Banda Island Travel Guide

  • Banda Island
    by aidahbug
  • Banda Island
    by muguruki
  • Banda Island
    by aidahbug

Banda Island Things to Do

  • Sunrise Kitobo

    This is the best that Kitobo gets. This is what you see from Banda Island well before the toast and Marmite appears.

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  • Transport, Banda.

    It is a 3 hour trip from Kasenyi to Banda as the sun goes down it can get cold! This was the only time I wore a jacket in the whole 4 months that I spent in UG. Boarding at Kasenyi can be a right pain in the arse as scores of people want to help you on board the boat FOR A COST!

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  • Chill

    The most enerjetic thing I did on Banda was pick chillies! Excellent food prepared by the staff under Dom's strict instructions. I didn't even have to bring my own Marmite (now there is a rareity). Since the Dutch goverment have bought a ferry to run to the Ssese islands that goes straight to the big island very few tourists make the short trip to...

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  • Even more animal watching

    We talked about ants movements as a favorite pastime, but what to say about all other animal life on Banda Island that you may want to explore? Spiders in all formats are in abundance (what is funnier then to listen to the already expected screaming of new arrivals, especially younger citygirls when they check out their accommodation?), the most...

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  • Antwatching for hours...

    I'm sure you never see more ants in your life than on Banda Island. Sometimes they can be irritating, but on the other hand I found observing them is an extremely fascinating pastime.If there's not too much action on the table yet I would recommend to put a piece of food on the table and see how they cooperate and organise themselves to carry it...

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  • Socializing with other islanders

    At some parts of the day you might want to leave your hammock and socialize a bit. The island usually attracts a variety of guests, some of whom you may find amusing and actually good company! Even if you happen to be the only guest, you will find Dominique a very entertaining story teller and master of bad jokes, so bad that you won't understand...

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Banda Island Shopping

  • Bonobo2005's Profile Photo
    view on the bar / reception

    by Bonobo2005 Updated Jan 5, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On Banda Island you can buy:

    * Beer (-cold- when finally the solar energy system works);
    * Soda (as with beer);
    * Cigarettes (no choice other than the cheapest local brand: Supermatch);
    * Chocalate (sometimes);

    Included in the daily flat fee is - besides food, regular snacks and accommodation: unlimited filtered drinking water, coffee, tea, home brewed Waragi @80% alcohol and natural herbs that can be smoked.

    You might be able to order special luxury from the transportboats that pass by on request(they will buy it for you on the mainland for a fee). Otherwise bring everything you'll think you need.

    Related to:
    • Beaches

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Banda Island Local Customs

  • 7PM - 9.30PM (extremely flexible)

    Around 7 usually an excellent fishdish will be served. Kerosinelamps are lit and distributed. Socializing time. If there comes a boat it will come around 9PM, in the dark and that's the big event of the day. There will be a big fire on the beach, a chair will be put in the water for people that want to step out or into the boat (although that...

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  • 4PM - 7PM (very flexible)

    Everybody knows around 4PM a snack, coffee and tea will be served, although it's rare to find other people around the big table on the beach at that time.However the afternoon is usually the most active time of the day. Someone might even propose a game of backgammon and also antwatching is a favourite pastime.Most islanders will take a bath in the...

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  • 1PM - 4PM (very flexible)

    Around 1 pm the bell rings and you know another gorgeous fishdish will be served. Time for socializing and analyse the events of the morning. Usually not much has to be said besides about the weatherconditions and the chance a fishing canoe will call at the Island.After dessert -during the heat of the day- it will be the time for a short nap or...

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Banda Island Tourist Traps

  • Bonobo2005's Profile Photo
    pleasant boatride

    by Bonobo2005 Updated May 18, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Usually a fishing boat leaves at 3pm and can call at Banda Island if you ask.

    Since the boat doesn't reach the shore porters will carry you and your luggage on/from the boat. Quite a hilarious happening.
    A few dozen porters will fight for the muzungus (whites) since they are so easily overcharged! Be warned that they might demand $5 for their services but $0,50 will definitely be enough!

    The boatride usually takes about 3-4 hours but also might be delayed and arrive in the dark.

    On the way back you may have problems to find onward transportation. Although there are lot of minibuses they might refuse you because of your smell ;-)))

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Banda Island Off The Beaten Path

  • Bonobo2005's Profile Photo
    Steep descent 2 more images

    by Bonobo2005 Updated Jan 5, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    After a couple of days in the hammock, eating, drinking and smoking, you may start to wonder how the rest of the island would look like.

    Most of the former attempts of exploration, I heard, had been failed because of the enormous number of insects. If it were not a zillion of flies that blocked the trail, then it were those gigantic spiderwebs.

    There are only few trails and they're rather straightforward. However, you can easily spend 2 nice hours exploring the interior of the Island. Both nature and views are not less than stunning! From the island summit you can enjoy nice panoramas over the Lake.

    After surviving the fly clouds I was surprised to find out that actually some fishermen had occupied a piece of island on the other side but then they had equally big dogs to protect their area that weren't called back when we showed up....

    update dec. 2005: the quality of the trails has greatly improved during the last 2 years; the cross island trail remains the most interesting and is now easily accessible for every one!

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Hiking and Walking

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