Ssese Islands

Updated: Nov 30, 2018


In spite of being in the middle of the world’s second largest lake, the islands are surprisingly accessible. There is a regular ferry service running from Entebbe, Masaka district. The crossing to Kalangala from Entebbe is approximately 3 hours, but the time sails by – no pun intended – and before you know it you have your feet in the fine sand of Buggala. The nature was so serene and beautiful which is no surprise because Uganda truly is gifted by nature. I went to one of the the Ssese Islands that are an archipelago of eighty-four islands in the northwestern part of Lake Victoria in Uganda. Lake Victoria is the second-largest freshwater lake in the world.


Magical things I experienced whilst there


The ferry ride on Lake Victoria was refreshing. The air was clean and crisp and I think I appreciated it alot because it was an escape from the visually polluted urban areas. The Captain pleasantly surprised us when he called us to the deck to see the coordinates on his system which indicated that we were right above the imaginary Equator line that separates the Northern hemisphere from the Southern hemisphere. What’s also pretty cool is that the equator’s position is directly related to that of the Earth's rotating axis, which moves slightly throughout the course of the year. Therefore, the equator isn't static - which means that the line drawn on the ground at some equatorial markers is not always entirely accurate. However, this is a technical detail, and these markers are still the closest that you can get to the center of the Earth.


It would have been unbefitting not to eat Nile Perch or Tilapia (freshwater fish) when we were right at the source, and so we went into the village and bought some from the island locals who have clearly mastered the art of preparing it in mouthwatering ways! Nothing beats sitting on the beach and eating fish pulled from the waters just hours before, plus, ‘street’ food always tastes better).


At the time of our visit, the hotel at the island we visited had a ‘lights out’ curfew of 10pm (to conserve generator fuel due to the load shedding schedule at the time) So after watching the fabulous sunsets over the lake and eating tilapia by the campfire, it was really nice to ‘switch off’ completely and have some quiet time albeit via firewood, and later candle light.


We took some nature walks too and saw the island’s virgin forests teaming with wildlife, delightful empty beaches and friendly islanders. I felt like the island’s simplicity, beauty, friendly and humble people, are a true representation of how beautiful and hospitable Uganda is in general.


Nope. I didn’t go white water rafting but my friends and I went on our own little boat tour and just enjoyed the open water! It wasn’t as eventful as white water rafting, but it was a unique experience because of the sheer size of the lake. Now why wouldn’t anyone spend their morning luxuriating on the beach and their afternoon out on the water?


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