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Ssese Islands

Ssese islands are located in north western Lake Victoria and consist of a group of 84 islands. The islands are among the little known and less visited tourist destinations in Uganda except for one island of the entire 84-Buggala island.

The islands receive reasonable amounts of rainfall and have vast equatorial rain forests with various primates especially monkeys; the Vervet monkey is the commonly viewed monkey in Buggala Island. African fish eagles, hornbills, little egrets, Turaco, barbets, weavers, pygmy king fishers among other island endemic bird species are the major forest and water birds that can be seen in the rain forests and in the lake.

Ssese islands are one of the best tourist destinations in Uganda for any one interested in forest and nature walks mainly because the give tourist’s chances to listen to the sounds of nature and experience the cool breezes from the lake and forests. There are also long sand beaches with palm trees providing suitable environments for sunbathing, swimming and riding. Some bird species can even be seen along the island beaches. Other major tourist activities may include boat rides especially to the neighboring islands and community walks.

Where to stay

SsesePalm Beach

This is located on Buggala island- the largest island; the beach has good accommodation facilities that can fit most people’s budgets with executive tents and bandas. The sand beaches here favor sun bathing and the water is good for swimming as well.

Bukasa Island

This has beautiful views of the biggest bays of the islands with a wide range of accommodation facilities. Facilities are basic but hot water can be provided when needed.

PTA Andronicos lodge

This also provides basic accommodation plus meals and drinks that fit all travelers’ budgets. There are also provisions for camping with great views of the beautiful landscapes around the island.

Mirembe beach resort

This has comfortable single and double rooms with possibilities of camping. The resort has a bar and restaurant with great views of the lake.

Ssese habitat resort

This is located on Buggala Island and has well and fully furnished self contained rooms with a satellite television. The resort offers standard meals and also has provisions for camping.

Getting to the islands

Ssese islands can mainly be accessed by water transport fromthe mainland using a ferry from Bukakata nearMasaka and a catamaran from Nakiwogo landing site located south of Entebbe. These however have strict travelling timetables and who intend to use them must make proper timings. The catamaran from Nakiwogo landing sites departs from the islands (Kalangala) at 8:00 am for Nakiwogo and then leaves Nakiwogo for Kalangala at 2:00 pm daily. This catamaran has the first and economy classes with different fares due to the difference in seating arrangements in the two classes. This is very comfortable and the journey may take around 2 hours.

The ferry from Bukakata departs at 8:00 am, 11:30am, 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm for Bugoma Island and returns to Bukakata at 9:00 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 5 pm. This ferry is however not as comfortable as the catamaran at Nakiwogo.

Alternatively, one can hire a speed boat or use wooden local boats from nearby landing sites. Connecting from one island to another is by use of lake taxis which are large boats of about 10 meters long and 3 meters wide that transport passengers and some goods. These mainly leave Kasenyi landing site which has no dock. Passengers instead pay potters to carry them so that they do not get wet. These lake taxis do not provide life jackets and are often hit hard by the water waves; this can be a good experience for tourists interested on thrilling adventurous experiences but can be a night mare to those who are not used to such conditions.

Would you like to relax at these tropical islands? Why not book an all inclusive Uganda safari and get to holiday in these relaxing tropical islands and discover one of Africa’s best secret and exclusive destination.