Lake Bunyonyi is a large and erratically shaped lake, reportedly 900m deep in parts. Also, lake Bunyonyi lies at an altitude of roughly 2,000m. Also known as the place of little birds.
Where it follows the contours of the hilly terrain that separates the towns of Kabale and Kisoro. It is a very scenic spot, dotted with small islands and ringed by steep terraced hills. It has been a popular day trip out of Kabale for years.
The Bunyonyi walk
The walkout of the lake is worthwhile in its own right, as it passes traditional homesteads and patches of forest rustling with birdlife. You can also ask to be shown a place near Kyabahinga where otters are regularly seen.
Over the last few years, a number of mid-range resorts have been constructed on and around Lake Bunyonyi. More perhaps than can realistically be sustained by the relatively low volume of visitors to the lake.
So don’t be too surprised if one or two of the places listed below have folded by the time you get there. The good thing for travellers, however, is that there are plenty of choices. The resorts are dotted far enough apart that you could spend an extended period of time exploring.
An exciting new development, assuming that it comes to fruition. Is the Bambo Walk currently being discussed by the owners of far out and the Lake Bunyonyi resort hotel and campsite?
This will be a three-day, two-night trail connecting the lake to Kisoro. The first day will entail a ferry ride from the Resort Hotel to the western shore of the lake. Followed by a hike climbing 300m to Kishanje.
The second day will involve a hike through the Muchoya Swamp to Behungi. And on the third day, hikers will head southwards to Kisoro or Mgahinga.
The trail will be led by a local guide with overnight stops at fixed rustic camps. Similarly, prices will be geared towards backpackers.
It is unlikely that this trail will be up and running before the end of 1998. But since the Resort Hotel is owned by the same people as the Backpackers’ Hostel in Kampala, you can check the situation there.
More on Lake Bunyonyi, Kabale, and Kisoro
The southwestern corner of Uganda, known as Kigezi, is one of the most beautiful and distinctive parts of the country. Characterized by fertile steep-sided hills covered from top to bottom in neatly terraced rows of cultivation.
The region’s largest urban centre is Kabale, which lies 430km from Kampala and 147km from Mbarara – an easy day’s ride from the capital via one of the best roads in the country.
Kabale is an appealing, friendly town, and the surrounding scenery is dominated by the sprawling island-strewn. The beautiful Lake Bunyonyi is more than enough reason to justify a visit to this corner of Uganda.
Although the general scenery and Lake Bunyonyi are in themselves enough justification for visiting this part of the country. Kabale and Kisoro are, for most visitors, little more than staging posts en route to one or other of Africa’s four ‘mountain gorilla reserves’.
Lake Bunyonyi extends well north of Kabale; the northernmost tip practically laps the Kisoro road about 42km past Kabale. There’s a small campsite on this part of the lakeshore within the Muko Forestry Reserve.
Muko lies roughly 12km northwest of Kyabahinga as the crow flies, and you can easily hire a boat between the two. Walking might also be an interesting possibility, particularly if you’re heading to Kisoro anyway.
Finally, there is the Muko Forestry Reserve Campsite, situated in a conifer plantation on the northern tip of Lake Bunyonyi. It is very attractively situated, and there are plenty of walking possibilities in the area, most obviously a 3km road which runs through the plantation east of the campsite.