Things to do at Lake Bunyonyi : Lake bunyonyi attracts tourists, honeymooners and Ugandans who wish to get away from the busy town life and enjoy the cool weather and beautiful islands. The lake offers great panoramic views from all sides and is a great place to go for meditation and relaxation. The Lake is collection of water that filled a valley created by a volcanic explosion hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Apart from marveling at the beautiful scenery on arrival, there are a lot of interesting activities to do in Lake Bunyonyi.


 Lake Bunyonyi is a clean lake with clear waters that are free from pollution due to the absence of fishing sites on the lake shores. The lake waters are free from crocodiles, hippos and parasites that cause Bilharzia. Bilharza is a common disease in some of the water bodies in East and Southern Africa. The only disadvantage with swimming on the lake is the depth. Lake Bunyonyi is believed to be the second deepest lake in Africa. Those who are not good swimmers should take caution and instead use the hotel swimming pools.


Canoes are the only way of getting around the lake and its islands. The locals make the canoes by digging into large trees to create a depression using axes to create a depression. The canoes are moved using rowing sticks or motor engines. Canoes can be rented from individuals at the shores for a fee of 60,000 shillings. The ones with engines can go for 120,000 shillings.

Things to do at Lake Bunyonyi
Canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi

sing these locally made canoes offers a completely different experience and adds to the magic of the Lake. The best time for canoeing is early in the morning when the lake is covered with mist. This is a beautiful sight to behold for anyone with a love for nature and adventure. Night canoeing can also be arranged to experience the cool night breeze and sounds from night crickets, frogs and birds.

Island hopping

 Canoeing for 2 or more hours allows you to hop from one island to another while learning about their history. Visiting the “punishment island” where girls who lost got pregnant before marriage where left to die is a must. You can visit Bwama and learn about its history of hosting lepers. The lepers are no longer taken to the island as a permanent cure for leprosy was discovered. The leper hospital has been turned into a school for children.

Community and Cultural Visits

 One of the most popular activities is taking a walk to observe how the local people go about with their daily lives near the shores of the lake. It is great to mingle with the locals and try out tasks like digging the garden with local hoes or visiting one of the local schools to interact with the school children. The Bachiga love taking marwa and obushera – two potent drinks made from bananas and millet/sorghum. If you feel intimidated trying the local stuff, you can go for the factory made and bottled Uganda Waragi.

Visit the Batwa people

The Batwa People in this part of Uganda where removed away from the Echuya Forest and allocated land near the lake. Like their relatives in other areas like Bwindi, Mgahinga National park and Virunga National Park, the Batwa have failed to adjust to life outside the forest. They struggle to make ends meet considering that they are former hunters and gatherers. They earn a living is by entertaining tourists and demonstrating their cultural heritage through dance, songs and storytelling.

Nature Walks

 If one is not interested in the community walks, they can hike through established trails accompanied by a guide to explore and marvel at the terraced hills which give majestic views of the lake and towering landscapes. Visitors can also visit the ancient bamboo forest of Echuya or the other small ones surrounding the lake and spot small primates and zebra.

Mountain Biking

 One of the best ways of discovering the lake is by hiring a mountain bike and ride to the spot the beautiful landscape while passing by human settlements. Many of the hotels do not have bike rental services but your tour company can make the necessary arrangements and have a bike at your disposal.

Visit the local market

 The local market of Rutindo attracts residents of the island every Monday and Friday. On these two days, the market is filled with people. It is a perfect place to observe how locals go about with their daily life while also mingling with them and buying fresh fruits.

Bird watching

 Lake Bunyonyi is a birders paradise and one of the best places to go birding in Uganda. The name Bunyonyi suggests a place with birds. Over 205 species of birds can be spotted in the lake. The small islands in the lake act as sanctuaries and breeding grounds for many water birds. The species include both resident and those that migrate from Europe during the harsh winters. One of the best birding spots is the swamp of Nyombi. The best way to see the birds is by acquiring a boat, a binoculars and moving to the water with a birding guide. Some of the species include egrets, slender-billed baglafetch, weaverbirds, herons, grey crowned cranes and the levillant cuckoo among many others.

Things to do at Lake Bunyonyi

Eating Crayfish

Uganda’s infamous military dictator Idi Amin had his positive sides too. One of it was endorsing the introduction of the Louisiana Crayfish to Lake Bunyonyi. Cray fish have been so successful that they have become the dominant specie in the lake and surrounding water bodies. All the lodges and restaurants serve crayfish. If one is not interested in the Cray fish, they can order for the tasty local Tilapia fish.

How to get to Lake Bunyonyi

Lone travelers to Lake Bunyonyi need to first get to Kabale town. It takes 8 hours of driving by car to reach Kabale town from Kampala. It takes between 20 to 30 minutes at most to reach the lake from Kable town. To reach the Lake from Kabale town, one needs to hire a bodaboda (motorcycle) or taxi. Those coming from a safari in either Queen Elizabeth or Kibale National Park will need to travel for about 5 hours on road before reaching the lake. Lake Bunyonyi is closer to Kigali in Rwanda than Kampala (Uganda’s capital). It takes 3 hours of driving by car to reach the lake.

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