TRAVEL SAVVY. Beautiful scenery, tranquil environment, memorable ferry rides. Bugala Island, the second largest island on Lake Victoria, will help you unwind from daily bustle, writes Roland D. Nasasira.
When you arrive at Bugala Island in Kalangala District, tall palms wave at you as the lush green grass massages the soles of your feet.
Ronald Mulumba, a local, says it is a place where you can travel to get away from Kampala noise, office deadlines and congestion as a couple or as family on a weekend, to relax and enjoy the cool breeze from Lake Victoria.
Mulumba adds that there are two main routes to Bugala Island.
“You can board a ferry from Entebbe at Nakiwogo that leads to Lutoboka site or board at Bukakata site in Masaka. From Bukakata, the ferry takes about 25 minutes to Bugoma Site,” says Mulumba.
It is at this point that you set foot on the beginning of the island. However, you have to drive for about 25 more kilometres before you reach Bugala Island Town.
However, to enjoy your trip, Mulumba advises that you travel with extra money if you are not an account holder with Stanbic bank because it is the only bank that has an ATM at the island. “I hope you have your identification documents to check in at Bugoma and Lutoboka respectively. They are a must-have,” he says.
Places of accommodation
The more comfort you want, the more money you have to part with. However, you can get a good deal of bed and breakfast from as low as Shs50,000. Whichever place you choose, Mulumba says they all come with cool, quiet environs characterised with spectacular lake views from many directions.
There are fancy places such as Kalangala Pearl Resort that go a little higher above Shs50,000. There are also places that go up to Shs300,000 per night and this is inclusive of all meals if you plan to stay longer.
You can also choose to stroll by the lakeshores in the sands or waters under tall trees as you observe how fishermen go about their work. There are also those who repair fishing nets and boats. I could not miss visiting villages and schools on the island where stalls selling deep fried whole and sliced fish at Shs3,000.
Compared to Kampala that has no space for quad biking, Bugala offers one plenty of space for the activity; either in the forests as you manoeuvre the trees or on the many feeder roads.
The fact that there are not so many cars in the murram roads gives you a chance to try your quad biking skills on the main roads as well.
Camping and bonfire
When it gets cold in the night, I was told that you can put up a fire to keep warm within your tent as you roast food stuffs such as maize. The camping is more fun when you travel as a group.
Much as some accommodation places have swimming pools, the waters at the shores of Bugala Island are purely clean and white that swimming does not become optional. You will find clean water where you can swim such as at Victoria Forest Resort, Mirembe Resort Beach Hotel, among other places.