AFRICAUGANDA

All About Lake Bunyonyi: My Misadventure In Uganda

My Trip To East Africa

During my solo travels, I had my fair share of misadventures. Some were brave, exciting, surreal or stupid. This is the account of one of those misadventures. I have to put a disclaimer here: Do Not Try This!

 

Entering Uganda
On the Way To Kabale
Kabale Town
My Ride To The Pier

 

I was the only person crossing the border due to some ongoing dispute between Rwanda and Uganda at that time. I was checked for fever (see Ebola) before immigration. Immigration was smoothly done and the Lady at the immigration smiled and said: “Welcome To Uganda”.  I used the Cyanika Border to enter Uganda from Rwanda. I took a Matatu (Sharing minibus) from Musanze to reach the border checkpoint. It was an hour ride. My first destination was Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda. I took a mototaxi to reach Kisoro Town and from Kisoro a sharing taxi to reach Kabale. In Kabale, I found a supermarket run by Indians and bought a couple of Indian ready-to-eat meals since I was going to stay on an Island for a couple of days. I contacted my host Josh who gave directions on how to reach his place from Kabale. I took a Mototaxi to reach the Kabale pier. The way to the pier was a roller coaster ride on the road.

At Pier: My Ride to Josh’s Place

 

Luggage loaded
Fishing: The main occupation for locals

Tourist Resorts
Hospital

It’s getting darker

One of the colonies

Finally, destination in sight

 

After Rwanda, I traveled to Uganda during my solo trip to East Africa last year. I met my host Josh’s brother-In-Law at the Pier. From there we traveled to Josh’s place via Boat. It was more than an hour-long ride but full of picturesque views. I saw many islands during my journey. Islands with hospital, resort, colonies, homes. Lake Bunyonyi is a freshwater lake. Maximum length is 5 km, Maximum Width is 7 km with Surface area of 46 sq km. You can find the national bird of Uganda here i.e. Crested Crane. The bird can be seen on the Flag of Uganda.

 

The Cabin in which I stayed
Small Pier
The Neighbouring Island
The Canoe!
Comfy Hammock I slept in
Good Morning


Kitchen and Other cabins

My last night on the island

 

I was graciously received by Josh. I cooked my Ready-to-eat Indian meal and we ate together. He loved it!  The view from my room was simply majestic. At night, I could clearly hear the music that’s being played on the opposite neighbouring Island. The moonlight looks truly magical in the night. I slept on the hammock outside my room under the twinkling stars instead of the bed. Next morning, I met Josh’s European girlfriend. She is a tactless and self-obsessed person. The thing I really like about solo traveling is I meet so many people during my journey. Some I like and some I don’t like. I can always choose to ignore the people I don’t like and move on. Josh, on the other hand, is a really helpful and thoughtful person. He gave me his Canoe and the (mis)adventure ensues. He taught me for a few minutes how to do canoeing. He made it look so easy. I decided to embark upon on my solo adventure with me and my canoe. I was enjoying canoeing and in no time reached kinda far from our island. So I was on the narrow and not-so-strong canoe in the middle of one of the deepest lakes in the world by myself. I was really engrossed in my little adventure and loving every minute of it. After some time, I decided to go back and as I expected the more I try to go towards the Island, the more I drift away from it. So I decided to not do anything and wait for Josh to be in my sight and ask for help. And I left my phone in the Cabin! While waiting, I literally slept on the boat for like 15-20 mins. When I wake up, I drifted even farther away from the Island but it was still visible from my position. I don’t know why but I still did not felt any fear, maybe because of the adrenaline rush or maybe because I knew once I see Josh, he will come and take me back to the Island. Maybe my hope was so strong that it did not let the fear to take over me. After a few minutes, I saw Josh and did all the actions which a person can do in my position to attract someone’s attention. At first, he was giving me Thumbs-up as in ” Cool buddy, Enjoy!” and I was “DUDE, Come and f..king TAKE ME BACK! Thankfully, He understood and suddenly his actions changed to “Oh I’m sorry man, Stay right there, I am coming to get you” and I was like “Well, I’m not touching the paddle as it is beyond my competence to take control of this thing”. He came down running to the shore and tried to start his engine boat but could not due to lack of oil. He again went back to his house while trying to make me comfortable with his actions. It starts to drizzle by then. I was like “Okay dude, take your time but PLEASE hurry up!” Shortly after, he came back with oil and tried to start the engine and hallelujah it worked! Seeing him coming towards my direction, he was like a God to me at that moment. I felt like God has come down on the earth to save his most precious child. The rain was getting stronger. Finally, he reached and I quickly come on to the Engine boat. I was thanking him profusely and he was apologising simultaneously but luckily, we were on the same page about going back to the Island! He was driving the boat and I was towing the canoe. And it starts pouring! We both looked like someone who is coming from some cool lake expedition but only that we were not. After reaching the Island, Josh offered me to teach Canoeing later today. I told him that’s enough for the day. I would like to be on land for “at least” the rest of the day. His girlfriend was littering ROFL while listening to the whole episode. Well, someone wise has said that Comedy is nothing but someone’s tragedy. I enjoyed the rest of the day chilling on the Island while listening to birds, looking at the picturesque views, cooking and just being in that moment. The place is so peaceful that you forgot all about your worries and feel full of contentment. At night, it rained heavily and I was thinking “Thank God, I am not in the middle of the Lake now!”

