Ssese Islands

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The Ssese islands is a group of 84 islands, off the northwestern shores of Lake Victoria, east of Masaka and south of Entebbe. The islands remain largely unspoilt, as they escaped the destruction caused by the civil war and are rarely visited by foreigners.

The people, known as Basese are members of various Christian sects, although there are also some Muslims. The Basese have their own language and culture and live mainly of fishing and farming.

Most of the islands are not much more than a few rocks rising above the water, but others are quite large and interesting. The main islands include Buggala, Bufumira, Bukasa, Bubeke and Khome. They consist of heavily forested hills, with some stretches of farmland on the flatter areas. In the forests you might encounter monkeys and various bird species. On the island's shores you may run into crocodile or hippo, so be careful when swimming. In reedy areas, there are snails that carry the Bilharzia parasite. Thge views from the higher hills over the archipelago are excellent.

Fishermen can take you from one island to another. A ferry connects Luku on Buggala Island with Bukakata (east of Masaka), while fishing boats ply the route between several islands and Port Bell on the mainland. It is also possible to take a local boat from Kasenyi.

There is not much accommodation on the islands, but it is fairly easy to stay with locals.

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