The Ssese Islands
The Ssese Islands archipelago is made up of 84 islands that retain their natural spectacular nature. Locals and tourists are able to access the islands by charting a motorised boat from either the cities of Kampala or Entebbe.
Upon arriving at the Ssese islands, you will be able to soak in the magnificent green forests, white sandy beaches and drink from the crystal clear waters.
The Ssese Islands habitants are very friendly and go to the lengths of seeing all visitors are as comfortable as you would be at home.
Bird watchers and lovers will be happy to note that the islands are home to plenty of colourful birds and beautiful butterfly species.
Boat fishing is the main activity here and you will have jolly good time fishing.
Ssese Islands can be found inside the famous Lake Victoria and is set on a serene location offering visitors fantastic opportunities to relax.
The fresh and peaceful atmosphere at the cool islands offers you a tranquil environment where you will unwind and forget any trouble in life and have time to rejuvenate.
Ssese is a conglomerate of 84 forested Islands that go further to form Kalangala District. Ssese Islands has beautiful and luscious sceneries that are perfect for all who want to relax and unwind in white sands in numerous ways.
Banda Island was privatized a while back. The Island however opened its doors to travellers for the first time in 1999. Banda Island is serene, quiet and appealing to all kinds of travellers. Here we provide you with the ways and means of getting to this magnificent island.
A number of options are available and are dependent on your budget. The Kasenyi option is by far the cheapest and most regular option, you will travel by means of Ssese fishing canoe from the Kasenyi landing site.
You should hire a taxi from Kampala at around 4 o’clock in the afternoon the taxi ride will cost you 4000 Ugandan Shillings. After having arrived in Kasenyi, walk towards the water where on your right-hand side you will see a Banda sign over the Kasenyi Takeaway.
Get to the takeaway and insist on boarding the boat going to Banda Island. There is also a campsite and budget lodge on the island for those who like to disconnect for a while from the real world and pretend to be Robinson Crusoe for a few days.
Bugala Island is the largest of the Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria, with an area of 67,000 acres. This Island is the best developed for tourism and is easy to travel to by ferry.
Kalangala is the chief town of the Ssese Islands, which is located on its eastern end. Near the ferry port is Lutoboka Bay, which forms one large beach and contains many of the Islands resorts. From here you can enjoy a relaxing day at the beach and be a short walk away from a bar for a drink in one of the beachfront hotels.
On the western end of Bugala Island lays a small village, Luku, not far from Mutumbula swimming beach. It is possible to travel to Luku through a dirt road and the other villages on the south of the Island are accessible via several minor roads.
From Kalangala you can’t hire a bike and travel to each of the villages. The Island is hilly so it will also offer some spectacular scenery on your travels.
Bugala Island is also teeming with wildlife and contains many birds that can be seen or heard. Monkeys are also common and if you travel to the south of the island, there is a swamp that contains hippos.
There are two ferries that travel back and forth from and to Bugala Island. The first one runs from Nakiwogo Dock (south of Entebbe) to the ferry dock at Kalangala.
The second travels from Bukakata (near Masaka) and lands in Luku. There are fewer options for accommodation if you take the ferry to Luku so it would be recommended to take the ferry to Kalangala.
Bulago Island is set on a location covering over 500 acres. Measured from one tip to the other the island is approximately two miles long. The island has a total of 6km sandy beaches and the shoreline is 10km in length.
The shoreline balances consist of low cliffs and rocky outcrops. The soil around the shore is rich in minerals and there are places covered with trees. On the north-eastern tip of the island, there is a piece of land covered by a rain-forest.
On the other hand, the island’s interior is covered by soil that is less fertile and the land is covered by savanna grassland.
There are intentions from the Ugandan government that Zebra and Antelope be brought to Bulago for them to exploit the Savannah like environment in the island’s interior. If you love sailing, then you will have fun sailing on the lake.
A small sailboat or a windsurfer is recommended for people who own the windsurfers or sailboats, as they can be easily launched from The Lodge set up on the island can avail Water-skiing and tubing.
Bulago Island offers one of the great pleasures of sheer range and diversity of walks. The island has two overlooking hills on the island offering viewers staggering views.
The island’s size allows visitors to either take short quick strolls or enjoy long treks if they so wish to. Bulago Island is home to a vast majority of bird species that will amaze both bird watchers and non-bird watchers.
Pineapple Bay. Where you can lounge on a Lamu bed, looking out to the sparkling waters of Lake Victoria.
One of the great pleasures of Bulago is the sheer range and diversity of walks available and with two dominating hills on the island, the views can be magnificent.
The size of the island means that walks can range from quick strolls through to long hikes. Bird watching is another great past-time on Bulago and the range of birds is dazzling – even to non-bird watchers.
Ngamba Island is commonly referred to as Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The Sanctuary was founded on October of 1998 to care for orphaned Chimpanzees rescued by Ugandan Wildlife Authority from poachers and traders out to make money from their spoils.
The Island covers an approximate 40 hectares (100 acres) of rain forests 23kms from Entebbe near the Equator in Lake Victoria in Uganda.
The Island is home to diverse wildlife consist of over 120 bird species, crocodile, hippos and monitor lizards. The Island provides sufficient foods in varieties for the chimpanzees.
The Island was designed as an eco-friendly project that consists of compost toilets, rainwater collection. The Island has been set up with proper waste management practices and a solar system set up providing electricity and hot water.
When a new and young chimp is brought to the island, it is separated from the adults. The new chimps are protected from a rowdy group of older chimpanzees that is rough to strangers.
As is per the norm, new arrivals are kept in a large cage where they are visited by a few adult chimpanzees come in to form a friendship with the new chimp.
Travellers to Ngamba Island are privileged enough to watch and see the great apes in their natural habitat on Ngamba Island where they are cared for. To guarantee their safety, the chimpanzees are kept in a secluded area of the island where they roam freely in the forest.
A fence keeps the great apes in the secluded area; they are however fed two times each day from the viewing platforms.
Visitors wanting to visit during the day or spend a night and have the chance to walk with the chimps in the forests can request for an arrangement to be made.
Visitors can also experience walking and playing with the mischievous chimps
Travellers are required to be immunized properly to be able to walk with the chimps. For immunization, check with World Primate Safaris before booking. Smart self-contained tents overlooking Lake Victoria offer Accommodation on the Island.