Uganda, dubbed the “Pearl of Africa is endowed with a number of Islands within its fresh-water Lakes. These Islands are perfect destinations for unwinding, sightseeing, sporting and nature walks among others. No destinations can offer secluded vacation than Uganda’s Islands and this article brings you some of the magnificent ones to be visited during Uganda Safaris;
The Ssese Islands
Ssese Island is a term used to describe the group of 84 wonderful Islands within the western shores of Lake Victoria-largest fresh water Lake in Africa. These islands are perfect spots for secluded weekend getaways or for unwinding after a long stressful week. The main activities within these Islands include island-hopping, boat rides and nature walks among others. The common ones include;
This is the largest of all the Ssese Islands and interestingly the most visited for tourist activities. You will encounter several extraordinary wildlife species especially the primates such as the black and white Colobus monkeys and the Vervet monkeys among others. Other mammals include the Sitatungas and bushbucks. Bugala is also a Haven to numerous bird species that include different species of hornbills, Robin-chats, Turacos, fly-catchers, Kingfishers, pelicans, African fish eagles and barbets among others. With all these interesting attractions, you wouldn’t be surprised that there are several Lodges within the island including Brovad Sands Lodge. Not only that, the nearby Lutoboka Bay offers shelter to clusters of Resort Beaches, popular for a number of Beach activities.
Bukasa Island is another large (second largest) and beautiful Island. Its verdant forest makes it a perfect habitat for the monkeys such as the vervet monkeys and birds especially the Turacos and fly-catchers among others. One of the must-visit sites on this island is the waterfall and its plunge pool in the middle of the forest and the commonest activity within Bukasa Island is nature walks.
Besides these two main places, others that form part of the Ssese Islands include Banda and Bufumira Islands that can be accessed from Bugala using canoes or motor boats.
Lake Bunyonyi is a home to over 29 verdant Islands that can be explored during Safaris in Uganda but the common ones are Akampene or Punishment Island where pregnant unmarried girls were always left to die in the cold without water and food. Why? It was because in the traditional Bakiga Culture, sex before marriage was totally forbidden hence its punishment was ruthless in a way that the victim would be left to suffer two fates-die at the Island from starvation or drown while trying to swim to the shores. Besides the mentioned ones, other Lake Bunyonyi Islands include Bwama-probably the largest and best for nature walks and scenery viewing, Itambira known for its stunning scenery, Bushara and Akabucuanuka Islands among others.
This phenomenal Island is situated on Lake Victoria, about 23 kilometers from Entebbe Town and is very famous because of the Common Chimpanzees (found within the Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary). It is for this reason that Ngamba Island is also known as the Chimp Island mainly because it is a home to over 40 Orphaned Chimpanzees rescued from across the country. It is characterized by the vast verdant forest that allows these exceptional primates to wander freely and habituated to human presence hence easily encountered during safaris in Uganda.
In conclusion, although Uganda is a landlocked country, she is endowed with numerous Islands that can be explored during Safaris and some of them like the Ssese Islands that include Buggala and Bukasa, Ngamba Island, Lake Bunyonyi Islands like Akampene, Bushara, Bwama and Itambira among others.