The Ssesse Islands – Uganda’s Prime Destination

The Ssese Islands are about 12000 years old and according to the Buganda culture, they are referred to as the Islands of the Gods. Traditionally, all Buganda Kings were supposed to visit Islands and pay Homage to the Gods “Baluubale”, whose shrines are situated and built on the islands like Bukasa Island is home to Musisi; spirit of Earthquakes and Wanema; spirit of physical handicaps. While Bubembe Island is home to Mukasa; spirit of Lake Victoria also traditionally referred to as “Nalubaale”.

The 84 prime islands located northwest of Lake Victoria differ in size and activities with some being small and deserted, while others are large and densely inhabited. These are hilly with dense forests, retaining a secluded and serene atmosphere creating the perfect destination for relaxation, sport fishing and a birders haven.

The separate Islands, which can be reached either via Nakiwogo in Entebbe, Masaka to the Bukakata ferry OR By Charter flight to Bukasa Island with an Airstrip, are experiencing a renaissance in tourism activity; increasingly becoming a popular tourist Destination in Uganda.

The ferry leaves Bukakata at 0800, 1100 and 1700 and leaves the Bugala landing site at 1000, 1430 and 1800 from Monday to Saturday, and the journey takes 45 minutes. Transport from Kampala to masaka is by private car Hire, taxi or by Bus and you can hire a speed boat from Entebbe to the Islands.

Bugala Island being the largest extending over 200km and measuring 43km from East to West and a home to the kalangala district Headquarters, and Bukasa Island the second largest island have several activities including forest walks with Primate Viewings of different monkey species like the Vervet monkey, the Bush-Buck and the black and white colobus monkey, sport fishing in particular for the Nile Perch, the endemic creek cat and butterfly species, beautiful walks around the Islands on the white sand beaches and rainforests, Boat rides to other Islands, prolific Birdlife including water and forest Birds including robin-chats, weavers, Turacos, brown throated wattle eye, hornbills, Barbets etc, Beach activities like cycling, swimming, canoeing, volleyball etc, visits to the Speke’s Fort built in 1962, fishing villages, Bat cave with thousands of Bats and visits to palm tree and pineapple farms.

The Bugala Island, Bufumira and Bukasa Islands the in habited Islands, have many established accommodation facilities including Luxury lodges as well as camping grounds to suit most tastes and Budgets. Mirembe resort has a wide number of rooms as well as camping space. Pearl gardens beach has the Hornbill campsite, Ssese Beach hotel has 18 cottages and a separate house with 2 family cottages and 3 triple rooms. Islands club has luxury wooden chalets in a cool atmosphere, Panorama budget lodge with a beautiful garden; the Palm Beach Hotel has cottages and a dormitory tent. In Bukasa Island, the Agnes Guesthouse offers accommodation with friendly views. The facilities have open restaurants for food and Drinks.

The Ssese Islands are peaceful, with more than ethnic tribes and languages. They offer crystal clear lakes, beautiful rainforests, beautiful beaches and here you can discover the wild romantic Africa of your dreams with warm and hospitable people, in a land waiting to be discovered…You couldn’t ask for more in an exotic holiday destination!

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