Kabale Town: The Largest Town in Southwest Uganda
Kabale Town, in southwestern Uganda, is the region’s largest town. The town is located in Kabale district, which also shares borders with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kabale is located in the Kigezi sub-region, about 260 miles from Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and about 49 miles from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.
Kabale is the tourism center for travelers going to tourist destinations found in the Kigezi region. Travelers going mainly for gorilla trekking at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can base themselves in Kabale.
In terms of geographical altitude, the most elevated district lies within the ranges of the western arm of the Great Rift Valley. Its altitude is raised between 1,219m and 2,347m above sea level, and it experiences one of the coldest nights and mornings, which vary from 15 °C to 27 °C during hot seasons. The evening, night, and morning hours of the areas are covered with mist all over, and when driving during such times, it’s advisable not to drive at a higher speed.
The district of Kabale accommodates a population of about 500,000 people, and ethnically, it’s a district of commonly known Bakiga people. However, there are several other people living in the town, including Bafumbira and smaller groups of Batwa, and the main local language used is Lukiga.
The region is known to experience more rainfall than any other part of the country; this has maintained the moist soil, which favors the growing of potatoes and bananas, which are the main trading items in Kabale. However, due to state-protected national parks within the areas, various landforms that have provided a lot of amazing features have ensured tourism progress in Kable, which has greatly improved the economic standards of Kabale town.
Kabale has experienced rampant infrastructural and service facility progress. These include banking facilities, restaurants and accommodation facilities, and a well-planned road network. There is an improved information center with a museum and the availability of public and private means of transport to wander through the rolling hills of Kabale.
Things to do in Kabale
This amazing district is characterized by great and thrilling features, including tropical volcanic forests, several lakes, and hospitable people, among many other things. So, when visiting Kabale, one can undertake these adventures and visit some of the amazing places in the region.
The main tourist activity within Kabale is visiting the famous gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The gorilla adventure proved to highlight the rest of the African adventures. Bwindi has a reputation for offering the most amazing gorilla adventure, and many travelers opting for the adventure can have a night in Kabale town and do gorilla trekking in Buhoma. Bwindi Impenetrable, the capital of mountain gorillas, with the highest population and highest number of habituated gorilla families, has made Kabale a befriending town.
Visiting Lake Bunyonyi
Experience the bird melodies of Lake Bunyonyi. This lake has simplified the beauty of Kabale town, as the lake offers a thousand smiles of beauty displayed with islands and shoreline highlights. Lake Bunyonyi is Africa’s second-deepest lake; it’s barrier-free, so tourists can even decide to take a swim. Among the other adventures done at the lake are taking a boat to one of the 29 islands that make up the lake.
Visiting the Great Lakes Museum
This museum has a variety of collections of artifacts and information about Kabale and its people. The Great Lakes Museum is located along the highway on Kabale-Mbarara. At the museum, you’re fed with information on clans and quirky items such as displays on the evolution of phones and cameras. This museum was set up to preserve the antiquity of the surrounding Nkole people, who are splintered among Bakiga, Banyankole, Baziba, and Banyarwanda people.
Mountain Hiking Trials
Kabale town is located amidst volcanic landforms within the Albertine rift. These elevated landforms have facilitated several tourist programs, including exciting hill climbing, especially around Lake Bunyonyi. The hiking program starts from Crater Bay or Bunyonyi Overland Camp; here you take a canoe ride of about 40 minutes to reach the hiking starting point. Climbing to the canopies of the highlands surrounding Lake Bunyonyi rewards you with an incredible view of the lake. The hiking experience goes through local communities and terraces, offering a chance to meet and learn about the hospitable local people.
Mountain biking trips
The geographical nature of Kabale, with its untamed hills, makes for the best moments explored on the mountain bike. Hiring a hiking bike, taking a tour through the unaccessible hilly villages, and hiking higher Several thrillers come along the ride, including many bird species and going through various communities.
Mainly, the Batwa communities have committed to offering another dimension of experience within the region. The people have suffered since their forced eviction from their ancestral land for the sake of conserving the mountain gorillas. Due to such suffering, the Batwa almost tasted the edge of extinction, but not until opportunities were revealed and they gathered to start offering their lifestyle story for a fee. Today, their lives and communities are experiencing great progress, especially with the many tourists who are eager to learn about these people. When visiting the Batwa communities, you will be entertained with local dances, songs, and stories. And can as well support them by buying some of the crafts made by them.
The surrounding areas of Kabale are very rewarding for birding, and bird lovers visiting Kabale can take their birding trip to the rainforests around Lake Bunyonyi. The known Switzerland of Africa, Lake Bunyonyi, whose name locally suggests a place with many little birds, is ideally the best option to take your birding trip here. The lake shelters about 200 bird species, some of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley.
Where to stay in Kabale town
For your visit to Kabale town, you don’t have to worry about where to stay. It’s understandable that you need something better for your overnight stay. Breaking your day at Kabale is not a worry, as there are various better accommodation facilities where you can challenge your night.
Arcadia Cottages, Lake Bunyonyi, is one of the finest accommodations in southwestern Uganda, impressively set on a hillside in extensive gardens stretching over a 14-acre area. Arcadia overlooks Lake Bunyonyi, giving a perfect scenic walk along the lake.
Bunyonyi Safaris Resort, located along Lake Bunyonyi with a camping site and a golf course, is a budget facility.
Heritage Lodge, Ha’buharo Island: positioned on Bird’s Songs Island, Ha’Buharo Island’s on Lake Bunyonyi, this lodge is comfortable for midrange travelers.
Bushara Island Camp is a budget accommodation located about 9 kilometers from Kabale town on Bushara Island in the middle of Lake Bunyonyi. The campsite facilitates both vacations and corporate retreats such as seminars, workshops, and conferences.
Queens Hotel is located in Kabale town and is a strategic accommodation to visit Bwindi Impenetrable, Mgahinga, and Lake Bunyonyi.