Lake Bunyonyi is also known as the place of little birds is a fascinating and relaxing freshwater body. It is believed to be the second deepest lake in Africa after the magnificent Lake Tanganyika with an uncertain depth of 40metres to 900 meters in different parts of the lake.
The water temperatures range from 24-250C and are one of the few lakes that are free from Bilharzia, therefore safe to swim and is surrounded by green hills and the ideal location for a getaway.
The lake is believed to have been formed about 10,000 years ago as a result of lava flow from the Virunga mountains blocking the Ndego river. In the early ’20s fish was introduced into the water but all died by the 1960s and it is suspected that this was due to volcanic gas emissions.
The history of this lake is extremely fascinating and will make you catch the first plane to southwestern Uganda. The lake has 29 islands and most of these islands have an extraordinary tale behind them.
Akampene is famously known as the punishment island because girls that would get pregnant out of wedlock would be brought to this island to die of starvation and drown in an attempt to escape from the island.
The male gender also got their share in the bargain because boys that were financially unable to pay the bride price would be sent to the island as well where they would eventually marry these stranded girls. this practice was forsaken in the early 20th century but women that survived the island can still be found in the nearby villages.
The lake also has another island known as Bwama and Njuyeera ( sharp’s island) that was established in 1931 as a leprosy treatment center by Dr. Leonard Sharp. The hospital later evolved into a boarding secondary school.
Attractions on Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi is the ideal birder paradise with over 200 bird species which include;- the Grey-crowned crane, Egrets, Heron, African Harrier Hawk, and many more. In addition, the lake has over 29 islands all found at the heart of the lake. These islands include Akampene, Bushara, Bwama, Bacuranuka, and many more each with a mind-blowing legend behind them.
The beautiful Lake is also home to a variety of fish such as crayfish, mud fishing, mirror carp, and their Predators allowing the tourists to go on a fishing trip if they desire to
The lake offers a splendid bird watching activity where the tourists are given the opportunity to see over 200 birds both the Ugandan species and the European birds that migrate to Bunyonyi during the winter.
The lake also offers sailing on the calm and quiet waters on a canoe. The canoe rides are done in the day as well as at night listening to the melodies of the frogs, crickets, and nocturnal birds. This experience is rather exciting and worthwhile.
One of the most exciting things is the experience of swimming in the lake’s cool and safe waters. The waters are free from dangers such as crocodiles, Hippos, and other threatening animals, however, the waters are extremely deep therefore the swimmers should be experienced.
In addition, there are also nature walks along the shores of the lake as well as moving around the historically fascinating islands especially Akampene, Bwama, Njuyeera, and Bucuranka, and learning all the legends attached to them.
The visitors can also engage in biking activities on the islands of Lake Bunyonyi as they discover different landmarks in the area.
Lastly, the Lake Bunyonyi experience gives you the opportunity to visit several tribal communities such as the Bakiga and the Batwa. In this activity, you will learn about their culture and way of life.
Accommodations on the lake Bunyonyi
while at this relaxing lake, your stay will be pattered by the lodges of your preference. These include;- BirdNest @Bunyonyi Resort, Bunyonyi safaris resort, Bushara Island, Heritage lodge Habuharo and Arcadia cottages.
How to get there
Lake Bunyonyi is a 6-hour drive from Kampala alternatively one can take a flight from Kajjansi airfield to Kabale airfield
In conclusion, Lake Bunyonyi is the ideal relaxation destination because of the calm and quiet environment essential for one’s mental health.
The Uganda Safari are categorized into 3 major categories namely Short safaris, medium safaris, and long safaris. The short safaris range from 1-3 days, the medium safaris range from 4-6 days and the long safaris range from 7 days and beyond.