If you’re planning a gorilla trekking adventure in Ruhija, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, then a visit to Lake Bunyonyi is the perfect way to round off your trip. Located in Kabale District, southwestern Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi is a breathtaking destination that offers a range of exciting activities for visitors.
Nestled in Kabale District of southwestern Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With a depth of over 900 meters, it is considered to be the deepest lake in Uganda and the second deepest in East Africa. The lake is easily accessible via a 30-minute drive on a dusty road from Kabale town, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a peaceful escape.
The lake’s name originates from the Rukiga language, which refers to the small birds known as “bunyonyi” that can be spotted around the lake. With its unique vegetation and abundant food sources, Lake Bunyonyi is a haven for a variety of bird species. Additionally, the lake is home to crayfish and other fish species that visitors can enjoy.
Geographically, Lake Bunyonyi was formed by a lava damming that blocked one of the rivers flowing in the valley, creating the beautiful lake that we know today. Its scenic beauty and numerous islands make it an ideal location for various water-based activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and swimming.
At Trek Africa Tours, we understand that there is more to Uganda than gorilla trekking in Ruhija. That’s why we are here to assist you in discovering the many exciting things to do in Lake Bunyonyi after your gorilla trek. From hiking and biking around the lake to simply relaxing and enjoying the stunning scenery, there is something for everyone at Lake Bunyonyi.
Once you have completed your gorilla trekking adventure, it’s time to relax and enjoy the many activities that Lake Bunyonyi has to offer.
Lake Bunyonyi is not only a scenic natural wonder but is also home to the indigenous Batwa pygmies. When Mgahinga and Bwindi impenetrable National Parks were established, some Batwa groups were displaced and sought refuge in Kabale, near Lake Bunyonyi. Embark on a Batwa cultural experience tour and be guided by one of the Batwa guides, providing an opportunity to learn about the traditional life and culture of the Batwa people. Witness traditional dances and Stone Age practices such as making fire in a traditional way. This immersive cultural experience at Lake Bunyonyi will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Batwa and their way of life.
Lake Bunyonyi is a must-visit destination for bird enthusiasts in Uganda. Boasting over 200 bird species, it is undoubtedly one of the best birding spots in the country. After your exhilarating gorilla trek in Ruhija, you can enjoy a birding adventure on one of the 29 islands on Lake Bunyonyi. You can choose to explore the lake banks and islands in a dugout canoe or a motorized boat. Additionally, you can identify some of the birds that visit the gardens of your Lodge during your stay on Lake Bunyonyi.
Encounter some of the most captivating bird species such as the African Green Broadbill, the beautiful Regal Sunbird, and Archer’s Robin-Chat, Black Goshawk, Augur Buzzard, Crowned Hawk-Eagle, Handsome Francolin, Olive (Rameron) Pigeon, Bronze-winged Pigeon, Black-billed, Ruwenzori, and Ross’s Turaco, African, Barred Long-tailed, and African Emerald Cuckoos, Red-chested Owlet, Narina and Bar-tailed Trogons, Black and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Blue-throated Roller, White-headed Wood hoopoe, Gray-throated, Double-toothed, and Yellow-spotted Barbets, Western and Yellow-ramped Tinker bird, Thick-billed and Dwarf Honeyguides, Rufous-necked Wryneck, Tullberg’s, Speckle-breasted, Elliot’s, and Olive Woodpeckers, African Broadbill, Rock Martin, Black Saw-wing, Gray and Pettit’s Cuckoo-Shrike, Ansorge’s, Kaka mega and Cabanis’ Greenbuls, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Kivu Ground-Thrush, Olive and Mountain Thrushes, Red-throated Alethe, Chubb’s Cist cola, Banded Prinia, Ruwenzori, Black-throated, and Black-faced Apalis, Olive-green Camaroptera, Grauer’s Warbler, Cinnamon and Black-faced Bracken-Warblers, Mountain Yellow Warbler, White-browed Crombec, Short-tailed Warbler and Red-faced Woodland-Warbler.
Ensure you carry a birding book and seek guidance from expert bird guides to make the most of your birding adventure on Lake Bunyonyi. Contact Trek Africa Tours for more information about birding tours and packages at Lake Bunyonyi.
Experience the intriguing history of Lake Bunyonyi’s islands with a boat ride after your gorilla trek in Ruhija. Choose between a motorized boat or a dugout canoe and enjoy a leisurely ride on the tranquil waters of the lake. Explore the historical islands, including the infamous Akampene Island, also known as Punishment Island. Discover the dark history behind its name, where the Bakiga people used to abandon teenage mothers and pregnant girls to nature as punishment for getting pregnant at a young age. The tradition was intended to discourage premarital sex and prevent the loss of the Bride’s Price for the family. Don’t miss out on this unique cultural experience during your visit to Lake Bunyonyi.
If you’re looking for a relaxing activity after your gorilla trek in Ruhija, swimming in Lake Bunyonyi is a great option. Unlike many lakes in the area, Lake Bunyonyi is free from hippos, crocodiles, and bilharzia, so you can swim without any worry. However, it’s important to note that Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa, so you should only swim if you’re a good swimmer.
At Trek Africa Tours, we prioritize our clients’ safety above all else. If you’re not an experienced swimmer, we recommend swimming with the help of divers or experts. We are happy to provide details on safe swimming in Lake Bunyonyi, so please feel free to contact us. Whether you’re an expert swimmer or just looking to relax in the water, Lake Bunyonyi is a wonderful place to do so.
Experience the natural beauty and rich culture of Lake Bunyonyi with a guided nature hike and community walk. Explore the scenic islands and villages surrounding the lake and encounter the friendly locals, gaining insights into their traditional way of life. Take in the breathtaking sights while walking through the lush vegetation and picturesque landscapes.
