Ssese Islands

The Ssese Islands are an archipelago of eighty-four islands in the northwestern part of Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater Lake in the world shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. The Islands’ size is from less than 10,000 square meters to more than 40 km in length.

The biggest island in this exotic archipelago of islands is by far the island of Kalangala. The island clusters are divided into two groups. The southwest group for the sake of reference can be named the Bugala group and the Northeast group will be the Komme group isolated from one another by the Komme Channel. The islands are primarily inhabited by Bantu speaking local tribes, as before the arrival of the Europeans, the island served as a cardinal spiritual center in the region.

These islands are 84 altogether and this collection of islands has sandy beaches, palms, exotic plants, flowers trees, and of course friendly people. These islands are the perfect holiday spot for a getaway. Add Uganda’s all year round perfect weather to the equation of beautiful sandy beaches and you have a paradise.

The islands are home to many animals including primates that are not easily spotted on the mainland; common ones to see are vervet monkeys. Bugala Island is also a home to hippos in a swamp near Mulabana, it also hosts a number of sitatunga antelopes and one might even get the chance to see large snakes. Lake Victoria has hippos and Nile crocodiles, but it is hard to spot them. These islands are a favorite destination for bird watching and having a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with exotic, tropical birds that you cannot find anywhere else in the world as well as butterfly species, be prepared to see a number of extraordinary butterflies in all colors.

The Ssese islands are filled with a number of exciting activities to keep you occupied no matter how many days you will be spending. Whether you are a business or adventure traveller, you will definitely have fun and get value for your money. From beach sports like swimming, football, volleyball to land adventures like nature walks, cycling, bird watching, boda-boda rides, quad bikes plus evening walks, you can never get bored.

Spending some time with your family and friends on the beach creates one of the most memorable experiences. Whether you are relaxing in the sun or indulging in some activities like volleyball, football or swimming, you will always be assured of a fun-filled weekend when on a beach.

Ssese islands are believed to be the origin of Buganda Kingdom with the Basese people occupying most of these islands. Cultural enthusiasts have the opportunity to move around and interact with the locals. Learn about the famous damula tree used to make spears that is found on this island in Uganda. The people on the island are very welcoming and ready to talk to you freely, Ugandans are forever friendly.

Cycling enthusiasts will have a great time going on a biking ride on the beach, specifically the popular circuit to Mutumbula. The islands are full of trails, so the experience is entertaining. You will be lucky to spot exotic creatures like Sitatunga Antelope while on your ride.

What to do in Ssese Islands

The thought of visiting the Ssese islands comes with the question of which hotel to stay in, the islands offers various accommodation sites to choose from depending on what island you might staying at as well as the choice will basically depend on your budget.

The available accommodation options for overnight stay at these islands include the Ssese Palm Beach, which comprises of numerous accommodations including the two bandas. In Bukasa Island, there is Father Christopher’s guesthouse. Others include Scorpion lodge, Pta andronic lodge and many more. In Kalangala bay, the available areas for your stay include the hornbill camp, Ssese islands beach hotel, Island club, kingfisher campsite, Mirembe beach resort, Panorama camp, Brovad sands lodge and Ssese habitat resort among others.

Conclusively, Ssese Islands are a few most magnificent natural wonders Uganda has to offer and yet not fully explored. For weekend getaway with your dear ones, consider visiting these islands a must and you will not regret in life.

Get in touch with Hotana Safaris for all your visits to Ssese Island.

WhEN TO VISIT Ssese Islands

Anytime during the year, except during rainy seasons especially April – May and September – November

HOW TO GET To Ssese Islands

Getting to the Ssese Islands is not a mere stroll; the island can be reached in many ways. Boats, ferries and vehicles are available to take you between and around the 84 islands; these are fully equipped with life jackets, sun canopies. The most popular route being the route accessed through Nakiwogo near Entebbe.

Entebbe route: Nakiwogo to Bugala Island (3hrs boat cruise), departing every day at 2:00pm.

Masaka route: For those tourists who wish to enjoy the countryside, travel arrangements can be made by road, from Kampala to Masaka Town (Nyendo, 2:30hrs drive) crossing with the Bukakata/ Luku Ferry to Bugoma (30 mins). One-hour drive gets you to Kalangala the home of Islands.