Fairend Safaris

Lake Bunyonyi

A place of many little birds

Lake Bunyonyi is also known as a place of many little birds, it is located in South Western Uganda. The depth of the lake is varies between 44 m (144 Ft.) and 900 m (2,952 ft). It is one of the deepest Lakes in Africa. Lake Bunyonyi twists through a picturesque landscape dotted with 29 islands which are concentrated in the central part of the lake. There is little settlement in this area as most part is covered with tourist facilities.

How to get to Lake Bunyonyi

Travelers can get to Lake Bunyonyi by road, the nearest town is Kabale which lies about 4 miles away. Kabale is easy to reach from both Kampala and Kigali. Traveling from Kigali to Kabale takes a 2 hours drive while traveling from Kampala takes about 9 hours. One can as well use a chartered flight from Entebbe International Airport to Kisoro and drive to Lake Bunyonyi.

Activities to do


Canoeing is a bucket list activity as it is the only way of getting to the islands. The canoes are made out of wood and are moved using motor engines and some by using rowing sticks. The best time for canoeing is in the morning as the lake is covered with mist. Night canoeing is also possible so as to enjoy the night cool breeze and also enjoy the sounds of frogs and night crickets.

Visit the Islands

There are 29 islands including “the Punishment Island.” In the 20th century if unmarried girls got pregnant they were dropped off to starve. If they were lucky they would be picked up by a poor man who couldn’t afford a wife. Other Islands include Kyahugye, Bwana, Njuyeera, Bushara, Bucuranuka among others.

Boat cruising

Motorboat tours are also available that take you to discover the islands. Boat riding can be done full day or for few hours depending on the choice of client. This is an interesting activity where tourists get an opportunity to explore the lake on a boat.

They are accompanied by an experienced guide who is knowledgeable about the lake and the surrounding communities. During the boat trip, you get to enjoy the quietness and calmness of the lake, view the sunset and explore the islands. Different bird species and animals can be seen during the rides.


The name Bunyonyi means “place of many little birds” in the local language, more than 200 bird species inhabit here. Bird lovers can see many birds in this place as they fly about the whole area and can easily be viewed. With the many Islands, it makes it even more convenient for the birds to stay around.

Birds taking refuge on this lake have increased their number. Some of the birds to look out for include; the grey crowned crane, the white tailed blue monard, the herons, the African and Harrier Hawk.

Bike riding

Cycling is a great way to explore the villages and the shore of the lake in less time than walking would take. Bicycles can be rented at various places around the lake and in Kabale town. Traffic is light so cycling here is safe and fun.

Cultural encounters

There are great cultural and natural sights like the Bakora cave, the Batwa (pygmies), and the Abaheesi (traditional blacksmiths) communities that are accessible in close proximity.

There are other adventurous activities like Zip lining and hiking.

The best time to visit

The best time to visit Lake Bunyonyi is during the dry seasons, from June to August and from December to February. During these months there is no or little rainfall making it easy to enjoy the outdoor activities. However you can visit in other months since it is low season and accommodation facilities tend to give discounts since there are less travelers visiting.

Where to stay

There are a variety of accommodations facilities ranging from Hotels, campsites, resorts and lodges. Travelers can always choose the type of accommodation facility they will have an overnight stay depending on their budget. The list of facilities to select from is,

 Lake Bunyonyi Eco resort, Kansiime Backpackers, Lake Bunyonyi Overland resort, Birdnest lodge, Bunyonyi Safari resort, Paradise Eco hub, Arcadia cottage Lake Bunyonyi, Hawks eye lodge Bunyonyi, Lake Bunyonyi Rock resort, Bushara Island camp, Byoona Amagara Island retreat, OM Hostel Bunyonyi among others.