Banda Island Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 28 photos

ssese Islands

Getting there & Away
Various options are available depending on your budget.
The Kasenyi option: The cheapest and most regular is to take a Sesse fishing canoe from Kasenyi landing site. Take a taxi from old taxi park in Kampala at around 2.00 p.m which costs 1,500/-. In Kasenyi walk towards the water and on your right hand side, you will see a Banda sign over the Kasenyi Takeaway. Pile into the takeaway and ask for Grace, who will sort you out and make sure you are on the right boat. There is usually a choice of two or three, and she will have up to date information on who is likely to travel first. Typically you will be carried onto the boat by Grace's choice of porters, which costs 500/-. Per trip. Males travel on the
shoulders; females are scooped up like a baby and carried. Please dress accordingly, little skimpy mini-skirts will DEFINETLY cause a prolonged riot amongst the wanna-be porters! Departure depends on too many variables to list here, but include weather, wind
and size of yesterday's fish catch! Usually boats leave around 4 or 5 p.m. and the crossing takes about 3 hours, so bring a jacket as it gets cold on the water in the evening. You cross the equator about 15 minutes out of Kasenyi, and there is usually a beer available on the boat to help you celebrate. The crossing costs 5,000/-. If you have made a booking, preferably by text message some days in advance, then they will have a large fire on the beach to guide you in to a cold beer and hot supper. No booking any supper!
The Kalangala via Masaka Option: An alternate route with less time on the water, but much longer in time is to drive via Masaka and take the government ferry from Bukakata onto Bugalla
Island, then drive to Kalangala town where I recommend
Hornbill Camp for the night. Next day take a canoe from Mwena to Banda. If you have made a booking, they will collect you from the fishing village and bring you direct to the camp. No booking means a very pleasant walk through the tropical rain forest of 1 hour to the camp. Recommend you make a booking!
The return to Kampala: Boats leave from the beach in front of the camp in the middle of the morning most days, depending on winds
and fish catch, and reach Kasenyi around 2.00 or 3.00 p.m.
Restaurant & Bar
Their Restaurant & Bar offers snacks. Good value meals can be ordered in advance.


In order to maintain the tranquil and peaceful
atmosphere on Banda Island prefer to limit the
accommodation to 14 beds, in spacious tented
accommodation under iron sheets, each with their own
uninterrupted views of the lake. Each tent is
comfortably furnished, fresh linen and mattresses are provided and most have two sets of hammocks on your private verandah. One advantage of living in a malaria free zone is no mosquitoes!
Additionally they are have 6 more beds in a more superior option of stone built cottages with cement floors and large glass windows, ideally situated to enjoy a cosy view of the ferocity of the tropical storms from the warmth of a dry bed.
The most popular pastime for customers seems to be stretching out in a hammock after a large meal, or soaking up some skin cancer on the sandy palm fringed beaches. However, the swimming is superbly relaxing and there is nothing nasty in the water. They have a dozen old windsurfers to paddle around on, much improved with the removal of the sails! There are kayaks and canoes for the more energetic, and paddling dinghies for the more sedate option. There is a family of otters that although shy can be approached gently
by water. There is also a 505 sailing dinghy and a Hobie 18 catamaran.

As a special "incentive" price they are offering the tented accommodation at the ridiculously low price of 20,000/- Uganda shillings per person per night, and the more luxurious cottages at a paltry 30,000/- per person per night. This price is a genuine all
inclusive price; decent breakfast, tasty lunches and a huge supper, unlimited tea and coffees, and snacks in between. Drinking water is provided at no cost to yourselves. Food is a very important aspect of the island; you spend half the day eating and the other half talking about what to eat next! Price includes use of all toys! Given the speed that the shilling is falling I am sure they will have to change the prices soon, so take advantage of this special offer while you can. Contacting and making reservations:
>From your mobile send to:
+256 77 222 777 and/or +256 77 44 66 69
>From your PC send small Email to: +25677222777@mtnconnect.co.ug
Also from your PC logon to:
Then send message to 077 44 66 69 and/or 077 222 777
-----Don't leave Uganda without checking out-----

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  • In a nutshell:Fresh Water
  • Last visit to Banda Island: Apr 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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