Dora Bitsi

Dora Bitsi

Sep 24 2014

Lake Bunyoni in Uganda

Our knowledge about what’s going on in Uganda was not very broad before we got there! Maybe a lot has to do with its tough tyrant Idi Amin who almost destroyed its country back in the 80’s. However, our experience had nothing to do with this and we can definitely say that Uganda has some of the best landscapes we have seen in Africa!
Uganda is a lake country with 20% of its land covered with open water or swamp-land. Four of East Africa’s Great Lakes (Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga, Lake Albert, Lake Edward) lie within Uganda or on its borders. 
Lake Bunyoni is located at 1962 metres above sea level and is 25km long and 7km wide. It is rumoured to be the second deepest lake in Africa with waters free from bilharzia, hippos and crocodiles! Swimming is highly recommended therefore!

Crossing into Uganda from the South, it took us nearly 3 hours to arrive in the first lake on Ugandan soil, Lake Bunyoni. To be precise, we took 1 minibus, 1 shared taxi (a normal car with 9 passengers crammed inside) and 2 crazy boda-boda rides to get there through the town of Kabale. ~boda boda=local  motorcycle.

On our way there, as we were hanging on at the back of the motorcycle and praying for our lives, the first glimpse of the lake was mesmerizing!
Dozens of small islands scattered among its quiet waters and the clouds were adding to the effect!
Until we finally reached the ”Heart of Edirisa”, we knew we had fallen in love with the place!
We stayed in our tent and it didn’t even matter that the place had no running water or proper toilet nor that we showered with buckets.

                         

                         

We were content just to hear the sound of the birds each morning and to sit in the veranda watching the view of the lake from the hillside .We could see the surface of the lake changing with the slightest wind and hear the locals that were crossing often in dugout canoes singing unknown songs!

At night we would sit with Tom, the watchman, who would tell us folk stories of the area.
One night he told us about a little island, so small that only a tree was standing on it. This island was inhabited only by unmarried pregnant women who were brought there as a punishment for their actions. Their fate was terrible since most of them died either of hunger or from drowning when trying to escape. Their only hope to escape Punishment Island was if a single man agreed to rescue and marry them…
The next day we took the dugout canoe to go and see this island with our own eyes! As much able the locals were to manoevre it, ourselves we basically managed to go around in circles many times until we could steer it properly!

We passed a few islands and the landscape was very peaceful. Reeds were touching the edges of the lake while crowned cranes were flying above us. 

When we came closer to the Punishment island indeed there was a strange aura to it and we believed the sad story that Tom told us of it!
The days passed peacefully. The locals were friendly every time we visited the village for rolex, the local delicacy! Rolex is actually a chapatti bread rolled with omelette, tomatoes, cabbage and onions.

Of course they make it always by the side of the road on stands where the fire is kept through coals. Even though hygiene was questionable, nothing happened to us so we were going there every day!

The amount of food we had in Edirisa was huge, cheap and delicious (although a bit repetitive). We had always a sweet pinneaple cut fresh in each meal and most of the times also avocado!
Once again Africa showed us how the beauty of the nature can make us feel so happy in life!
And yet Uganda had more surprises for us in the next days…

Check out more photos from Uganda

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