Activities In Lake Bunyonyi

Activities in Lake Bunyonyi

Activities in Lake Bunyonyi.

Activities in Lake Bunyonyi : Lake Bunyonyi is located in Kabale District in southwest Uganda, close to the Rwandan border. One of Uganda’s most fascinating tourist safari destinations is Lake Bunyonyi, one of Africa’s most picturesque natural lakes. Travellers, newlyweds, and Ugandans looking to escape the bustle of the city and take advantage of the refreshing atmosphere and picturesque islands are drawn to the lake. The lake is a wonderful location for relaxation and meditation, and it provides breathtaking views in all directions. Lake Bunyonyi is an assortment of water that brimming a valley created by an eruption of volcanoes that happened hundreds of thousands of years ago.

The lake and its islands are home to an incredible variety of bird species, thus the name Bunyonyi, which translates to “a place with little bird.” It’s among Africa’s deepest lakes. The region around Lake Bunyonyi experiences year-round cool weather and enough rain to sustain the verdant hills that around the lake. It is the ideal location for unwinding after a trip to one of Uganda’s magnificent national parks.

Lake Bunyonyi is comprised up 29 islands among which include Bushara, Njuyeera, Bwama and notorious Punishment Island (Akampene). Any girl who became pregnant before getting married was hauled away by the Bakiga in the region and left to die of starvation or drowning on Akampene Island (girls were not taught how to swim). Getting pregnant was an evil then because no one would pay pride price for a girl who had gotten pregnant earlier than marriage. To make it clear to the others that becoming pregnant before marriage was improper, the girl was abandoned to perish on the island. The man who had gotten the girl pregnant would face no consequences. For fear of being abandoned to perish, the girl was unable to identify the man who had impregnated her. Some of the girls got help by the men who had made them pregnant, those who had a secret crush on them or poor bachelors who couldn’t afford bride price. After its prohibition by the British colonial authority, this antiquated practise was discontinued by the late 1940s. A small number of the people who were saved and made it through the experience are still alive today.


Bwama Island has a sordid background as well. Bwama Island was deserted when English missionary Leopard Sharp arrived in Uganda in 1921. By constructing homes and medical facilities, he transformed the island into a centre for the treatment of leprosy patients. Sharp and his family resided on Njuyeera Island, which is close by. As a leprosy colony, Bwama Island attracted a large number of patients who had been shunned by their community. Bushara Island on the other hands has had an easier past although the original gorgeous trees in the area were wiped away by locals to clear ground for agriculture. The Lake Bunyonyi Development Company oversees a number of tourism-related operations on the island and has assisted in the planting of a huge eucalyptus forest.

Keeping track of economic activity, Bufuka Village’s main commercial hub appears to be the starting and finishing point for everything. Subsistence farming and fishing are the main sources of income in the Lake. Because of the deep waters that prevent key species like tilapia and Nile perch from thriving, large-scale fishing has been restricted. For reproduction, these species require shallow waters.  The most prosperous species are the mud fish and crayfish, which were brought here from the US. With limited success, several attempts have been undertaken to import the other principal species from the colonial era onward. There was a point when flooding-induced chemical mixing killed eighty percent of the imported species.

In addition to taking in the breathtaking view as soon as you arrive, Lake Bunyonyi offers a variety of engaging safari activities.

Relaxing and chilling out with loved ones.

The stunning environment and temperate temperature make it the ideal safari destination to unwind after demanding pursuits like gorilla trekking safari, mountain climbing, or game drives in Uganda’s national parks. If you have a good book and want to finish it in a cool and tranquil environment, then one of the serene island resorts would be perfect. Food is an abundance and includes a variety of local vegetables and fruits as well as international dishes. Observing the sunset above Lake Bunyonyi is the ultimate safari experience. The atmosphere of the sun provides a moment to take stunning pictures of the sun’s rays illustrating on the lake waters.


Lake Bunyonyi is a tidy lake with sparkling waters that are without pollution mainly because of the lack of fishing sites on the lake shores. There are no hippos, crocodiles, or parasites that spread bilharzia in the lake’s waters. In several of the water bodies in East and Southern Africa, bilharzia is a prevalent illness. The depth is the only drawback to swimming in the lake. According to some estimates, Lake Bunyonyi is the second-deepest lake in Africa. Those who are not confident swimmers should utilize the hotel pools with caution.

swimming in bunyonyi


The sole means of transportation around the lake and its islands are canoes. The locals use axes to drill into big trees to create a depression, which is then used to manufacture boats. The canoes are pushed using navigating sticks or motor engines. Canoes can be hired from individuals at the shores for a fee of 60,000 shillings. Engine-equipped models may fetch up to 120,000 shillings. The charm of the Lake is enhanced and a whole new experience is provided by using these locally crafted boats. Early in the morning, while the lake is still covered in mist, is the ideal time to go canoeing safaris. For those who enjoy the outdoors and adventure, this is a breathtaking site to witness. In order to enjoy the refreshing nighttime wind and the sounds of birds, frogs, and crickets, night canoeing can also be scheduled.


Canoeing for 2 or more hours enables you to paddle from one island to another while learning about their history. 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. Since a long-term treatment for leprosy was found, the lepers are no longer sent to the island. A children’s school has been established in the former leprosy hospital.

