Uganda, besides national parks, cities and other natural tour sites; is gifted with over 90 beautiful islands that are located on various lakes all over the country. These islands are characterized by melodious chants of birds, breathtaking views, cool forests, sandy beaches for sun bathing and a bunch of activities to explore which include birding, sunset cruises, camping, fishing and nature walks, thus a perfect vacation spot for holiday makers. Some of them also have cultural beliefs and stories attached to them, therefore offering cultural experiences to tourists.
On the other hand, these islands also have very cozy, luxurious and yet affordable hotels located along the lake shores giving you a beach view to wake up to every morning. They offer exceptional services, variety of cuisines, fruits and cocktails to enhance your stay.
The following are the top 5 fascinating islands to consider when choosing a vacation destination in Uganda.
1. Ssese Islands
Ssese islands is an archipelago of 84 islands located on the north western part of Lake Victoria, and undoubtedly a gem that is worth exploring after an adrenaline packed safari in Uganda. It has been named as one of the best places to relax and unwind, as you enjoy the sandy beaches, and amazing sceneries especially during a sunset cruise on the lake. This island is also known for inhabiting variety of bird species, palm trees and fruits such as bananas, avocado, watermelons, pineapples and others.
To get to Ssese island from Kampala or Entebbe international airport, you need to board a public taxi or commercial motorcycles commonly known as Boda boda, or alternatively one can drive to Nakiwogo landing site where you will find MV Kalangala that leaves daily at 2pm and charges about Ugx.15,000 or US $5. The ferry takes about 3 hours to get the island and it offers both first- and second-class tickets. Surely, a visit to Ssese island is worth it, especially as a way to end a safari or for couples on honeymoon.
2. Ngamba island
Ngamba island also known as chimp island, is located about 23km from mainland of Entebbe town and it covers an area of about 100 acres with almost 95 acres covered by rain forest. This island is popularly known for the chimpanzee sanctuary that was founded in 1998 and is a home to 49 orphaned and confiscated chimps that are rescued from illegal pet and bush meat trade. Besides the chimpanzees, the island is a habitant for other wildlife species such as bats, spiders, butterflies, and a variety of bird species. Activities that can be done on a visit to Ngamba island include fishing, sunset walks, boat cruises, and of course chimp habituation. Just like other islands, Ngamba island offers an amazing scenery for sunrise and sunset viewing.
3. Bunyonyi Islands
Bunyonyi islands is found on Lake Bunyonyi in south western Uganda, in districts of Kibale and Kisoro, and also not far away from Rwanda. It is an archipelago of 29 islands surrounded by terraced rolling hills that give a beautiful, amazing and breathtaking sceneries to view. One of the most famous islands is Akampene famously known as punishment island. The Bakiga back in the days, believed that sex before marriage was forbidden and girls who would get pregnant before marriage, would be banished to the island to either starve to death or until any interested man paid bride price. These islands are also referred to as a “a place of many birds”, with over 200 bird species that have been recorded in the Bunyonyi area over years.
4. Samuka Island
Samuka island is located one and a half hours and 9km offshore Lake Victoria in Jinja district, and it is a perfect holiday spot for concluding a jinja trip or any other Ugandan tours. This island boasts of tranquility and peace that they offer to its visitors during their stays at Samuka island retreat; which does not only offer room accommodation but also camping. The island has over 50 bird species, sandy beaches that are great for sun bathing, beach games and photography moments. A visit to this island will leave you thinking of how beautiful Uganda is, besides its wildlife and culture. Events such as team building, weddings, corporate events, and other kind of parties can be held on this island as well. To access Samuka island, you can use a boat from Masese and Jinja sailing club or one can hire a corporate cruise at ‘Rumours the getaway’ to the island.
5. Lunkulu Island
This island is not as famous as the others but it is a hidden gem worth visiting. It is 60km from Jinja and 42km from Kampala off Katosi-Mukono road. Lunkulu island was occupied by Bayimba in November 2017 and sits on 100 acres covered majorly by a forest. This forest inhabits various bird species and monkeys such as red-tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked monkeys, mangabeys and colobus monkeys. It also offers a serene, calm, unique and memorable tourism experience. This island is majorly known for the Annual Bayimba international festival that happens every august and is usually open to everyone. This 4-days festival is a fun-filled event that offers music, dance, poetry, comedy, film fashion, exhibition and company to attendees. Check out their website for details about this year’s event www.bayimbafestival.com
For memorable, exciting and lifetime experiences at any of these islands, inquire and book you Uganda safari with www.dalinksafaris.com , we organize and deliver quality tour services to our clients.