These are a collection of 84 islands in the northwest of Uganda and around 43 of these are populated. However, there are only two islands of Bugala and Bukasa that are developed as far as tourism goes and receive tourists regularly. These islands are ideally treated as retreats after long hikes and safaris and offer relaxation and bird watching opportunities.
Ssesse islands are located about 60 km off the shore of Entebbe town central Uganda in the North West part of Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world. They consist of a group of 84 islands in Kalangala district. Bugala, the largest of these islands is notable for white sand beaches, blue waters of Lake Victoria, wonderful scenery of cliffs, lush vegetation; palm and tropical forests home to birds, monkeys, lizards and butterflies. Bugala is ideal for an island gateway because the ferry service is located close to Entebbe international airport, the main entry point to Uganda.
Bugala islands are one of the least visited places in Uganda. Travelers, who make it to Ssesse islands, will enjoy the most pleasant weather in Uganda. The islands are located close enough to the equator and are always warm and cool breeze.
Bugala is still a developing island destination but you will find pretty of lovely luxury resorts and hotels, budget lodges and reasonably priced gardens and guest houses. Most of them are located close to the beach, some have outdoor swimming pools, fire place, restaurants, castles and clubs for children, There are no large supermarkets and shops so you may not find what you want to shop, it’s best to shop in Entebbe town or Kampala and bring cash local currency to cover your stay in Ssesse islands.
What to do
White sand beaches make ideal place to sit back, relax and enjoy the sunsets and sunrises. It is also perfect place to escape for your honeymoon vacation. Private boats can be hired to tour around Kalangala fishing villages.
Swimming can be done at the lodge pools, beach or deep in the waters at the equator crossing on the waters of Lake Victoria.
Boat tours around fishing villages and other small islands is a great way to explore Lake Victoria.
Forest walks and hikes around the palm trees for bird watching and spotting primates.
How to get there
There are two departure points; one at Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe the Kalangala MV operates ferry service every day to Ssesse islands. The other is Bukakaa landing site off Masaka-Kampala high way where there are motorized boats.
The ferry at Entebbe will departs at 09am in the morning and returns for the second shift at 2pm. The ferry is double decked with first and second class seats and a mini bar onboard. It has space for vehicles. The ferry takes 3.5 hours and will dock at Kalangala bay from where you can get a taxi, boda boda to your accommodation.
The motorized boats at Bukakata landing site take few people per route. From Kampala you can take a taxi or bus and get off in Masaka town. Then take another transfer to get to Bukakata for the morning schedule at 09am or 2 and 3pm departures.
What to eat
The common cuisine consists of fish, and tropical fruits such as paw paws, passion fruit, pineapple, and jack fruit. Juices or sliced fruits are served in addition to a variety of international dishes.