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INTERESTING THINGS TO DO IN AND ROUND LAKE BUNYONYI

Interesting things to do around Bunyonyi, Are you looking for a tranquil and relaxing place to unwind after an adventurous gorilla trek in Uganda? Lake Bunyonyi is the perfect place. This Lake, literally translated as a “Lake of numerous small birds” is situated within the south-west of Uganda between the districts of Kabale and Kisoro. The Lake is one of the most beautiful and interesting places to visit in Uganda and it is not surprising that the landmark appeared in the 5000-note Ugandan shilling. This placid water body is surrounded by steep terraced hills and verdant vegetation that offer magnificent scenery for photographic opportunities.

The spectacular Lake is the second deepest in Africa with a depth of 40 meters in addition to extending for 25 kilometers long and 7 kilometers wide. It has numerous Islands but the most popular ones are the Akampene (Punishment) Island where unmarried pregnant girls were abandoned to starve and die as a punishment for bringing shame to the family, the Njuyeera (Sharp’s) and Bwama Island where English Missionary Leonard Sharp settled and established a church, medical center and Patient quarters.

Lake Bunyonyi is known for offering shelter to numerous bird species (totaling to 200 species) but there are other interesting attractions in and around the Lake that include fish species-Nile Tilapia, Red swamp crayfish, catfish and Singida tilapia among others. There are also spotted-necked otters and African clawless otters. Amphibians such as the Lake Victoria Clawed frogs and De Witte clawed frogs among others are also found in the swamps-fringed shores of this Lake.  Tourist activities in and around Lake Bunyonyi include;

Bird watching

Lake Bunyonyi is home to over 200 outstanding species of birds. Bird watching is, therefore, the most popular activity and species that are commonly spotted are the Hadada Ibis, Cardinal woodpecker, grey-crowned cranes, Grey shrikes, sunbirds, black herons, African harrier hawks, slender-billed Baglafecht, white-tailed blue Monard, swamp flycatcher, streaky seed-eater, golden-backed weavers, red-chested sunbirds, great Cormorant, malachite kingfishers, cattle egrets, pied kingfishers, and Bronzy sunbirds among others.

Boat rides and dug-out canoe rides

There is no better way to explore the numerous Islands as well as aquatic bird species of Lake Bunyonyi than through a boat or canoe ride. It is advisable to go on the boat cruise in the company of a local tour guide who will identify the Islands and their historical significance as well as the bird species. You can also opt for a canoe ride to explore the richness and beauty of the Lake and its surrounding hillsides. Interesting things to do around Bunyonyi

Swimming

Lake Bunyonyi waters are free from wild animals especially Hippos and Crocodiles in addition to being Bilharzia free, thus making it wonderfully safe for localized swimming. It is really cool to swim in Africa’s deepest Lake and also, its turquoise waters are sparkling clean but for non-swimmers, relaxing and sunbathing at the shores of the Lake would relieve all your stress.

Mountain biking

There are a number of mountain biking trails around the shores of Lake Bunyonyi and its surrounding hilly areas that allow tourists to interact with the local people and their culture, spot different species of birds, and have a spectacular view of the Lake.

Nature walks

Are you interested in exploring the nearby local villages to interact with the people and learn their culture, or would you wish to identify some of the bird species around the Lake? If yes, then head for a guided nature walk in the company of local guides who will make the activity not informative, adventurous, and humorous. These walks will take you to the nearby local schools to see how education is achieved with limited researches, green tea plantations, terraced and cultivated hills, banana plantations and even offer opportunities of community birding. Walks also lead visitors to the local market (especially on a market day) where vegetables, fruits, African craft objects, and many other interesting things can be purchased. Interesting things to do around Bunyonyi

Cultural tours                                

Cultural tours around Lake Bunyonyi are conducted within Bakiga and Batwa pygmy communities. While here, you will have a tour of the Caves, visit the traditional blacksmiths who hand-make different tools from iron/metals, and climax it up with a ground-breaking cultural dance. A visit to the Akampene (Punishment) Island will introduce you to the ancient culture of the Bakiga people where unmarried girls who conceived were punished and many other surprising cultures.

Best time to visit Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi can be visited from January to December. However traditional dry months-January, February, June, July, August, September, and December are the busiest because there is little or no rain, making nature walks, mountain biking and even canoeing more fascinating less challenging.

Where to stay

There are many wonderful places to stay during your visit to Lake Bunyonyi and they include Byoona Amagara Island Retreat, Bunyonyi Safaris Resort, Arcadia Cottages, Lake Bunyonyi Eco Resort, Bunyonyi Overland Resort, Bushara Island Camp, Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort, Heritage Lodge Habuharo, Birdnest @Lake Bunyonyi Resort, and many others.

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