In the northwestern corner of Africa’s largest freshwater body, Lake Victoria lays an archipelago of 84 islands with Bugala being the largest of them all.
Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria
Uganda’s secret tropical islands of Ssese
The lush green archipelago is known as Ssese Islands is in the northwestern corner of Africa’s largest freshwater body, Lake Victoria lays an archipelago of 84 islands with Bugala being the largest of them all. The lush green archipelago is known as Ssese Islands Islands and has for long been inaccessible especially for tourists due to the lack of transport. However, in 2006, a ferry was reintroduced in Entebbe Nakiwogo to the islands. Now the world can experience the numerous soft white sand beaches, with clear blue water and the breeze of the lush tropical forests
Ssese Islands may be the most improbable of tropical island idylls but it’s a tropical paradise found in Uganda. With spacious sands beaches where you can experience minimal disturbance as you unwind after a long Uganda safari a gorilla trek, or a chimpanzee trek or a mountain trek fatigue. It is off the common tourist trails, with the lake gentle breeze swaying the palm trees and numerous tropical; plants, flowers and trees to its beat.
A ferry departs from Nakiwogo every day at 2pm for the islands and leaves the islands for Nakiwogo at 8pm. The island used to be frequented a lot by backpackers but the failure of the ferry cut them off. For some time the only the intrepid souls could dare, as one had to hitch a ride from the local fishermen’s small boats which are not reliable and kill very many every year upon being hit by strong winds until government intervention.
Nakiwogo Just a few minutes from the airport. The remote business centre and the market is where you catch the ferry along with a number of other people who may not necessarily be tourists. As the ferry touches bugala islands and the surrounding fishing village of Lutoboka after a three hours ferry ride, you will be welcomed by the dense green forest that roll down the hills to the sand beaches, threatening to push the sliver of golden sand into the lake.
There are a number of places to stay while in the Ssese islands like Ssese islands beach hotel, Mirembe resort, Brovad sand beach among others. Relax on the terrace of your hotel stay smoke in the fresh Victoria breeze. The Lake Victoria shoreline of more than 3,000km, is Africa’s biggest freshwater lake. Entebbe lies far away over the horizon, blue water laps gently onto the powder-soft sand and sun loungers are laid out.
The pied kingfishers that hover a few meters above the lake before plunging into the water and coming out with a tiny wriggling silver prize. Long-legged egrets pick their way along the shoreline like haughty supermodels, while men in rough-planked canoes paddled out to fish for tilapia, the Islanders’ staple diet. Watch the sun fall into the sea, as you enjoy fried tilapia along with Uganda’s finest brands of beer, or any other drink of your choice. Most accommodation facilities have provision for an evening bond fire.
Awake to the heavenly songs of prolific bird life and if you awake early enough you may have a chance at the beautiful sunrise. Lounge at the beach with your favorite book unlike many seen sand beaches Ssese islands has a number f tricks up their sleeves or you could take a walk in the unspoilt forests of the islands you could explore Bugala’s main settlement which is only a mile uphill or a forest walk in the lush unspoilt forests of the island.
Weave your way between the mud huts, smile and wave at children and women screaming mzungu (Whiteman) and smelling the fields where silver is drying. Continue and climb up the hill into the tropical forest. If you’re lucky you may encounter the black-faced vervet monkeys. And for the bird watchers, the variety is unmentionable hornbills, among others. At the top of Bugala, you will be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the lake and its many islands.
3 Days Ssese Islands tour
Lake Victoria is the second largest lake in the world and the largest fresh water body in Africa; forming a natural boundary among Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. The lake is endowed with several Islands that offer beautiful, exclusive, and exotic vacations and holidays to many tourists together with a romantic ambiance and numerous fun facilities. The Ssese Islands are an archipelago of 84 islands on Lake Victoria in Uganda. This 3 Days Ssese Islands tour takes you to one of the bigger islands to experience a distinctive tropical island as you walk through the forests and enjoy beach time.
3 Days Ssese Islands tour
Squad biking (Optional)
Day 1: Transfer to Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria
Meet and greet our company representative from your hotel for briefing about your 3 Days Ssese Islands tour and drive to Entebbe pier where you will board the ferry to Ssese Islands. The ferry to Ssese Islands leaves from Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe only once a day at 2pm; arriving at the Island at 5 pm which is an approximately 3 hours journey. There is an alternative route through Masaka district south west of Kampala. This is a 2 hours’ drive from Kampala to arrive at the pier in Masaka. The ferry journey is a about 30 minutes on water plus another 1 hour drive on the Island to reach the lodge location which has been developed for tourism. Today will be spent on travel and no major activity on arrival except camp fire which will be lit on request. Dinner and overnight at Brovad Sands Lodge Kalangala
Day 2: Nature walk – Ssese Island tour
Today you have different options of how to spend your day in Ssese Islands. You may choose to enjoy the sunrise over the lake by asking to have your breakfast by the beach if possible (This can be interfered by the weather). There is another option of going for a nature walk in the virgin forests on the island to learn more about the forest, birds, and primates. You also have an option of fishing or squad biking on the different routes. Lastly you may choose to bike to the different areas on the Island, ask the lodge manager for a clear map or effective biking experiences. We advise you to do all these activities in morning hours and return to the lodge for lunch and spend the rest of the day at leisure on the beach or take a swim. Dinner and overnight at Brovad Sands Lodge Kalangala
Day 3: Return from Ssese Islands to Entebbe
After breakfast, take the ferry back to Entebbe to end your 3 days Ssese Islands tour with a lot of memories. The ferry departs from Bugala Island at 8.00am and arrives in Entebbe at 11.00am. You amy opt to visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Center for ‘behind the scenes’ experience before drop off to your booked hotel.
This tour can be combined with a wildlife life safari to major national parks such Murchison falls, Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth national parks for epic game drives and launch cruises. For those looking a for gorilla trekking adventures, you will have to book for gorilla permits to enjoy this lifetime tour to either Bwindi impenetrable forest national park or Mgahinga gorilla national park