Lake Bunyonyi & Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Lake Bunyonyi and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park the two tourist attractions are located in the southwest part of Uganda between kisoro and Kabale close to the border of Rwanda. Lake Bunyonyi & Bwindi  are amazing places to be as explained in this article.

The word Bunyonyi is a local word meaning a place of many little birds, the lake is not only a place for birds, however a place of solace, rest, quietness, a perfect place for the beautiful scenery viewing, relaxing, chilling out, swimming, boat ride, nature walk, hiking, biking, village visits and many more to encounters.

The lake appears on the  5000 Ugandan shillings note under the title. Lake Bunyonyi is recorded as the second deepest crate Lake in Africa with a maximum depth of 40meters, however, guides and the local community believe it is deeper about 900meters.

There towns surrounding the lake including Kyevu and Muko while 29 islands which includes Muko and Kyevu, the 29 islands include Punishment Island and Bushara Island.

The other islands include Bwama and Nyuyeera Island, one of the islands a missionary established a leprosy treatment centre, medical facility, patient quarters were built on the Nyuyeera Island.

Leprosy colony was that of the Voluntary segregation, where the happy community would attract sufferers, they would stay in the area without moving to other areas.

Lake Bunyonyi & Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

 There is a punishment island called Akampene, where the Bakiga people used to leave unmarried pregnant girls on this small island to die of hunger or trying to swim to the mainland. This was in order to scare the rest of the girls not to do something similar, any man with no cows to pay for the bride price could go the island to pick up a girl, however, the practice got abandoned in the first half of the 20th century.

There a number of tourist activities to encounter at Lake Bunyonyi during your safari, including viewing the stunning Beautiful Lake in Uganda.

There are different tourist activities to encounter including Swimming-Lake, Canoeing/Boating, Nature walks and Hiking, Mountain Biking, Bird watching, Boat ride to Akampene or Punishment Island.

Bwindi Impenetrable National park is located in the southwest part of Uganda. The park is situated along the Democratic Republic of Congo border next to the Virunga National park, found at the edge of the Albertine Rift. Is composed of 321 square Kilometers of lowland forest and Montane, it can only be accessible only of foot. The two reserves were combined and enlarged and renamed the Impenetrable Central Crown forest. The new protected are covered over 300 square Kilometers and its recorded under the forest department. 

In the year 1964, the reserve was designated as an animal sanctuary in order to provide protection to the Mountain Gorillas and it was renamed the Impenetrable Central Forest Reserve.

In the year of 1966,the two other forest reserve became part of the main reserve, which increased the area to 330 square kilometers, the park was later on managed as a game sanctuary and forest reserve.

In 1991, the Impenetrable Central Forest Reserve, which is along with the Mgahinga Gorilla Reserve and Rwenzori Mountain Reserve, was designated as a national park and later renamed as Bwindi Impenetrable National park, covering an area of 330 square kilometers.

The National park was declared in order to protect species and especially the endangered Mountain Gorillas. The park was a habitant for the Batwa pygmies’ people, who by then evicted from Bwindi Impenetrable National park and were no longer permitted to enter the park or access.

Bwindi Impenetrable National park, Gorilla trekking is the main tourists’ activity in April 1993, it’s a tourist destination. In 1994

The park is recorded as a world heritage although it started as a reserve in 1932 where two blocks were designated as Crown forest Reserve, Kasatora Crown Forest Reserve. The park is most popular for over 400 Mountain Gorillas inhabiting the park ranges, endangered Mountain Gorillas, the Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National park are open for trekking in different sectors including Nkuringo, Buhoma, Ruhija, and Rushaga sector. The sectors have different Gorilla families over 14 Gorilla families which are open for tourism, all under the management of the Uganda Wildlife Authority which provides over 130 species of mammal, 400 bird species, 28 species of frogs, geckoes, reptiles, butterflies and many more.

There over 1500 flowering plant species, such as 170 species of tree species and 120 species of ferns, the tree species include brown mahogany, Brazzeia long pedicellate. A sanctuary for the primate species including Chimpanzees, Colobus Monkeys, and Black and white Monkeys, red tailed Monkeys.

Visit the Batwa community the first people who inhabited the Bwindi forest National park.

The Mountain Gorillas can be trekked from 30 minutes to 7 hours in the forest as you have chances of spotting the bird species, geckoes, reptiles, and tree species.

The park is where Mountain Gorilla habituation takes place in the Rushaga sector.

The easiest sector to trek the Mountain Gorillas is the Mubare Gorilla family, you can rotate around Buhoma headquarters. This family has a silverback who leads the family.

Gorilla trekking is the main tourist activity in the area, and one can trek the Mountain Gorillas as well from Lake Bunyonyi this allows the driver and tourist to have a stopover after the journey. 

Well, you can drive from Kampala to Bwindi, the next day after Gorilla trekking you can stopover at Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation after the long hike in the rain forest. However, if you want to visit Lake Bunyonyi after Gorilla trekking, the option will be to trek the Mountain Gorillas in the Rushaga sector.

There a number of tourist activities to encounter apart from Gorilla trekking including Lhotse’s Monkeys, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Galago, baboons, chimpanzees, potto, Blue Monkeys, De Brazza Monkeys and many more.

Birding: Encounter on a birding safari to spot a number of bird species including Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson-wing. Other birds include the Francolin, White-browed Crombec, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Green Tinkerbird, Mountain and Yellow-streaked Greenbuls, Mountain Masked and Chestnut –throated Apalises, Red-faced Woodland Warbler Ruwenzori Batis and White-tailed fly-catcher and many more.

Gorilla habituation Experience: Enjoy the encounter of the habituation experience, have time with the Mountain Gorillas for 4 hours in the field along with with other researchers, its an amazing encounter in the wilderness, training the Mountain Gorillas how to live close to human beings as they continue with their day to day activities. The habituation process takes place in the Rushaga Gorilla sector.

Lake Bunyonyi & Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Lake Bunyonyi & Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Culture encounter: Visit the Batwa people/Pygmies, the first people to inhabit the forest, Batwa were the first hunter-gatherers who lived in the forest southwest part of Uganda. They were evicted from their traditional homes, forests.

Hiking through Bwindi Impenetrable National parkHike through the forest from the south part of Bwindi to the Nkuringo sector, continue to Lake Mutanda. Enjoy different trail heads including Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo sector.

Village walk: Enjoy a 3-hour walk through the forest and learn more about different cultural experiences of people inhabiting the Buhoma areas at the edge of Bwindi Forest, the village walk is conducted by a local guide who is friendly and knowledgeable about the culture and Norms.

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