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Activities on Lake Mutanda

Lake Mutanda is located in Kisoro District in southwestern Uganda, approximately 20 kilometers north of the town of Kisoro. This location is approximately 454 kilometers (282 mi), by road, southwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city.

The coordinates of Lake Mutanda are: 01 14 06S, 29 40 12E Latitude:-1.2350; Longitude: 29.6700

It is nestled in the foothills of the Virunga Mountain Range, at an altitude of 1,800 metres (5,900 ft). The three volcanoes within the range that is partly located in Uganda, namely: Mount Muhabura, Mount Sabinyo and Mount Gahinga, can be viewed from Lake Mutanda.

There are several islands in the lake. The lake is drained by the Rutshuru River, which flows northward to Lake Edward.

Its fresh clear water is dotted by at least 15 islands lush trees & shrubs, and the lake is ringed by beautiful scenery of sprawling highlands clad with green vegetation, plantations, and terraces of crops along the slopes.

This amazing scenery is set against a stunning backdrop of cloudy peaks of the Virunga Mountain Volcanoes.

The biggest island, named after the lake, is Mutanda Island. This is inhibited by a local community of the “Abagesera” clan. These grow crops, such as peas, bananas, and sugar canes.

A good portion of this island is covered by trees and shrubs. There is a church built on top of the island and local worshipers from the mainland canoe to this island to attend service at this church.

There are two islands that earned the name Punishment Islands for being the places where criminals & misfits of the society were taken and dumped as a punishment. Unmarried pregnant girls, the elderly with no one to care for them, criminals such as thieves, and unwanted people from the region would be tied & taken to the island and left to die there.

Others would be killed and dumped at these islands. Caves with skeletal remains are found at the islands. These two islands are feared by the locals & actually no one walks on them because of the belief that they are haunted by the dead.

Flora and fauna on Mutanda Island

The environment on the islands within the lake and the surrounding countryside includes lakeside forests and wetland habitats that provide a haven for the endangered mountain gorilla.

In addition to the mountain gorilla and golden monkey in the nearby Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the lakeside environment accommodates a variety of animal and plant species, unique to this area. Bird species in the area includes kingfisher birds, kites, ibis and Uganda’s national bird, the crested crane. Weaver bird nests are a common site among the reeds along the lake shore.

In addition to the abundant and varied avian species, the lake shore supports several species of snake, chameleon, monitor lizard and frog species.

There is a varied and abundant supply of insect life as well.

The mammals unique to Lake Mutanda include the African clawless otter.

Tourist activities done at Lake Mutanda


This is among the unique and best tour experiences on Lake Mutanda. To ride on the calm waters feeling the cold breeze and tranquility, go around the islands & enjoy beautiful views of the landscape and the amazing scenery while observing some wildlife such as birds. It’s surely amazing!

Island nature walks

You can have tours like:

Visit the Python Island for a chance to view these enormous snakes. A good time to catch them is on a hot day. The pythons normally eat fish & other water creatures in Lake Mutanda.

Also, visit the punishment islands and checkout the caves with skeletal remains of the punished. Trek on Mutanda Island and visit the local community and church, and you can take some donations for the locals. The island also offers vantage point for beautiful views over the lake.

Bird watching

Explore with a canoe and visit some of the islands – go birding to spot some unique species .simply enjoy the lake whether you are on top of it in a boat with an experienced boat or canoe guide.


You can always fish at Lake Mutanda especially if you are staying right on the lake as at Mutanda Lake Resort and if the fish do not strike, there the is scenery around you.


Hike to and around the lake and access great vantage points for wonderful views of Mutanda and the volcanoes.

Mountain Biking

With good mountain bikes, biking the mountain landscape around Lake Mutanda is quite exhilarating.

The bikes are available at the nearby accommodation facilities near the islands.


Chameleon Hill Lodge

It is set in one of the most magnificent locations in Uganda, in terms of the beautiful scenery, dramatic landscapes, & a variety of activities.

Found in Kisoro District, southwestern Uganda, the lodge is built on a ridge overlooking Lake Mutanda, thus commanding outstanding views of the lake, and in the distance, a stunning backdrop of cloudy peaks of the Virunga Mountain Volcanoes.

The lodge has a unique style of multiple colors; each building painted a different color of the rainbow, which makes it so colorful and stand out beautifully. Its towering iconic castles can be seen from far off, and it is especially fascinating when you catch a glimpse of them from far away en-route to the lodge.

Mutanda lake resort

Perched on a Lake Mutanda peninsula in the shadow of the Virunga Mountains,
the resort offers comfortable accommodation combined with the most beautiful views on planet earth. It is a perfect base for gorilla trackers, lake loungers, volcano hikers, bird lovers as well as those looking for a mystical place in nature.

In a superb location, plunked directly on the lake, this relaxed Dutch-owned resort has luxury tents raised on wooden platforms with lovely porches and polished wooden floorboards.

Its within striking distance of gorillas at Nkuringo, Ruhija and Mgahinga.

Mutanda Lake Resort enjoys a stupendous southerly outlook! You could cross continents without finding a panorama to compare with the view across these peaceful, island-studded waters towards the Virunga Mountains.

