As you approach the beautiful Bugala Island a part of the Ssese Islands in Lake Victoria, you are greeted by stretches of white sandy beaches. Your eye roams beyond the beaches, and you are struck by the thick green forests that still cover a large part of this Island. The Ssese Islands are an archipelago of 84 islands located in the northwestern part of Lake Victoria in Uganda. Bugala Island is home to Kalangala town which hosts the districts (Kalangala) headquarters and is probably the busiest of the islands.
Getting to Bugala island has been made easier by the MV Kalangala ship, which travels daily to and from the Island. The ships leaves Nakiwogo pier in Entebbe at 2.00pm daily and arrives at Lutoboka pier on Bugala Island at about 5.00pm, returning to Entebbe the next day at 11.00am. Bring a good book or some games for the trip especially if travelling with kids; you will need to keep them occupied. Upon arrival, you will be met by a representative from your hotel that will take your luggage and in some cases literally walk you to your hotel, as some of the hotels are located a few meters from the pier.
All but one of the major hotels is located on the beachfront allowing for maximum enjoyment of the beach. This means you will sleep and wake up to the sounds of the lake and depending on the location of your room, enjoy breathtaking views. As far as accommodation goes on the island, let me start by saying there are no five star hotels on the island, so your choices are mid-range and budget type hotels. The hotels here are very ‘rustic’; after all you came here to enjoy the beach and island life, right? Island life – slower pace, no reliable source of electricity, friendly people, did I already say slower pace? Leave the blackberry behind and get ready for some serious relaxation time.
Bugala Island is famous for its white sandy beaches and the beaches are the major reason you will come here. The sand is white, warm on most days and clean. During the day you can play beach games or simply lie down and take the in the beauty of it all. At night some of the hotels have bonfires on the beach front, barbeques and music on the weekends. If you are a photographic enthusiast, you will not believe the shots you will capture; the sunsets on the beach are extraordinary.
Fishing is of course a major activity on the island; visitors can arrange with their hotels to go out for fishing trips or simply tour the island on boat. You can also take a boat out and tour some of the smaller islands. The islands here are teeming with all sorts of birds, making them quite the bird watchers dream destination. Guided forest walks, Island tours by car or on foot, village tours, are all on offer here.
Expect rustic, scenic, calm and peaceful when you visit the Ssese Islands.
Copyright Karibu Uganda, Ltd.