Explore Lake Bunyonyi a gateway to the Gorilla highlands
Explore Lake Bunyonyi a gateway to the Gorilla highlands

Explore Lake Bunyonyi a gateway to the gorilla highlands- gorilla trekking from Rwanda to Bwindi – lake Bunyonyi adventures.

Explore Lake Bunyonyi a gateway to the Gorilla highlands. Lake Bunyonyi also known as the places of many birds. It’s one of the attractions in the Southwestern region located in the district of Kabale.  Lake Bunyonyi also known as the places of many birds. It’s one of the attractions in the Southwestern region located in the district of Kabale. The lake is the second deepest after Tanzania’s Lake Tanganyika in Africa with up to a maximum depth of 900m approximately 2953 feet. The lake is also the feature that appears on the 5000 shillings currency note of Uganda currency. Bunyonyi in the native language means small birds and harbors up to 200 bird species including Herons, egrets, African Harrier Hawk, grey crowned cranes among others.

Lake Bunyonyi boasts 29 scenic islands surrounded by a protective ring of highlands in Southwest Uganda. It stands at 2,952ft, hence the second deepest lake in Africa after Lake Tanganyika. It was christened Bunyonyi, a local word to mean numerous little birds which justifies the 200 plus bird species recorded there.

The lake and its surroundings are one of the richest in cultural experiences surrounded by some of the most exciting tribes in Uganda the Bakiga, Bafumbira, and Batwa “pygmies” living on a hill overlooking Echuya forest, who are indigenous to the area. This informal association of people is willing to tell the African story and unlock the tourism potentials of this incredible country Uganda. The climatic conditions in the gorilla highlands are unpredictable, but always turn cooler overnight. During day, the weather is unsettled, cloudy with abrupt rainfall.

Explore Lake Bunyonyi a gateway to the Gorilla highlands

Tourist attractions and activities on Lake Bunyonyi

Cultural and community Encounters:

The surroundings of Lake Bunyonyi are mainly occupied by two tribes that is the Bakiga and the Batwa. The tribes were introduced to the area after being evicted from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The Batwa people are still practicing their culture in a very Unique way in the area. Tourists can get a chance to listen to the pleasant cultural dances and music performances by the Batwa people. On the other hand, the Bakiga are the original settlers of Lake Bunyonyi and the people have been cultivating on the hilly terrace of the islands. They also have a rich tradition that comes with a lot of admirable things such as the cultural dance that requires a lot of energy to dance if you attempt to do so. They also have ancient stories of how they used to dump unmarried pregnant girls on the punishment island.

Kyahugye Island home to Bunyonyi Eco Resort.

Kyahungye Island is the closest island to the shores of the Lake and covers an area of almost 74 acres. The top of the island is flat and has been developed for tourists to engage in activities like birding, Nature walks among others.

Other Island:

Bunyonyi boasts of 29 islands and the ones that mainly standout include the Punishment Island locally known as Akampene. This island is the center of attraction because of the ancient practices that come along with its name. During the early days of the Bakiga people, the island was used as an area for dumping unmarried pregnant girls from the community as this was against the cultural laws of the Bakiga people. This was done to educate the younger girls against such acts in the community. However, men that did not have cows as a bride price to pay to the girl’s parents were usually seen heading to the island to pick girls, they wanted from Akempene Island.

Tourist Activities at Lake Bunyonyi

Bird watching:

As its name states “the place of many little birds”, Lake Bunyonyi is filled with a variety of bird species, over 200 bird species can be viewed at Lake Bunyonyi. Nyombi swamp is home to a great number of them and all you need is a boat ride to the place to have a spectacular view of the birds. The birds include the local birds such as Grey Crowned Crane, Herons, the levillant cuckoo, Harrier hawk white tailed blue Monard, and the cardinal woodpecker among others and those that come from Europe when it is winter days in Europe.

Canoe Boat.

This is one of the activities you can’t miss when you visit the Lake. Caneo Boat riding gives you an experience of calmness and quietness and the tranquility of Lake Bunyonyi. It is much thrilling during canoeing at night while listening to the cricket sounds plus the frogs that make it an exciting and memorable experience.


The waters of Lake Bunyonyi have no dangers of hippos and crocodiles plus dangers of bilharzia cannot be found in this lake making it available for swimming by tourists that want to relax and making it fun to swim in the fresh waters of the wildness.

Nature walks.

Tourists can walk freely on the shores of the Lake while having a panoramic view of the islands while listening to the pleasant sounds of the birds and the fresh breeze of Lake Bunyonyi and the community around. On the other cycling is also much possible on the trails of the islands of Lake Bunyonyi.

Cultural tours 

Many cultural insights can be found on the Lake such as the Bakora cave, the Batwa people along with their traditional customs and the Abaheesi who are the traditional smiths. Most of the cultural performances happen to be more memorable and exciting to the tourists. Learning about the cultural past of these communities is an opportunity you can get when you visit Lake Bunyonyi.

Getting to Bunyonyi

Getting to the Lake you will need to first make your way to Kabale from Kampala, a journey that can take up to eight hours long. From Kabale town, Lake Bunyonyi is about 25 minutes’ drive. Some tourists prefer using the Kigali, Rwanda route that takes about 1.5 to 2 hours long to reach Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda.

Explore Lake Bunyonyi a gateway to the Gorilla highlands Contact us for a trip to lake Bunyonyi.

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