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How many islands before breakfast? My Gorilla Highlands adventure, part 1

Jul 12 • 5241 views • 5 Comments on How many islands before breakfast? My Gorilla Highlands adventure, part 1 Uganda

Can you beat this… ?

A gentle early morning paddle across the still waters of Lake Bunyonyi in a dugout canoe… followed by an absorbing guided walk around Bushara Island debating the different names for plants and their place in local folklore, admiring the nesting Great Cormorants above our heads … And simply taking in the clear morning air.

Next stop: hot tea and some (surprisingly good quality) craft shopping … before paddling back to Bunyonyi Safaris Resort on the mainland for a local style breakfast of fresh fruit, omelette and bread – and a preview of some engaging new videos about the Batwa “Pygmies” being made for the brilliant Gorilla Highlands video map

Canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi. Gorilla Highlands. Diary of a Muzungu

We could have stayed longer! (Or perhaps we will come back?)

I love the bright blue Ugandan sky theme of Edirisa, the creativity behind the Gorilla Highlands project. I love the attention to detail everywhere.

brightly painted stool. dugout canoe. Gorilla Highlands. Diary of a Muzungu

This brightly painted piece of wood is a one of the very comfortable stools we sat on in our dugout canoe

Chatting and paddling across Lake Bunyonyi, our host Miha Logar shared some of the history of the Kigezi, Kabale, Kisoro and Kanungu region. “Punishment Island” and the (long gone) leper colony of Bwama Island were some fascinating but dark moments in the area’s history.

canoe trekking Lake Bunyonyi

The #gorillahike crew doing a spot of pre-breakfast canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi, en route from Bushara Island, courtesy of Edirisa Canoe trekking and Gorilla Highlands

This photo doesn’t do justice to Johnson’s fabulous, welcoming grin. Here he was demonstrating how these soft leaves are the perfect organic solution to answering nature’s (long) call. We all giggled (but took note!)

Bushara Island. Gorilla Highlands. Edirisa canoe trekking. Diary of a Muzungu

The charming “Jolly” Johnson welcomed us to Bushara Island – I fell in love with this small wooded island right away….

The sun sets over Lake Bunyonyi and the Heart of Edirisa‘s clever swimming platform, a ‘swimming pool’ that makes use of the Lake’s own waters to safely shelter children learning how to swim.

Heart of Edirisa, Lake Bunyonyi, Gorilla Highlands. Diary of a Muzungu

A romantic ‘photographer meets blogger moment’ as the sun goes down at the Heart of Edirisa, Lake Bunyonyi 😉

Edirisa Lake Bunyonyi swimming pool. Gorilla Highlands

Isn’t this the coolest swimming pool ever? Miha, you rock!

Our taster canoe trekking foray took 2 to 3 hours in all, a popular ‘taster’ trip on Lake Bunyonyi. I learned to canoe in a one-person orange plastic canoe in a cold Scottish loch (lake) when I was a Venture Scout, but canoeing as a group in a wooden dugout canoe was far more fun.

I’m quite fit, but I know my upper body could do with one of Edirisa Canoe Trekking – ecotourism adventures in southwestern Uganda longer trips!

Gorilla Highlands. Trails Map 2015 web

Gorilla Highlands. Edirisa canoe trekking. trails map. The bright green lines on this map show itineraries for Kabale and Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Mutanda, Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Nkuringo, Mgahinga, Kisoro and Echuya Forest – and so much more in between …

Gorilla Highlands Trails is a system of guided trips throughout southwestern Uganda managed by Edirisa Canoe Trekking, Lake Bunyonyi, south western Uganda. Their itineraries combine canoeing with hiking in the hills and volcanoes around Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Mutanda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga and Echuya Forest. (You know I’m coming back Miha, don’t you? That’s the great thing about blogging, you get to relive your travel adventures over and over as the brain starts mulling over the next one!)

Gorilla Highlands Trails Map Lake Bunyonyi Uganda 2015 web

There are endless adventure options in southwestern Uganda

The ultimate Gorilla Highlands Trails offer is the 5-day Kabale-Buhoma trek, southwestern Uganda, Edirisa that connects Kabale, Kisoro and Buhoma with hiking ‘off the beaten track.’ Outside the towns, overnight stays are spent in spacious tents on family compounds, however, some travelers do go for accommodation upgrades. The shortest Gorilla Highlands Trail is the 2-hour Bushara Island canoeing trek.

To learn more about the Gorilla Highlands region, download the free Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide.

Gorilla Highlands gh_arrow2

To learn more about the Gorilla Highlands region, download the free Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide

Even better, download the Gorilla Highlands Interactive eBook travel guide to southwestern Uganda that offers practical information not available elsewhere. Its 391 pages of travel advice and tineraries, and articles on nature, culture and history combine world-class photography, graphic design, illustration and video. The audio phrasebook in two local languages is just one very useful feature of the award-winning Gorilla Highlands e-book

Gorilla Highlands e-book for the ipad

Beyond groovy …. the Gorilla Highlands e-book for the ipad is one of the most innovative bits of marketing I’ve ever come across. Am totally in awe of its content and perfect execution. A must buy for anyone planning a trip (or who just likes playing with their Ipad!)

Available on Apple’s iBookstore in over 50 countries, the e-book costs $14.99
An Android version is planned soon.

Purchases of the ebook support Gorilla Highlands – southwestern Uganda: “an initiative for economic and cultural transformation of southwestern Uganda through branding and promotion, multimedia products and cultural tourism.”

Plus, it’s dead cool. Check it out!

Ah, so many options. I want to do all the trips…. How will I decide which one to do next? Until next time Diary readers ….

For latest news and updates Like Gorilla Highlands on Facebook.

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Have you signed up for Diary of a Muzungu’s regular free newsletter yet? Next blog coming your way: My Gorilla Highlands adventure, part 2: Bwindi #gorillahike

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5 Responses to How many islands before breakfast? My Gorilla Highlands adventure, part 1

  1. Lizziema says:

    Sounds wonderful. Love the early morning dugout. We did a similar thing in Gambia, where birdlife is good but, nothing compared to Uganda’s birdlife. Birding, birdwatching, Shoebill The early morning peace on a lake is magical.

  2. Marcel says:

    I can only agree… I did a 3 day canoe trek with Edirisa in 2008, and I am sure I will come back some day. It was an amazing experience! And yes, Miha rocks 😉

  3. […] Jul 12 › How many islands before breakfast? My Gorilla Highlands adventure, part 1 » […]

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