Lake Mutanda is a small freshwater lake in Uganda located in Kisoro District in southwestern part of Uganda, approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the town of Kisoro, where the district headquarters are located. This location is approximately 454 kilometres (282 mi), by road, southwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The coordinates of Lake Mutanda are: 01 14 06S, 29 40 12E (Latitude:-1.2350; Longitude: 29.6700). It is nestled in the foothills of the Virunga Mountain Range, at an altitude of 1,800 metres (5,900 ft). The three volcanoes within the range, that are partly located in Uganda, namely: Mount Muhabura, Mount Sabinyo and Mount Gahinga, can be viewed from Lake Mutanda. There are several islands in the lake. The lake is drained by the Rutshuru River, which flows northward to Lake Edward.
The environment on the islands within the lake and the surrounding countryside includes lakeside forests and wetland habitats that provide a haven for the endangered mountain gorilla.
In addition to the mountain gorilla and golden monkey in the nearby Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the lakeside environment accommodates a variety of animal and plant species, unique to this area. Bird species include kingfisher birds, kites, ibis and Uganda’s national bird, the crested crane. Weaver bird nests are a common site among the reeds along the lake shore.
In addition to the abundant and varied avian species, the lake shore supports several species of snake, chameleon, monitor lizard and frog species. There is a varied and abundant supply of insect life as well. The mammals unique to Lake Mutanda include the African clawless otter. Hippopotamus was endemic to the area, but were last sighted at Lake Mutanda in 1994.
Traditional Dugout Canoes are primarily used on two Lakes in the area. Lake Mutanda or Lake Bunyonyi They are hewn from one logs that is hollowed out, they are safe and quite Lake-Worthy. They are used for fishing, transport of people, goods to the islands and to the mainland.
Lake Mutanda is a fabulous lake to explore with a canoe and visit some of the islands – go birding, you can swim here – simply enjoy the lake whether you are on top of it in a boat, or swimming in it.
Hiking around at Lake Mutanda
Lake Mutanda and the surrounding Highlands are a Hiker’s Paradise. Hiking around and to Lake Mutanda – one of the most fabulous hikes is a two-day hike from Buhoma to Nkuringo and then on the second day down to Lake Mutanda and a canoe trip across the lake before it ends. There are many other hikes and nature trails found here that are simply most enjoyable and you can easily stay here for a week and not explore it all.
Forest nature walking, Encounter with the Batwa People – the original people of the Forest
The Batwa People are the original inhabitants of the forest – the lived in the forest and left a small environmental footprint – they still lived in the area and you can go on an interactive forest walk with them in two places near to Lake Mutanda – the Buniga Forest and on the Batwa Forest Walk in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Being based at Lake Mutanda gives you access to the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where you can track the Mountain Gorillas which is a once in a lifetime experience.
The Bwindi areas of Rushaga and Nkuringo are an hour’s drive from lodges along Mutanda and often client to choose to combine a stay along scenic Lake Mutanda with Gorilla Trekking. It will often take more drive-time during th rainy seasons of the year.
The Rushaga has 5 Gorilla Families plus it is Home of the Gorilla habituation Experience which means 4-hours with a Gorilla Family.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and its close] by location is another reason why some of our Clients choose to stay at Lake Mutanda.
Lake Mutanda’s list of things to do and see is endless and the above activities are just a few to give you an idea of the possibilities while staying at Lake Mutanda in the Highlands of Southwest Uganda. We love to include Lake Mutanda in your itinerary – just let us know.