Crater Lakes in Kibale National Park

Crater Lakes in Kibale National Park are some of the attractive features that spice up a Uganda Safaris Tour as a traveler gets a chance to hike to these lakes and have scenic views of the amazing craters. Besides the chimpanzees in Kibale National Forest national park, the crater lakes in Kibale are one of the best natural attractions that give you a scenic view and natural experiences during your safari in Uganda. The crater lakes are centered in the Ndali kasenda crater area which is found in the Kabarole District western part of Uganda.

Crater Lakes in Kibale National Park

Kibale Forest National Park best known as the primate capital of the world is located in the western part of Uganda.  This is one of the famous national parks in Uganda. The national park has an area which is about 795 square Kilometers with a diverse ecosystem filled with different wildlife such as the black and white colobus, olive baboons, pottos,bush baby, endemic Uganda Mangabey, red tailed monkeys, forest elephants, antelopes, different bird species such as green breasted pitas, noisy hornbills and African grey  parrots among others.

The crater lakes in Kibale National Park are known as the Ndali Kasenda craters whereby the Ndali Kasenda is a natural formation encompassing volcanic depressions located on the edges of Kibale Forest National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Ndali Kasenda is on a high elevation stretching from Kibale Forest National Park to Kamwenge Road. If visitors take this route they get to have the panoramic view of the craters.

The Ndali Kasenda crater lakes will give you the perfect adventure because you can explore them on foot which is not the case with the craters found in Queen Elizabeth National park. When you hike to the top, you get to see a great number of different insights such as the crater lakes, Kibale National Park, and Lake George among others. Additionally, the crater lakes are said to be extinct however a few of them emit off volcanic gases and they contain toxic green colored waters.

How the Ndali Kasenda craters were formed

The definition of a crater is quite simple as it refers to a bowl-shaped depression produced by the impact of volcanic activity, or an explosion. The craters at Ndali Kasenda are formed by vulcanicity which happened a million years ago. This involved eruptions occurring in the area creating depressions that formed the craters. Craters are formed on top of volcanoes or raised grounds and when they are filled with water they form what is known as crater lakes.

The different Ndali Kasenda crater lakes

  • Lake Nyabikere: Lake Nyabikere is the most famously known lake among the Ndali Kasenda crater lakes. Lake Nyabikere literally meaning “the lake of frogs” is located near Fort Portal town and it is about 100 meters away from the main road. Nyabikere Crater Lake is near Kibale Forest National Park and it is also a base for chimpanzee trekking during the visitor’s chimpanzee safari in Uganda. During your time at Nyabikere Crater Lake, visitors can have guided community visits during their community tourism activities.
  • Lake Nkuruba: Lake Nkuruba is located in the south of Fort Portal about 25km is also one of the best crater lakes that offers you a spectacular view and also fascinating walking activities that offer incredible scenery. Lake Nkuruba offers an access point to the top of the world hike where you get to view other explosion craters and Mahoma falls. Additionally, Lake Nkuruba offers a pretty good ground for camping with a tranquility environment.
  • Lake Nyinambuga: Lake Nyinambuga is another fascinating crater lake found in the Ndali Kasenda region and features a spectacular view of the blue-green waters and also the famous Ndali lodge is located on the ridge of Lake Nyinambuga which offers relaxation and resting places for the travelers plus hiking activities who visit Lake Nyinambuga.
  • Lake Lyantonde: Lake Lyantode is located west of Nyinambuga Crater Lake and a good spot for travelers that which to encounter on chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale Forest National Park well as those that wish to explore the Ndali Kasenda crater lakes. Lake Lyantonde also offers tourism activities like hiking which gives travelers a panoramic view of the craters.
  • Lake Kifuruka: Lake Kifuruka is located in the west of Lake Nyinambuga and offers numerous activities such as canoeing, fishing, bird watching, and walking excursions among others. Lake Kifuruka enables travelers to have pretty good scenic views of the undulating terrain and the waters plus tranquility surrounding them.
  • Other Crater Lakes: Besides those crater lakes, the Ndali Kasenda region has other crater lakes such as Lake Nyanswiga, Lake Ntambi, Lake Nyamasagani, and Lake Mburo that will also offer you scenic views and tourism activities in the Ndale Kasenda region during your safari in Uganda. 

Tourism activities on Ndali Kasenda Crater lakes

Primate Tracking: Many visitors that visit Ndali Kasenda always do this as a supplement activity on their chimpanzee trekking activity in Kibale National Park. Some of the primates you will encounter in the Ndali Kasenda region include the red colobus monkeys, Chimpanzees, Black and white colobus monkeys.

Nature walks: The Ndali Kasenda crater lakes have pretty good scenic views of the undulating terrain and forests that have enabled nature walks to be carried out plus hiking. There is also guided nature walks around Lake Nyinabulitwa crater. Visitors are able to view the landscape of the area and view other wildlife plus visiting the communities and associate with the people found in the area. 

Bird watching: Around 350 bird species are found in Kibale Forest National Park and some of these are nested near the Ndali Kasenda crater Lakes giving the visitors a beautiful view of these birds making pleasant sounds in their different body colors and characters. Some of the birds you get to see in Ndale Kasenda crater lakes include; Western Tinkerbird, Papyrus Gonolek, and Great Blue Turaco among others.

Other activities that travelers can encounter when they visit Ndali Kasenda crater lakes include; swimming, cycling, sportfishing on lakes like Lake Kifuruka, a visit to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary and Canoeing. However, when it is time for swimming activities, travelers are advised not to jump into any crater lake since some of them have toxic green waters and emit off sulphuric gases such as Lake Nyabikere and Lake Nyinambaga among others.

Crater Lakes in Kibale National Park
Crater Lakes in Kibale National Park

How to get to Ndale Kasenda crater lakes

The Ndali Kasenda crater lakes are located near Kibale Forest National Park and you will need to reach Fort Portal from Kampala City which is about 300km. Most of the craters are a few distances from Fort Portal such as Lake Nkuruba and Lake Nyinambuga. If you are to use public means, buses from Kampala are always available and will take you to Fort Portal town. For those travelers that can afford or want to have an organized safari will opt for the different tour operators.


In conclusion, exploring the Ndali Kasenda Crater Lakes area will give you and adventurous and exciting experience on your safari. You can add it as a supplement item on your chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park or when you visit Queen Elizabeth National Park.

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