UGANDAUncluttered exploitation
Uganda still offers some of the least-known opportunities to experience the best of East African culture, climate and land.

Ssese Islands

A World of its Own: A Uganda Tour Off the Beaten Track

The 84 lush equatorial Ssese Islands form worlds of their own on Lake Victoria. Forests teeming with wildlife, delightful empty beaches, friendly islanders and peaceful environment provide a unique and fascinating opportunity for fishing, walking, boating, birdwatching or simply enjoying beautiful, and unspoilt surroundings. Here, you’ll be able to see vervet monkeys and grey parrots by the forest waterfalls, kingfishers, herons and fish eagles diving for their food in the lake. The Ssese Islands are a perfect getaway for travelers wishing to visit somewhere a little more rustic and “off the beaten path” then the usual safari parks.

There are many islands to choose from, but Baggala Island is the most frequented by tourists, perhaps because it is the most accessible and most developed. However, the small Banda Island also provides a popular budget resort worth visiting. Depending on your interests, you may also choose to explore Bubeke, Bukasa and/or Bufumira.


Vervet monkey, colobus monkey, a prolific variety of water and forest birds including hornbill, barbets, robin-chats, turaco, flycatcher, weaver, fish eagle, paradise fly catcher, kingfisher,brown-throated wattle-eye, palmnut vultures, great cormorants, little egret, colourful butterflies.


  • Sport fishing: Fishing is a prominent activity in the Ssese Island area. Rent a boat, and bring your own equipment.
  • Island Exploration: The marshy southwestern shores  are home to a few hippos and sitatunga antelopes. These swamps can be reached by walking (plan for an overnight stay), cycling, or by vehicle.
  • Swimming: There is a risk of bilharzia in surrounding waters, but the Mutumbula beach is reportedly bilharzia-free. Note that shallow waters with visible snails (the hosts of the bilharzia parasites) are of greatest risk. Always dry off vigorously with a towel to minimize chances of infection.
  • Boat trips: Rent a boat, or commission local fishermen to take you out on the water. You will enjoy viewing the islands from a different perspective.
  • Volleyball: Some resorts provide beach volleyball. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
  • Cycling Excursions: Cycling is an excellent way to explore Baggala Island. Bring your own, or rent one from Andronica Lodge. Cycling to Mutumbula beach is especially lovely, because the water is reputably bilharzia-free and safe for swimming after a hot ride.

Trail Accommodation:

Baggala Island:


The Ssesse Islands Club is set beneath a high forest and just off a white sandy beach. A combination of tented and en-suite wooden cabin accommodation. Each cottage has a bar, WC and shower.

Pearl Gardens Beach is conveniently located walking distance from the ferry drop-off. There is a bar, DSTV, and available internet for residents.

Ssese Island Beach Hotel consists of cottages about 15 minutes walk from the ferry drop-off. Game fishing, boat trips, guided forest and birding walks can be arranged from this facility. You’ll enjoy a pool table, swimming beach, beach volleyball, and DSTV. Self-contained cottages have electricity and hot water.

Mirembe Resort is a good option for people wanted quiet accommodation. The cottages are self-contained and are near the beach. Enjoy your dinner by a campfire on the lakeside.


The Panorama Lodge is half a kilometer away from the ferry landing. Although the lodge is not stationed near the beach, it boast an attractive garden as well as a picturesque forest backdrop. The self-contained chalets have solar lighting and hot water is available upon request.

The Ssese Scorpion Lodge is situated 10 minutes walking distrance from the ferry drop-off location. Meals are available, rooms are cheap, and camping is permitted.

If you enjoy camping, opt for the Hornbill Camping Site. This site provides great camping locations in the shade and near the beach. Bandas are also available.

The Kingfisher Camp also provides a camping option that is near the ferry drop-off location.

Banda Island:

Banda Island Resort is a popular accommodation option for those visiting Banda Island. Cottages (both self-contained and with shared facilities) are available, as well as dorm beds and camping. All accommodation are on full-board basis, with a very fish-oriented menu!

Bukasa Island:

Agnes Guesthouse on Bukasa Island is a substantial Edwardian house now run by the local MP. Here you’ll be sure to find comfortable accommodation and typical Ugandan hospitality.

Father Christopher’s Guesthouse offers cheap rooms, camping, and good advice on walks on the island.


June 27, 2017, 11:51 am
Partly sunny
Partly sunny
current pressure: 1020 mb
humidity: 70%
wind speed: 2 m/s SSE
sunrise: 6:49 am
sunset: 6:57 pm

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