Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
February 6, 2012
From journal Gorillas in our Midst
Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
July 28, 2007
In the southeast of the country, a few miles away from the town of Kabale, this beautiful area is a real find. The easiest way to reach the lake is to hire a taxi in Kabale to cover the few miles. The lake is about 25km long and is scattered with 29 islands and it is said to be one of the deepest lakes in Africa. It is surrounded by mountains and the steep slopes add greatly to the dramatic scenery of the lake. The other great thing is that the lake is safe to swim in, as its bilharzi-free, which is a lovely refreshing delight to jump into the water after the heat of the day. The name Bunyonyi means 'the place of many little birds' and there is a wealth of birdlife around the lake that add a little more colour and a backing track of birdsong. Additionally, there are otters in the lake, which we got very close to while canoeing on the lake.
There are villages on many of the islands but Bwama is unique as it was formerly a leper colony that was started by a Scottish doctor named Sharp in the 1920s. To limit the spread of leprosy the island was isolated and the locals left the island, but those suffering from leprosy came from all over East Africa to receive treatment here. As drugs developed in the treatment of leprosy, the colony closed in the early 1990s. The island now has a secondary and primary school in old hospital buildings. Some of the islands can be visited on the lake, but we landed on Bushara Island, which is one of the small hotels/campsites that are based around the lake. There is also a market by the lake that runs twice a week. The main form of transport on the lake is dugout canoes, which you can hire with someone to paddle or you can try paddling yourself. We decided to have a go at paddling ourselves and it is more difficult than it appears and you'll probably end up in a 'muzungo screw' which is white man going in circles, and we went round in circles for quiet a while before we got the hang of it. However, we had a great day paddling on the lake in what can only be described as stunning scenery, with wooded islands and steep hillsides leading up to stunning mountain backdrop. Just don't do what I did, which was to get burnt while on the lake- make sure you cover up! If you don't fancy dugouts then there are some small motorboats that transport tourists out to some of the hotels.
Lake Bunyonyi is a great place to come and have peace and quiet for a few days and to simply relax in beautiful surroundings. Although the area is developing its tourist potential, it is still quiet. If you are looking for somewhere to rest this is it!
From journal Ugandan Adventures