Until recently, Lake Bunyonyi seemed like a well-kept secret among the people of Kabale in southwestern Uganda. Lake Bunyonyi Uganda is one of the most visited lakes by tourists on safaris Uganda especially those undertaking Uganda birding safaris, Uganda adventure safaris and Uganda gorilla trekking safaris. There are several Uganda safari packages that offer you time to visit this lake like a 5 days Uganda gorilla & wildlife safari, 10 Days Uganda gorilla, chimps and wildlife safari and many more.
Before it became a famous Uganda safari attraction, people who wanted to visit this magical lake on their Uganda safaris had to first ask for directions to this wonder of nature. Because it is a famous tourist attraction now, there are more than enough road signs giving directions to the second deepest in Africa. Bunyonyi means a place of many little birds but its imposing beauty can easily make you forget that you are in a prime birding spot for those on a Uganda birding safari. Dotted with 29 islands you may think the creator was in the mood to be extravagant with the beauty. The terrain around the lake is similar to what most of Rwanda (the land of a thousand hills) looks like. It has very steep hills and beautiful terraces that add organized beauty to this destination. Its Islands have a rich history Akampene (punishment) Island, Bushara Island, Bwama and Njuyeera (sharp’s Island), and Bucuranuka (upside down Island), which are the main islands
Lake Bunyonyi is the 2nd deepest lake in Africa after Tanganyika and one of the few lakes in the world said to be Bilharzia free. This magical lake is surrounded by beautiful terraced hills terraced by the local Bakiga tribe living in this area offering beautiful scenery.
Things to do while here
There are basically two main things to do around Lake Bunyonyi, to relax and to indulge in energy-filled adventures. The relaxation bit is the easier thing to do. The views of the lake are so soothing especially if you are trying to escape the stress of the city and its gruelling capitalistic demands. At Bunyonyi you can just spend hours looking at the calm waters of this very deep lake. You can also take boat rides as you listen to tales about the islands including the famous punishment island, Akampene where unmarried pregnant girls would be abandoned to die of hunger. Interestingly, it is said that men who didn’t want to go through the struggle of paying bride price often came to the island and picked up the girls. That was so many years ago and the practice is no longer in place.
The island boat safaris on Lake Bunyonyi
A dugout canoe safari Uganda is an unforgettable idyllic journey on Lake Bunyonyi, offering you Island Hopping, Exploration, Birding, Village Visits according to your choice. It will offer you the chance to discover the lake especially some of its 29 islands, the Rutinda Market, the people that live here all in an ancient like dugout canoe.
While paddling or being paddled on Lake Bunyonyi you do not have to worry about Hippos and Crocodiles, they are not here on this pristine and scenic lake where everything travels by dugout canoes to the islands, including people, produce, meat, sodas and beer. Where even the school bus is a dugout canoe, still made in the ancient ways of old.
You will meet the people who live on the islands and create new friendship, discover Islands with tales of their own such as the Akampene Prison Island and others.
Spend a relaxing day at the “Place of Little Birds” paddling a dugout canoe in the same way as it has been done for hundreds of years here and along other lakes such as Lake Victoria in Uganda.
In a world of much activity and noise, a day away from it all with have you listen to only sounds of birds, and the paddles dipping into the water.
Lake Bunyonyi has no hippos and no crocodiles and no bilharzia, it is, however, a very deep lake with a quick drop-off from the shore. For that canoeing for the day here we recommend a life-vest just to be on the safe side.
You can visit Lake Bunyonyi Uganda after your gorilla trekking safari Uganda in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda or you can visit after your short Uganda wildlife safari or Long Uganda wildlife safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park or any other park in Southwestern Uganda on your Uganda safari tour.
Zipline Adventure across the Lake
Looking for a jaw-dropping, heart-racing experience? Try zip line that affords those brave enough! A stunning lake view which will create memories that last a lifetime. Zipline tours have exploded in popularity in recent years and it’s among the top safari activities to be enjoyed on a great Lake Bunyonyi safari as you will zip line across the lake passing over the space close to the waters of the second deepest lake in Africa. It has always been a fun game that was introduced on Lake Bunyonyi Uganda where it was first done in mabira forest.
Being a Lake of many small birds, you will enjoy sounds of several birds, as well as spotting them. All you need is to carry a binocular and a good camera with you for your Uganda birding safari tour.
Hiking is another fun activity one can engage in while here. You will go for a long hike to find locals that still engage in blacksmith activities. Your guide will take you hiking for a given distance but trust me, if you’re not fit, you will keep on asking if your there or not. Our clients hiked with a very old man but his fitness for a man of his age made them feel bad for being young and unfit. He fed them with lots of fun stories about the people, the area and his interesting life and this kept them going and going.
While here, put your fears aside and have fun ziplining across the lake. These crazy adrenaline safari activities must not be missed on your Tour Uganda including white water rafting, kayaking, and many more in the eastern lake resort town of Jinja. Did I mention that the sunsets and sunrises can be really magical from this place? Oh yes they are and you should carry a long a camera or a good phone now that they are the commonest cameras we use.
Despite its depth, good swimmers have a chance to take a swim in this beautiful lake. There are no crocodiles or hippos lurking in the shore waters and it is bilharzia-free.
Relax and chill out
Gifted with cool weather and tasty culinary delights like crayfish, take a Uganda tour to this perfect place for relaxing especially after your Uganda gorilla trekking safari or Uganda wildlife safari so you end your Uganda safari tour in style.
Explore the villages and surrounding landscapes
While at the Lake, take a hike on one of the surrounding hills, and you will be rewarded by spectacular views of landscapes. You can also visit a local school and interact with school children this is a perfect opportunity to learn more about the people.
Enjoy spectacular sunsets
There are some great photographic opportunities at sunset when the rays reflect in the calm evening waters of the lake. A great way to end yet another amazing activity-filled day on Lake Bunyonyi!
Fresh and unique foods
One thing that am really sure of is the fact that while you stay at places by the lake, you will enjoy some really fresh and healthy foods. The locals do a really good job at ensuring that visitors have enough to eat that is fresh from their gardens. Lake Bunyonyi also has a secret that comes to life when you stay close by crayfish. These Louisiana Red Swamp Crayfish are loved by visitors as a culinary delight. Just like Lake Kivu has Sambaza, Lake Bunyonyi has these tasty Crayfish. Try them when you visit.
Visit the traditional healer
A 20-minute boat trip will land you at Sam Mulisa’s hut, a traditional healer. Spend some two hours with him and learn about traditional medicine practices and more about how he has turned his home into a traditional clinic.
If you are driving from Entebbe or Uganda’s capital; Kampala, you will have to endure a long ride of about 7 hours before getting to Kabale town. If you are coming from another capital like Kigali in Rwanda, you will only spend about 2 hours on the road before you get to Lake Bunyonyi Uganda.