Lake Mutanda is exceptionally one of the most spectacular Lakes in entire Africa that is worth visiting while on safari in Uganda. It is a magical, scenic haven that rewards the senses beyond expectations. It features emerald isles, the Virunga Mountain ranges overlooking its surrounding, gentle breezes, cool and yet also favorable climate, abundant activities.
If you are interested in the most rewarding experiences, then this is the right place for you to add in the bucket list. The Lake is situated in Kisoro town southwestern side of Uganda about 20 kilometers north of the Kisoro at the district’s headquarters.
It is accessible about 454 kilometers by road, southwest of Kampala city center. Lake Mutanda is undoubtedly a hidden secret of the mountain landscape of southwestern Uganda. It is situated within the most stunning highlands that are worth exploring while you are on safari in Uganda.
Lake Mutanda features about distinct 15 islands lush trees and shrubs and surrounded by the most remarkable sceneries of sprawling highlands that come along with green vegetation, plantations and terraces of crops on the hill slopes.
Its islands are untouched with only one that is inhabited by locals. However, most of the islands are still untapped offering authentic African experiences. The largest island derived its name from Lake-Mutanda Island.
This is occupied by a local community of the Abagesera clan. They cultivate it for crop growing especially the peas, bananas and sugar canes. A number of the islands are occupied by trees and shrubs.
It also features a church on its summit and local worshipers from the mainland canoe along the island to attend service at this church. You will also find the two islands that were named the punishment islands being areas where criminals and misfits of the society were taken and dumped as a punishment.
The unmarried pregnant girls, the old with no one to take care of, criminals like thieves and unwanted people from the area could be tied and taken to the island and left to die.
Others could be murdered and thrown at the islands. The caves with skeletal remains exist at this place. The two islands are respected by locals and no one walks on them due to the belief that they are haunted by the dead. The other island is the python island that features as the refuge for pythons.
Besides, the area is also a bird watchers paradise and the key bird species to spot include the great cormorant, pied and malachite kingfisher, sunbirds, pin-tailed whydah. There are also otters as well as fish species that makeup three including the cat and mad fish.
This features as one of the perfect adventures that reward travelers with amazing experiences along Lake Mutanda. A ride through the Lake’s calm waters offers visitors that amazing feeling of cold breeze and tranquility visit the islands and catch a glimpse of the stunning landscape and sceneries while sighting most of its exceptional wildlife species like bird and otters.
- Island safaris
Paying a visit to the python island is a great opportunity for you to catch a glimpse of its remarkable snakes. The best time to view them is on a hot day. The pythons usually feed on fish and other water species in Lake Mutanda.
You can also pay a visit to the punishment islands and explore the caves and above all, never miss to visit the Mutanda Island and its church on its summit which also comes with the most exceptional views of the Lake.
- Hiking adventures
This is another most remarkable adventure that is worth partaking while on safari in Uganda to Lake Mutanda. You will have the opportunity to explore in and around the Lake and even have access to incredible points that offer the most excellent views of the Lake and its surrounding Virunga Mountains.
Your hikes can also from Buhoma to Nkuringo and the second day you can hike back to Lake Mutanda and take a canoe tour along the Lake prior to finishing it.
- Mountain Biking
This is one of the most thrilling adventures that you shouldn’t miss out while on safari to this part of the country. This adventure takes visitors through the mountain landscape around Lake Mutanda and you will certainly have the most outstanding and unforgettable experiences. For travelers who are interested in the most challenging adventures, this is one of the best options for you if you are in Lake Mutanda. The bikes can be hired from Kisoro town and you will have a chance to achieve your dreams.
- Relaxation and chilling in the scenery around the lake
Visitors have a wide range of opportunities to enjoy the spectacular sceneries of the Lake whether at the Lake itself or at the Lodge like Mutanda Lake Resort or at the top of Chameleon Hill Lodge, a few areas like these can reward you with outstanding views of the Lake Mutanda sceneries. You may also engage in fishing adventures.
The Lake features few accommodation facilities for night stay and the notable ones include Lake Mutanda Resort and Chameleon Hill Lodge which are one of the best places to stay for gorilla trekking especially Nkuringo sector. However, even those going for gorilla trekking in Rushaga sector can still spend a night to any of these lodges because it is less than 30 minutes’ drive from the lodges to Rushaga briefing point.
In conclusion, Lake Mutanda is incomparably one of the most spectacular Lakes that you shouldn’t miss to include in your travel plan. There numerous things that will amaze you while on Uganda safari and you won’t regret in life.
It should be noted that the lake is surrounded by one of Uganda’s most treasured tourist destination; the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a habitat to almost half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas in the wild.
And being the safest gorilla safari destionation in the world, the park receives thousands of tourists every year with the main purpose of seeing the mountain gorillas in the wild! The same people visit Lake Mutanda for the other activities mentioned above such as biking, canoeing and mountain hiking among others.