Lake Bunyonyi is situated in the South-western side of Uganda between Kisoro and Kabale district near the Rwandan border and derived its name that fact that it used to inhabit small birds, hence “Bunyonyi” meaning “small birds”.
Lake Bunyonyi is estimated to be between 144 and 2953 feet deep, making it the deepest Lake in Uganda and is dotted with 29 magnificent islands of different sizes, shapes and interesting history-the most interesting one being the Punishment Island where unmarried girls why would get pregnant out of wedlock would be left to die without food and water. This Lake is a home to interesting activities such as bird watching, nature walks/hiking through the hills, enjoy an authentic home stay experience to relish the real Bakiga cultural experiences. At 1962 meters above sea level, Lake Bunyonyi relishes moderate temperatures throughout the year, is cool in the mornings and evenings and hot during day
Canoe trekking began within Lake Bunyonyi in 2005 and is currently managed by House of Edirisa, a Bunyonyi-based community enterprise and organize short to longer trips for all those tourists who desire to be treated to the most riveting and relaxing cultural and natural environment with special respect and understanding of so much about the area at the same time. The project supports a number of schools and cultural initiatives found on the trek trails and allow tourists to enjoy environmentally friendly activities. The dugout canoeing is the most popular mode of transportation on the waters of Lake Bunyonyi and provides tourists with a totally exceptional experience on the Lake. It is very enjoyable because you will be able to explore several birds and the Islands on the dugout canoe in the company of the qualified guide. This was also introduced to tourists to allow them enjoy what they have been missing.
While at Lake Bunyonyi, you can now get a chance to undertake a two-hour canoe ride with some of the most experienced guides from the House of Edirisa and you will be totally satisfied. Canoe trekking in Lake Bunyonyi is not as adventurous as it is with community/cultural walks that you can enjoy. Majority of the trails transverse Tom’s Home stay that is an exclusive destination on Habukomi Island of Lake Bunyonyi. You will also enjoy the Batwa experience near the Echuya Forest Reserve. The Batwa people within Echuya Forest were the original occupants of the Forest before they were displaced from their ancestral lands by the Government (through National Forestry Authority) to establish the Echuya Forest Reserve with no compensations. Today the Batwa live as beggars and suffer rampant social problems-malnutrition, poverty and even discrimination.
Besides this fascinating canoe trekking on Lake Bunyonyi, tourists interested in trekking the mountain gorillas from the eastern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park-Ruhija sector, Bunyonyi is the best place to be.
Where to Stay while at Lake Bunyonyi
There are several Safari Lodges around Lake Bunyonyi that include the Arcadia Cottages, the Bushara Island Lodge, the Bunyonyi Eco Resort, the Crater Bay Cottages and the Bunyonyi Overland among others.
In conclusion, Lake Bunyonyi is known for the Canoe trekking experience to enjoy the serene environment and explore some of the bird species that call Lake Bunyonyi home. Add this activity on your bucket list of activities in South-western Uganda.