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If there is that one magical place you shouldn’t miss to pay a visit while on Uganda safari then it is Lake Bunyonyi. The beautiful Lake Bunyonyi is one of the most scenic places in Uganda famous to travelers who take a circuit to the attractions in the western part of Uganda. Located in Kabale district Lake Bunyonyi is one of the most popular places to visit after a gorilla tour in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Lake Bunyonyi is considered to be the deepest lake in Uganda, and there are many people who have traveled to this lake in order to have a glance at its beautiful waters. Many travelers after visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park have taken leisure holidays at this famous place. The lake has always given relaxation moments to the tourists. For those who come like birding, this lake has got many bird species which are so attractive to the tourists.

This Lake has got many Islands which are so attractive and they have also got many bird species and many other animals. The lake has greatly encouraged canoe riding by the tourists who enjoy water and viewing of water animals. This Lake is also considered as a crater lake and its near Lake Katwe where salt is done. There are many tourist activities which are done on this Lake and these include; swimming, fishing, boat cruising and many more which are enjoyed by the tourists who come for safaris to Uganda.

Uganda has got many water bodies. However Lake Bunyonyi has got unique features which are adventurous and can provide unique experiences to the tourists who travel to Uganda. This lake has got blue waters that are so precious to any one’s eyes. It’s also surrounded by much species of vegetation which attracts many birds to migrate to the area hence attracting many birders to the Lake.

Did You Know?

Lake Bunyonyi Islands

This spectacular water lake is set suitably in southwestern Uganda just between Kisoro and Kabale district. Lake is Uganda’s deepest Lake with its depth ranging from 44-900 meters and width of about 7km while its length extends up to 25 kilometers. In Africa, Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake and it straddles at altitude of 1962 meters. This water body is a popular site for many little birds and comes with breathtaking sceneries comprising of spectacular terraced hills. Besides, over 29 magical islands are confined within this Lake. To get here, you need seven (7) hours to drive from Kampala capital city and if you are coming from Kigali, it can take you approximately two hours. It is also known to be free from bilharzia making it an ideal swimming.

The famous islands on Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi is the most appealing and exciting lake in Uganda discovered in the southwestern place and is among the Major visitor locations in Uganda. Lake Bunyonyi is popular for its 29 islands that are special and are notably contributed to the serenity of the lake, however, of all the 29 islands, there are predominant 5 islands that are in many instances visited, and these include;

Akampene Island

On Lake Bunyonyi, there is the well-known Akampene Island popularly known as the punishing grounds for females who would get pregnant before marriage in the community. A girl would be taken to Akampene island and abandoned there to starve to the demise or drown whilst making an attempt to swim to return to the predominant island due truth that Bunyonyi is the deepest lake. Alternatively, they would be saved via fishermen who would no longer come up with the money to pay dowry. However, in the 1940s the practice used to be criticized with the aid of church missionaries and abolished within the neighborhood even though some parents’ victims had been against it. The Akampene Island is a must-visit while on a Uganda safari on Lake Bunyonyi to ride extra about the islands.

Bwama Island

This is the biggest island on Lake Bunyonyi different than Akampene Island. It is one of the islands that host human beings and their settlements and it is most popular for having the leprosy cure center. The leprosy sanctuary was once constructed in 1930 with the aid of a Scottish missionary as a clinic to deal with people with leprosy disorder to curb away the stigma of the non-suffers, however, the therapy core no longer exists even though the structures are nevertheless there working as a college facility.

Kyahungye Island

This is one of the islands on Lake Bunyonyi with people’s settlements but it is most famous for wildlife animals such as antelopes, impalas, bushbucks, and many others that opt for living on this island. Travelers to Lake Bunyonyi can request a flora and fauna tour on this island however it is generally guided so better make inquiries with your operator for game viewing specifications on the island.

