Travel Guide Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda

With a cup of fresh coffee, overlooking the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi, I slowly wake up. The first rays of sunlight rise above the hill and soon it becomes warm. The fog slowly rises above the water and the rice terraces turn bright green. In the distance, I see a small island. Welcome to Uganda, on the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi.

In this travel guide, I will tell you everything you need to know about Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda!


Relaxing at Lake Bunyonyi!

There are few lakes that I like as much as Lake Bunyonyi. Surrounded by endless hills and with tens of small green islands, this place has something magical! It looks like an alien destination and because of all the greenery, you don’t have the feeling of being here in Africa. It could also be Asia with its rice fields, but then the pine trees are not right. North America is also possible, but it is far too hot for that since you are just over 200 kilometres from the equator.

All in all this place is so special! We are here three days and two nights, the majority of which we fill with reading, kayaking and doing nothing. Lake Bunyonyi is our first stop after we have picked up the rental car in busy Kampala. In addition to the car, we have also rented camping gear, so we sleep in a tent and make our own food on a gas burner. After dinner, we drink red wine from metal camping cups and then crawl early into our tent.

After hardly being able to do any exercise for two months in Madagascar, I have regained the sporting rhythm for two weeks. After breakfast, before it gets too hot, I lay down a towel on the cool grass and then start a yoga class via YouTube. Ries is joining me and there we are, standing clumsy and all stiff in a downward-facing dog overlooking the cool water.

After three days it is, unfortunately, time to move on. Lake Bunyonyi is close to the border with Rwanda and so we leave for Kigali. But we will not soon forget Lake Bunyonyi!Lake Bunyonyi


What to do at Lake Bunyonyi?

1. Go kayaking:

Lake Bunyonyi is known for its clean water. There are no hippos here (life-threatening animals) like in a lot of other lakes in Uganda. The water is also clean and you can swim safely. Because of the many islands, this is the perfect place to explore the lake with a kayak.

We made a trip in a local kayak, a hollowed-out tree trunk with loose stools. Due to the unwieldiness and the instability of the loose stools, it was a real workout and balance exercise. It is also possible to make multi-day canoe and hike trips. The campsite where we slept offered this, among other things. For more information, take a look at their website.

2. View the lake and islands from a higher vantage point

A real must is to view Lake Bunyonyi from a higher point. There are hills all around the lake and if you go high enough you have a beautiful view of the water, the small islands and the endless hills. Hotel Arcadia Lodges is high and is, therefore, the perfect place to watch the sunset over the lake with a drink.Lake Bunyonyi

3. Visit the Supreme Adventure Park.

Near the village of Rutinda is a small island where you can go zip lining, canoeing and take a High Ropes Parcour. Feeling like a little less adventurous? Then you can also take a bird watching trip here or book a boat trip. For more information about the Supreme Adventure Park, click here. You can also spend the night here, look here for more information.

4. Do nothing at all: relax!

But the ultimate activity to do here is to rest and do nothing at all. Enjoy nature and the peace and quiet around you, read a book or drift away in a hammock. Lake Bunyonyi is the perfect place to leave the crowds behind and to just relax!Lake Bunyonyi


Where do you stay at Lake Bunyonyi?

From campsites and budget accommodations to luxury hotels, there is something for everyone in the area of Lake Bunyonyi. Below some places that we can recommend!

Edirisa €

This is the campsite where we stayed. Beautifully situated on the water, with free kayaks and good wifi. There are camping pitches, but also dorms and private rooms. Be prepared for an ecotoilet. From 4USD per person to camp.

Book now

Bushara Island Camp €€

bushara island camp

This nice hotel is located on an island, you can reach it by kayaking in 45 minutes or by taking a motorboat. You can camp here or stay in one of the cottages. From 16 USD per night for 2 people (in own tent).

Book now

Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort €€€

Want to look directly at the rice fields and the beautiful lake from your comfortable bed? Then stay a night at Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort. The food seems to be delicious here too! From € 117 per night for 2 people.

Book now


How do you get to Lake Bunyonyi?

Lake Bunyonyi is located in southwestern Uganda. The lake is 60 km2, contains 29 islands and is 900 meters deep, one of the deepest lakes in Africa. Most accommodations are located near Rutinda, in the northwest of the lake. This is about 10 kilometres away from the city of Kabale. You can reach Kabale in about eight hours from Kampala. If you don’t feel like bridging such a long distance in one go, you can consider breaking the route with a multi-day stop in the Mbare National Park. If you are coming from Rwanda, it is approximately 2.5 hours from the capital Kigali.

We visited Lake Bunyonyi with a rented car (a four-wheel drive, but with a normal car you could have reached it as well). You can also choose to take a Matatu from Kampala to Kabale and transfer on a Matatu to Rutinda.

Where are you going after Lake Bunyonyi?

We decided to cross the border to Rwanda and drive to the capital Kigali. However, you are just an hour’s drive away from the Bwindi Forest where you can do a Gorilla trek. If you travel the other way and head towards Kampala, a possible next stop is the Mburu National Park.


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