Kabale is the kind of place most people get through as fast as possible. It is mostly of interest to travelers as a transport hub and gateway to both Lake Bunyonyi and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, though given its proximity to both, most travelers try to avoid overnighting here and carry straight on to Bunyonyi and Bwindi’s far more obvious charms.
Kabale town and surroundings form one pure destination to explore and admire the rather amazing attractions that are synonymous with this region. Outside and inside, Kabale is a place where you can spot different attractions ranging from the hospitable people to chilly weather and the romantic terraced hills.
Kabale is a place to stay and explore from rather than offering tourist attractions in its own right. (When you stay be prepared for some chilly nights and frequent (heavy) rainfalls given its height.) One of the most popular attractions is undoubtedly Lake Bunyonyi, a lake created millions of years ago when lava blocked the River Kabaga creating twenty-nine island some of which are settled. It is also home to the infamous Punishment Island where unmarried pregnant girls were marooned and left to die. Gorilla trekking is also available although expensive.
The gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is described as “the experience of a lifetime”, though as harsh on the pockets as the trek through the forest in the search for the gorillas is on legs! Home to 340 mountain gorillas (half the world’s population of this endangered species), the park itself is 128 sq miles of jungle forests situated on the Albertine Rift along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Although accessible all year round (so not exactly “impenetrable”!) tourists are recommended to avoid the rainy seasons as conditions there can become very difficult. There are many different organizations that run gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and it’s easy to search for them online, one of which is below.
Expect to pay around $700 per person and that includes a rather expensive permit (they are actually cheaper to buy in Uganda rather than in neighboring Rwanda.
After the gorilla trek relax at Lake Bunyonyi
Well, known for being the second deepest lake in Africa, Lake Bunyonyi is found in southwestern Uganda between the districts of Kabale and Rubanda. It is located only 8km outside of Kabale town amidst the smoky Kigezi highlands. Activities such as canoeing, bird watching, cultural encounters, a visit to the traditional healer Sam Mulisa, swimming, and hiking are among the many activities done while at Lake Bunyonyi.