Lake Nyinambuga: Uganda’s Hidden Gem
Uganda, renowned for its unparalleled beauty, unveils a little-known treasure in its far western region – Lake Nyinambuga. Situated within Bunyaruguru at an altitude of approximately 1389m, this scenic crater lake is a hidden jewel waiting to be discovered.
Lake Nyinambuga is featured prominently on the 20,000 Ugandan shilling note, symbolizing its significance. Nestled on the southern side of Fort Portal, the lake is celebrated for its incomparable scenic walking and road cycling tours.
The surrounding cultivated area is not just visually stunning but is also home to a significant number of primates and diverse birdlife. The history of Uganda’s crater lakes dates back 9000 years to volcanic eruptions that led to the formation of these unique features. Crater lakes like Nyinambuga resulted from violent volcanic activity, creating vast basins filled with water from the subsequent emission of lava, ash, and rocks.
These crater lakes, adorned with lush green surroundings, offer captivating natural landscapes, making them ideal for photography safaris. Lake Nyinambuga, in particular, invites visitors to engage in activities such as nature walking, sunbathing, hiking, and sky viewing.
For a comprehensive experience, a visit to Lake Nyinambuga can be combined with primate safaris in Kibale National Park in Kabarole district, Western Uganda. Kibale National Park, often referred to as the primate capital of the world, boasts an impressive 13 primate species, including 1500 chimpanzees, l’hoest monkeys, red colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, mangabeys, blue monkeys, pottos, and bush babies.
The park is also home to various other wildlife species, including forest elephants, bush pigs, leopards, duikers, reptiles, butterflies, amphibians, buffaloes, and more. Guided chimpanzee tracking, birding, chimpanzee habituation experiences, nature or forest walks, cultural tours, and Crater Lake walks are among the activities to indulge in during safaris in Kibale National Park.
Chimpanzee trekking permits in Kibale National Park can be obtained at USD 200 per person for foreign non-residents, USD 150 for foreign residents, and UGX 150,000 for Ugandans and East African citizens. Additionally, chimpanzee trekking is possible in other sites across Uganda, including Budongo Forest in the Northwestern part, Kalinzu, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Toro-Semliki National Reserve.
Birdwatching enthusiasts will find Kibale National Park to be a haven, as it hosts 375 bird species, including the green-breasted pitta, Abyssinian ground thrush, brown-chested alethe, blue-breasted kingfishers, black bee-eater, black-eared ground thrush, little greenbul, and more.
Lake Nyinambuga stands as a splendid example of Uganda’s crater lakes. Other Crater Lakes near Kibale include Ndali-Kasenda Crater Lakes, located in Fort Portal near Kibale National Park. A visit to these Crater Lakes offers not only stunning views but also a three-hour trek to the Top of the World. The area is also home to Craters such as Lake Nyabikere, Lake Lyantonde, and more.
Bunyaruguru Crater Lakes, situated in the western part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, comprise 20 Craters, with Nkugute Crater Lake being a key attraction in Rubirizi district, Bunyaruguru county. Other Craters in the region include Lake Nkuruba, Kamweru, Kyema, Nyungu, Mirambi, Rwizongo, Lake Mafuro, Katinda, and more.
For visitors seeking a comfortable stay during their Crater Lake safaris near Lake Nyinambuga, options include Ndali Lodge, Papaya Lake Lodge, and Rweteera Safari Park.
To reach Lake Nyinambuga, a 6-hour drive from Kampala via Mityana, Mubende-Kyenjojo through Matiri Forest Reserve-Fort Portal route is recommended. A 4×4 drive vehicle is the optimal choice for the journey to Lake Nyinambuga in Kabarole, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable road trip.