Edirisa, a GHE Location on Lake Bunyonyi

It’s official: Edirisa on Lake Bunyonyi (Uganda) is now run from Musanze (Rwanda), placed under the Gorilla Highlands Experts (GHE) umbrella. We still have Levi managing the site and cooking, we still have Arthur assisting him in every possible way, but they are in daily contact with our office team.

Levi in his kitchen

On the one hand, this arrangement will be a test for how to add a Congolese location in the future — we find it important that we are physically present in all the countries of our region. On the other hand, it’s time for Edirisa to get some love!

Crayfish masala in preparation at Edirisa on Lake Bunyonyi

During the global pandemic Edirisa ceased to exist as a Ugandan social enterprise, for practical reasons related to national borders. This mother organisation of the Gorilla Highlands idea had four sites at its peak (Bunyonyi, Kabale, Nkozi, Fort Portal) but as it passed away it left behind an orphan, Edirisa on Lake Bunyonyi.

Edirisa tree house moment

For a while we honestly didn’t know what to do with it … The long Covid pause did it no good and when business returned, there were even more backpacker places at the lake, competing for relatively few visitors.

One of the many Wheeling2help groups staying at Edirisa on Lake Bunyonyi

But do you know that the humble venue was not initially intended to be a hostel? It was built in 2002 to be an information centre and a base for volunteers. It all came full-circle in 2022 with the arrival of the first Wheeling2help group, a Greek/Cypriot volunteer team. They loved the spot and kept growing their presence: in the European summer of 2024 they will dominate Edirisa’s high season with six almost-consecutive dispatches of young professionals who occupy every bed we can build for them.

Arthur and Levi during the work on the new swimming platform (financed by Wheeling2help)

Outside of the Wheeling invasion, Edirisa on Lake Bunyonyi remains open to anyone who loves simple, quiet places steeped in history. It allows you to support GHE work with accommodation fees that range from USD 7 (camping in own tent) to USD 40 (the whole family house) — you can choose your lake home here.

View from above Edirisa on Lake Bunyonyi

And if you are new to GHE: our ultimate goal is a peaceful and prosperous transboundary region shared by Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. Outside of responsible tourism we are willing to tackle any other field, as long as it helps the people and nature of these stunning lands.


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