 

MY HOME SWEET HOME FOR FEW DAYS
Foggy Morning

 

Next day, I bid Josh goodbye and took a boat back to the mainland. During the journey, I told Josh’s brother-In-law about the whole canoe episode. He was like “WOW, You are crazy man, You don’t even know how to swim and canoe and still went by yourself in the second deepest lake in Africa”. Well, then it hit me, I did something really stupid. This was one of the misadventures from my solo travels.

If you would like to stay at Josh’s place. You can book his place via Airbnb.

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An Indian Traveler

Hello! My name is Saurabh. I'm a cinephile, an avid traveler with a song stuck in my head which I keep humming till ad nauseam :)

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30 Comments

  1. What a PLACE!!! So isolated. Such a different way of living that I am personally used to. I have been to Kenya and it was the same way. I did love my trip there though, and it will forever be a phenomenal memory that I hope to re-live in the future!

  2. These pictures looks amazing even though you weren’t that comfortable with this travels. I think that travels are learning experience sometimes we have to learn from our mistakes.

  3. oh wow, that is a real adventure!!! You know, i’ve never been to Afria before but I would love to go there, hopefully, after the Pandemic ends. I am so excited about it.

  4. I believe that a negative experience affects the pleasure of the trip, but equally the possibility of going back and talking about it positively. It has a great emotional and psychological impact.

  5. Wow, that is a serious misadventure! It was a good thing you did not panic and knew when to stop and wait for help. Josh seems like such a cool guy and it’s also really amazing to also make sure you were ok, by checking up on you. What a learning lesson. Don’t do these things by yourself.

  6. How lovely and down to earth! I long for the day I can be outside a city and in a beautiful, quiet area like this. It reminds me of my original home a little as well. 🙂

  7. This misadventure is really something else, the place looks so mesmerizing especially to a nature loving person.

  8. You are incredibly brave – the second deepest lake in Africa! I am glad everything was okay in the end. Travelling is such an adventure – like you I enjoy meeting locals and immersing myself in the culture. Looking forward to reading more about your adventures!

  9. You are so lucky. I would love to visit Uganda in east Africa! Yet, your review and pics make me feel like I’m already there.

  10. Firstly what an adventure indeed, every single photo seems to tell a story of an interesting place, person or location. You are so lucky and brave to have visited Uganda and Lake Bunyonyi

  11. Such a breathtaking view indeed! There’s no room for worry in such a peaceful spot. You’re blessed to have experienced this tranquility! 🙂

  12. What a beautiful and serene place Josh had. Canoeing is not hard, you just need to know how to coordinate the paddles. 🙂 And, of course, stay away from the currents.

  13. What a scary experience. I would be screaming my lungs out asking for help. I know how to swim, but my nervousness would probably get the best of me. Thankfully, your friend reached you in time!

  14. Wow – you are so bold and fearless. The pictures are lovely – but your misadventures made me nervous for you! You are a badass!

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