Bucaranuka Island

The island is well-known for the mysterious story of a woman cursing the island and it grew to become upside down. It is believed that the island is upside down due to an ancient lady who cursed it long in the past after asking for some men who have been brewing local wine “Obushera” to give her to drink and they refused. In an acceptance to chess away the old woman, they provided her a journey to the mainland and she accepted. When the woman reached the mainland, she cursed the island, it became upside down and burn all the guys that had been on the island. This story makes the island popular attracting a lot of vacationers to see what was remaining stated in the delusion history.

Bushara Island

Bushara Island is most famous for birding. It is home to many bird species recorded in Lake Bunyonyi, all bird enthusiasts who generally tend to go to this lake ought to anticipate most of the bird species in only a single spot. Bushara Island shouldn’t be overlooked in the course of your visit to Lake Bunyonyi.

What to do in Lake Bunyonyi

Bird watching

With about 200 bird species, Lake Bunyonyi is undoubtedly one of the incredible birding sites in Uganda. A birding tour in this water body gets you a chance to spot out birds such as the slender billed baglafetch, weaver birds, grey crowned cranes, egrets, levellant cuckoo, herons and many others.

Canoeing/boat rides

This is one of the loveliest water sports that you shouldn’t miss to take part while on Uganda safari. It takes you to one of the Lake’s islands especially the historical Akampene or the Punishment Island. This also comes with amazing sights over distinct bird species.


Lake Bunyonyi is Bilharzia free thus making it the best place for you to swim. Equally, there are also no crocodiles or hippos in this water body but you have to be careful as you swim especially for those of you who are inexperienced the fact that this Lake is very deep. This lake is one of the deepest water lakes in Africa.

Community walks

With community walks around this Lake, you have a chance to interact with locals and this gets you best of African experiences. You will visit the numerous settlements and learn more about their cultures, lifestyles and others. While on your community walk, do not miss to pay a visit to the Batwa pygmy or Bakiga community.

Nature walks/hiking

This lake is also the best area for one to take walk. While on nature walk, you will have a chance to explore through the stunning highlands of Kigezi or islands

Where to stay in Lake Bunyonyi

The available accommodation options in Lake Bunyonyi include Birdnest @ Lake Bunyonyi Resort, Arcadia cottages Bunyonyi, Bunyonyi safari resort, Lake Bunyonyi Eco Resort, Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort-midrange facility which is perched on the shores of lake Bunyonyi, Bushara Island Camp-ideal for budget travelers and lies just within Bushara Island, Byoona Amagara Island Retreat-budget facility which is found on Itambira Island.

Getting to Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi lies around Kabale, southwestern Uganda. By road, you can take six hours’ drive from Kampala. Visitors on gorilla safari to Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park can pay a visit to this magical waterbody after or before their lifetime experiences. This Lake Bunyonyi is one of the loveliest water bodies that rewards visitors with incredible sights of its bird species. It can be visited at any time of the year and you can engage in a number of activities.

In conclusion, if you have any plans to track mountain gorillas in either Bwindi National Park or Mgahinga National Park, make sure that Lake Bunyonyi never misses out in your travel plan. You can pay a visit to this magical water lake before or after your primate adventure.

Other Lakes of Interest

Apart from this lake, Uganda is also blessed with Lake Victoria which is one of the biggest lakes in Africa, this lake is shared by many countries in Africa, however its biggest part is found in Uganda, this lake has also got many birds around it and other tourist activities which include; swimming, fishing, sports activities which are carried out on the beaches which are found on the shores of the lakes especially at Entebbe. All these have greatly attracted many people to come for safari adventures in Uganda.

There are also other lakes which are found in Uganda and many rivers. These include; Lake Edward, Lake Albert, Lake Kyoga and many others which have greatly attracted people to travel to Uganda. River Nile is also found in Uganda and its source is located in Jinja , this River has also attracted many people to visit Uganda since it has also got many tourist activities which include; swimming at the shores of the river, boat cruises to the actual source of the Nile, canoe riding and many more activities which are so adventurous to the tourists who come for holidays in Uganda.