Lake Bunyonyi (“Place of many little birds”) is in south-western Uganda between Kisoro and Kabale, and it is close to the border with Rwanda. The Lake appears on the 5,000 Ugandan shilling note under the title “Lake Bunyonyi and terraces”. Towns on its shores include Kyevu and Muko, while its 29 islands include Punishment Island and Bushara Island.
Lake Bunyonyi is a body of water 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) west of Kabale town.
Akampene (Punishment Island)
The Bakiga used to leave unmarried pregnant girls on this small island with – to die of hunger or while trying to swim to the mainland (swimming skills were rare). This was to intimidate the rest, to show them not to do the same. A man without cows to pay the bride price could go to the island and pick up a girl. The practice got abandoned in the first half of the 20th century.
Bwama and Njuyeera (Sharp’s Island)
In 1921, English missionary Leonard Sharp came to this part of Uganda and in 1931 established a leprosy treatment centre on the then uninhabited Bwama island. A church, patient quarters (model villages), and a medical facility were built, while Sharp settled on Njuyeera Island (probably meaning “white cottage” after the similarity of the doctor’s small white house to Sharp’s father’s house in Shanklin, now The White House Hotel). The rationale of the leprosy colony was that of “voluntary segregation'”, where the provision of a happy community to live in would attract leprosy sufferers, so removing them from the communities where they might infect others.