Uganda, which has been touted as the «pearl of Africa,» includes Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where you can gorilla trek, Kibale National Park, where you can meet chimpanzees, Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is famous for its climbing lions, and Martinson Falls. , Full of Uganda’s unique attractions such as Lake Victoria, which boasts the largest area in Africa. Most tourists aim for these major spots, but with a short walk you can reach the hidden sight of Lake Bunyonyi.
Lake Bunyonyi is located near the Rwanda border in southwestern Uganda, about a three-hour drive from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is 1,962m above sea level, about 25km long and 7km wide, and although it has not been proven yet, the depth of the lake is said to be 44m. If that is true, it will be the second deepest lake in Africa. Lake Bunyonyi is a well-known place in Uganda, Europe and the United States, even though it is a hidden attraction. We often see travelers coming all the way to spend their vacations. However, it seems that there are still few Japanese tourists, so it is a little-known spot. So, here are some points you should know if you are visiting this area and some of the attractions of Lake Bunyonyi.
① Bird watching
Bunyoni means «a place for many small birds,» and as the name suggests, there are more than 200 species of birds inhabiting the area. A spot where you can observe many birds, including the Ugandan national bird Gray Crowned Crane and the red-chested sunbird. It is a treasure trove of wild birds that bird watchers will love.
② Village walking
If you’re visiting Lake Bunyonyi, the village walking tour is definitely recommended. Under the guidance of a local guide, you can experience the life of Ugandans while hiking around the island. With panoramic views of the lake on the hills, you can visit kindergartens and elementary schools to interact with energetic children, or visit the community to introduce the lives of the islanders. You can also visit a woman’s house that weaves beautiful baskets and learn traditional medicine from a healer. It is a real pleasure to experience Ugandan culture and life through walking around the village.
③ Look at the market
Markets are held several times a week near the pier, and market days are crowded with locals. Vegetables, fruits and sometimes livestock are displayed on each small boat, creating a vibrant landscape. «Give me cabbage and chickens!», The figure of a mother shopping by pointing at an old wooden canoe that sways from the land, the figure of an uncle who sells vegetables while balancing from ship to ship .. .. On land, long sugar cane and household goods are also sold. There is a hot human pattern there, and it’s fun just looking at their transactions.
④ Island of punishment
Among the 29 islands, there is a small small island called Punishment Island. Prior to the 1940s, in some parts of Uganda, there was a time when unmarried women’s pregnancy was taboo, which was once the place where pregnant unmarried women were exiled. When a daughter gets married, she receives property such as livestock and land from her wife, so the pregnancy of an unmarried woman is almost like «I can’t get married = I lose my property», and it was regarded as a shame for my family. Unfortunately, the pregnant girls were taken to the island and left behind to protect their families’ honor.In an environment with no drinking water or food, most of the girls brought in either starved to death, swam to escape and drowned, or died on their own. On the other hand, the man could not get married without the property to give to the bride’s parents, so he sometimes came to this island to rescue the woman and welcome him as a bride. A small, flat, small island with a sad tree standing on it. There is also a boat tour where you can stop by near the island and hear the story of the time.
Lake Bunyonyi may be a bit muddy, but it’s a great place for those who love adventure and want to get close to real African life. Relax in the tranquility and beautiful scenery, interact with the locals and learn about history. If time allows after a gorilla trek or safari, why not stop by? It is also possible to organize a tour, so please contact us for details.