Safaris & tours to Lake Mutanda Kisoro – Visit the Islands on Lake Mutanda
Safaris & tours to Lake Mutanda Kisoro – Lake Mutanda is a little known jewel, hidden in the mountainous landscape of southwestern Uganda, in Kisoro District. It is one of the most scenic lakes in Africa, located in a dramatic landscape of lush and verdant sprawling highlands.
Its fresh clear water is dotted by at least 15 islands, lush trees & shrubs, and the lake is ringed by beautiful scenery of sprawling highlands clad with green vegetation, plantations, and terraces of crops along the slopes. This amazing scenery is set against a stunning backdrop of cloudy peaks of the Virunga Mountain Volcanoes. The chain of volcanoes of the Virunga Mountain Range spans the boarders of Uganda, Rwanda & Congo, and Uganda shares 3 of its prominent 8 Volcanoes. The 3 are Mts. Muhabura, Gahinga & Sabinyo which make up Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. These are very visible, rising in the background over Lake Mutanda & the sprawling highlands, with white fluffy clouds floating across their peaks. In the morning, thick clouds of mist shroud the lush highlands, and create mystic scenery over Lake Mutanda and such an awe-inspiring view!
The 15 islands of Lake Mutanda are barely touched, with only one inhabited by a local community and few have been tiled to grow crops & tree plantations. A number of the other islands are virgin with only overgrown vegetation that’s rich with wildlife.
The biggest island, named after the lake, is Mutanda Island. This is inhabited by a local community of the “Abagesera” clan. These grow crops, such as peas, bananas, and sugar canes. A good portion of this island is covered by trees and shrubs. There is a church built on top of the island and local worshipers from the mainland canoe to this island to attend service at this church.
There are two islands that earned the name Punishment Islands for being the places where criminals & misfits of the society were taken and dumped as a punishment. Unmarried pregnant girls, the elderly with no one to care for them, criminals such as thieves, and unwanted people from the region would be tied & taken to the island and left to die there. Others would be killed and dumped at these islands. Caves with skeletal remains are found at the islands. These two islands are feared by the locals & actually no one walks on them because of the belief that they are haunted by the dead.
Another intriguing island is the Python Island, which is home to pythons. The pythons are however rarely seen.
Wildlife to find in Lake Mutanda and on the Islands
There are few bird found here, and this is because of the high elevation and cold weather that is unfavorable to many species. Some of the common birds include Pin-tailed Whydah, Great Cormorant, Pied & Malachite Kingfishers, & sunbirds. Otters and monitor lizards are common in the lake; meanwhile there are few fish species, about 6, including Cat, Mad, cray, Barbals species, Tilapia and haplochromines. Fish. Pythons inhabit some of the islands, and the Python Island is said to harbor many. Great Adventure Safaris can help you book safaris & tours to Lake Mutanda Kisoro in south western Uganda.