Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Ssese Islands of Lake Victoria

On the 4th of June 2013 I and a few friends set off from Kampala to visit just a few of the 84 Islands of Kalangala. The main purpose of this trip was to break away from our daily routine.

I looked forward to tasting that Nile Perch and taking an evening swim in the lake. We had two routes to choose from. To get the ferry from either Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe or Bukakata landing site in Masaka. We opted for the latter because it was a longer distance. The catch was to make it to Bukakata landing site by 2 O'clock or else we could miss the ferry.

So we had to take the murram road from Lukaya trading centre on the Masaka road to Bukakata landing site.

That day, the queue was not so long. It consisted of a few loaded trucks loaded with matooke and soda. The ferry ride took 30 minutes. By 1:30pm we had landed at Luuku,Bugoma landing site on Bugala Island.

Site of Bukakata landing site as ferry leaves for Kalangala.

Destination .... Luuku landing site Kalangala.

Luuku landing site on Kalangala Island.

 Bugala_Island is the largest Island of the chain of 84 Islands and its largest town is Kalangala.

The only oversight we had was that the 5th of June 2013 was "The National Enviroment Day". This day in particular has always been celebrated in Kalangala District. As a result most reservations were fully booked. Ssese Hub was fully booked. So we settled for Mirembe Resort Beach.

Sunset on Lake Victoria from Mirembe Resort Beach in Kalangala.

The month of June is a month in which the lake experiences the most turbulent tides. As a result many fishermen die in this month. So the trick is to move either very early in the morning or late in the evening.

The landing sites of interest were Mawala, Kirugu, Butulume, Kyeserwa, Ngabo and Mazinga.

The idea was to start with the furthest landing site Butulume and then move backwards to Kalangala. The order would be Butulume, Kirugu, Kyeserwa, Mazinga, Ngabo, Mawala and back to Kalangala.

So we informed Mirembe Resort Beach that we would be back on Thursday night.

We prefered a big heavy wooden boat to the fibre one bearing in mind the high tide we were to meet that day.

On Wednesday 5th of June 2013 we set off at 0745HRS. It was a 4hr boatride to Butulume. We were advised to keep off the water in the afternoon. So in the evening we proceeded to Kyeserwa were we spent the night.

Mawala landing site.

Silver fish (Mukene) out in the sun for drying.

The hauling of the boat onto dry land at Kyeserwa landing site.

At Kyeserwa I got a suprise. All the structures were temporary wooden structures. Believe me. The eating joints, lodges, shops, videos halls just name it. Nothing permanent. I won't forget the movie that showed that night... Jeepers creeperz. Source of power .... generator. We spent the night here.

There was a storm that night and could hear the lake waves right at my door. I didn't sleep much.

The beauty, sights and sounds of this trip can not be aptly recuptured on paper. But one thing am sure of is that it was a trip worth taking.

Fishermen laying their nets in the evening.

You only get one shot at this .....

And finally the moon gets us on Lake Victoria

Next time we are looking forward to visiting Kyamuswa ...