Things to do on Lake Bunyonyi safari : Lake Bunyonyi is found in the south-western part of Uganda in Kabale District. Lake Bunyonyi is one of the most naturally beautiful lakes in Africa making it one of the best tourist destinations in Uganda attracting tourists, honeymooners and Ugandans who wish to get away from the busy town life and enjoy the cool weather and beautiful islands.
The lake offers great panoramic views from all sides and is a great place to go for meditation and relaxation. The Lake is collection of water that filled a valley created by a volcanic explosion hundreds of thousands of years ago, Things to do on Lake Bunyonyi safari
The name Bunyonyi means “a place with little bird” in reference to the fact that the lake and its islands are home to an amazing collection of bird species. It is one of the deepest lakes in Africa. Lake Bunyonyi area has a generally cool climate throughout the year with enough rain that support the lush green hills surrounding the lake. It is the perfect place for relaxation after visiting Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable national park for gorilla trekking. Below are some of the things to do when you visit Lake Bunyonyi;
Taking a boat trip on the islands allows you to visit one island to another while learning about their history. Lake Bunyonyi is made up of about 29 islands among which include Bushara, Njuyeera, Bwama and the infamous Punishment Island (Akampene). For example visiting the “punishment island” where girls who lost got pregnant before marriage where left to die is a must. You can visit Bwama and learn about its history of hosting lepers. The lepers are no longer taken to the island as a permanent cure for leprosy was discovered. The leper hospital has been turned into a school for children.
Canoes are the only way of getting around the lake and its islands. The locals make the canoes by digging into large trees to create a depression using axes to create a depression. The canoes are moved using rowing sticks or motor engines. Canoes can be hired at a cost. Using these locally made canoes offers a completely different experience and adds to the magic of the Lake. The best time for canoeing is early in the morning when the lake is covered with mist. This is a beautiful sight to behold for anyone with a love for nature and adventure. Night canoeing can also be arranged to experience the cool night breeze and sounds from night crickets, frogs and birds.
Lake Bunyonyi is a birders paradise and one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. The name Bunyonyi suggests a place with birds with over 205 species of birds can be spotted in the lake. The small islands in the lake act as sanctuaries and breeding grounds for many water birds. The species include both resident and those that migrate from Europe during the harsh winters. One of the best birding spots is the swamp of Nyombi. The best way to see the birds is by acquiring a boat, a binoculars and moving to the water with a birding guide. Some of the species include egrets, slender-billed baglafetch, weaverbirds, herons, grey crowned cranes and the levillant cuckoo among many others.
One of the most popular activities is taking a walk to observe how the local people go about with their daily lives near the shores of the lake. It is great to mingle with the locals and try out tasks like digging the garden with local hoes or visiting one of the local schools to interact with the schoolchildren. The Bakiga love taking marwa and obushera – two potent drinks made from bananas and millet/sorghum.
If one is not interested in the community walks, they can hike through established trails accompanied by a guide to explore and marvel at the terraced hills which give majestic views of the lake and towering landscapes. Visitors can also visit the ancient bamboo forest of Echuya or the other small ones surrounding the lake and spot small primates and zebra.
The local market of Rutindo attracts residents of the island every Monday and Friday. On these two days, the market is filled with people. It is a perfect place to observe how locals go about with their daily life while also mingling with them and buying fresh fruits, Things to do on Lake Bunyonyi safari
Batwa community tour
The Batwa in this part of Uganda where removed away from the Echuya Forest and allocated land near the lake after they were displaced from Mgahinga national park and Bwindi impenetrable national park. The Batwa people have failed to adjust to life outside the forest. They struggle to make ends meet considering that they are former hunters and gatherers. They earn a living is by entertaining tourists and demonstrating their cultural heritage through dance, songs and storytelling.
One of the best ways of discovering the lake is by hiring a mountain bike and ride to the spot the beautiful landscape while passing by human settlements. Many of the hotels do not have bike rental services but your tour company can make the necessary arrangements and have a bike at your disposal.
Lake Bunyonyi is a clean lake with clear waters that are free from pollution due to the absence of fishing sites on the lakeshores. The lake waters are free from crocodiles, hippos and parasites that cause Bilharzia. Bilharzia is a common disease in some of the water bodies in East and Southern Africa. The only disadvantage with swimming on the lake is the depth. Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa. Those who are not good swimmers should take caution and instead use the hotel swimming pools, Things to do on Lake Bunyonyi safari
Relaxing and chilling
The beautiful scenery and cool weather is perfect for relaxing after tiring activities like tracking mountain gorillas, climbing mountains or doing game drives in Uganda’s national parks. If you have a good book and wish to read it in a cool and serene environment, then one of the quiet island resorts would be perfect. Food is plenty and consists of local vegetables and fruits as well as international dishes, Things to do on Lake Bunyonyi safari. The crowning moment is watching the Lake Bunyonyi sunset. The setting of the sun provides an opportunity to take beautiful photos of the sun’s rays reflecting on the lake waters.