The Ssese Islands are perhaps Uganda’s best kept secret. These beautiful islands are a piece of paradise surrounded by water in a landlocked country.
The Ssese Islands are found on Lake Victoria, the second largest lake in the world which is shared by Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. They are a beach paradise even though there is no sea, or ocean shore.
These islands are 84 altogether and this collection of islands has sandy beaches, and palms, exotic plants, flowers and trees, and of course friendly people. Ugandans are forever friendly. These islands are the perfect holiday spot for a getaway. Add Uganda’s all year round perfect weather to the equation of beautiful sandy beaches and you have a paradise. The islands are found in the northwestern corner of the Lake Victoria.
If you are on a Uganda safari, white water rafting, gorilla trekking or climbing up Mount Elgon, you eventually need to wind down from all those adrenalin charged activities. The Ssese island are the best place to go you wind down relax and enjoy some peace and quiet before you go back to do more adventurous things like bungee jumping or head back home at the end of your trip. It happens to be quite close to Entebbe airport, so you can start your trip there or end it there.
What are the sights and sounds on the Ssese islands?
The islands, as mentioned earlier have beautiful sandy beaches, palms, exotic plants and flowers.
There are is a tropical forest filled with primates such as monkeys and other species of wildlife such as the Sitatunga Antelopes, and exotic bird species. The Ssese islands are truly a bird watchers paradise.
While on the islands you can visit the villages, interact with the locals and learn something about their cultures and way of life.
There are some exciting activities such as boating and fishing. You can go boating, either paddling yourself on the lake, or with a guide, you could also take a motor boat ride out on the lake, or if you like fishing, you could go fishing and try your hand at catching the huge Nile perch fish or the tilapia, you could even catch fish and cook it yourself.
Because it is Uganda, and Uganda is a fruit republic, there is of course a variety of fruits to be enjoyed on the island. Everything from mangoes to bananas, papaya, watermelons, pineapples and of course jackfruit, which you have probably never tasted before if it’s your first time on the African continent.
The islands a scenic and a very interesting place to visit; even the view of the sun rising or setting over these islands is breathtaking. They are not only a secret for Uganda, but also considered one of the world’s best secret islands.
How do you get to the Ssese Islands?
Getting to the islands is takes only a few hours on a ferry ride.
If you are using public transportation, like taxis and buses, you can get a taxi from the new taxi park in Kampala heading towards masaka, and get off at a place called Nyendo about 3km from masaka. From Nyendo you can make your way to Kalangala. There is a bus that travels directly from Kampala to Kalangala. There is also some regular ferry service from one island to another.
You can also charter a flight to the islands.
Where do will stay when you visit the Ssese Islands?
There are hotels and lodges on some of the islands. Bugala Island which is perhaps the largest and most frequented by visitors has the most hotel and lodging accommodations. Many of these are located along the lake, giving you a beach front view and access to the lake. Good accommodation close to the beach makes for a good and relaxing holiday. You can even enjoy a beach camp fire in the evening.
There is no large hotel, or five star accommodations on the islands but the accommodation that is there is good. And there is something for everyone depending on your budget.
The Ssese Islands are very serene and beautiful. Life here moves at a much slower and relaxing pace, than Kampala. There is not much road traffic. You can even enjoy a relaxing bicycle ride, without worrying about being overwhelmed by vehicle traffic, or take a walk through the forest and visit the villages.
There are so many destinations that you can add to your itinerary for a safari in Uganda, but a visit to the Ssese Islands is something you really do not want to miss out on for any reason. These islands were listed as one of the world’s best secret islands because they are simply amazing.
This is the perfect place to relax, rest your mind and your body from the hustle and bustle of the city, or the exciting and equally tiring tourist adventures that Uganda has to offer.