All guesthouses on the lake can arrange boat trips, either in motorboats or dugout canoes, which is still how most locals get about. This is one of the few places in Uganda where you can swim, with no crocodiles, hippos or bilharzia, so go ahead and jump in.


The best way to get intimate with Bunyonyi is by jumping in a canoe to paddle its peaceful waters. Excellent tours, which include some trekking, are offered by Kwanzi in Kabale, which range from five hours to its flagship three-day tours (; full day per person USh300,000). The longer tours offer a very up-close look at local life with village homestays and visits to the Batwa. Note prices are discounted for larger groups.

Otherwise it's easy enough to grab a dugout canoe on your own for a leisurely paddle; but practise before paddling off on an ambitious trip, as many travellers end up going round in circles, known locally as the muzungu corkscrew. Keep an eye out for otters, particularly along the shore during early morning and late afternoon.