Lake Mutanda

Lake Mutanda

Lake Mutanda is a small fresh water lake located in south western Uganda in Kisoro district a few miles from Kisoro town the headquarters of the district, Mutanda is a magnificent sight to see situated on the foothills of three Virunga mountain ranges that is mount muhabura, Mount gahinga and mount sabinyo. These volcanoes create an amazing scenic back drop view filled with white fluffy clouds which are seen floating around the peaks, from Kampala the capital city of Uganda Lake Mutanda lies in the southwest direction at a distance of 454 kilometers by road.

Lake Mutanda is a scenic haven dominated by many beautiful islands numbering to 15 in number which are covered by beautiful vegetation cover which is a home to small animals, only one of these islands is habited by the local community which practice various activities like crop and tree planting and the rest are habitants to wildlife. Lake Mutanda is drained by Rutshuru River which flows north wards to Lake Edward. mutanda is surrounded by dazzling scenic landscape which is composed of rolling hill which are covered by lush trees, shrubs and terraces of crops which make your visit to this lake very fascinating and exciting.

Lake mutanda occupied island out of the 15 islands is called mutanda island named after the lake its self, island mutanda is inhabited by a local community of Abagesera clan. The Abagesera calm occupies a piece of the island where it lives and carries the growing of crops like sugarcane, bananas, peas and many more, in the portion occupied by the community there is a church established on the top of the island which is a worshiping centre for the locals mostly from the mainland and access it through a canoe ride.

 Among the islands in Lake Mutanda, the notable islands include punishment islands which is historically important to the local bakiga community. This island where criminals such as criminals and social misfits like pregnant girls and elderly people with no one to care for in the community were taken and dumped as a punishment, also bodies of killed people were dumped on this island that is why the locals are afraid of this island as it is perceived as an haunted island by the souls of the dead. Another notable island is the python island which a home to a population of pythons though they are rarely seen.

 Mutanda and its islands are habitants to a variety of wildlife which are seen, the wildlife in the lake and islands include birds, fish and snakes. Bird species include pian-tailed whydah, great cormorant, pied kingfisher, malachite kingfisher and sunbirds. Mutanda is not inhabited by many bird species because of its high altitude location which facilitate the cold weather conditions at the lake which are very unfavorable to bird life.  Other wildlife living in mutanda and the islands include three fish types that is cat and mad fish, snakes like pythons, chameleon, monitor lizard, clawless otters and hippopotamuses.


Canoeing is one of the most spectacular activities offered on Mutanda, canoeing takes on a canoe ride on the calm waters of the lake. As you ride on the lake you get to enjoy the cool breeze of the lake and the beautiful scenic views around the lake and also you get to see many bird species such as Pin-tailed Whydah, Kites, Malachite Kingfisher, weaver birds, Great Cormorant, Ibis, the Grey-crowned cranes, pied kingfishers and many more.

lake mutanda

Visiting the islands

A safari to Lake mutanda  without visiting the islands is never complete, Mutanda is dotted with many beautiful islands such as Punishment Island, Python Island and many more. Visiting the islands is done through a boat on the waters of Lake Mutanda, you get to encounter many mysteries of the islands such as skeletal caves on Punishment Island and Python Island which is a home to python snakes.


 Mutanda is surrounded by numerous hills and to access the lake is only done by hiking, while hiking you get to enjoy beautiful breath-taking scenic views, hiking to and around  Mutanda is a 2

Days’ hike from Buhoma sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park to Nkuringo sector. It is on the second day that you ascend to Lake Mutanda and on this activity many trails are used to get to the beautiful lake.

lake mutanda

Mountain biking

Mountain biking around Mutanda is an adventurous activity though a bit challenging, this safari involves riding through the hilly terrain surrounding the lake. While biking you get to enjoy the scenic views of green vegetation covered hills, mountain biking requires you to be physically fit and the activity doubles as an entertaining one and also for exercising. As a tourist on this activity you can either come with your bikes to the lake or rent the bikes from Kisoro.

Sightseeing and photography

Lake Mutanda is a very picturesque lake with scenic sights making the lake mutanda best for sightseeing, the lake also offers a great opportunity for taking wonderful memorable pictures.

Batwa experience

Batwa experience showcases the cultural side of your safari to  Mutanda,  the lake  is surrounded by Kisoro hills which are covered by thick forests. These forests were habitat for the ancient gatherer-hunter Batwa pygmies, though the Batwa people were forcefully chased out of the forest they still live in two places near  Mutanda that is Buniga forest and Batwa forest walk in Mgahinga national park. A visit in these forests you will enjoy cultural dances and songs, interact with the elders, spot the Batwa practicing local hunting tactics, building style using local materials and many more.

Accommodation in Lake Mutanda

 While on a safari in Mutanda is got from two accommodation facilities that is Chameleon hill lodge and Lake Mutanda resort which are situated near the lake.

Visiting  Mutanda and its island is an amazing activity offering memories as has beautiful sceneries created by the numerous islands, vegetation and wildlife.

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