<p>By Chancela Gningui,</p> <p><strong>Lake Bunyonyi, located in southwestern Uganda, close to Kabale city, near the border with Rwanda, Lake Bunyonyi with its winding shores, is 25 km long and 7 km wide and has at least 29 islands.</strong></p> <p>Beginning of last century during pre-independence, unmarried pregnant girls in Uganda were seen as a disgrace to the family and, more importantly, as a source of lost wealth since a virgin girl was traded for cattle to be married. To wash away the ‘dis-honour’, these young women were then sent to one of the islands in Lake Bunyonyi to die.</p> <p>But today, Lake Bunyonyi, where this ancient tradition was carried on, has become the perfect refuge, a place of natural beauty and serenity, and mostly an escape from the bustling urban centres.</p> <p>The scenic terraced hills slopes falling into the lake, water sports activities and the proximity to the “gorilla” national parks makes Lake Bunyonyi a popular tourist destination as this tourist explains.</p> <p>In the past, tourism was rather seasonal, but the islanders are trying to change this. According to this Dutch tourist, tourism on the lake has changed considerably over the last decade.</p> <p>Numerous guest-houses, campsites and eco-lodges have cropped up along the lake shores. The number of accommodation facilities, attractions in the park and around the lake have indeed increased.</p> <p>Uganda Tourism Board records show there are at least 25 accommodation establishments today, compared to three ten years ago.</p> <p>The Bunyonyi Overland resort is one example. It started as a campsite more than 20 years ago and can now accommodate nearly 100 people.</p> <p>Tourism is on the rise in Uganda, thanks in part to the four government campaigns launched in 2016 and 2017</p>
Lake Bunyonyi is a popular tourist destination as this tourist explains.