Lake Bunyonyi is known as the lake for little birds and people sometimes call it the “Switzerland of Africa“ and it is surrounded with steep hills measuring 2200 m to 2471 m high. The hills are intensely cultivated. Lake bunyonyi is located in the South western region of Uganda between two districts of Kisoro and Kibale and is bordered with Rwanda. Lake bunyonyi covers 61 square kilometers of the area and is located on surface area of 1,962 meters above sea level. It has a Maximum depth of 900m and it is about 25 m long and 7 kilometers wide which makes it to be the 4th deepest lake in Africa and in the world. Lake bunyonyi gives a great impression being sketched on the 5000 Ugandan shillings note under the little the lake Terrance. The lake is a water body that measures 7 kilometers wide from the west of kibale and varies its temperature and surface that rises 25 degrees celsius and it is bilharzia free and very safe for swimming.
Lake bunyonyi is surrounded with small towns like Kyevu and Muko. The lake has 29 islands and these are the major islands i.e. Bushara island, Akampene island, Bwama and Njuyeera island. Akampene island is has been existing from over 20th century and on this island, the local people well known as bakiga used leave here but time came when they had to go back to the mainland leaving the unmarried pregnant women to die because of hunger because swimming was rare at that time.
Lake bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa after Tanganyika and is a unique lake with beautiful views of over 29 islands, forests, bird watching of over 200 species and these include herons, egrets ,weavers, white tailed blue monard, African harrier hawk, levillant cuckoo and many more. The main activity carried out that is fishing that was introduced in the late years. Some of the fish species include mud fish and crayfish which are only found on this lake not elsewhere in Uganda. There is also the common Nile tilapia & Nile perch. In 1930 fishing become commercial on this lake to date.
Lake bunyonyi attracts a lot of people both the foreigners, local people and the domestic people because it gives out sweat nature and a breathtaking environment. It is the best lake to those who want to visit Uganda on a budget safari because it gives amazing excellent view of nature. The lake is surrounded with Bufuka village which is inhabitant by two tribes including the Bakiga and the Batwa who were hunters & gatherers. They originated from the forest and today they survive along on this lake. They are good in storytelling, traditional dances and music which acts as a tourist attraction to both local people and foreigners. This has contributed a lot to Uganda’s tourism hub.
While at lake bunyonyi, travelers can engage in many interesting activities such as birding watching, canoeing, boat riding, mountain biking, visiting the local people/ cultural tours, hiking and many more activities to be experienced in at these amazing islands;
Bird watching: The Lake gives you a beautiful view of birds at the islands and while you on boat safari with your own guide. Some of the birds include the herons, white tailed blue monad, weaver, egrets, African harrier hawk and many more.
Boat riding and canoeing: Boat riding and canoeing can give an amazing experience in exploring the beauty of these islands, forests, village. You can be able to view the bird nests which is set in an idyllic isolation on the tranquil waters of lake bunyonyi.
Swimming: Lake bunyonyi has fresh water which is bilharzia free and tourists can enjoy swimming without any worry of water diseases.
Accommodation while at Lake Bunyonyi
While you on Lake Bunyonyi, tourists can sleep in comfortable hotels ranging with luxury, mid-range and budget accommodation facilities. These include Bunyonyi overland Resort, Lake Bunyonyi view hotel, Hawk’s Eye lodge, Lake Bunyonyi Eco Resort, Heritage lodge, Bunyonyi safari lodge, Paradise eco hub, Arcadia lodge and many more and the prices depend on traveler’s budget.
The best time to visit lake bunyonyi is in dry season months of July, August, December to February. Lake bunyonyi can be accessed from Kampala capital city with in 8 hours and 16 minutes by road passing via kabale. You can fly to and from Entebbe airport to reduce on the driving hours which takes 4 hours and 30 minutes to reach Kihihi airstrip.