Shortcuts to Articles: Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi /Uganda/
Lake Bunyonyi, located close to the town of Kabale, 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.
• Activities at Lake Bunyonyi
• Canoe Trekking
Twin Lakes (Rwanda & Uganda)
Shortcuts to Articles: Lake Burera
Rwanda’s Lake Burera is separated from its twin Lake Ruhondo only by a narrow band of land crated by lava that erupted from the Virungas. There is a primary school on the biggest of Burera’s six islands, happily welcoming visitors. The lie close to Musanze Town.
Shortcuts to Articles: Lake Kayumbu
Lake Kayumbu on the Ugandan side of the border also has a twin, Lake Chahafi. These lakes have swamps with many bird species recorded and sport fishing 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.
Shortcuts to Articles: Lake Mutanda
Lake Mutanda and Lake Murehe north 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 Kivu (Rwanda & Congo)
Shortcuts to Articles: Lake Kivu
In the very corner of the Gorilla Highlands region extensive sandy beaches and tropical vegetation hint at a sea — only lack of salt in the water may attest to Kivu being a lake. Up to 480m/1,575 ft deep, Lake Kivu is unusual for its methane concentrations that are used for power generation. A major beneficiary of this energy is Bralirwa, the only Rwandan brewery.
Lake Nabugabo (Uganda)
Located east of Masaka, Lake Nabugabo is a lovely sleepover on the long way to/from Kampala that delights with its laid-back atmosphere. Merely 4km (2.5mi) of sand separates Nabugabo from Lake Victoria that it was once part of, enough to make it bilharzia-free.