10 Best things to do at Lake Bunyonyi
Magical things to see and do around lake Bunyonyi in Uganda
Lake Bunyonyi is the most magnificent lake in Uganda, situated in the Southwest part of Uganda, just 7 km west of Kabale town. Surrounded by 29 islands, Lake Bunyonyi is about 25 kilometres long and 7 kilometres wide and about 35,000 feet deep.
It is surrounded by steep hills and lush greenery in Kigezi’s terraces and is conveniently located in the remote area, complementing the beautiful countryside with a quiet atmosphere, where the ideal south-western climate is chilled out, concealed and invested.
It is estimated that 10,000 years ago it was formed. It was formed when lava streaming from one side of the Ndego was blocked. the gorge around the water falls forming into a stagnating body of water from the debris from one of the volcanic ‘ Virunga Mountains. It has become a beautiful lake filled with fresh water and fish over the years, Overwhelmingly. Lake Bunyonyi is the perfect place to visit at the end of your safari as you relax and chill from the long day’s gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest. Lake Bunyonyi, offers various activities such as canoeing in a dugout canoe, boating safaris, island hopping, hiking, biking birding , nature walks, village visits, the famous gorilla trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla forest, the Batwa community visits- the most interesting bit is that Lake Bunyonyi id Bilharzia free, there are also no crocodiles found in the lake, therefore, the its waters a best for sporting activities like swimming for the visitors who would love to enjoy swimming in lake Bunyonyi.
Lake Bunyonyi, is complementary activity added on the itinerary best for the visitors visiting Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga gorilla forest for gorilla trekking. You can take time to relax in lake Bunyonyi after the gorilla trek or the long volcano hike, there area various accommodation facilities both up market and budget lodges for the visitors visiting lake Bunyonyi.
Facts about lake Bunyonyi- lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa which was formed as a result of the lava flow that emerged from Virunga mountains streaming from one side and blocked the Ndego to form a body of water. Bunyonyi is comprised of 29 Islands of various shapes, having all different history according to each of them.
Lake Bunyonyi also called the ‘’place of little birds’’.
The 10 Top Things to do and see at and around Lake Bunyonyi
Swimming in Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi is one of the perfect lakes in Uganda and best for swimming, the lake is Bilharzia free and there are no Hippos and Crocodiles in its waters, making the lake one of the best water bodies for swimming in Uganda.
Knowing lake Bunyonyi is a deep lake, you ought to be a good swimmer in order to enjoy the waters of the lake. While at the lodges, Bunyonyi lake is the best place to relax and chill out from after the long day gorilla trekking in Bwindi forest and Mgahinga gorilla forest. There also other lodges which offer swimming activities in the swimming pools at the lodge such as Bird nest Resort have a provision of the swimming pool for the lodges best for the visitors who may be having fear in swimming in the deep lake.
Nature walks and Hikes:
You can Hike around the islands and around the lake, enjoy a nature walk both on the Island and around the lake. Bunyonyi Lake is mostly scenic. Such walks are not so involved and can always be guided by the guides that inform you that one of the key points of the walk is not missed or incomplete. The walk is so breath-taking in natural surroundings and some of them take you to the small villages where you can encounter Ugandans in person as other citizens might be on an island you toured with a dugout canoe. To appreciate Bunyonyi Beach, you always need to hold your camera at hand so you can take some photos for your photo album or for memories during your safari tour in Uganda and preferably on lake Bunyonyi.
Dugout Canoeing Boating:
Lake Bunyonyi is diverse and offers various activities where by visitors have an opportunity to explore the area on foot, the lake comprises of 29 Islands that you will need to discover. While in Lake Bunyonyi, you can engage in activities like village walks to the nearby villages around lake Bunyonyi, Nature walks can also be do while at lake Bunyonyi.
