Everyone goes to Kampala for business, entertainment and politics, and that’s fine. Kampala has the facilities for a perfect holiday and the city’s vibe is intense. But if you need a place where you can slow it right down and take it mother nature, Ssese Islands it is. This Ugandan lush archipelago of 84 islands is located along Lake Victoria.

The Islands boasts some stunning white-sand beaches, that are so inviting to anyone wishing for a beach holiday. these beaches enjoyed patronage from tourists in the 1990s until they dropped off tourists’radar when getting to Ssese Islands become a little difficult. Well, from 2006, transportation to Ssese Island has been restored and those seeking secluded holiday prefer to keep the place as top secret.

Visitors to Ssese Islands, these days, are predominantly those hungry for a secluded honeymoon, or people with a taste for somewhere a little more rustic and “off-the-beaten-path”. The Islands are not your usual safari destination or adventure sites. Here, you drop your worries and relax – probably with a book.

Depending on the individual’s budget and interests; a tourist can pick any of Bubeke Island, Bukasa Island or Bufumira Island to explore. However, Baggala Island is the most frequented by tourists, perhaps because it is the most accessible and most developed, while the small Banda Island is a budget-friendly destination – it has budget resorts and a picturesque beach that’s enjoying a resurgence.

View of Lake Victoria | Photo by Jutta G

Anyone intending to visit the island on a one-off trip can join some of the tour companies running a day-trip to the Islands. A part of what’s usually on offer on such trips is sport fishing, with equipment and guide provided.

A tour may also include Island exploration. If the tour plan takes you along the western shores, you’re likely to find a few hippos and sitatunga antelopes.

This area is, however, swampy, so visitors usually go there by walking, cycling—and sometimes by using a vehicle.

Vincent’s boat | Photo by Banda Island Resort and Campsite

If, on the other hand, you choose to go to the island for a weekend trip, you can be sure of plenty of relaxation time. Between your day of arrival and departure, you can draw a plan around lazing in a resort, enjoying a nature walk, going to spot some animals and birds or doing something around the beach.

For Twitchers, Lutoboka Forest Reserve is a medium altitude forest lying on 378 hectares of land on Ssese Island where you can have a full day enjoying songs from the birds. There are over 300 birds’ species in the forest including the Uganda national bird – the Grey Crown Crane as well as the Pink Pelicans and lots of primates. Just feel free to explore.

For honeymooners, make sure you enjoy the luxurious treatment offered in the resorts, but don’t forget to try out having your lunch in the relaxing scenery of the white sand of Lake Victory on the Ssese Islands beach.


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Michael Alvin

Michael Alvin

Creative Writer
Michael Alvin is a lawyer and a UNESCO certified journalist. At Afro Tourism, he blends creativity with his training in telling moving stories about his personal experience on his various trips across Africa.
Michael Alvin
Michael Alvin
Michael Alvin

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