A Wonder To Behold: Lake Bunyonyi
There are places you travel to in this world that were made to take our breath away, places that leave you marveling at the wonders of nature and when you reach there you feel like you never want to leave.
Such places were created to bring out the zen lost within you, the moment you behold them you feel all the peace in the world descend onto you.
Lake Bunyonyi is one of those places; tucked away in the hills of Kabale and Kisoro in the South West of Uganda bordering Rwanda, the lake has one of the most beautiful views that are worth five hours from Kampala.
The lake is estimated to be 25 km long and 7 km wide and an altitude of 6,437 ft, and is surrounded by hills that are 7,218 to 8,130 ft high. These hills are quite beautiful when viewed from an aerial point due to the farming activities done by the people who live in the area.
Although not fully verified, Lake Bunyonyi is rumored to be the second deepest lake in Africa estimated at 44m to 900m deep.
The biggest population of people in the area are Bakiga and Batwa people who having been living in the areas for centuries and live off of farming, fishing and cattle rearing. The area has wonderful weather throughout the year with rain and mildly hot days coming through the months and is very suitable for farming and best of all vacationing for tourists. As is all over Uganda, the residents around Lake Bunyonyi are very friendly meaning your stay there will be warmly welcomed.
There are enough hotels and lodges such as Arcadia Lodges plus campsites where one can find good accommodation for their stay whilst taking in the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi.
Over the lake, there are 29 islands that can be seen almost floating and in the morning before the sun comes in, there will be mist slightly rising off the surface of the lake hiding the islands. The islands are what makes the lake look magical, when you see them from a distance it is easy to think you are somewhere in the maldives without the coral of the ocean. One of the best locations to view them throughout the day is up at the hills, you take a day from dawn to dusk and watch how they always seem to emerge from the shadows of the morning and glow throughout the day and gaze at the reflections of the stars in the sky dancing over the lake at night.
In direct translation, Lake Bunyonyi literally means “Place of many little birds” and true to its name, you find so many different bird species that call the islands and the shores home; some of them are indigenous to the area and others migrate in. There are over 200 bird species that can be found in the area meaning any birding enthusiast would be amazed about what they would find there. Species ranging from shoebills, wobblers to the ever beautiful crested cranes and of course the “little birds” can be easily sighted on the birding experience.
The islands are so massive you just have to take a day off and have a tour of the ones closest to the mainland, see nature’s little wonders with beautiful views of the lake. Take a canoe ride with a professional guide on Lake Bunyonyi or set sails on a boat and have a romantic picnic while at it.
Nature Walks and Hikes
Most of the shores and neighboring areas around Lake Bunyonyi are hilly and covered in forestry land that make for good nature walks. You can enjoy a day communing with nature or hike up one of the hills especially in the morning or evening when the weather is cool and breezy.
Kibale National Park
A little distance from the lake, you will find Kibale National Park where you can go for Chimpanzee trekking through the thick forests that cover most of the park and learn something new about the other animals that live in that area.
The Splendid Longonot – Mt Longonot National Park
A rewarding view of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Naivasha meets you at the top as is a virgin forest of small trees covering the crater, with steam vents spaced around the walls. Longonot is home to Buffaloes, Gazelles, the Impala and giraffes with rare sighting of leopards.
Funny Encounters at Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East has got to be one of those Parks I walk into and; baboons & warthogs look at me like we’ve met before.