Distance from Bwindi to Lake Mutanda
Distance from Bwindi to Lake Mutanda: Lake Mutanda is a very small freshwater lake located in the southwestern part of Uganda near Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park. For those that don’t know Bwindi, it’s home to endangered mountain gorillas, 10 primate species, 120 mammal species, and over 350 bird species. Bwindi is popular because it has over 21 mountain gorilla families available for trekking and its gorilla trekking and habituation that are famous in this park.
Distance from Bwindi to Lake Mutanda
Distance from Bwindi to Lake Mutanda is just 19 km by road transport. Hiking through Bwindi to Lake Mutanda takes 5-7 hours depending on the trail you used. Travelers can use Kashasha river trail to get to Lake Mutanda and this takes 5 hours while others can use Ivy river trail which takes 6-7 hours. These trails are well constructed and it’s the armed ranger guides that do lead the travelers throughout the whole walk. A traveler to walk to Lake Mutanda would need long-sleeved clothes, a rain jacket, waterproof hiking shoes, a camera, packed lunch, and drinking water.
Activities to do in Bwindi from Lake Mutanda
Gorilla habituation: Travelers can encounter mountain gorillas for 4 hours in Bwindi from Lake Mutanda. This is only possible in Nkuringo and Rushaga where two mountain gorillas are going through habituation. Tourists are allowed to trek these mountain gorilla families and then be with them for 4 hours with opportunities of being part of the activities that make mountain gorillas get used to human presence around them.
Birding: A traveler staying at Lake Mutanda can choose to do birding in Bwindi or around Lake Mutanda. Bwindi has more bird species that are over 350 and these can be seen in regions close to Lake Mutanda. Gorilla trekking in the southern sector of Bwindi takes you through different trekking trails to the best birding spots with a help of an armed ranger guide.
Birds to look out for in Nkuringo and Rushaga sector include black-headed heron, little grebe, pine nut vulture, shikra, hammer kop, lizzard buzzard, pink-backed pelican, brown snake eagle, African hobby, scaly francolin, handsome francolin, common sandpiper, African wood owl, red chested cuckoo, black swift, grey crowned crane, black bee-eater, horus swift, and greater honeyguide among others.
Gorilla trekking: Travelers staying in lodges around Lake Mutanda can trek mountain gorillas in the southern part of Bwindi which is Rushaga and Nkuringo region. These regions are located so close to the lake and travelers can make it to the headquarters early in the morning because the lake is 19 km away. To take part of the gorilla trekking in Rushaga and Nkuringo, you must have a gorilla permit which is from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Gorilla trekking activity in these regions starts with the wardens briefing the trekkers about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity. The wardens do group trekkers not exceeding 8 people and this is done according to age and physical ability. The armed ranger guides do lead trekkers in the jungle and when the gorilla family is posted, 1 hour is given to be around these apes and this enables travelers take photos, learn about the habits and watch apes do daily activities.
Batwa visits: Batwa community visit is not done inside Bwindi impenetrable forest national park but around the park boundaries where these pygmies decided to settle after being evicted out of the forest by the government of Uganda. The Batwa can be found near Bwindi or even around this lake and a visit to their community is led by the local guides. These take you to their communities where you interact with the local people and get to know how they live their day to day life. At the end of the visit, you get entertained by the traditional dancers through dance and drama. there are also other things to do after gorilla trekking is high lighted below
Things that can be done around Lake Mutanda from Bwindi
Canoeing: Canoeing on Lake Mutanda is done using locally made canoes and watermen who are always locals in that community take you around the lake as you explore different things like islands, birds, and water animals. Boat rides at Lake Mutanda are only done in the morning hours and travelers are able to see different types of fish and birds such as kingfisher, grey crowned crane and hadada ibis among others. Travelers can also be part of the swimming activities on this lake because it doesn’t have any crocodiles.
Sport fishing : Sport fishing on Lake Mutanda is only done by travelers that are staying in lodges that are around the lake. Fishing is done on a catch and release method and by the end of the activity, those that participated are given fish to take and eat. Fish caught at Lake Mutanda include tilapia, catfish, and mad fish among others.
When to visit Bwindi and Lake Mutanda
These two places Bwindi and this lake can be visited at any time of the year however the dry season is the best time to visit the park and it happens from June to September and December to February. The dry season is characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails dry, the vegetation is short with good views of animals and birds while roads connecting to these areas are passable.
Travelers can still visit Bwindi and this lake in the rainy season of March to May and this favors budget travelers because they enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The rainy season happens from March to May and October to November and it’s the months are characterized by too much rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the mountain gorillas while the roads leading to the park are impassable.