The lake offers an opportunity to explore its waters, take a dugout canoe with the guide and discover the magic within this water. Many travellers take the Bunyonyi boat to cross over to the other side where the lodges are found. You can also decide to cruise around the lake, or choose a motorized cruise on the lake, sunset cruises and birding Boat safaris where you will have an opportunity to view the little birds around the lake shore.
Lake Bunyonyi also known as the ‘place of little birds’ with over 200 bird species sighted on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi, such as the gray- crowned cranes and red-chested sun bird, white-tailed blue Monard, Weavers, egrets, herons, Woodpeckers, Slender-billed baglafetch among others. You take a boat safari with your guide around the various Islands found around the lake Bunyonyi, birding can be done in various sites, you can go birding around the 29 Islands on Lake Bunyonyi.
There also other best bird spotting sites around lake Bunyonyi, visit the Swampy areas at the end of the lake it’s the best site to watch the different species of birds.
You can also go for a ride around the lake and uphill in the nearby hills there are several roads / tracks. The whole journey gives a better and finer vision of the beautiful islands and helps you to stand up and interact with many residents. Other housing delays provide bicycles for sale. Your tour guide will plan it to guarantee that everything is well prepared in advance.
The temperatures and the weather around lake Bunyonyi, are pleasant and have favoured the number of activities around the lake, you will enjoy the bike ride here with the favourable sun conditions. Depending on the interest of the visitor, bike rides here can take whole long day or just a few hours, the choice is yours. The safari guide and the vehicle will be around to help you in case you will be needing it.
For the travellers having interest in bike riding, you can reach to us earlier so that we can make these arrangements for you, since some of the lodges do not have bikes.
The Punishment Island- offers unique boat ride activity:
This island was used as a place to punish the young girls who would get pregnant before marriage, the girl is taken across the lake and she is a abandoned there and left to die, it had caused shame to the families in case the girl got pregnant outside marriage since she wouldn’t be paid bride price anymore which would cause a loss to the family.
They would be embarrassed as many people come calling them names and all the insults to the shameless girl, some of the girls would try to swim back to the mainland, but they would end up drowning and dying inside the water without any help or rescue. The only way to service was an opportunity for a young man in the village who has no pride price for marrying, he come up to rescue the girl and she would become his wife.
You will take on a guided boat safari to the Punishment Island with the guide who has knowledge and the history of the place he will be telling you stories as you cruise over to the punishment.
Cultural interactive Village Visits:
Around lake Bunyonyi, you will also have an opportunity to go a cultural visits around the Nearby villages on the one side of the Island or along the country side and one of the unique cultures here that may be of interest, are the Batwa community visits where you will find the Pygmy people too who were originally the first inhabits of the forest. You can also visit the local villages around, the markets, the schools and also engage in some village activities like garden work, preparing of the local dishes as you interact with the local people.
Crayfish- A Foodie Adventurer’s Delight:
Crayfish in Africa, at lake Bunyonyi in Uganda are the offspring of Louisiana Crayfish that were brought in to Kenya and some where delivered to lake Bunyonyi, they have thrived here and the surrounding water bodies. Many restaurants and lodges serve crayfish in many ways from pizza to eggs among others. The whole lake is inhabited by the Crayfish, visit lake Bunyonyi, and have a great taste of this delicacy you will absolutely love it. There also other options like Tilapia found in many fish ponds at the lodges.
The Bunyonyi has over 29 islands that you can explore, all having different history and serving different purposes to the surrounding communities. During the guided boat safaris, the guide will be telling the history of each of the Island and its purpose, what it’s used for and the meaning. Some of the island here, one has a secondary school, the other has got a primary school on the Island whereby the school going children have the cross the waters as they go to school arrangements can be made for you to visit the schools.
There is Leonard Sharp medicinal missionary who established a leprosarium centre on the one island in 1931 he turned the place into one of the beautiful places on the Island and later the leprosy victims where to him on the Island and they would be treated by Dr. Leonard Sharp and his associates. Among others, you can take time and visit the Island.