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Lakes,Rivers, Waterfalls


Lake Bunyonyi was formed 10,000 years ago when a river was dammed by lava. This “place of many little birds” is one of the safest lakes in Africa and has a great number of islands: 29. Some of their histories:

Akampene (Punishment Island): Until the 1940s, unmarried pregnant women were left here to starve to death or drown trying to swim to the shore; they were often saved by poor men or slaves who could not afford the regular bride price.

Bwama: In 1914 it was an anti-colonial rebel base of a famous leader, Katuregye. In 1921, Dr. Leonard Sharp, a missionary, founded a leprosy hospital here. After anti-leprosy drugs were introduced in the 1980s, it became a boarding secondary school.

Njuyeera (Sharp’s Island): Dr. Sharp’s family lived on this island when he was not on duty in Kabale Hospital and converted it into a gorgeous botanical garden with a tennis court, boat house, guest cottage and windmill.

Lake Mutanda and Lake Murehenorth of Kisoro Town are the last set of siblings. The former boasts six bigger islands and four of them have interesting stories:

  • Mutanda Island is the biggest and the only island with a settlement; about 80 people live on it. They are the descendants of three brothers, the founders of the Mutanda community.
  • Kyangushu Island used to be a burial site to avoid bringing bad luck to the mainland -– bones remain visible from the lake surface. The practice of stopped in the 1930s.
  • Buhingiro, the only forested Island, belonged to a county chief who used it as a base for hunting hippos. While they are now gone, in the middle of the 20th century hippos were still very much present in Lake Mutanda. When locals developed a taste for them, their fate was sealed…
  • Gahiza Island was the punishment island of Lake Mutanda.

Lake Kayumbu on the side of the border also has a twin, Lake Chahafi. These lakes have swamps with many bird species recorded and sportfishing opportunities. During WWI the Germans fought the Anglo-Belgian coalition at Lake Chahafi; trenches can still be seen. Lake Kayumbu has one island, Lake Chahafi none.

Lake Mulehe is situated in the southwestern part of Uganda in Kisoro district, the lake is a perfect weekend getaway from Kampala city or an ideal place to relax after volcanic climbing or gorilla trekking at the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Activities near Lake Mulehe

The most common activity done at Lake Mulehe is boat riding, tourists can take early morning boat rides, launch time boat rides or sunset rides. The boat rides provide stunning views of the volcanic ranges and the lakes flora and fauna with aquatic birds chattering in the air.

The most common activity done by the locals in the lake is fishing, for those who love this water sport, there are various species of fish to be caught for your dinner in the lake. Visitors can join the local fishermen in local fishing methods and will be advised to come with their own fishing gear.

Swimming and sunbathing are some of the recreational activities you can do at Lake Mulehe, the lake is safe to swim in as it’s bilharzia free.

Tourists can also take community walks to the local market or to the homesteads of the local people, the Bakiga people have a very unique culture you will learn a lot about their ways of lives and get entertained with local traditional African music, you can also buy handmade crafts for remembrance or take home to your loved ones.

Activities near Lake Mulehe

Lake Mulehe is located in the scenic gorilla islands, tourists visiting Lake Mulehe should endeavor to engage in gorilla trekking at Nkuringo or Rushagga sector of Bwindi national park or at Mgahinga national park. There are various gorilla groups available for trekking at only $600 or you can engage in a Gorilla habituation experience costing $1500.

Golden monkey trekking is an exciting activity that can be done at Mgahinga national park in Uganda harboring about 3000-4000 golden monkeys. The cost of trekking golden monkeys is cheaper than gorilla trekking and less strenuous as they live on the lower slopes than gorillas. Golden monkeys move in troops of up to 60 members, love flash cameras and known for their playful characters.

Lake Mulehe is located near the three volcanic ranges that are Mount Gahinga, Mount Sabinyo, and Mount Muhabura. These volcanic ranges offer thrilling mountain climbing experiences with spectacular views of the neighboring Congo and Rwanda. Tourists will also spot lots of wildlife, birds, plant species, butterflies and so much more.

Getting There

Lake Mulehe can be reached in 10-11 hours drive from Kampala by road or tourists can fly to Kisoro Airstrip from Kajjansi airfield or Entebbe International Airport. Lake Mulehe can be visited all year round but if you’re combining your visit with gorilla trekking then the best time is from June to September or December to February when the weather for gorilla trekking is favorable.

Tourists can stay at Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge (recommended – see photo above), Bwindi Jungle Lodge and many others around Kisoro Town


This pretty waterfall has a gory history: pregnant unmarried girls used to be thrown over the falls as a punishment (there was a similar story from Lake Bunyonyi). Oral history says that the practice stopped after one of the victims pulled her father and brother down the cliff.

An impressive monument and a visitor center have been erected. A suspension bridge takes travelers closer to the waterfall, and a 3-stage zip line ride entertains them. A couple of guesthouses are available.

The falls and the tourism proceed power astonishing work by a nearby rural hospital: an extensive health insurance scheme, a rehab unit for children with cerebral palsy, a school of nursing and more.

Muyanga waterfalls are found in the Buhoma sector, the Northern gorilla trekking region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Enthusiastic hikers can take a hike or walk to these magical waterfalls after striking their imaginations with the rare mountain gorillas. The hikes to Muyanga waterfalls take you through the lush rainforest and partially bush track with log bridges at river crossings. It is about 9 kms walk but incredibly, it rewards hikers or nature lovers on Uganda safari in Bwindi National Park. Hikers are escorted by professional park ranger guides and hikes start from the Buhoma area through the River Ivi Nkuringo trail. These waterfalls comprise of 3 levels and while here, you will be amazed by the picturesque view as they plummet 33 meters. Hiking to Muyanga waterfalls also rewards hikers with incredible sights at varied primates, birds and unique flora.


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