Katwe Explosion Crater

Ssese Island & The Lakes of Uganda

Uganda can be called truly thE land of the lakes, as almost one third of the Country is covered by water.

The great lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, dominates the southern border of the country, while Lakes Edward and Albert stand guard to the west of Uganda.

Linked to lake Edward by the Kazinga Channel, Lake George is a birdwatcher’s paradise.

230km to the west of Kampala, lake Mburo is our only lake entirely within a national park. In the centre of Uganda, lakes Kwania and Kyoga are fed by the waters of the Victoria Nile.

Other spectacular lakes in Uganda are lake Bunyonyi near Kabale, with several unique species of ducks, and Lake Bisina in the shadow of Mount Elgon, as well as tiny crater lakes high in the mountains.

All our lakes provide different attractions and moods: from the almost infinite space of nature experienced on the inland sea that is lake Victoria, with its islands and resorts, to the smaller lake Mburo withs its myriad of birds and spectacular sunsets.

All Uganda’s lakes are home to many different species of birds and beasts, and the variety of fish is without equal.

At every turn there are magical panoramas, and many of our lakes are great of fishing or sailing. In lake Victoria it is common to hook at 60kg Nile Perch, but the record stands at 154kg. Local fishermen, in their dugout canoes, ply their trade (the fresh fish for our restaurants is part of the appeal of Uganda) and local ferries serve the village along the shores.

The lakes reflect the infinite variety of our land and provide part of exquisite beauty that is Uganda.

The Ssese Islands

The Ssese Islands lie in the north-western section of lake Victoria and are a rewarding 9 hour steamer trip from Port Bell, or 45 minutes by the local ferry from Bukakata to Bugoma on Bugala, the largest of the islands.

Many of the 84 islands are uninhabited except for a few fishermen, so the forests, and swamps which bound around some of the coasts make the island a perfect habitat for birds.

It should be easy to spot the Whale-headed Stork and the many herons and geese, but more elusive birds include the Grey Parrot, kingfishers and Fish Eagles.

The virtually virgin land is rich in plant life, and many of the species are reportedly new to botanists.

The wildlife on the Islands include hippo and crocodile, found near the shores, and waterbuck roam freely, as does the shy Sitatunga antelope. In the forest areas, chimps and monkeys are free to swing from the trees.

From Bugala Island it is a 3 hour boat ride to Bukasa Island or 2 hours to Bubembe, Banda Island, another of the Ssese group is also 3 hours by boat from Bugala.

Life on the islands is simple, the people are welcoming. Life centres around the shambas, the fishing boats and the trading centres.

The colourful dances of the Baganda is part of the local way of life, and the there is a sacred shrine to Jjajja Mukasa on Bukasa Island.


URC operated M.V. Baarbus from Port Bell to Bugoma. Bugoma is connected by the a 25km murram road to Kalangala Town. Local ferry from Bukakata to Bugoma daily.


  • Ssese Islands Beach Hotel
  • Ssese Palm Beach
  • Ssese Islands Club