The Ssese Islands are about 12,000 years old and, according to the Buganda culture, they are known as the Islands of the Gods. Traditionally, all Buganda kings were supposed to visit the islands and pay homage to the “Baluubale” gods, whose shrines are situated and built on islands such as the island of Bukasa is the home of Musisi; spirit of Terremotos and Wanema; spirit of physical disability. While Bubembe Island is home to Mukasa; Spirit of Lake Victoria, also traditionally known as “Nalubaale”.
The 84 main islands located northwest of Lake Victoria differ in size and activities, some are small and deserted, while others are large and densely inhabited. These are mountainous with dense forests, preserving a secluded and serene environment creating the perfect destination for relaxation, sport fishing, and a bird watcher’s paradise.
The separate islands, which can be reached via Nakiwogo in Entebbe, Masaka to Bukakata Ferry OR By charter flight to Bukasa Island with an airstrip, are experiencing a renaissance in tourism activity; becoming more and more a popular tourist destination in Uganda.
The ferry leaves Bukakata at 0800, 1100 and 1700 and departs from the Bugala landing site at 1000, 1430 and 1800 from Monday to Saturday, and the trip lasts 45 minutes. Transportation from Kampala to Masaka is by private car, taxi or bus rental and you can rent a speedboat from Entebbe to the islands.
Bugala Island is the largest at over 200 km and measures 43 km from east to west and is home to the Kalangala district headquarters, and Bukasa Island, the second largest island, has various activities including hiking along the forest with primate sightings of different species of monkeys such as the green monkey, the Bush-Buck and the black and white colobus monkey, sport fishing in particular for the Nile perch, the endemic species of cats and butterflies from the streams, beautiful walks Around the islands on white sand beaches and rainforests, boat trips to other islands, a prolific birdlife including waterfowl and forest birds including robin-chats, weavers, turacos, brown-throated acacia eye, hornbills, barbets , etc., beach activities such as cycling, swimming, canoeing, volleyball, etc., visits to the Speke fort built in 1962, fishing villages, bat cave with thousands of bats and visits to palm and pineapple farms.
Bugala Island, Bufumira and Bukasa Islands, the inhabited islands, have many established accommodation facilities including luxury cottages as well as camping grounds to suit most tastes and budgets. The Mirembe resort has a large number of rooms and space for camping. Pearl Gardens Beach has the Hornbill Campground, the Ssese Beach Hotel has 18 cabins and a separate house with 2 family cabins and 3 triple rooms. Islands Club has luxurious wooden chalets in a cool setting, the budget hotel Panorama with a beautiful garden; The Palm Beach Hotel has cabins and a shared tent. On Bukasa Island, Agnes Guesthouse offers accommodation with pleasant views. The facilities have restaurants open for food and drink.
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 destiny!