Lake Bunyonyi

Posted 20 June, 2007 by janette in Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda

Akampene - Punishment Island Lake Bunyonyi is a high altitude lake in the Great Lakes region of southern Africal. One of its 29 islands is called Akampene, which translates to “Punishment island.” It earned this name because the local tribe, the Bakiga, used to leave unmarried pregnant girls to die of hunger or while trying to swim to the mainland. This was to serve as an example to the rest, to show them to not get pregnant out of wedlock. It also served as a discount bride center – a man without cows to pay the bridewealth could go to the island and pick up the girl.

We camped at the Bunyoni Overland Resort, which had immaculate gardens and was just a few minutes’ drive from Idi Amin’s bombed out former holiday home.

We had a smooth boatride across the lake, where we met our truck for a very bumpy ride over washed-out, steep roads to Rwanda. We had a rather “Wages of Fear” moment when we met a petrol tanker on a steep, narrow part of the road, and had to squeeze right past it.

The children in this area are adorable. They all chant “How are you? How are you? I am fine. I am fine,” when you pass them on the road. One little boy was so excited to say hello to us that he threw himself to the ground in a fit of giggles.

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