoe riding is an amazing excursion Lake Bunyonyi is most popular for. On a canoe ride, guests head off to one of the islands and there are 29 islands dotted throughout the lake. As you ride, you will be getting the most of the Lake’s scenic surrounding and also keep an eye on some birds.

Swimming

Lake Bunyonyi is one of the few lakes in the world where you can freely swim without any worry about hippos, crocodiles or bilharzia. As you swim, you must be keen on its depth the fact that it is ranked as Africa’s second deepest.

Community/cultural visits

Adjacent to Lake Bunyonyi are the two communities: the Batwa and Bakiga. Visiting any of these tribal groups is a great chance to explore and experience the authentic cultures, traditions and more. The Batwa are most popular as inhabitants of the forest for several years and they were evicted when the areas were officially gazetted.

Akampene (Punishment Island)

This is the most popular island on Lake Bunyonyi where unmarried girls who got pregnant were punished. They were left in the island with no food and most of them died of hunger or drown in an attempt to swim back to the mainland. Some were rescued by young men who were also poor and couldn’t pay the bride price. This ancient practice was abandoned in the 20th century.

Black smith sites

Pay a visit to the skillful Abaheesi people renowned for their black smith practices by melting metals to form beautiful and valuable items like knives, hoes, machetes, souvenirs, and more. There is an option of visiting the Bakiga cultural museum, this was established in 2002 by Festo Karwemera the Kabale elder or go experience the Batwa and Bakiga cultures including entertainment at Bufuka village.

Mountain biking

You can also engage in mountain biking to explore the breathtaking landscape of Kigezi region. Bikes can be hired for your experience in the area and expect to enjoy the beautiful sceneries.

Scenic viewing

With over 29 islands dotted throughout the lake, it is with no doubt that this is one of the splendid destinations worth visiting for scenic viewing. Adjacent to the lake lies the lush green hills of terraced Kigezi rising at an altitude of 2200 to 2478m.

Lake Bunyonyi lodges/accommodation facilities

The notable lodges and other accommodation types at Lake Bunyonyi include budget (Bushara Island Camp, Bunyonyi Overland Resort, Crater Bay Cottages, & Byoona Amagara). Midrange lodges include Bunyonyi Safari Lodge, Arcadia Lodge while luxury accommodation facilities include Birdnest @Bunyonyi Resort, and more.

How to get there

Lake Bunyonyi is reachable from Kampala about 8 hours’ drive via Masaka-Mbarara-Kabale route. After gorilla trekking in Mgahinga or Bwindi National Park, you can also connect to this lake for relaxation.