The resort is spaciously set up and stretches into Lake Mutanda. Our cottages each come with private veranda and en-suite bathroom.

We offer single, double/twin and family/tri

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Customer Reviews

Ngoni Safaris Uganda

Customer Reviews

Michael T 06/June/2021

Above & Beyond
Review of: 3-Day Gorillas trekking and Batwa Experience
Sedrick went above and beyond to accomodate our request for an itinerary alteration due to our compressed time in Uganda. He also compeltely took care of scheduling our covid 19 testing and drove us to the site on arrival.

Our driver/guide Ben was also outstanding!

**We highly recommend using a porter during gorilla trekking as their are some complex parts to the trail/terrain. This also benefits the local people by providing them work.**

David 24/June/2021

Seeing Lots of Animals and Uganda
The schedule suited my time in Uganda exactly and was a great opportunity to view some of the top wildlife and natural wonders of the country. Lodgings range from mid-range to near upscale and are in beautiful locations. Food is good and ample. My driver, Stanley, was expert at spotting wildlife and, very importantly on the Ugandan roads, a careful and skilled driver. You see various parts of the country on this tour, and due to distances, be aware you'll spend quite a few hours on the road. One thing they might add is an itinerary going into more detail ahead of time on each day's activity and suggested things to bring. I was concerned about the needed COVID test for return home, but they took care of arranging that, and it turned out successfully. Overall the tour was a real highlight and is highly recommended.

Justo Nov 18, 2019

I went on an 11 day safari visiting Kampala, Jinja, Lake Mburo NP, Bwindi NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Kibale NP. Communications with Ngoni were prompt and easy from the start. As soon as I made my booking, Sedrick contacted me through WhatsApp and guided me through the rest of the process. Leading up to the tour he made sure I was well-prepared to begin. He was always very clear and friendly. Service was exceptional. I had the pleasure of going on this safari with three members of Ngoni's staff - Sedrick, Nelson and Joel. These guys made my comfort their priority from the moment we met. Whether it was checking if I was okay with the accommodations or making sure I always had a bottle of water, I always felt like I was being well taken care of. Nelson is an excellent guide. His knowledge about the flora and fauna of Uganda was extensive, always able to answer any questions I had and was eager to teach - it's obvious that he has a great love for his country and it's environment and is eager to share this love with his clients. My experience with Ngoni and Uganda surpassed all expectations I had. Absolutely amazing, and thanks to the guys at Ngoni it feels like a new home - can't wait to come back and visit. Webale, brothers!

Stephany Aug 13, 2019
Sedrick was unique and stood out from the rest in the high quality communication he provided since the first inquiry. He called me to provide information about the itinerary and see if I had any questions even before booking the tour. We communicated through WhatsApp for any other questions that came to mind after that call. After picking me up from the airport, he and Pilot (additional tour guide) provided plenty of information about the country to give me some context and we started our long drive to the impenetrable forest. The food was delicious with many options; the accommodation was very clean with exceptional service; and the transportation from Entebbe to Bwindi park was very comfortable (although long). As a solo female traveler, both tour guides (Sedrick and Pilot) did an exceptional job at enduring I accomplished everything intended to in Uganda, and always made me feel safe. I highly recommend to book your safari with this company because the quality and professionalism will not let you down.

Shakira Dec 14, 2018

Ngoni safaris uganda is the best tour operator in Uganda. A few weeks back we traveled to Bwindi impenetrable with sedrick to explore the beauty that is Uganda. This company took care of us . with most comfortable car , Great guide .We highly recommend it to the next travelers

Winnie Dec 19, 2018
I was going on a gorilla safari with my friend and this was going to be the first ever safari for the both of us. Luckily, the communication with the office was super easy and we got answers to all of the questions we needed. The driver / guide (Sedrick) was very professional and funny and made our time very pleasant. Also, he had a proper knowledge of the local area close to the Mgahinga national park and he promptly spoke some 7 languages which we thought was super positive. The safari was surely the highlight of out East African trip!

Ritah Jan 2, 2019
My Team and I did a five day trip, including Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls and Kidepo. It was truly an incredible experience. Our guide, Sedrick, was knowledgeable, skilled in driving in some challenging settings and just plain fun to hang out with for five days. The lodging was perfect, especially Savannah Lodge. The tents and beds were high quality. The views were spectacular. Meals were delicious and varied. I recommend Ngoni safaris Uganda with all my heart and soul!

Pilot May 28, 2019
Our six days trip was amazing. The driver/guide had an incredible knowledge of animal and bird-life and are so interesting to talk to. His driving skills through lashing rain and massive puddles was admirable! The cooks managed to produce varied and delicious meals from the kitchen, which we ate both at accommodation or roadside when we were travelling from one place to another . At all times we felt safe and well-looked after. All in all, an incredible experience, due not only to the abundance of wildlife we were lucky enough to see, but also to the great efforts put to have our Safari a better one . The safari was full of fun. Traveling with ngoni safaris is my life time memorable experience and I highly recommend it to travellers who would love to visit uganda or EastAfrica for holidays, vacations or Adventure.. Even five stars are too small .