Lake Mutanda

Thanks to my co-author Andrew Roberts for this detailed update:

For years, Lake Bunyonyi has been the place to head to for waterside R&R in SW Uganda but recent developments are shunting Lake Mutanda (near Kisoro, 30km and 2-3 hours drive) into the limelight too. Though the scenic qualities of the latter have never been in doubt, its potential for tourism was complicated by poor access and a lack of quality accommodation. These excuses are no longer valid. The bone rattling drive between Kabale and Kisoro has been replaced by a smooth cruise on tarmac while two excellent lodges can be found beside the lake. It is no coincidence that both are located on the northern shore. Firstly, this is the best place to appreciate the fabulous backdrop provided by the Virunga volcanoes beyond the island-studded waters. Secondly (if a dry season short cut is motorable) Mutanda’s northern end of is less than an hour’s drive from Bwindi’s gorilla tracking trailheads at Nkuringo and Rushaga.

Mutanda Lake Resort (already listed under this name in the current guide) Previously the underperforming Nkuringo Safari Lodge, this delightfully positioned set up is enjoying a new lease of life with new owners, the Dutch-owned Matoke Tours, who have transformed the chalets, public areas and menus to create an excellent and affordable budget lodge. Located on a peninsula right beside the water, MSL enjoys a great view of the volcanoes and is ideal for swimming and boating in the bilharzia-free water. Rack rates US$155/220 sgl/dbl FB. Discounted resident rates available.

Chameleon Hill Set on a lofty ridge above the lake, this brand new facility is the smartest option for miles around. The elevated setting affords the lodge and ten s/c cottages a grandstand view of all six volcanoes – though at the cost of a stiff descent down to the lake for a boat trip. You’ll travel a long way to find a comparable view and perhaps even further for a similarly bold architectural statement. Rather than try to squeeze ‘colourful, smooth, modern, inspired, funky and zany’ into a single sentence, I’m going to leave you to check out the images on the website. Rack rates US$350/500. Seasonal and last minute deals and resident rates are also available.




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