During the community walk, you’ll have the opportunity to visit a traditional herbalist, learn about the daily life of the Bakiga people in a typical homestead, and visit a local school. The trail is well-designed and begins with a canoe ride to and from the islands, adding an extra layer of adventure to your journey.
If you’re looking for an immersive cultural experience and a chance to connect with nature, the nature hike and community walk at Lake Bunyonyi is a must-do activity. Contact Trek Africa Tours for more information on these exciting activities as part of your post-gorilla trek itinerary in Ruhija.
If you are looking for an adventurous activity after your gorilla trek in Ruhija, then mountain biking around Lake Bunyonyi is the perfect option for you. As you ride on your mountain bike, you will get a chance to explore the breathtaking scenery, interact with the locals and immerse yourself in the unique African culture. You can easily rent a mountain bike with the assistance of a local English-speaking guide, who will take you through the best trails around the lake, pointing out the highlights and sharing their knowledge of the area. This activity can be done at any time, before or after your gorilla trek, and doesn’t require any pre-booking, making it a great spontaneous adventure option. Don’t miss out on this exciting experience of discovering Lake Bunyonyi on a mountain bike!
Lake Bunyonyi is an ideal destination for those interested in island exploration and historical research. With 29 islands to discover, visitors can embark on a boat ride or a dugout canoe to visit each island and learn about its unique history and attractions. The famous Punishment Island, for example, has a rich history of how it was used to punish young pregnant girls in the community.
Our local guides are knowledgeable and passionate about sharing the stories behind each island. They will explain the history, culture, and traditions of the local people, as well as the flora and fauna that thrive on each island. This experience provides visitors with a deeper understanding of the region’s rich cultural heritage and unique natural environment. Come and explore the islands of Lake Bunyonyi with us and uncover their hidden gems.
If you’re planning to visit Lake Bunyonyi, you’ll be glad to know that it can be explored at any time of the year. However, the climate of the region is influenced by its high altitude, making it generally colder throughout the year. For those who prefer drier weather, the months of June, July, August, September, December, January, and February would be ideal.
At Trek Africa Tours, we take into consideration the weather patterns when planning our tours to Ruhija that involve overnight stays in lodges around Lake Bunyonyi. Our aim is to ensure that our clients have the best experience regardless of the weather. So whether you’re planning to visit during the cold or dry season, we’ve got you covered.
Getting to Lake Bunyonyi from Ruhija after your gorilla trek can be done through different means of transport. By road, you can access the lake through the main road from Ruhija to Kabale-Kisoro Highway and then connect to Lake Bunyonyi. This drive takes about one and a half hours on a rough road and we recommend using a 4×4 vehicle. If you are coming from Kigali, Rwanda, you can drive to Kabale town via Katuna-border crossing, which takes approximately 4-5 hours.
On the other hand, you can access Lake Bunyonyi by air from Entebbe International Airport or Kampala’s Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro airstrip. Domestic airline operators such as Aero link and Fly Uganda provide scheduled and chartered flights. Upon arrival, a transfer from the airstrip to your booked lodge will be arranged by your tour operator. You can choose to land at either Kisoro or Kihihi airstrip, and from there, drive to Lake Bunyonyi. If you land in Kihihi, you will have a 2.5-hour drive through the forest to the eastern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where Ruhija is located, and then another hour to Kabale. Alternatively, if you fly to Kisoro airstrip, you will have a 2-3 hour drive to Lake Bunyonyi, which is shorter compared to the 9-10 hour drive by road.
Lake Bunyonyi is a popular destination in Uganda, offering a serene environment with stunning views of the surrounding hills and islands. Many lodges have been established to cater for the ever-growing number of tourists visiting this place. Regardless of your budget, you can find a lodge that suits your needs. From luxury to mid-range and budget, Lake Bunyonyi offers a variety of lodges and hotels to choose from.
After your gorilla trek in Ruhija, you can retire to one of the many lodges on Lake Bunyonyi. These lodges include Bird Nest Resort, Acadia Lodge, Crater Bay Lodge, Bunyonyi Overland Resort, Rock Resort, and Hawker’s Eye Lodge, among others. As a trusted tour operator, Trek Africa Tours has built long-standing relationships with many of these hotels and lodges, and we can help you choose the best one to suit your needs. We can also negotiate great deals on your behalf. Contact us today to start planning your trip.
Trek Africa Tours is your reliable partner in booking all the activities you want to experience during your stay at Lake Bunyonyi after your gorilla trek in Ruhija. We offer a range of gorilla safari packages to Ruhija sector of Bwindi that cater to various budgets, from budget to mid-range to luxury options, and we can also secure gorilla habituation permits for you. By choosing us, you can benefit from our expertise, local knowledge, and excellent customer service.
Our company is highly rated on Trip Advisor, with many satisfied clients who have enjoyed our personalized approach to safari planning and execution. We are committed to providing you with a memorable Uganda safari experience that meets your expectations and exceeds them. Our team of expert tour consultants is always available to answer all your safari questions and help you make the most of your trip.
We take pride in our attention to detail and our ability to cater to different travel needs and preferences. Whether you want to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery of Lake Bunyonyi or engage in more active pursuits like hiking, canoeing, or bird watching, we can tailor your itinerary to suit your interests and schedule.
In short, if you want a hassle-free, well-planned, and enjoyable gorilla trekking and Lake Bunyonyi experience, choose Trek Africa Tours as your trusted partner. Contact us today to book your activities and start planning your dream Uganda safari.