Located in the Kigezi highlands, Lake Bunyonyi is a darling attraction that used by many Africa safari trekkers who have make a Uganda safari voyage to southern Uganda most probably before or after their gorilla tours experience. On arrival to Bunyonyi during your Uganda gorilla tour, you will be amazed by the splendid beauty and serenity of this lake.  If you’re in love with birds, a Uganda tour detour to Lake Bunyonyi will blow your mind because of the diversity of birds here and with a count of over 200 birds, it doesn’t come as a surprise why the locals actually named this lake, Lake Bunyonyi which means the “lake of birds” when loosely translated.

Location of Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi beautifully tucked away in the highland ranges of Kigezi, Lake Bunyonyi meanders through the rugged terrain lowlands of these hills and when you stand at the shores of these lake, you will be amazed by the stunning beauty of this lake that’s doted with 26 islands that are roaming over the waters of this lake with 46sqkm and maximum.

Some of the bird species that have Lake Bunyonyi Uganda a famous birding destination include

White-tailed blue Monard– This is a 12-15cm bird species that has a strikingly black and white monarch. The entire head and underparts are glossy bluish-black. This bird makes a sound call with 4 clear descending but drawn out and high pitched whistles.

Africa harrier hawk– This is a medium-sized raptor that has a white underbelly while the upperparts, head and the breast area being pale grey, this hawk has broad wings that are pale grey with a black trailing edge fringed with a narrow white line. The tail is black with a single broad white band. The African harrier hawk makes a loud far-reaching wah- wah- wah sound.

african harrier hawk

Grey-crowned crane-This is one of the most elegant birds you will ever encounter while you are on your east African adventure. This bird falls under the crane family of the Gruidae. This is a relatively tall bird standing at a height of 1m or 3.3ft, a wingspan of 2m or 6.5ft and an average bodyweight of 3.5kg or 7.7ib. This bird can easily be identified given its distinctive color patterns that include black, yellow and red and grey. These cranes have white cheeks, blackhead top, a red gular sac, it has a crown made of grey stiff feathers, this crane has a grey plumage with white wing coverts, black flight feathers, it has long legs that are black and a slender, perfect for balance rather than defence. The legs are used for wading through tall grasses.  These cranes have a very interesting courtship ritual display which they perform through dancing, bowing, jumping by the courting pairs. After this display, these birds will stay together for life. This bird is quite elegant, friendly and peaceful and that’s why they feature as one of the national symbols of the Republic of Uganda appearing on its coat of arms and the national flag whose colour patterns of black yellow and red were inspired by the colours of this crane. This bird is also a totem symbol for Rwanda’s royal clan. The grey crown cranes are strongly embedded in the cultures of the Kigezi highlands natives both in Uganda and Rwanda because these people view these birds as the epitome symbol of loyalty, everlasting love and devotion, virtues that humans can easily relate to. For these reasons and many more, the dwellers of these highlands have incorporated these birds in their cultures for example these people believe that these cranes can bring rains hence rainmakers in this part of the world will imitate the sounds and dances of the cranes as way of praying for the rains to come soon. People who are looking for better marriage relationships will eat the grey crown eggs and stew of crane feathers. It has been reported that eggs are crushed and mixed with other herbs to make love portions to improve marriages. The grey crown cranes are the best natural timekeepers in this part of the world as they wake up as early as 3 am or 0300hrs and make a honking sound call by inflating its gular sac after every hour that passes hence kids in this area will only need to hear the calls of these birds to wake up and prepare for school, trust me!! These kids are never late for school because of their best and always on timekeeper.

grey crown cranes 2

 Slender-billed baglafetch- This bird can be distinctively identified by its unique black mask that begins from the bill through the eyes to the ear coverts hence making a sharp contrast with the bright yellow coloured forehead, forecrown and throat. Its upperparts are dark green with yellowish-green with dark centres. This bird has a body length of 15cm. This weaver makes chatterings that are mixed with musical notes, including high-pitched glissando and swizzling sounds.

