The Ssese islands are also home to a variety of animals including primates, which are not easily accessible on the mainland. The most common large mammal on Buggala Island is the vervet monkey often seen in the vicinity of Lutoboka bay and Kalangala town. Bushbuck and black and white colobus are present, but seldom observed. Over the 12,000 years that the island has been separated from the mainland, one endemic creek rat and 3 endemic butterfly species have evolved. Water and Forest birds are prolific. Expect to see a variety of hornbills, barbets, turacos, robin-chats, saddle-bill stork, paradise flycatchers and weavers from the roads around Kalangala. Other bird species to to watch in Kalangala include; grey parrot, black-and-white casqued hornbill, didric cuckoo.
Particularly common are the jewel-like pygmy kingfisher, the brown-throated-wattle eye and a stunning morph of the paradise flycatcher intermediate to the orange and white phases, illustrated in most East African field guides.
African fish eagles, pink-backed pelican and palm nut vultures are often seen near the lake while immense breeding colonies of long-legged egrets and great cormorant occur on Lutoboka and other bays.
The road from the ferry at Lutoboka bay to Mirembe Resort passes through grasslands and a beautiful patch of forest with stream, that will interest travelers and birders. Then from Kalangala town on the ridge above Lutoboka, strike out in any direction to find pleasing over forests and grassy clearing to the lake shore and more distant islands. To explore further afield, you can either hike or hire a cycle from your accommodation in Ssese Islands. A popular cycling excusrsioon is to Mutumbula swimming beach reputedly free of bilharzia which lies off the road towards Luku. Travellers tend to concentrate of the Kalangala – Luku road and justifiably so, since the road heading south from Kalangala is far more cultivating. One potentially interesting goal in this direction is the marshy southwestern showers which harbour small numbers of hippopotamus as well as a population of sitatunga antelope with larger horns that the mainland equivalent, regarded by some authorities to represent an endemic island race. Without a private vehicle, you would probably need to do an overnight walking or cycling trip / motorcycle boda boda to get to these swamps.
Pioneering tourists discover their soft white sands, blue waters and lush forests. Lake Victoria, with a shoreline of more than 3,000km, is Africa's biggest lake.
The Ssese islands contain over 12% of Uganda’s known tree and shrub species. Lasianthus sesseensis, a tree endemic to Uganda, is known from Ssese islands, and in 2012, Nature Uganda recorded eight species that were not recorded in any other forest of the 65 surveyed in the country. There are occasional large snakes.