The Bunyaruguru Crater Lakes are magnificent natural wonders found within western Uganda and are worth exploring during Uganda safaris.
These crater Lakes were formed from vulcanicity with violent eruptions causing the tops of the Volcanoes to blow off thus leaving the Craters that were eventually filled with rain water thus the Crater Lakes you will see during Uganda safaris. There are so far over 52 Crater Lakes and interestingly, most of them are Twin Lakes with the notable ones being Kyema and Kamweru as well as Mirambi and Katinda.
Another interesting one is Lake Nkuruba, which also features a verdant natural reserve as well as a community conservation project. These offer unforgettable camping opportunities with breathtaking views, but also invigorating activities such as nature walks to the neighboring Lakes, the explosion crater and Mahoma falls. This site is a haven to a number of primate species that include vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and blue monkeys.
Within Kyakasharu Town along Mbarara-Kasese highway is where you will find the basin-like Lake Mafuro. Mafuro is a local word meaning foam and shockingly, the Lake is said to have swallowed/eaten someone from Kasungu village and this has been proven by the fact that it has no shoreline thus it looks like a basin.
Another famous of the Bunyaruguru Crater Lakes is the Africa-shaped Lake Rutoto (former Nkugute) and is believed to be the deepest Lake in Africa and surprisingly, researchers still failed to reach its bottom to determine its exact depth. It is characterized by a pot-like mouth that becomes deeper into the center of the earth.
There are also twin Lakes-Nyungu and Rwizongo found northwards beyond Rugazi post office center at the curving shape corner of Kyambogo behind the bus stop of Kitooma kya Rumuli. The former means pot and just like its name, it is deep and dark with a small stream pouring in from Rugazi.
Opposite these twin Lakes are beautiful false lakes known as Nziranga and Kisanga, and are covered by papyrus reeds as well as floating plants locally referred as amarebe (water lilies) but below are the mud fish species.
The list of Bunyaruguru Crater Lakes is incomplete without mentioning the famous Lakes Edward and George of Queen Elizabeth National Park that are conjoined by the Kazinga Channel and are home to Hippos and crocodiles as well as aquatic bird species such as pelicans, kingfishers and African fish eagles among others.
Twin Lakes Nshenyi and Kibwera cannot go unmentioned. They are found east of Kyambura gorge and the former is a home to flamingos that migrate from Kenya’s Lake Nakuru. Interestingly, it is the shallowest of the Crater Lakes in Bunyaruguru. The latter is believed to home some of the most delicious tilapia thus the name Kyerungu.
When it comes to Crater Lakes that carry a lot of myths, Kamweru and Kyema are one of them and when you visit, you will discover so many shocking things that will take your breath away. The transparent Lake Kamunzuku is one of the Crater Lakes you cannot afford missing during Uganda safaris.
Activities within the Bunyaruguru Crater Lakes
Because the Bunyaruguru Crater Lakes are free from Bilharzia, they are ideal for swimming. However, other activities include bird watching (there are over 300 species of birds in the area) and fishing.
How to Access the Bunyaruguru Crater Lakes
These Lakes are found at approximately 350 kilometers west of Kampala and north of Bushenyi Town at the border of the famous Queen Elizabeth National Park.