Lake BunyonyiBird Watching, Nature Sites, Culture & People
Lake Bunyonyi, Western Uganda
TOP THINGS TO DO AROUND LAKE BUNYONYI
Lake Bunyonyi literally means the “place of little birds” which is possibly reference to the prolific weaver colonies along its shore, but larger birds are also presented by the likes of grey crowned crane and variety of herons and egrets.
Lake Bunyonyi as its serpentine shape suggests is essentially a flooded valley system, extending northwards from the Rwandan border over a distance of 25 km through the contours of the steep hills that separate Kabale from Kisoro. It is said to have formed 8,000years ago, as a result of Lava flow from local craters which blocked off the Ndego River at present day Muko to create a natural dam. The lake has a total Surface area of around 60km.sq, but it forms the core of a 180sq.km wetland ecosystem also incorporating the Ruvuma swamp and several other permanent marshes. It lies at an altitude of 1,840m but several of the enclosing hills rise up to 2,500m and reported estimate of its depth vary wildly, it’s probable nowhere greater than 45m deep. The lake is dotted with at least 20 small islands and these islands are enriched by steep terraced hills.
Bunyonyi is a magical spot and has been popular day trip out of Kabale town for decades. Over the past few years, the lake has further gained in popularity and there are many lodges and camps of different standards that accommodate visitor comfortably. Also in favor is the high altitude location which ensures a moderate climate often becoming chilly at night and relatively low incidence of Malaria. Bilharzia is reliably reported to be absent from the lake as are crocodiles and hippos, which means that swimming is very safe on this lake.
Attraction here on this lake is birding on lake shores, Cultural experiences, visitors who are active are catered for, with Canoes, boats and Kayaks, the boat or canoes take the visitors to see different islands as they learn about their history these include punishment island, upside down island and Sharpe’s island, the lake is also regarded to be Uganda’s most beautiful and deepest compared to many other lakes within the country.
Activities Around Lake Bunyonyi
Holiday Getaway and Romantic tour
Lake Bunyonyi – is one of the best places in Uganda to relax and chill out after a safari, gorilla tracking, volcano climbing, hiking and other activities that just call for a few of rest and relaxation, romantic holiday getaway on an island or along the shores of Lake Bunyonyi.
One of the culinary delights found around Lake are its crayfish which is cooked in all kinds of ways and served at all times of the day, freshly caught, prepared in dishes from pizza to pasta.The Lake attracts Ugandans, visitors, even residents of other countries such as Rwanda, to come and relax and chill out a bit.
Swimming in Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi – is bilharzia free and there are no hippos nor crocodiles found here, it is recommended for a fresh swim. It is a deep lake – the second deepest in Africa so you ought to be a good swimmer, but it certainly to be enjoyed while staying here. Some lodges such as Birdnest Resort also have a choice swimming pool or the lake for their guests.
Take a swim in one of Africa’s most beautiful lakes, there are also places along the lake where they have enclosed a section of the lake like a swimming pool where one can swim.Please be mindful that it is a very deep lake and if you swim out into the lake, use some safety precautions such as a nearby canoe, or buddy system.
Canoeing and boat rides
There are 29 Islands to explore on Lake Bunyonyi, you can explore the quaint Villages, forest, nature walks are all possibilities while here. Take a dugout canoe with a guide and discover the world of Uganda’s magical Lake.This can be an all-day event or just a few hours, you can choose to paddle or to be paddled across the lake, overnight options are also available. You can also choose a motorized cruise of the lake, there are the opportunities for sunset cruises and birding boat safaris. Dugout Canoeing is quite popular and you can even take overnight trips on the Lake and stay on an Island
Nature Walks and Hikes
You can hike, take nature walks both on the Islands and around the Lake – your backdrop, for the most part, will the scenic Lake Bunyonyi. The walks are not strenuous and can be taken at your pace, guides accompany you that you do not get lost and do not miss one of the highlights of your walk.
Your hike will mostly be scenic in nature, some will lead you through small villages where you will meet Ugandans up close and personal, while others might be on an island that you came to with a dugout canoe. Keep your camera handy and enjoy Lake Bunyonyi.
You can ride around the lake on a mountain bike and enjoy the scenery, the people, villages, hamlets, the people and get a feel for authentic Africa in Uganda. The temperature and weather are nice here due to the elevation and a bike ride will be most enjoyable and the Equatorial sun will not beat you down. Bike rides can be all day long or just a few hours, you will have a guide with you or our safari vehicle will be near to assist you if necessary.
Bird Watching ToursThe word Bunyonyi – means place of little birds and Lake Bunyonyi is home to over 200 species of birds – one can do a great bird – boat safari with your own birding guide from the water, on some of the various islands the surrounding shores of the lake.
You can go bird watching on one of the 29 islands on Lake Bunyonyi and combine it with a dugout canoe or motorized boat adventure. The Place of Little Birds – Lake Bunyonyi is a great birding destination in Uganda.
Cultural Interactive Village Visits
Interactive cultural visits in villages, hamlets on one of the islands or in the surrounding countryside including the Batwa Pygmy People who were the original people of the forest and today struggle in their quest of survival away from their beloved forest. We can also arrange for a homestay in a village for you, along with a visit to a school, local market. Learn how to cook in the traditional manner and tend the garden where things are grown and harvested. This can be a most enriching time. If it is market day in Rutinda, that is something to see and gives you an insight into life along and on the Lake.
Best time to visit Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi is open to visitors and tourists pretty much all year round. The perfect time to visit however is September to March which is the dry season and catching sight of wildlife is much easier.