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Geography and Location

The Ssese Islands are an archipelago of eighty-four (84) islands positioned in the northwestern part of Lake Victoria, the second-largest freshwater lake in the world and largest in Africa. Lake Victoria in East Africa, borders Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and is the main source of the Nile River.

The islands form one of Uganda’s prime destinations for holiday travelers and off-the-beaten-track exploration.

The Ssese Islands consists of 84 separate beautiful and magnificent islands, some large and densely inhabited, others small and deserted, but all lushly forested, thanks to an annual average rainfall in excess of 2,000mm.

The largest, most accessible and the most developed island in the Ssese group of islands is called Buggala Island. Buggala Islands seats Kalangala - largest town that serves as the headquarters of the district that carries the same name (Kalangala District), while the nearby Lutoboka Bay, hosts the island’s main cluster of sandy beach resorts.

Kalangala Town is located approximately 51 kms (32 mi), across water, southwest of Entebbe, a major town in central Uganda, located on Lake Victoria Peninsula in Wakiso District.

Another important landmark on Buggala island is Luku – the small village on the western extreme of the island where the motor ferry (MV Kalangala) from the mainland docks. A well-maintained murram road connects Luku to Kalangala Town, while minor murram road run to other villages lying further south on island

The Ssese islands lie in two main groups. The south west can be referred to as the Buggala Group, after Buggala Island, the largest in the archipelago. The northeastern group can be referred to as the Koome Group, after Koome Island, the largest in that group. The two groups are separated by the Koome Channel.

Other islands in the Buggala Group comprise: Buggala, Bubeke, Bufumira, Bugaba, Bukasa, Buyova, Funve and Serinya. The main islands in the Koome Group include: Damba, Koome and Luwaji.

Bugala Island is the second largest island in Lake Victoria, Uganda, after Ukerewe Island, Tanzania. It covers an area of 275 square kilometres (106 sq mi) or 27,000 hectares (67,000 acres).

The second largest land mass in Ssese is Bukasa Island, which lies on the Eastern of the archipelago, and is widely regarded by the few travelers who make it there to be even more attractive than Buggala.  Bukasa Island is extensively forested and supports a profusion of birds and ververt monkeys and can be explored on foot along a network of fair murram roads.  

All the islands in Ssese archipelago contain rainforests and blessed with sandy beaches and fresh water.

Quick Facts:

Map & Coordinates: Kalangala District: 0° 26' 0.00"S, 32° 15' 0.00"E (Latitude:-0.4333; Longitude:32.2500).

Region: Central Uganda

Total Area: Kalangala district has a total area of 9,066.8 sq. km

Total Islands: 84