Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda: Things to do, Attractions, costs, where to stay, weather and Facts
Lake Bunyonyi is one of the most beautiful treasures in Uganda, set within the south-western side of the country. The name “Bunyonyi” means “place of many little birds” in the local dialect, describing this beautiful Lake between Kisoro and Kabale districts, near the Rwandan border.
Size and depth of Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda
Scientific information put the maximum depth of Lake Bunyonyi at 40 meters while locals, local guides and tourists to the area believe it is more than that (about 900 meters deep), making it the second deepest Lake in the African Continent. With a surface area of 46 square kilometers-maximum length of 25 kilometers and maximum width of 7 kilometers, Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda is dotted with over 29 Islands, but the most popular ones being Akampene (Punishment), Bucuranuka, Bwama and Njuyeera (Sharp’s Island) and Bushara Island among others.
Location of Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda
Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda is found in the south-west of the country, west of Kabale Town and sit at an altitude of 1962 meters above sea level providing it with a moderate temperature all year round, cool in the mornings and evenings.
Interesting attractions in or around Lake Bunyonyi
There are a number of wild animals within this remote highland Lake and they include the African clawless Otter, De Witte’s clawed frog, the spotted-necked otter, Lake Victoria clawed frogs in addition to several fish species such as Nile Tilapia, Catfish, red Swamp crayfish, Singida tilapia and many others. Interesting aquatic vegetation especially blue lotus, papyrus and swamp sawgrass are also found around the shores of Lake Bunyonyi.
Besides the above animals, Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda is popular for its verdant terraced hills that shelter a wide range of birds, totaling to over 200 species that include Ross Turaco, Grey-crowned crane, herons and weavers among others.
Things to do within or around Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda
An adventurous dive into Nyombi Swamp introduces visitors to the wide array of bird species that include Ross Turaco,
Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda takes pride in its clean water and absence of Hippos or Nile Crocodiles, hence making it wonderful for swimming.
Kayaking on the lovely Lake Bunyonyi
Hop on a local kayak (marked by a hollowed-out trunk with loose stools) to explore the beautiful Island and numerous bird species that call the Lake home.
Unwinding and chilling at the shores of Lake Bunyonyi
Few Lakes in Uganda can offer the relaxation that visitors enjoy on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi. This spectacular water body is fringed by beautiful rolling hills and many verdant Islands hence making it magical for unwinding. Be sure to drift back and forward on a hammock with cool breeze from the Lake and surrounding forest.
Riding on a dugout canoe is the commonest means of transport on Lake Bunyonyi and you can also get a chance to feel this experience in the company of a local guide with views of surrounding terraced rolling hills, bird species and many other attractions.
Visitors to Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda can enjoy a sense of traditional Bakiga culture by undertaking the community/village walks that also involve exploring the Bakiga Cultural Museum and blacksmith sites where an assortment of items (calabashes, mortars and pestles) can be seen. Also visit the nearby Batwa communities around Echuya Forest Reserve to learn about their ancient lifestyle when the forest was home.
Guided nature walks/Hiking
With the help of a local guide, you will be led through the best hiking trails along the Islands of through the beautiful terraced hills of Kigezi highlands to be rewarded with jaw-dropping views of the landscapes, animals and bird species. Verdant forests and planted tree plantations will be found on the Islands.
Bird watching on Lake Bunyonyi
Majority of the activities in Lake Bunyonyi offer opportunities of bird watching with over 200 bird species in the area. Expect views of grey-crowned cranes, pelicans, Ross Turaco, weaver birds and herons among others.
Where to stay at Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda
From simple and basic Campsites to Hotels, Resorts and Safari Lodges, there is something for every visitor to Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda. The following are the spectacular places to stay while exploring the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi. These facilities include Bushara Island Camp, Edirisa, Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort, Arcadia Lodge, and many others.
How to get to Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda
The spectacular Lake Bunyonyi is situated within the south-western side of Uganda, 10 kilometers from Kabale Town and 8-9 hours’ drive from the Capital. Tour Operators always provide Rental Cars of 4WD to the shores of Lake Bunyonyi although public means can be arranged for visitors who wish to reach Lake Bunyonyi independently. Take an 8-hour bus ride from Kampala to Kabale then take a motorbike (Boda boda) or taxi to Rutinda for the unforgettable exploration of this magnificent tourist site. Given the Lake’s closeness to Rwanda, visitors can also reach the Lake from Kigali by a 2-3 hours’ drive although a visa will be required for crossing the border.