A dramatic landscape of crater lakes cupped under steep hillsides, the area south of Fort Portal offers travellers a scenic retreat ideal for long walks and road cycling. Much of the land is cultivated, but primates and plenty of birds occupy the lake shores. Emblazoned on Uganda’s USh20,000 note, picturesque Lake Nyinambuga makes a worthwhile photo op. Of all the crater lakes, Lake Nkuruba is considered the most beautiful, surrounded by forest with black-and-white and red colobus.
Most lodges and guesthouses organise walks through local villages and places beyond (with entrance fees), such as Top of the World viewpoint on the highest hill behind Lake Nyamirima. The common wisdom is that the lakes are bilharzia-free, but we wouldn’t risk it. Also be aware that a lone hippo inhabits Lake Nyabikere, so check with locals before plunging into the waters.