• Islands of Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda
  • Terrace views over Lake Mutanda to the Virunga volcanoes, Mutanda Lake Resort, Uganda
  • Zebras in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda

Culture & Kids on Safari

Immerse your family in the culture and stunning landscape of south western Uganda! Hike and paddle dugout canoes at Lake Bunyonyi, meet the local residents and members of the Batwa who will give you insight into their traditional culture and lives today. Take a guided tour around one of the highlands coffee farmsteads and experience the breathtaking Lake Mutanda with it’s volcano panorama. Finally stop off at Lake Mburo National Park for a nocturnal wildlife drive and walk on the wild side. The perfect trip to delve deeper into Uganda and offer the kids the chance to learn while doing.

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Itinerary - Culture & Kids on Safari [TACP030]

Day One

A Postcard Panorama

Drive from Kampala or Entebbe to Lake Bunyonyi.
Estimated journey time: 9 hrs. 

Ascend to a hilltop on the edge of Lake Bunyonyi, where you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic postcard panorama over one the Kigezi Highlands most idyllic lakes. On a clear day the views stretch for 20km over rolling hills to the conical peak of Mount Muhavura in the Virunga Volcano range in the distance. From your vantage point you can also spot many of the lakes’ 29 islands and islets dotted throughout the lake, all framed by the patchwork of terraced farmlands carved out of the steep hillsides. While below you can view dugout canoes skimming across the lake leaving a trail of ripples in their wake and the hum of village life echoing across the otherwise tranquil waters.
Estimated excursion time: 1 hr 30 mins

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Birdnest Resort @ Bunyonyi, room.

Day Two

Culture & Canoes

Explore Lake Bunyonyi and the surrounding hills by hiking and canoeing with a knowledgeable local guide. Begin your day by taking to the water in a local dugout canoe to reach the Kyabahinga Peninsula and visit the local nursery school, where you’ll be welcomed to a singing and dancing performance by the pupils. Then meet a local brewer taste the local beer if you choose, called Obushera that has been drunk here for generations. Before a 30 minute hike to the peninsula's hilltop for a session with a traditional healer, who will share their secrets of tropical highland flora. You will then make your way to Lanick's place, which offers some stunning views over most of Lake Bunyonyi, its 29 islands and the distant Muhavura volcano. Lanick will regale you with some of the colourful tales, legends and historical facts related to this area and communities dotted around the lake. Your final stop off will then be at Mrs Anna’s place who is  a craft maker who will show you the tricks of her trade. Before you return down the hillside to the lakeshore and make the canoe journey back across the waters of Lake Bunyonyi.
Estimated excursion time: 5 hrs

Spend some time relaxing at Birdsnest Resort Bunyonyi on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi. If you’re feeling energetic there are traditional dugout canoes available for you to paddle along the lakeshore or a motorboat available to you to venture deeper into the lake (for an additional cost*). Of course you can also swim in the lodge's eco pool, relax with a good book on the sun loungers, enjoy a refreshing cocktail from the bar or birdwatch with species such as the Pied Kingfisher to be spied hovering and diving into the water. However you choose to spend your time, you will truly unwind at one of the most idyllic lakes in the Kigezi Highlands.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Birdnest Resort @ Bunyonyi, room.

Day Three

Meet the Batwa

Meet the local Batwa of Lake Bunyonyi to learn about their lives today. This is a respectful trip focused on interacting with the local community and learning about Batwa history, rather than recreating their past lives of living in the bush. You will first make your way around the edge of Lake Bunyonyi to reach Muko Campsite to first learn about the history of the Batwa with a backdrop of stunning Lake Bunyonyi views. You will then move on to take a guided nature walk in Echuya rainforest with your Batwa guide. Here you will learn about the past and present lives of the Batwa in the rainforest, including hunting techniques, and edible plants used for their herbalist properties. Walk on to reach the picturesque Rwamahano Batwa settlement, where you will meet members of the local community. Here you can chat with the community who will also expect you to tell them about yourselves and why you came to Rwamahano. The excursion will come to a close with demonstrations of the use of bows and arrows as well as traditional dancing.
Estimated excursion time: 5 hrs

Explore the hustle and bustle of Kabale, the largest town in the Kigezi Highlands. This walking tour will guide you through the thronging market streets where you can explore the stalls of local fruits, clothes and crafts to the industrious garage streets which keep the town moving. You’ll take an informative trip to the Bakiga Museum, where you can learn about the history of the region and the ancient amphitheater where elders met to solve issues. Your final stop off is at the historical White Horse Inn,  which is perched on a hillside overlooking the town.
Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs 

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Birdnest Resort @ Bunyonyi, room.

Day Four

Coffee Processing

Drive from Lake Bunyonyi to Kisoro.
Estimated journey time: 3 hrs.

