Lake Bunyonyi, the wonder of nature and culture in Uganda
“Bunyonyi” is a term meaning small birds in the local language of southwestern Uganda. No wonder, lake Bunyonyi is a wonderful birding point. This lake has sparked amazement to many travelers during their trip to this area, making it a highlight of most travelers who reach this location. Lake Bunyonyi holds a total of 29 islands some of which are settled making it a hub for human settlement as well.
Lake Bunyonyi can be reached within one day from different directions including, from Kampala, from mid-western uganda via queen elizabeth national park or from Rwanda. It is located on the southern tourist route, 486 km from Kampala, 262 km from Queen Elizabeth national park or 148 km from Kigali. This makes the lake a suitable base for exploring the southwestern attractions. It is possible to stay at Lake Bunyonyi and track the gorillas in Bwindi forest the next morning then return to the lake for your overnight stay after tracking.
Lake Bunyonyi probably holds the most beautiful scenery of the region. It is a beautiful setting surrounded by many cultural wonders. Personally, I found the story about the smallest island very touching. To give you a hint, the smallest of the 29 islands is called “Kampene” in the local language. It used to be the punishment island of the historical moments where people were taken to face slow death. However, some of the society members, especially the men, would collect the women from this island without the knowledge of the local chiefs. The lake neighborhood is the home to the Bakiga people, a people known in the country for their high fertility and determination of life. It is believed that no life is hard enough to defeat a mukinga person. you have got to meet these people on your trip.
Besides the culture, the lake is naturally endowed. Though not proven scientifically, the local stories say that this is the deepest lake in the region. As the local guide will tell you during your canoe tour over the lake. Lake Bunyonyi is one of the few places that are home to Cray fish in Uganda. In most hotels around the lake, you will be treated to a Cray fish meal of your choice.
With accommodations of all classes around this part of the country, you have a big selection to choose from where you stay during the visit. You can camp, stay in budget or take a high-end luxury accommodation. In whichever option, you can be sure you won’t miss on the breath taking scenery, the wonderful cultural encounters, the freshly harvested food or the welcoming people.
In our next post, we shall share the different travel routes of Uganda that are well suited for exploring Lake Bunyonyi.