A Quick Escape to Ssese Islands, Uganda’s Lush Archipelagos
Kampala is such a busy place for business and politics that one can barely find a place to lie down and enjoy nature. Quite frankly, there are facilities in the city that give the semblance of it, the truth is the city’s vibe is quite intense that sometimes you just need to go to a place where you can slow it right down. That’s where Ssese Islands, Uganda’s lush archipelago of 84 islands along Lake Victoria comes in. The Islands boasts some stunning white-sand beaches that once enjoyed wide popularity among tourists before it tipped off most tourists’ radar for unexplained reasons.
Somehow, the hunger for secluded honeymoon and taste for somewhere a little more rustic and “off the beaten path” than the usual safari parks, has restored Ssese Islands’ on the tourist map, though not with the huge popularity it once enjoyed. Depending on the individual’s budget and interests, Bubeke Island, Bukasa Island and Bufumira Island are worth ticking off for exploration on a trip, though 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 with a popular budget resort worth visiting and a picturesque beach that’s enjoying a resurgence.
Anyone intending to visit the island on a one-off trip can join some of the tour company running day trip to the Islands. A part of what’s usually on offer on such trip 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.
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 nature walk, going to spot some animals and birds or doing something around the beach.
For Twitchers, Lutoboka Forest Reserve is medium altitude forests lying on 378 hectares of land on Ssese Island where they 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 primate. Just feel free to explore.
For honeymooners, after enjoying luxury treatment in the resorts, enjoying lunch in the relaxed scenery of the white sand of Lake Victory on the Ssese Islands beach is highly recommended.
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