Meet with your professional coffee guide, who will share with you their expert coffee knowledge. You will be visiting a local coffee growers homestead, perched on a hill overlooking Kisoro town and Lake Mutanda, with the chance to get involved in the process and meet a local family. You will learn about the differences between Arabica and Robusta coffee, the former of which is grown here due to the suitable high altitude location. Witness the farmers harvesting the beans in the field, before observing the processing methods back at the farmhouse, where the beans are cleaned and graded based on their size. The lady of the house will also demonstrate for you her roasting techniques to produce light, medium and dark roasts. Before your guide will demonstrate how the different roastings, water temperature, and time affect the taste of your freshly brewed coffee. An informative and interactive experience for any coffee lover! Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs

Drive from Kisoro to Lake Mutanda.
Estimated journey time: 1 hr. 

As the sun begins to sink in the sky make your way down to the shores of Lake Mutanda and take a boat onto the tranquil waters to enjoy a sundowner of wine and cheese. The perfect way to relax as you watch the sunset light up the sky, behind a breathtaking volcano panorama stretching across the horizon. On request we can also arrange for a local musician to play local melodies on the enganga, a traditional guitar as you meander around the lake.
Estimated excursion time: 1 hr 30 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Mutanda Lake Resort, room.

Day Five

Island Boat Tour

Take to the idyllic waters of Lake Mutanda with your local guide in a motorised boat, or if you prefer in a dugout papyrus canoe. As you cross the lake you will be able to enjoy tranquil lake views with the Virunga Volcanoes conical peaks stretching across the skyline. On reaching Kyangushu Island you will step ashore to explore the island, which is also a local ancestral burial site. Then continue your journey across the lake to reach the far lakeshore, from where you’ll hike up the hillside. The going can be steep for a few minutes but there are walking sticks and people to help you along the way as you trek to reach the picturesque village of Mukozi. Here you will receive a warm welcome from the villagers and you will be shown around the nursery school, a mushroom growing project, visit a local craft maker who will show you the tricks of their trade, then meet a traditional healer who will teach you about traditional medicine. You will then return back down the hillside by foot, with fantastic views over the rural countryside laid out below you.
Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs

Spend some time relaxing at Lake Mutanda Resort which has a choice of activities to explore the lake surroundings or you can simply read a good book, bird watch and swim. Activities available around the lake include village walks, a visit to the nearby Lake Mulehe and nature walks in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (*all for an additional cost). However you spend your time here, you will enjoy the splendid beauty of Lake Mutanda with its volcano panorama of Mt. Muhavura, Mt. Gahinga and Mt. Sabyinyo, three extinct volcanoes running along the Ugandan - Rwandan border.

Meet your local guide with a motorboat on the shores of Lake Mutanda, to explore the lakeshore and small islands dotting the lake. Your local guide is very knowledgeable about the local area so will be able to give you an insight into the traditions and customs of the local communities. Your lake trip includes a visit to the local ancient burial place of Kyangushu and a visit to Mutanda Island, the biggest and the only inhabited island in Lake Mutanda. If you happen to be visiting the island on a Sunday you can dance with the 70 villagers in their church and on a clear day it offers views of Bunagana on the  D.R. Congo border, Lake Mulehe and the rainforest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A truly memorable trip on one of Uganda’s most idyllic highland lakes!
Estimated excursion time: 4 hrs

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Mutanda Lake Resort, room.

Day Six

A Night Safari

Drive from Lake Mutanda to Lake Mburo NP.
Estimated journey time: 6 hrs. 

As darkness falls across the savannah, set out to explore the network of tracks criss-crossing the landscape to observe the secret lives of the wildlife. You’ll be accompanied by an expert Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger, who will be scanning the savannah forest with their spotlights to search for a variety of species including the genet cat, bush pigs and hippos grazing amongst the acacia trees. This nocturnal game drive also provides an excellent opportunity to seek out some of the park's top predators including spotted hyena and one of the highest chances of seeking out the solitary leopards of anywhere in Uganda! After several hours scouring the park and hopefully some top wildlife sightings, you’ll be returned to your lodge for the remainder of the evening.
Estimated excursion time: 2hrs 30 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock, thatched cottage.

Day Seven

A Walk on the Wild Side

During the cooler hours of the day you will be driven into the heart of the park to meet a Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger. Your knowledgeable guide will be escorting you throughout walking safari in Lake Mburo National Park and be able to give you detailed information on the wildlife inhabiting the park. You’ll have the option of walking along the banks of Lake Mburo itself or out onto the savannah plains of the park. Walking safaris are an excellent way to view the park and get up-close-and-personal with the animals which includes warthogs, zebras and impala. If you’re lucky you will also be able to find the small group of giraffes which were reintroduced to the park in 2015. Tracking on foot and watching these graceful animals grazing on the acacia trees will give you a different perspective than game driving in your vehicle and is a truly special experience. Don’t worry, you’re perfectly safe with your Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger from the wilder animals in the park!
Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs

Drive from Lake Mburo NP to Mpambire.
Estimated journey time: 2 hrs.

Stop off at Mpambire, renowned for its history of crafting traditional drums. These local drum makers have passed down the techniques and skills from generation to generation to create Uganda’s most renowned drums. Wander around the village with your guide who will be happy to explain the drum construction, show some drumming techniques and of course you can give it a try yourself!
Estimated excursion time: 1 hr

Drive from Mpambire to Kampala or Entebbe.
Estimated journey time: 2 hrs. 

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Not included.