Uganda

Relaxing at Lake Bunyonyi

After a physically tough and emotionally draining day seeing the Gorillas at Bwindi National Park, we used the next 2 days at Lake Bunyonyi to chill and relax around the serene waters.

But first… we had to get there…

We left the guest house early and began the journey down into the valley of lake Bunyonyi. The views were a nice distraction from the road, at least for me. Pete was getting used to the roads at this point, but they were still insanely bumpy, noisy and requiring constant concentration to pick the right lines to make sure we didn’t damage the underside of the car.

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After about 2 hours we hit tarmac and the feeling was amazing. What an invention, these beautiful smooth roads with minimal bumps… suddenly we could hear the music again! Our enjoyment of a smooth road was ended abruptly when we turned back onto a murram road which followed the edge of the lake all the way to our home stay after only about 30 minutes!

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We knew it wasn’t far to the home stay, so we took this part of the journey nice and slow, taking in the scenery and serenity of the lake.

We arrived at Amasiko home stay just after lunch. If you’ve read our other adventures you’ll know that for us, diversity is key. We like to spend some days in built up areas, some in the middle of nowhere, maybe a night or so in a swanky hotel, try public transport if we can, and of course stay at a home stay. Amasiko was nice. It was a guest house linked to a local school for adults and children where they teach about agriculture and farming methods. As such, the guesthouse had its own substantial veg patch, and to our dismay, pigs… which had just had a litter of piglets which were adorable. Our little hut was built high above the lake on stilts and had access to a communal wood fire-heated shower and composting toilet, not that there was anyone to share it with… We loved it!

After exploring the guesthouse grounds and farm for a short while, we headed down to the lake, one of the only lakes in Uganda safe to swim in. Others have hippos or crocodiles, or even poisonous algae/bacteria in them. I still wasn’t 100% convinced, but we dipped our feet in and chilled out… until a hawk attacked a small bird in the air above our heads. The hawk bombed the bird several times and on the final attack, the small bird, perhaps on purpose, dove into the lake to escape. The hawk flew off, not wanting to risk getting so close to the water. The poor bird was slowly starting to sink… Ever the hero, Pete immediately stripped off and dove into the water to rescue the bird. He swam out to it and scooped it up into his hand. The bird tried to hop off several times, before finally allowing him to hold it and carefully bring it back to the shore.

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After this we did some bird watching with our new binoculars, there were some amazing birds, tiny bright red ones, yellow ones, crested cranes, cormorants. It was relaxing just sitting watching them all from our balcony.

We ate with the family that night, a stew made with vegetables from the garden. It was nice, if not a little weird, but only because of the father’s abrupt personality!

We left the following morning to head up to Queen Elizabeth National Park and we left Lake Bunyonyi in a different direction from the way we came in. The road was difficult and we almost got lost a few times, but we made it up out of the valley and stopped briefly to enjoy the spectacular view of the Lakes many islands.

Lake Bunyonyi was the perfect place to relax after our Mountain Gorilla Trek, and we enjoyed seeing how sustainable you could live with the compost toilet and wood-fired water. But we were now well-rested and ready for our next adventure!

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