Ssese Islands

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Ssese Islands – Kalangala

You’re right, it’s kind of confusing. Let us explain; Kalangala is the capital of Bugala Island and that is one of the 84 islands that make up the Ssese Islands. Of these islands in the northwest of Lake Victoria, a total of 43 are inhabited. Bugala is the largest and this is also the island where the vast majority of tourists go.

Over the years, the islands Bufumira, Buakasa and Kkome have become increasingly popular among tourists who want to enjoy the beauty of nature but who do not feel like entering the (relative) bustle on Bugala. We say relatively because it is very quiet on Bugala even though it is much more developed than the other islands.

The islands lie in two main groups. The south west can be referred to as the Bugala Group, after Bugala Island, the largest in the archipelago. The northeastern group can be referred to as the Koome Group, after Koome Island, the largest in that group. The two groups are separated by the Koome Channel. Other islands in the Bugala Group include: Bubeke, Bubembe, Bufumira, Bugaba, Bukasa, Buyova, Funve and Serinya. The main islands in the Koome Group include: Damba, Koome and Luwaji.

The Sesse Islands are inhabited by the Bantu speaking Bassese tribe, closely related to the Baganda and the Basoga, and speaking a similar, though distinct language. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the islands were one of the most important spiritual centers of the region. About 43 (50%) of the islands are inhabited. The islands vary in size from less than 10,000 square metres (2.5 acres), to over 40 kilometres (25 mi) in length for the largest island, Bugala Island. Henry Morton Stanley described the inhabitants as ‘the principal canoe builders and the greater number of the sailors of Mtesa’s empire’.

More Info On The Activities

Whats there to do?

Actually there is a lot to do! You can enjoy the tranquillity, pretty good food (for example at Brovad) and explore the island in a few ways. There are a few swimming pools and if you are not afraid of Bilharzia then you can take a dip in Lake Victoria. Catch your own fish and have it prepared for you or go out for dinner at a restaurant and enjoy the sunset. You can take a boat trip where you can see a lot of different birds and also a bike ride is highly recommended. Some advice; take a book with you!

Here is a list of activities;


Challenging greens, majestic fairways and extra ordinary views are all yours to enjoy at the Island.

Zoo And Bird Paradise Park

Come and have an up-close experience with small animals and birds that will entice your heart. This Conservation educational park attracts foreign and local urbanised families and children who have no touch or encounter with wildlife or livestock

Sport Fishing

Tourists have several options when it comes to fishing. You can try your luck from a jetty or hire a motor boat with a Fish Finder for the deep waters of Lake Victoria.

Nature Walks

Taking a forest walk through the island gives you a new lease of life; you get to see some of Africa’s greatest hard and soft woods. The trees create a complete environment for the birds, insects and butterflies.

Village Walk

It is not often you get to wander into a stranger’s home and share quality time with them but in the S.I.B.H guided village walk, not only is it ok, it is expected.

Quad Biking / Mountain Biking

Ride into the warm heart of Ssese, through palm plantations and villages. No previous experience of driving a vehicle is necessary. A free training session is conducted before setting off. Mud is good, water puddles even better.

Canoe Rides

Canoeing affords you the opportunity to simply get away from it all and spend time on the shores of Lake Victoria winding down. Enjoy the fresh air of the outdoors.

Island Hopping / Boat Trip

Set off on a boat to different islands.

Island Tour On Motorcycle (Boda Boda) Or Car

Riding yourself on a boda boda or sitting behind a local driver can be a very nice experience. Enjoy some of the most beautiful sceneries on the Island, visit different landing sites, palm oil plantations and local communities.

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