Sunrise or Sunset Canoeing at Lake Mutanda

Visit Lake Mutanda’s Islands

Abundant Local Wildlife

Learn About the Communities

Explore the sights of Uganda’s hidden gem, Lake Mutanda, in a traditional dugout canoe. Paddle between the lake’s many islands, learning about its rich history, and spotting local wildlife on the way. Choose between a guided tour or hiring your own canoe and glide through the water, with the misty mountains as your backdrop, as the sun rises or sets.

Tour Highlights

Paddle the open water in a traditional dugout canoe

Visit some of the lake’s many islands, including Punishment Island with its gruesome history

Spot local wildlife such as otters and a variety of birds

Enjoy spectacular views of the Virunga Mountain range

Learn about the local communities and how the lake ties in with their traditions

The perfect way to spend a morning or evening when visiting Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

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Trip Details

Trip Details


Adults (10-70): $40

Departure Time

  • Sunrise at 9:00 am
  • Sunset at 4:00 pm

Meeting Point

Pickup from your hotel in Kisoro


Monday to Sunday, year-round


3 hours

Difficulty Level


Group size

1 to 10 persons


  • Activity fee
  • Transport to Lake Mutanda
  • Lifejacket
  • Canoe

Not Included

  • Meals
  • Tips

What to Bring

  • Raincoat
  • Comfortable walking shoes

Participation Requirements

  • Age restriction: Participants must be aged between 10 and 70 years old

About your Guide

1 English-speaking driver & canoe instructor

Good to Know

Life safety jackets will be provided during the canoeing experience

What You’ll Do

Explore Lake Mutanda, a little-known jewel of Uganda, and learn how the locals live. Choose between taking a tour with a local guide or going solo and hiring one of our traditional dugout canoes to explore the diverse range of islands. Catch the best moment of the day; choose between an early morning sunrise or an evening sunset canoe cruise.

Lake Mutanda is a fresh, clearwater lake, dotted by 15 islands (Punishment, Kyangushu, Mutanda, Kyotsa, Mayunge, Kamakoma, Mutike, and Kinyonyi among others). Out of the 15 islands, Mutanda Island (the largest) is the only one inhabited by the local community, the Abagesera Clan. The Abagesera Clan occupies an area of Mutanda Island and they grow various crops, including sugarcane, matoke, beans, maize, and passion fruits (amatunda).

The lake is full of interesting wildlife and during our paddle, we may spot clawless otters and endemic bird species. The amazing scenery of Lake Mutanda is set against a background of the cloudy peaks of the Virunga Mountain range that span the border of Uganda, Congo, and Rwanda. The stunning views of the mountains from the lake are second to none and especially magical when the light catches them at just the right angle as the sun rises and sets.

If time permits, visit the infamous ‘Punishment Island’, a foreboding place that acted as a prison for wrongdoers—girls who got pregnant before marriage were imprisoned there and the elderly were left there to die when they could not be buried. The bones of the deceased are still visible in this uninhabited place. The Bafumbira people of Kisoro and people of the nearby Rubanda district occasionally visit Punishment Island and hike up ‘Blessing Hill’ –Nyaruyaga for the blessings of their ancestors. Visiting Punishment Island requires an engine-powered canoe.

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