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 away.
More entertainment could be obtained giving them a second piece, maybe even a different kind of food.
Finally, If you get bored (what I cannot imagine), try to create some natural obstacles and see how they handle it...
update dec.2005: since ants are professionally banned from the table now, observing them became more of a hassle since you have to be active and take a walk to nearest bush (usually not more then a few meters away). However it remains utterly rewarding since where else can you find so easily a dozen of different species in just a single tree?
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 Banda wich makes it even quieter!
Directions: 3 hours boat ride from Kasenyi near Entebbe.
Phone: 0772 222777
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!
Getting off your face as the sun goes down is an excellent way to end the day on Banda! In fact there was little else to do on Banda apart from getting of your face and eating excellent food. It's been a long time now since I was on the island and the owner at the time Dom is no longer with us so hope that things now are as I remember it.
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 them unless your British...
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 amazingly coloured caterpillars, nasty crawling milli- and centipedes, big numbers of bats, reptiles including monitor lizards and snakes such as green pythons (rare). Not to forget all the little creatures that I can't even name....
Birdwatching is outstanding as well as you can imagine, little colourful birds can be seen, but also lots of bigger birds in action such as fish eagles and the African hawk eagle.
In the water you may catch a glimpse of an otter familiy or a single hippo however the latter is spotted at increasing intervals.
Furthermore there are 4 resident dogs and 6 cats which all have a rather good life on the island!
This is the best that Kitobo gets. This is what you see from Banda Island well before the toast and Marmite appears.