Lake Mutanda is a hidden gem situated within the Mountainous terrain of South-western Uganda in Kisoro district. It is one of the picturesque Lakes in Africa surrounded by giant hills and is found within an exceptional landscape of lush and luxuriant sprawling highlands. This fresh water lake is spotted/dotted with 15 beautiful Islands, the biggest being Mutanda Island and is occupied by a community of the Abagesera Clan. These fascinating people grow crops like bananas, peas and sugarcanes, and another part of the Island is dominated by trees and shrubs. Another beautiful Island of interest within Lake Mutanda is the Python Island because it is full of pythons that are however rarely seen.
What to do while at or near Lake Mutanda
Though few, interesting bird species that can be sighted within this lake include the Pin-tailed Whydah, Kites, Malachite Kingfisher, weaver birds, Great Cormorant, Ibis, the Grey-crowned cranes, Pied kingfishers and sunbirds among others. This enables tourists to combine other activities with bird watching. Imagine yourself relaxing and you spot birds and hear sweet melodies of birds, this is what awaits you around Lake Mutanda.
This is the main activity that offers a mind-boggling experience as you ride through the tranquil and cool waters of this Lake as you explore some of the riveting wildlife species like the African Clawless otter and several bird species, the spectacular views of the Landscapes and the astonishing scenery of the surrounding areas. Boat rides within this Lake are conducted mainly conducted in the morning before the water of Lake Mutanda changes course and is still calm without tides.
Mountain gorilla tracking
When you visit Lake Mutanda, you can also be able to track mountain gorillas especially from the Southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable national Park or from Mgahinga national park. There is nothing as exciting as tracking the critically endangered mountain gorillas! From Lake Mutanda Area, you can take a gorilla safari within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park of Uganda.
Relaxing/unwinding and chilling
After a long day in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga national park or a whole week of hard work, it is very relaxing when you visit a place like Lake Mutanda where all you will see is nature and hear the sounds and melodies of the birds. You can just sit and relax on the Verandas of the Safari lodges for example Mutanda lake Resort as you enjoy the spectacular views of the lake, or take photos of the area around.
Mountain biking/cycling around Lake Mutanda
Much as these exhilarating Mountain cycling adventures are very challenging, they are very rewarding because tourists can be able to encounter some interesting bird species, explore some of the villages and learn about their interesting rural lifestyles.
There is nothing as interesting as hiking around a Lake that is surrounded by undulating hills, beautiful Islands and local communities that live around Lake Mutanda in order to explore life in a typical rural Ugandan Village.
An encounter with the Batwa community
Tourists who visit Lake Mutanda can also visit the Batwa communities especially within Southern sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and also the more exciting Batwa trail around Mgahinga National Park. When you visit these communities, you will be able to learn about their ancient lifestyles and cultures when they sill lived in the forests or get entertained in their invigorating traditional dances.
You can choose to visit some of the Islands within Lake Mutanda as you explore the interesting features about each Island such as Mutanda Islands where you can engage in community walks and visit the local church. You can also visit the Python Island that is famous for the Pythons and also to the Punishment Islands where girls who used to get pregnant before married were left to die. While on the Punishment Island, you will be able to see some of the bones and other remains of the victims.
Where to stay while at Lake Mutanda
The best and affordable accommodation exists within Mutanda Lake Resort (situated on the Peninsula of Lake Mutanda), Mutanda Eco Community Center and Chameleon Hill Lodge. Accommodation also exists as far as Kisoro in Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Traveler’s Rest Hotel and Bam Rest house among others.
In conclusion, it is not only Gorilla tracking that you can enjoy when you visit Kisoro district, but also relaxing activities like swimming, fishing and boat rides within Lake Mutanda.