Levillant cuckoo- This cuckoo is 37.5 cm (15 in) long, hence giving it a longer tail than pied cuckoo. This bird  has a more heavily streaked throat. It has two colour morphs, with the light morph being black above, faintly glossed bluish or greenish. The throat streaking may extend on to the sides. The primaries and rectrix tips are white. The dark morph is black except for the white primary patch and white spots on the outer tail feathers of which they are absent in dark pied cuckoo. The juvenile Levaillant’s cuckoo is brown above, rufous on the wing-coverts and rectrix tips, with a buff forehead, face and underparts, and the throat more streaked.

levillant cuckoo lake bunyonyi

Grey herons – The grey heron has a body height of 100cm and length of 84-102cm or 33-40in. The wingspan of a grey heron is between 155-195cm or 33-40in and this bird can weigh between 1.02-2.08kg or 2.2-4.6Ib. It has its upperparts in ash grey and the underparts are white grey with a bit of black colour on the sides. The grey heron has a white head and neck with a broad black supercilium. Adult grey herons have a slender dangling crest. These birds also have a strong, long and straight beak which is pinkish-yellow and its iris is yellow as well. The grey heron makes a voice call with a frank sound.

Cardinal woodpecker– The cardinal woodpecker is a pale olive-coloured back with paler dots and bands. Its underparts are white with black streaks while its ramp is tawny. Its throat is majorly white and its separated from the face by a conspicuous black malar stripe. The male cardinal woodpecker has a red hind crown and black nape while the female has a black hind crown. This bird a shrill voice call chittering “kweek-eek-eek-ik-ik” by both sexes.

Given its location, Lake Bunyonyi Uganda can easily be incorporated in a wide range of Uganda trip types which include Uganda wildlife safaris to destinations like Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park Uganda especially those that are on the western tourism circuit of Uganda.  Many Africa safari travellers get an opportunity to visit Lake Bunyonyi especially on their Uganda wildlife tours or Uganda gorilla trips to either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda and if you would like to follow in the footsteps of many of have been to this paradise on earth, feel free to check out our website which ultimately gives you a preview of some of our safaris in Uganda packages that have been designed to lead you on an adventure to Lake Bunyonyi Uganda and many other Uganda safari tour attractions around the this dear motherland and beyond the country borders to Rwanda, Kenya, Congo and Tanzania and many other Africa safari destinations. Our Uganda gorilla safaris packages that have been feature here are designed to give you an encounter with the magical gorillas as the major attraction while Uganda wildlife safari packages cater for those that are interested in epic Uganda savanna wildlife as well as our fascinating and quite interesting culture birds and gorillas if you need them to be included.

Hilltop Village overlooking Lake Ruhondo Central Highlands Rwanda Africa
Hilltop Village overlooking Lake Ruhondo Central Highlands Rwanda Africa

Regardless of your intended length of stay in Uganda for a Uganda wildlife tour or Uganda gorilla tour experience, we’ve got you covered with our wide range of packages which include short Uganda wildlife safaris, these run from as low 2 days Uganda safari to Lake Mburo or 2 days Uganda wildlife tour to Queen Elizabeth. our  Long Uganda wildlife safaris, start from  7 days to and run to as long as 18 days even more depending on your choice of number of days you intend to spend while traversing this pristine Pearl of Africa.

For those on a Uganda gorilla trekking safari adventure, we have short Uganda gorilla tours these run from a 3 days Uganda gorilla safari to Bwindi or a 4 days Bwindi gorilla safari and wildlife to Queen Elizabeth to long gorilla trekking Uganda tours that go to start from 6 days to 18 days for example 6 Days Uganda gorilla safari with chimpanzees. You can also try out our other signature Africa tours that run through other Africa destinations such as Rwanda, Congo, Kenya and Tanzania and these include Rwanda gorilla safaris and these feature short Rwanda gorilla safaris as well as Long Rwanda gorilla safaris. Kenya wildlife safaris also feature both short Kenya wildlife safaris and Long Kenya wildlife safaris. Tanzania wildlife safaris and Congo gorilla and wildlife safaris have also been featured on this website.

Here are some of the best Uganda safari packages


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The Lake Bunyonyi- The Uganda Birding Destination You Never Knew
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