Tourist Activities at Lake Bunyonyi
Tourist activities at Lake Bunyonyi: Lake Bunyonyi basically known as a “place of several little birds” obtained its name from existence of several little birds which known as “obunyonyi” in local language. Lake Bunyonyi is undoubtedly the second deepest fresh water lake in entire African continent though its exact depth is still unknown. Lake Bunyonyi is situated in the hills of Kabale district in Western part of Uganda the pearl of Africa famously known by tourist due to its thrilling nature of unique vegetation cover and different wildlife species plus several little birds that offers stunning view of the entire lake and the hills ahead since it’s situated in a hilly area. Lake Bunyonyi thrills with 29 islands each with its own history but the most visited island being the Punishment Island where the young girls that wound conceive before getting married were always looked as cursed hence taken and abandoned on the island until they die or sometimes the fishermen would rescue them and marry them off thus the name Punishment Island. Other islands on Lake Bunyonyi include Bushara Island, Kyahugye Island, Bwama Island, Njuyeera, and Bucuranuka among others.
Lake Bunyonyi has a good number of fascinating tourist activities where tourists on a Uganda safari can spend a day or more exploring on an excursion and these include;
Canoe ride: taking a canoe ride is one of the most adventurous activities done at Lake Bunyonyi where tourists sail on a dugout canoe to explore some of the islands or even all depending on the time one needs to spend on the ride. The best way to enjoy this canoe ride ids by used a local guide that knows about the nature of each island and the respective history. Canoe ride lasts between few hours to a full day experience and can even be done at night depending on the choice of the tourist. You may paddle yourself from one island to another or opt to be paddled as you enjoy the scenic view of different attraction around you and taking those eye catching photographs to keep your memories alive.
Birding: Since Lake Bunyonyi is known as the area of little birds with over 200 species of birds recorded, birding is probably another thrilling activity done at the lake and the best way to enjoy this activity is by either combining it with a canoe ride where you need to ride along with a birder where you will visit several islands while watching plenty of these little birds that reside along the islands and some migratory birds that visit the lake seasonally.
Swimming: Lake Bunyonyi is amongst the fresh water lakes, Bilharzia free and free from Crocodiles thus swimming in its fresh waters is such a fun filled experience. However, due to its long depth, only experienced swimmers are encouraged to swim for safety purposes. In fact most lodges along the shores of Lake Bunyonyi have well designated swimming pools where tourist can swim and relax overlooking lake Bunyonyi and the surrounding hills, terraces and thrilling fauna and flora species.
Nature walks & hiking: Spend at least a half day or full day on a nature walk along different trails both on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi and the nearby villages. This walk is more interesting when done alongside a local tour guide while exploring along the island areas where a history about each island can be told while watching little birds, along the shores of the lake filled with several species of fauna and flora with beautiful flowers and green vegetation whit hot forgetting a walk in the villages where the local bakiga and batwa are encountered in their farms since farming is the major activity done by the locals along lake Bunyonyi. This implies that the walking safari can easily be combined with the cultural visit where tourist get an opportunity to interact with the locals and even take part in some activities such as learning how to dig, how to prepare local food, and listen to interesting stories from old women who have resided near lake Bunyonyi for a longtime and close the day with thrilling entertainment from the bakiga and batwa.
Island exploration: one may opt to explore the island on foot, on a bike or on a canoe. Whichever way, try to explore the 29 islands with a local guide who will explain everything you need to hear about these beautiful islands with the most common island known as “Akampene” island basically known as “Punishment” island where several bakiga girls who would get pregnant before marriage were taken and abandoned in the middle of the island to starve and die from there. However, some lucky girls would be rescued by poor fishermen and other poor men who take them as their wives for free without anyone demanding for bride price. The name of each island has its own history, take your time to explore them and learn more about them. The islands are also good areas for bird watching thus birders can combine island exploration with birding to kill one bird with two stone.
Mountain biking: opting for Mountain biking is yet the easiest way to explore different areas along lake Bunyonyi. A guided mountain biking safari enables tourists reach deep into the villages while encountering with the local people and different wildlife species such as Mammals, birds, and enjoying the entire view of the surrounding terraced hills at a glance. Tourists may choose to ride for a few hours along the shores of the lake to explore the islands or opt for a fully day to fully explore different places on a bike though you can never get enough of this experience.
Leisure and Relaxation: Lake Bunyonyi is the best place for tourists who wish to spend some time at leisure. It offers good ground for book reading while feeling the cool breathe from the lake and overlooking the hills. It’s as well the best place to go for a honeymoon safari away from your home to feel the true definition of Love and also the best destination to have picnics.
Enjoy Crayfish: Do not forget to have a taste of the Crayfish dish which is the most common dish served at Lake Bunyonyi. Tourists who have a taste on this fish species tell the meaning of a delicious and aromatic meal. However, there are other dishes served in case one doesn’t eat the crayfish.
Several tourists combine Lake Bunyonyi with a visit to Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park for a gorilla safari while those interested in wildlife viewing safari in savanna parks normally combine Lake Bunyonyi with Queen Elizabeth national park or Lake Mburo national park. Lake Bunyonyi can be visited t any given period of time and is also easily combined with a Rwanda safari due to its close vicinity to Volcanoes national park in Rwanda.