Described by BBC Focus on Africa as “the most beautiful lake in the world”, Lake Bunyonyi’s splendor is astonishing. Bunyonyi translated means “place of many birds” and indeed it’s a bird watcher’s and nature lover’s delight. The Lake is a relatively narrow body of water sprinkled with tens of tiny islands, surrounded by green hills and guarded from a distance by the same volcano that probably created it. Lake Bunyonyi is also probably the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and this adds to its appeal.
What nature delivered, humans surprisingly made even prettier. Neat terraces cover every slope of the hills and depending on the season, women’s digging paints the hills in different colors.
The lake is set on the hills of Kigezi with an altitude of 2000 meters. It has no Bilharzia, no crocodiles, no hippos and due to its altitude, malaria is scarce- you could hardly find a friendlier body of water on our continent.
More to this, people’s good and bad deeds, customs and imaginations have given the lake numerous stories related to the different Islands on the lake, making it like story book destination. You’ll get the chance to explore Akampene- the Punishment Island, Bucuranuka- the upside down island, Bwama- the former leper colony, Njuyeera, Bushara and Karimuzo’s island among others. The bird life on the lake is abundant and their calls spice up your stay and bird watching tours can be arranged. More activities include canoeing and boat rides, cycling, swimming, fishing, picnics, volleyball, badminton and other indoor games. You can also visit the nearby community the Lake Bunyonyi Women’s group to enjoy authentic Ugandan culture, story telling, dances and crafts.
Things to Do While at Lake Bunyonyi
Relax at the shores of Lake Bunyonyi: The Lake has beautiful sceneries that attract our view – just sit and view the dotted Islands on Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi is one of the best places to chill from to refresh your minds after trekking Gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable Forest national Park or Mgahinga Forest National Park.
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.
Swimming on Lake Bunyonyi: Lake Bunyonyi is believed to be free from Bilharzia and thus safe for swimming. On addition, there are no dangerous predators like Crocodiles, Hippos and so on. 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.
Note: There is a gazetted area for swimming so, you should inquire guided swimming.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.
Island Exploration: Sit in the boat to visit different islands. Lake Bunyonyi has 29 Islands – Lake Bunyonyi, you can visit Villages, forest, and nature walks are all possibilities while here.
You can also use a motorized boat to do birding on Lake Bunyonyi – It is one of the greatest birding sites in Uganda. If you visit the islands, you will see a variety of birds.
Nature Walks /Hikes along Lake Bunyonyi: 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 in nature 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.
Mountain Biking along Lake Bunyonyi:
You can ride around Lake Bunyonyi to see a variety of attractions in shorter period of time than walking. We have our bikes and there no need to hire from outsiders – enjoy the scenery, the people, villages, hamlets, the people and get a feel for authentic Africa in Uganda. The temperature and weather is 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.
Guided birding on Lake Bunyonyi:
The words Bunyonyi – means place of little birds – more than 200 species of birds are found here – 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 birding on the 29 island on Lake Bunyonyi and combine it with a dugout canoe or motorized boat adventure.
Cultural tours on Lake Bunyonyi area: 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.
Where to Stay
The accommodation is extremely affordable, and you have the options of pitching your own tent, renting a mobile tent, or staying in the already furnished tents and cottages. Watch the sunset reflect beautifully on the lake and enjoy a cozy drink by the fireplace or right outside the star-filled night.
This package is also suitable for family and friends get-togethers, especially for the weekend. With a variety of activities and adventures, there’s sure to be something for everyone. You can sit back and enjoy the beauty of the island with a good book, while the kids go mountain bike riding across the vast hills of Kigezi. Available for renting are mountain bikes and canoes, at extremely low rates, and those staying over night get half rate discounts.
Escape the humdrum of everyday existence and the unending irritations of daily life. Experience the adventures and appreciate the beauty of Africa’s prettiest lake.