P.O Box 5072, Kampala
Tel/SMS +256 (0)772 222777
Up to date information: bandaisland.biz
"Unparalleled value for money"
Banda Island was originally bought almost 15 years ago however it wasn't until 1999 that the island opened its doors to travelers for the first time. In May of this year the legendary owner Dominic (King Dom) passed away. Dom's family wants to keep the island alive and Banda is now run by his previous staff and volunteer hosts who are doing a great job and the marketing is done by a group of Dominic's friends from Kampala.
We welcome you to this little piece of paradise and we are sure you will have a great and relaxing time on Banda. In doubt? Check out reviews of previous visitors: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g480251-d2414575-Reviews-Banda_Island-Ssese_Islands.html . Some highlights:
'Definitely a must, if you are visiting Uganda. Banda is an adventure and a paradise, and founded on a brilliant legacy.'
'There is nowhere else on the planet quite like Banda Island. A unique island off the cost of Uganda, you will be looked after like royalty; not only will the fresh fish and fruit will keep you in good spirits; the warm hospitality, stunning scenery and diverse bird population will captivate your senses. '
We are also extremely proud that Banda has been nominated in the Top 10 of Best African Beaches by Guardian Readers: http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2011/dec/05/best-africa-beaches
The information provided below will help to give you some idea of the island and how to get here.
Getting there & Away
Various options are available depending on your budget.
The Kasenyi option: The cheapest and most regular is to take a Ssese fishing canoe from Kasenyi landing site. Take a taxi from old taxi park in Kampala to Kasenyi which costs approx. 3,000/-. In Kasenyi walk towards the water and on your right hand side you will see a Banda sign over the Kasenyi Takeaway where you can get some refreshments from Mama Grace.
Typically you will be carried onto the boat by Grace's choice of porters, which costs 500-1,000/- per trip. Males travel on the shoulders; females are scooped up like a baby and carried. Please dress accordingly, little skimpy mini-skirts will DEFINITELY 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!
This following are the current transport options as of July 2012. For up to date information about transport options and rates please check out: http://bandaisland.biz
- There is a daily boat at 15.00 that proceeds to the neighboring island of Kitobo Ushs approx. 10,000- per person. From Kitobo to Banda the boat charter will cost Ushs 25,000-.
- Monday and Friday a boat leaves at 12:00 to Banda village, transport to Banda Beach is 15,000. Ask for Isaak.
- A direct boat to Banda beach leaves every Tuesdays at 12.00am (ask for Tom), charges are Ushs 20,000/-.
The crossing takes about 3 hours. The boats are open so be aware of an overload of sunshine. Also bring a jacket as it gets cold on the open water in the evening. You cross the equator about 15 minutes out of Kasenyi, and there are usually beers available on the boat to help you celebrate. If you have made a booking with Banda Island, preferably some days in advance, then we will have a large fire on the beach to guide you in to a cold beer and hot supper. No booking no supper.
Via Kalangala: At 2.00pm a ferry leaves from Nakiwogo, Entebbe which takes you to Lutoboga in 3.5 hours. The ferry from Port Bell, Kampala leaves at 8:00 in the morning and also arrives 3.5 hours later, so you can reach Banda in time for lunch. At Lutoboga you will be met by a special boat hire. This will cost Ushs 120,000/- each way for the entire boat.
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 3.00 or 4.00 p.m.
- The daily Kitobo public boat leaves every day at 5:00 am, so you have to leave Banda at 4:30 and go to sleep early… or not at all!
- On Saturday Tom comes back to Banda beach at 14:00 and then proceeds straight to Kasenyi. Price 20,000
- Sundays and Thursdays Isaak departs from Banda Village around 11:00 am straight to Kasenyi (10,000).
- Wednesdays a boat departs from Banda Village at 9:00 and takes you to Entebbe close to the airport.
The ferry ferry to Entebbe departs from Lutoboga at 8:00, so also for this option you have to get out of your comfy bed early. If you go back with the MV Amani to Port Bell you will leave Banda after a small snack at 12:30 in time to catch the ferry at 14:00.
Banda Island private boat special hire arrangement (note this is a private boat and not per person fee). These prices depend on the current fuel prices.
Entebbe - Banda Island Ushs400,000- one way
Kalangala - Banda island Ushs120,000- one way
Restaurant & Bar
Our Restaurant & Bar offers snacks and a selection of beverages. We prepare good value meals to order in advance. All our food is freshly prepared on site and is totally amazing and tasty.
In order to maintain the tranquil and peaceful atmosphere on Banda Island we prefer to limit the accommodation to 24 beds. We offer the following types of accommodation:
Enjoy the views from numerous hammocks along the beach.
- 3 spacious cottages with cement floors and large glass windows ideally situated to enjoy a cozy view of the ferocity of the tropical storms from the warmth of a dry bed. Each cottage is furnished with two beds (one double, one single). Fresh linen is provided and most have two sets of hammocks on your private verandah with uninterrupted view of the lake.
- One cottage with two big Zanzibari beds and own toilet/shower and a little verandah.
- A dormitory in the middle of the island, with the best scent of the island (next to the kitchen).
- Pitch your own tent
- Lazy camping: We pitch our tent for you and provide a mattress, cushion and blanket
The most popular pastime for customers seems to be stretching out 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.
We have a net and a professional volleyball waiting for you to sweat out the huge lunch before you settle for a shandy on the beach.
There are kayaks and canoes for the more energetic, and paddling dinghies for the more sedate option. All the toys come with life-jackets, which we ask you to use! There is a family of otters that although shy can be approached gently by water.
Rates effective January 2012
Pitch your own tent: $25.-
Lazy camping: $30.- per person
Dormitory bed: $30.-
Beach Cottage: $40.- (based on 2 person occupancy)
Rates are full board packages per day.
The full board all inclusive prices include; decent breakfast, tasty lunch and a huge supper, plus unlimited tea and coffee. Food is a very important aspect of the island; we spend half the day eating and the other half talking about what we ate and what to eat next! Given the speed that the shilling is falling I am sure we will have to change the prices soon, so take advantage of this special offer while you can.
Extra Special Offer:
- Pay for 5 nights and stay for 7. Low season only.
- Come with a group of 10 and pay for 8. Low season only.
Rates are full board packages per day.
Contacting us and making reservations:
Banda Island Resort is a small lodge and we do need warning of your impending arrival. Despite the optimistic blurb from the overzealous telephone salesmen with a slightly tenuous grasp of the truth, we do not have decent phone reception. It is possible sometimes to send and receive calls, but only if I stand on the rocks in the water frantically waving the phone around in the air... not such a good option. However SMS or text messages seem to be more successful.
From your mobile send to:
+256 (0)772 222777
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