ituated in the northwest of Lake Victoria, the Ssese Islands form one of Uganda’s prime destinations for casual rambling and off-the-beaten-track exploration, as well as for game fishing, in particular Nile perch. For much of the 1990s, the islands were entrenched as perhaps the most popular backpackers’ chill-out destination in Uganda. Although their attractions have not diminished in recent years, their popularity evidently has, attributable perhaps to the suspension of ferries from Port Bell as well as the burgeoning tourist development at the more accessible Lake Bunyonyi in Kigezi.

The Ssese Archipelago consists of 84 separate Islands, some large and densely inhabited, others small and deserted, but lushly forested thanks to an annual average rainfall in excess of 20,000mm. Only two islands regularly receive tourists. The more established of these is Buggala, the largest, most accessible and most developed Island, which is privately owned and the site of a popular budget resort. Other Islands that can be visited with varying degrees of ease are Bubeke, Bukasa and Bufumira.

Not least amongst Ssese Islands’ attractions are their rustic character and the sense of being well away from established tourist circuit. But as in other out-of –the-way places, it is suggested that you dress conservatively except in resort and campsite grounds, and to swim with a t-shirt on.