Lake Bunyonyi Uganda
Lake Bunyonyi is one of the stunning lakes in Uganda which tourists on Uganda safari should consider a must-visit. It is situated suitably between Kisoro and Kabale districts in Southwestern Uganda just at close proximity to the Rwanda border area, about a 6-8 hours’ drive from Kampala and a 3-4 hours’ drive from Kigali capital city.
The word ‘Bunyonyi’ denotes a place of many little birds and by far, Lake Bunyonyi is by far one of the unique natural wonders very few travelers have explored. Between 2004 and 2009, this magical waterbody featured on the 5000 Ugandan shilling note.
Lake Bunyonyi is positioned at an elevation of about 1962m and extends to cover a length of about 25kms and a width of about 7kms. Its depth is estimated to vary from 44 to 900m and is rated as the deepest lake in Uganda and the second deepest in Africa.
For enthusiastic swimmers, a visit to Lake Bunyonyi is worth your time, money the fact that it is one of the few lakes in Uganda and Africa at large with no crocodiles, hippos and also free from bilharzia.
It features among the exceptional Uganda safari destinations that attract different tourists across the world. Its natural setup is characterized by a green terrace which ranges at an elevation of over 2478m. Tourists on Uganda safari in this lake enjoy breathtaking sceneries from its magical 29 islands which can be spotted dotted through its water.
Tourist attractions in and around Lake Bunyonyi
- Bird species
Over 200 bird species are estimated to thrive within Lake Bunyonyi which makes it an exceptional birding site that visitors on Uganda safari should consider a must-visit to identify a variety of unique bird species.
They include the slender-billed baglafetch weavers, levellant cuckoos, cardinal woodpeckers, herons, golden-backed weavers, grey crowned cranes, white-tailed blue Monard, African harrier hawk, and others.
- Akampene/Punishment Island
Akampene or punishment Island is one of the magical islands that tourists on Uganda safari shouldn’t miss to visit in Lake Bunyonyi. History has it that the island served as a point where the unmarried girls who got pregnant were abandoned by their fathers or brothers and they did so as a way to pass messages to the rest who would become pregnant out of wedlock.
Those who couldn’t swim across were left to die however, young men in the nearby area who couldn’t pay dowry could take this advantage and pick them up and proceed with them to their homes as their wives. The practice was then left out.
Other magnificent islands to consider visiting in Lake Bunyonyi include Sharp’s Island and Bucuranuka island, Bushara Island and Kyahugye Island.
Activities to do in and around Lake Bunyonyi
Bird watching is a prime activity offered to visitors on Uganda safari in Lake Bunyonyi. The birds to expect to sight here make up a total of about 200 bird species and they include among others slender-billed baglafetch weavers, levellant cuckoos, cardinal woodpeckers, herons, golden-backed weavers, grey crowned cranes, white-tailed blue Monard.
- Guided nature walks
On guided nature walks, nature lovers get a chance to uncover the hidden treasures around this magnificent lake. It allows you to sight a variety of birds, visit the nearby local communities to interact with local residents especially the Batwa and Bakiga. You will also enjoy a breathtaking view of the 29 magnificent islands which are dotted in Lake Bunyonyi.
This takes you to one of the scenic islands in Lake Bunyonyi and comes with amazing sights of birds, and incredible views of other islands and surrounding areas.
Unlike most lakes in Africa, Lake Bunyonyi is an ideal place to go swimming and it is an exceptional recreational place for visitors on gorilla safari to relax after a strenuous search for mountain gorillas. The lake is hippos, crocodile, and bilharzia free which makes it the best place to go for swimming.
- Community walk
On a community walk, you will have the opportunity to interact with the Batwa and Bakiga in their local community. You will have an in-depth exploration of their history, culture, dances, music performances, and lifestyles.
- Where to stay around Lake Bunyonyi
The best lodges to consider spending a night around Lake Bunyonyi include Arcadia Lodge Bunyonyi, Lake Bunyonyi Eco-Resort, Bushara Island Camp, Birdnest @ Lake Bunyonyi Resort, Bunyonyi Safari Resort, Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort.
- Getting to Lake Bunyonyi Uganda
By road, Lake Bunyonyi is accessible starting from Entebbe/Kampala capital city through Masaka-Mbarara-Kabale/Kisoro route which is about an 8-9 hours drive. From Kigali capital city, you will cross the Katuna/Chanika border to Kabale/Kisoro then connect to Lake Bunyonyi. By air, fly from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield then land at Kisoro airstrip where you can drive to Lake Bunyonyi.