Ssese Islands Lake Victoria Uganda
The Ssese islands are a magical secretive part of Uganda to go to if you need to relax after your game drives, hikes and primate treks in the forests. They are 84 beautiful tropical islands in the northwestern shore of Lake Victoria, the second biggest lake on in Africa which is also shared among Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Ssese islands have lovely white sand-beaches where you’ll chill as you watch the sunset. The islands are the best places for boating, fishing for Nile perch, horseback riding, hiking, motor boat riding, and birding.
These islands can be accessed by taking a boat, a ferry or flying there and there are lodges that provide luxury and mid-range accommodation facilities. You’ll enjoy your stay at these comfortable lodges which most times have night fires.
The Ssese islands are listed among the top ten world’s best secret islands by lonely planet because of their stunning sandy beaches, birds, exotic plants, beautiful flowers, the tropical forest and the hospitable people and their culture at the island. There are many palm trees which make the place look a totally different part from the rest of Uganda.
The tropical forest at the island is a habitat for monkeys and many other primates as well as mammals like sitatunga antelopes and lots of birds. The forest is a perfect place for birding.
This place has a variety of sweet fresh fruits of Uganda such as watermelons, pineapples, mangoes, bananas, jackfruits and these are rated the tastiest fruits in the world.
The weather of Ssese islands is so friendly and great for holidays all year round. The views of the sunrise and the sunset are so pretty and the nights are beautifully lit by the moon.
There are some few communities on the islands and if you visit them, you’ll have a chance to interact with them and learn more about them than what you had earlier heard about them.
From the main land of the country, there are several places to start your journey to the islands. Some are easier to access compared to others. One of the easiest islands to access is Bugala where one of the lodges to stay is Pineapple Bay Resort.
Pearls in the pearl of Africa
Uganda was termed as the pearl of Africa by Churchill Winston because of its extraordinary beauty and here we find another outstanding pearl of Uganda. Bugala Island is the place to be. It is the largest and receives the highest number of visitors compared to other islands. It has most of its lodges close to the lake and relaxing there offers an opportunity to enjoy viewing the cutest sunset and views of a vast landscape.
The ssese islands do not have lodges rated with stars but those available are really serene and luxurious in a unique way. The experience at the islands is totally different from elsewhere on the mainland, you’ll not meet crowds of people, unnecessary noise and more.
There are exciting activities at the island including hiking, forest walk, and visiting communities.
The Ssese islands are one of the most amazing places in Uganda for relaxation before returning home.
Visit Ssese Islands and enjoy the pearl of Africa during your Uganda Safari.
Ssesse Islands in Uganda
Uganda has a range of beautiful places in the most hidden areas and this archipelago of 84 islands in the northwestern part of her largest lake, Lake Victoria comes among what makes it the Pearl of Africa. Uganda is lucky to have taken the portion of the Ssese islands among the three countries that share Lake Victoria; Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
Ssese islands got their name from the Tsetse flies because of it has a lot of them some years back. So when somebody commented about them, the local people started calling the place Ssese. The presence of tsetse flies has been one of the reasons why it was not visited by many.
The Ssese islands are divided into two sections; the Koome group of the islands in the northeastern part and the Bugala group in the southwestern part. Koome group comprises of Koome Island, Damba Island and Luwaji Island while Bugala group has Bufumira Island, Serinya Island, Funye Island, Bugaba Island, Bubeke Island and Buyova Island. The two groups of islands are separated by a channel known as Koome channel.
Even if Uganda is a landlocked country, it has these islands that with amazing beaches that you would think you are next to the ocean. The beaches are characterized with fine sand, palm trees, lovely flowers, trees and plants and spectacular views of the surrounding. The Ssesse Islands are found in Kalangala district. This place was previously known for fishing but is now a popular destination for relaxation, holidays and exploration tours. The population of people on the Ssese Islands is about 65,000. Kalangala was one of the poorest districts in Uganda and also with a high rate of HIV but it is now developing and measures have been taken by the government to reduce the rate of spread of HIV there.
A lot has been known to be done in Uganda including gorilla trekking, wildlife viewing, chimpanzee trekking, mountain climbing and white water rafting among others. Uganda is also has a number of serene and lovely areas for honeymoon, relaxation and chilling and the Ssese islands are one of the top destinations. When booking for your Uganda safari, you can inform us to include a visit to the Ssese islands to have an opportunity to do the following;
Walk in the tropical forest
There is a tropical forest on the island with a variety of animals such as monkeys, sitatungas and lots of birds. You are guided by an experienced guide who will tell a lot about the forest, the island and describe all the birds that you will enjoy the walk in the forest on an island.
Boat ride and spot fishing
You can enjoy a boat ride with an expert on the water, enjoy the experience of a motor boat ride or even paddle on the lake. You can also do the fishing of the Nile perch or tilapia. These are the common fish species in Lake Victoria.
Visit the Island club
The Island club is a serene place for relaxation after a long day of the rest of activities like nature walks, bird watching and boat cruise. It has beautiful gardens for a cool relaxation and you can watch the sunset as you sip one of your favorite drinks.
Visit Kihumuro cave
Kihumuro cave is about thirty to forty meters long. It is situated in Kalaya village on Bugala Island. The cave has an interesting cultural and spiritual history which is well explained by the guides there. Some locals visit Kihumuro cave to seek blessings from the god. To some people, the cave is a traditional church. It has an entrance and an exit. When getting inside, you remove your shoes and get on the floor that is covered with grass. The cave consists of several items which you will be able to see such as calabashes, spears and others. There are a lot of stories to listen to when you visit the cave.
Accommodations at Ssese Islands
When you plan to visit Ssese Islands, do not worry about where to stay because there are a number accommodations which are pocket friendly. However, there is no large luxury or 5 star hotel but those that are there are good enough to offer the best for travelers. The best accommodations include; Panaroma cottages, Kalangala Pearl beach resort, Victoria Forest resort, Ssese Habitat lodge and Philo Leisure gardens.
Getting to Ssese Islands
Different ferries from different points of Uganda travel to the islands at scheduled periods. You can use MV Kalangala from Kampala, there is another ferry that departs from Entebbe and the other from Masaka.
Visiting Ssese Islands is one of the best ways to end your Uganda safari. You relax and get rejuvenated after the adventures in the parks, just before travelling back home.