Distance: 62km (Cumulative: 16 950km)
Moving time: 4:06
Average speed: 15km/h
Road surface: 50% Gravel, 50% Tar
Bunyonyi Overland Camp - R130 p.p
Massive resort with beautiful lake view
Keeping to our new pattern we only left at 11:00 again. The first 28km was on a gravel road through the rest of the forest and took 83 minutes. The road got very dusty towards the end. We got to the Kisoro-Kibale road which is a perfect tar road. The 24 km to Kibale only took 30 minutes.
We arrived just before 13:00 and decided to have lunch at Cafe Barista. The Two Monkeys opted for the Chicken Biryani while Sekar ordered Roasted Goat meat and Daniel had a beef curry. The prices were quite reasonable and the portions big. The restaurant is also conveniently located between 4 fairly big ‘supermarkets’ where we could restock a bit. Caro also spotted a tailor shop who sold off-cuts of chitengi material, she bought a whole bag full for only R20.
After all the eating and shopping we finally left Kabale at 15:00 and took the gravel road to Lake Bunyonyi. We went to the massive Bunyonyi Overland Resort and checked in for $10 per person. Some reviews make it sound like there is a separate area for overlanders, but this is not necessarily the case. It is simply a massive area with 20 cottages, 16 tents, 20 rooms and various camping areas all mixed together. Some overlanders arriving by bus camped in front of the restaurant area which was luckily far away from the camping area that can be used for vehicles with roof top tents.
There are two seating areas close to the site where we camped and on the first night, the one area was used by an overland group who slept in the safari tents and cottages. On ‘our’ campsite area there were only two other tents with no vehicles.
We ended up staying for three nights. On the second day, we took a guided tour on the lake around the different islands. It only cost 70 000 UGX for the four of us with a private boat and guide. We only got off on one island and walked around it, but could have requested to go onto one of the other islands as well if we wanted to order something for lunch from one of the lodges.
On one of the islands belonging to a government official, we could see zebra and impala from the boat. We were also taken to punishment island, which is the smallest island in the lake. The locals used to send women who got pregnant before marriage to the island to starve to death. Poor men who couldn’t afford Labola would later impregnate a woman on purpose and then go ‘save’ her from the island, thus getting a wife for free.
Our final stop was on the mainland on the opposite side of the Overland Resort where we hike to the top of the hill for some amazing views over the lake and islands. On the way down we stopped at a shebeen for some soda and local beer. They also offered us a sip of Waragi, a strong gin like alcoholic drink made from the matoke green bananas.
As we approached the overland resort we saw that our worst nightmare was becoming a reality. Our vehicle and tent were surrounded by hundreds of children. We first went for a swim in the lake, but by the time we wanted to put on dry clothes the children were still surrounding our car.
We snuck to behind the vehicle to put things in the car and grab dry clothes, but children were peering around the corner to get a better look at us. The worst part was the teachers who were taking pictures of the children posing in front of D&S’s tent. Caro and D&S fled the scene to go and buy chapati, while Hugo stayed to do some work. Luckily the group started leaving soon after. Proof that the children were all over and through our stuff was that we found some exercise books that was left on the car wheel and in the bushes behind the vehicle. Some poor student will probably need to repeat their year because in the one exercise book was everything from maths, science, and history to English and accounting.
A South African couple from Oudtshoorn also arrived while we were on the boat. We had some nice conversations in Afrikaans and they invited us to visit them in South Africa when we eventually get there. They did the Gorilla trekking in Rwanda but booked before the price went up. They also suggested that we try going through Burundi when going back to Tanzania. We also got their airtel sim card for Rwanda, which would save us a lot of time and effort.
For dinner, we made chicken and vegetable wraps with the chapati. After we went to bed a 4×4 Mercedes-Benz sprinter converted to a massive motorhome arrived.
The next morning we met the German occupants. They gave Daniel some francs and empty beer bottles since the deposit on them is not negligible.
The rest of the day was rather windy so we didn’t swim again. We mostly just sorted out photos and did some work. In the afternoon we repacked the car to get rid of all the plastic in visible places. We also had to find new holes for all the cloth that Caro bought as well as the not so small Gorilla carving.