Reasons To Visit Lake Bunyonyi In Kabale District
Lake Bunyonyi lies in the Deep Southwestern part of Uganda, with several beautiful islands. Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa, having unforgettable scenery. Gorilla Trekking destinations, especially Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, are a short distance from Lake Bunyonyi.
Most Popular Safaris
After a tiring gorilla trekking adventure, you can recap and break away with a trip to Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi is bilharzia free, so you can swim in it and enjoy ultimate tranquility. This lake occupies steep valleys dammed by lava from nearby volcanoes. Over 29 islands are dotted in Lake Bunyonyi, including the famous punishment island where pregnant girls in the past were abandoned to die.
What Activities To Do In Lake Bunyonyi
Bird Watching On Lake Bunyonyi
Locally, Bunyonyi means a place of tiny birds; indeed, this name is apt for Lake Bunyonyi. Ornithologists with knowledgeable birding guides have much birding experience to enjoy. Over 200 bird species are residents of Lake Bunyonyi. Some birds you may spot include red-chested sunbirds, woodpeckers, herons, slender-billed ball fetch, grey-crowned cranes, and others.
Taking a boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi allows you to enjoy the fresh breeze of this beautiful lake and its surroundings. You can use a canoe when visiting these islands and their great surroundings. Watch out for lovely birds that grace the shores of the vegetation surrounding Lake Bunyonyi.
You can go canoeing, enjoy the incredible scenery and watch the sunset casting its rays across Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi is free of dangerous wild animals like crocodiles and hippos, so that you may stop for scenic viewing and swim.
Zip Lining Over Lake Bunyonyi
Stimulate some adrenaline with the zip-lining adventure over this beautiful lake. First, an adequately secured rope is securely tied from one bank to another. Then, you are buckled onto the zip line and swing across Lake Bunyonyi.
Swimming In Lake Bunyonyi
Experience extra holiday fun away from the usual swimming pool by diving in Lake Bunyonyi. Although Lake Bunyonyi has no shores, structures are in place for you to emerge from deepwater swimming. This lake is bilharzia free, and you can enjoy sunbathing too from the banks. Enjoy the cool breeze from Lake Bunyonyi that regulates the temperatures of this area.
Batwa Cultural Tour
The Batwa pygmies are some of the victims of the forest conservation campaign in this area. Since time immemorial, the forest was the sole provider for the Batwa until they were evicted in the 1990s.
They relocated to the outskirts of the Kabale and Kisoro districts but were still marginalized by the communities they joined.
They get financial support from visitors who take time off to do local community tours where they explain more about their past life and their day-to-day life. As a result, they know most of the forest’s secrets as told by the elders through folk tales and songs.
The Batwa live in small grass thatched and stick houses but usually keep to themselves.
When you visit the Batwa community, they show you how they hunted, collected honey, treated illnesses, and so much more.
Mountain Biking in Lake Bunyonyi
Upon arrangement, you can test your skills and bike to some surrounding ridges or highlands close to the lake. During the ride, you bypass local gardens, stop to enjoy the beautiful scenery, and so much more. From the slopes, look over the beautiful islands in Lake Bunyonyi, and keen birders may identify several birds along the way.
Tour Islands In Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi has about 29 islands, but the most significant is Akampene Island, where girls that got pregnant were abandoned and left to die of hunger or drown while trying to swim a cross. Men who did not want to pay dowry would rescue some girls and take them on as wives.
Bushara Island has excellent sceneries and rich birdlife; Bwama Island is the largest. It was a leprosy treatment center set up by Dr. Leonard Sharp, a missionary. Unfortunately, several people were treated here as the community used to discriminate against them. The former hospital is operating as a school for children on this island.
Tour the Local Market
Local people operate a local market where you can buy local merchandise like crafts, clothes, shoes, foodstuffs, etc. You get to learn how the locals operate businesses. Credit cards are not applicable in this market because of the lengthy procedure of collecting money from them. There are no credit card machines to do this transaction, so carry some hard cash.
Community trek around Lake Bunyonyi
You can walk to the local communities around Lake Bunyonyi, where you may enjoy beautiful farmlands. You take the tracks leading to banana plantations, look over the 29 islands from all angles, visit a local homestead, and so much more.
How Much Is A Safari To Bunyonyi Island
The safari package to Bunyonyi Island is graded according to luxury, mid-range, or budget. You can select the activities you wish to participate in, which are included in your itinerary.
Each activity is charged individually, and each Lake Bunyonyi safari package has inclusions and exclusions. The more inclusions, the higher the cost of safari.
To calculate the Lake Bunyonyi Safari Package, these are considered.
The timing for booking safari packages to Lake Bunyonyi
The peak season Lake Bunyonyi safari packages are highly priced as during the low seasons, you may get some discounts from service providers like accommodation, vehicle hire, and others.