Community and cultural visits.

Walking and watching the locals go about their everyday lives by the lakeshore is one of the most popular hobbies. It is wonderful to connect with the locals and endeavour out tasks like digging the garden with local hoes or visiting one of the local schools and interacting with the school children. The Bakiga people like drinking obushera and marwa, two strong beverages made from millet or sorghum and bananas. You can get Uganda Waragi that is manufactured and bottled in a factory if you are afraid to sample the native food.

An additional option is to go and visit the Batwa people. In this region of Uganda, Batwa were relocated from the Echuya Forest and given land close to the lake. The Batwa people, like their counterparts in other regions like as Bwindi, Mgahinga, and Virunga National Park, have not been able to adapt to life outside of the forest. Considering they were once hunters and gatherers, they have financial difficulties. Their means of subsistence are providing tourists with entertainment and showcasing their cultural history via songs, dances, and storytelling.

Nature Walks.

If one is not intrigued by the community walks, they can hike through created trails alongside a guide to discover and marvel at the terraced hills which give magnificent views of the lake and towering landscapes. In addition, visitors may see little primates and zebras by visiting the historic Echuya bamboo forest or any of the smaller ones that encircle the lake.

 Mountain Biking.

One of the most rewarding ways of understanding the lake is by hiring a mountain bike and ride to the spot with its gorgeous scenery while passing by human settlements. Many of the hotels do not have bike rental services but your tour company can make the appropriate preparations and have a bike at your disposal.

Visit the local market.

The local market of Rutindo draws residents of the island every Monday and Friday. People swarm the market on these two days. It’s the ideal location to meet people, purchase fresh fruit, and watch them go about their everyday lives.


One of the finest locations for birdwatching safari is Lake Bunyonyi, a birder’s heaven. The location with birds suggested by the name Bunyonyi. You may see more than 200 different species of birds in the lake. Many aquatic birds use the little islands in the lake as sanctuaries and nesting sites. Both native species and those that migrate from Europe during the severe winters are included in this group. One of the best birding spots is the swamp of Nyombi. The best way to view the birds is by getting a boat, a binoculars and moving to the water with a birding guide. As one of the activities to be done at Lake Bunyonyi, some of the species include egrets, slender-billed baglafetch, weaverbirds, herons, grey crowned cranes, levillant cuckoo, Sunbirds, raptors, golden-backed weaver, bee eaters, pin tailed whyder, great cormorant, Bronzy sunbird, Hadada ibis, grey shrike, malachite kingfisher, fan-tailed widow bird, and black herons among other birds.

bunoyonyi birding

Eating Crayfish.

Uganda’s notorious military dictator Idi Amin had his positive sides too. Supporting the introduction of Louisiana crayfish to Lake Bunyonyi was one of them. Because of their exceptional success, crayfish have taken over as the predominant species in the lake and its adjacent bodies of water. Crayfish is served at every restaurant and lodge. If one is not intrigued in the Cray fish, they might opt for the delicious local Tilapia fish.

High rope course and Zip-lining.

The high ropes course or “roping” as it is often referred to around here, gives you the experience of a lifetime as you relish the crisp fresh air up in the trees. You’ll meet your adventure professional guide when you get to “Natures Prime Island.” After that, he will go over the dos and don’ts with you. Please pay close attention to the safety lecture, watch the demonstrations, and pick up the necessary skills. After that, helmets and harnesses will be fitted for you. And now the journey will start.

The trees have been linked by cables, wood, car tyres, buckets and ropes to form three different levels of bridges and challenges. Sure, it sounds simple. However, this course tests one’s endurance while providing enjoyment.

One of the activities to be done at Lake Bunyonyi is to navigate the obstacles to reach the finish line while wearing a harness for safety. You will also be doubly linked to safety cables and wedges throughout the route, and instructors will be there to provide help.

Experience a zip line across one of the world’s most stunning lakes, Lake Bunyonyi. You will undoubtedly get a massive rush of excitement as you glide through the zip line, splattering your hands or feet in the water below. Ideal circumstance for that reversed photo. Completely astounding.

Both of the activities provide a real challenge to overcome the predetermined hurdle while having a good time. In order to ensure that you feel comfortable and secure taking on these challenges, participants get orientation prior to the course, safety briefings, and demonstrations on how to clip on the safety wires. And the activities won’t delve a hole in your pocket.

Please take note that zip line finishes after crossing a lake to a settlement on the mainland, whereas high ropes begins and concludes at “Natures Prime Island.” After a two-hour journey, a boat will return you to the island. It’s time to toast with a beverage.

How to travel to Lake Bunyonyi.

To reach Lake Bunyonyi, one must first arrive to Kabale town. Travelling by vehicle from Kampala to Kabale town takes eight hours. The trip from Kabale town to the lake takes, at most, twenty to thirty minutes. From Kabale town, one must use a cab or boda-boda (motorcycle) to go to the Lake. However, a simple means is to book a safari with a tour company that includes a safari in Queen Elizabeth or Bwindi impenetrable national park and end the safari to visit Lake Bunyonyi. Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali is closer to Lake Bunyonyi than it is to Kampala. The trip to the lake by vehicle takes three hours.

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