Number of people joining Bunyonyi Safari
The more people joining you for a safari to Lake Bunyonyi, the less the per-person cost. You can share costs like vehicle hire, gas, driver guide fees, etc.
The more days on safari, the higher the safari package cost.
Several other activities to combine with a visit to Lake Bunyonyi, whereby the more activities to combine with this tour, the higher the cost.
Is Lake Bunyonyi safe for a Safari?
Lake Bunyonyi is very safe for tourists to visit. However, you also have to pay tension to personal safety by not counting money in public that would attract the wrong people. Also, there are better ideas than eating street food. If you wish to taste local cuisines, it is best to ask your driver guide for the best and safest spots where you can taste local meals.
Only carry on the activity with the knowledge of your driver guide so that you are not corned or lost.
Which is the best time to visit Lake Bunyonyi?
The tranquility of Lake Bunyonyi can be enjoyed all year round, but tourists prefer the dry season, which is June, July, August, September, December, or January. The weather is favorable for most activities around Lake Bunyonyi because they are outdoors.
Even the tracks used during the nature walks are passable, and birds, butterflies, and some primates can be spotted in the open. There is free life in the dry seasons for most wild animals during the dry season as they are in the open.
The wet seasons may come with discounted prices as this is also the low tourism season in Uganda. Therefore, booking your safari to Lake Bunyonyi Island in advance is best, especially during the peak season.
What Activities To Combine With A Safari To Lake Bunyonyi?
You can take a gorilla trekking safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park after or before visiting Lake Bunyonyi. Gorilla trekking is tiring, and taking time off to visit Lake Bunyonyi is recuperating after the exertion of gorilla trekking.
You need a gorilla trekking permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority booked before as they are limited in number for each day; a maximum of 8 gorilla permits are sold per family.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the closest game park you can combine with a visit to Lake Bunyonyi. During an early morning or evening game drive, you may spot animals like lions, herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, topis, warthogs, bushbucks, waterbucks, leopards, and others. Lake Mburo National Park is another game park you can combine with a safari to Lake Bunyonyi.
Launch cruise on Kazinga channel
Queen Elizabeth National Park is endowed with the Kazinga Channel, home to various wild animals that frequent its shores and an array of birds that grace the shores too. During the launch trip, you enjoy the beautiful scenery on the rift valley floor.
You can take part in chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park before or after a visit to Lake Bunyonyi National Park. However, you must purchase a chimpanzee trekking permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority to visit these chimpanzees.
Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park is another chimpanzee trekking center you can include in the activities to do with a visit to Lake Bunyonyi.
Birding in Uganda
Birding in Uganda in different destinations allows you to make a bigger list. Some birding goals you can include in your Uganda birding safari include Mabamba Island, Mpanga Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mabira Forest, Botanical Gardens, and others.
White water rafting
The Itanda Falls on River Nile is the white water rafting point. You do not need to have any experience to attend white water rafting. On the ground, instructors take you through all the necessary training to succeed. Just buckle your safety gear and paddle well to beat the tides.
Visit the Source of River Nile
Uganda has the source of River Nile in Jinja on Lake Victoria; you can visit the dramatic point where River Nile water separates from Lake Victoria water. You can sail with a boat you hire from the pier to this scenic point.
Visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Center
This is the former Entebbe Zoo, where different animals from various parks are kept in exhibits with an environment similar to that in the wilderness, where they are commonly seen. You can do a guided or personal tour of this center. You can see animals like cheetahs, lions, rhinos, chimpanzees, birds, primates, vipers, giraffes, elands, and others.
Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary
The Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary is home to rescued chimpanzees abandoned by their families, kept in captivity, saved by snares, and much more. But unfortunately, some chimpanzees cannot return to the wilderness to join their communities.
What To Pack For a Safari To Lake Bunyonyi
- Warm wear because it gets so cold in the morning and late evening.
- Safari shoes to use during nature walks, especially during hikes and village walks.
- Energy bites to munch on because breakfast is taken too early to last you the time during different activities.
- Duffel bag to carry with your belongings, and you must be able to carry them if you get no assistance.
- Extra clothes to change into after activities around Lake Bunyonyi.
- Raincoat or poncho, especially during the rainy seasons, even extreme rains are received.
- Flip flops to wear when you take off your shoes after the safari.
- A camera to keep memories of your experience during your visit to Lake Bunyonyi
- Some cash to be changed into local currency in case you need to purchase anything or make payments for personal activities
- Garden gloves to wear in case you must move in the wilderness, especially in forested areas with stinging nettles.
- Light backpack to carry with your belongings or hand them over to porters so that you do not scatter them in the wilderness.
- Pair of binoculars to get a clearer view of beautiful far-ranging features and birds.
- Sunscreen if you wish to bask under the sun and enjoy the fresh breeze off the lake.
- Sunglasses to wear under the extreme sunlight
- Foldable safari hat to wear over your head.
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