We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Absolute Perfection!”
Review of Banda Island

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Ssese Islands
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Banda Island
Certificate of Excellence
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
“Absolute Perfection!”
Reviewed August 30, 2012

I recently stayed on Banda Island with four friends for their Blood Brothers and the Kokonuts party, and although the weather delayed the music playing until Sunday morning the weekend cannot be described as anything short of perfection. Right from the initial phone inquiry about staying on the Island the party organiser Petra made us feel extremely welcome and it was her excitement and enthusiasm that tipped the decision to go. From then on it was a breeze, although having to organise transport, accommodation and food for over 100 people Petra and Andrew were constantly smiling, they always knew what was going on and made you instantly feel part of the Banda Island family. As for the Island itself, all that can be said is paradise. Although not the white sandy beached beauty many would expect from a desert island we all felt that Banda held its own to perfection, with a gorgeous beach for those relaxing moments; a jungle like wilderness towards the back of the island to be explored by the more adventurous; and an 'island' that everyone must at one time attempt to swim to, I would say that one thing you should not find on Banda Island is boredom. I can honestly say it was one of the best weekends I have had, and I cannot recommend staying here highly enough.. you will not be dissapointed.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KatieWhite01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

100 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    60
    26
    7
    5
    2
See reviews for
8
25
20
1
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Kampala, Uganda
2 reviews
Reviewed August 15, 2012

Banda Island is a really exceptional place to go. Really, this is the closest to summer cottaging you're likely to get anywhere in Uganda, and it's a fantastic way to kick back. Everything about the experience -- the atmosphere, the views, the family-style meals -- make it a comfortable, fun and relaxed place to be. The staff are fantastic, too, and really work at improving your experience. General things:

Accommodation -- 4/5: I stayed in one of the 'lazy camping' tents, and it was great. Lots of space, a good mattress, and bedding. I didn't see inside the cottages, but I heard they were nice. Overall, the sleep locations are humble, but clean, comfortable, and all have beach views. (I slept 20 yards from the water) Can't complain!

Food -- 5/5: The "full board" they talk about really is great -- breakfast, lunch and dinner were all really tasty, and the 'serve yourself'/family style approach makes for a nice vibe. Drinks are also inexpensive and available -- no bar, either, just a fridge, a liquor cabinet and an honor system!

Transport -- 4/5: It looks like a bit of work to get there, but if you speak with Petra (the contact person whose number is on the site) she'll help you sort things out easily. The Port Bell ferry is quite new and safe, and the short shuttle in the fishing boat to the island is a fun experience.

Facilities -- 3.5/5: As many other people have mentioned, don't go expecting fancy facilities. You fill and rope the shower up with a bucket, and there are only two full bathrooms available. That said, everything is clean and works. All the buildings are nice, open, and with big windows -- particularly the 'castle' with a great roof for watching the sunset.

Activities -- 4/5: It's a laid back place -- this is a good time to catch up on a book, play some board games, or try out the backgammon table. Depending on your group, though, there's everything from beach volleyball to 'truth or dare' Jenga. It's definitely a place you can make your own fun, and lots of things to help you along! As for swimming -- it's Lake Victoria, so there's some risk of shisto. Despite that, the water looked too nice, and I swam every day I was there -- it was fantastic. (Worth taking a tablet somewhere down the road).

Overall Experience -- 4.5/5: Could not recommend it enough. I've been to Murchison, Sipi, Jinja, and I think my weekend on Banda tied or beat out the best of those experiences. Especially if you can go with a group, Banda is an awesome place to visit.

Room Tip: Tents are amazing, and super comfortable. Highly recommended.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MB0794
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2012

Banda Island is an amazing place to get away for a few days! Its a no frills place, so if you like fancy, its probably not the place for you. However, its beautiful, relaxed and a great place to meet people, play volleyball, play (and learn some new!) card games, drink some beers and hang out by the camp fire.

The food is AMAZING and all three of your meals are included in the price of your stay, which makes it an amazing deal.

Bring marshmallows with you - we wish we had!!

Room Tip: The cottages allow you to wake up to a view, but we stayed in the dorms which were basic but fine...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kimbles81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kampala, Kampala, Uganda
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 31, 2012

Banda Island is an ideal getaway spot from the hustle and bustle and big city lights. Reached by an great new ferry service, the only bright lights will be the moon and stars.
A simple, basic but practical setup, you can pitch your tent anywhere, wonder along the island and pretend you are Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the movie 'The Beach'.
The food is great, the beer cold and the service makes you feel right at home.
If you are looking for a simple, down to earth, fuss-free getaway then banda island is for you. Enjoy the lazy afternoon naps, the fire under the stars and become part of the Banda Island family.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Annalet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kampala, Uganda
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2012

My first time to Banda island was in 2007. A love for the island started. Many visits followed. I have travelled with all possible methods to the island. But the new ferry has made Banda a nice destination to escape the city in the weekend. If you want a more adventureous ride, the boat from Kasenji will suit you perfectly.
The island is perfect for relaxing, quietness and plenty of nature but if you are up for wild parties... Banda island is also the place to be. Petra and her team organise great parties. News about events are always updated on the website or on the facebook page. So great place, amazing food and good company. The best island to visit of the Ssese islands.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Tamara v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2012

I visited Banda Island in December 2010 when Dom was still around. We were a group of 5, and there were 3 other travellers there at the same time. We had a great time, one thing I particularly liked was that it was really personal and Dom gave us loads of his time - it was really interesting to hear his stories of Africa. In the evening he also gave us free unlimited amounts of his very strong home-made spirit "bananarama" (we paid for mixers and bottled beer). The food was fantastic and fresh - though it always seemed a bit weird that it was served up by Ugandan men who never spoke a word to us. I also loved the throne toilet - you sit on the loo in the middle of a pretty big circular room, a feeling I've never had on the toilet before. But there were no showers when we were there - its ok we washed in the lake.

Its amazing for deserted island life and bonfires on the beach. Watching the storm over the sea one night was terrific, although waking up in the morning to find out 2 of the pitched tents had been destroyed by the storm (luckily we were all in the cottages that night) was a bit scary!

I am really sorry to hear Dom passed away, but from what I read, the new management seem to be sprucing it up a bit and making it a little less rustic. I would visit again the next time I go back to Uganda - whenever that may be.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jade W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kampala, Uganda
Level Contributor
32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2012

This is the fastest I have ever got on to TripAdvisor after a trip so it must be a good sign!

I wasnt sure what to expect from Banda Island at all...

Firstly, its not hard to get to. Its not a short boat ride, but the lake was calm (cant promise that for everyone) and it was great to take in the views and relax en route. It's about 4 hours by boat, and a little more to allow for the boat leaving late etc..

It was already dark when we got to Banda Island late, due to the fact that we had to leave Kampala late and get there on a local fishing boat (if you like an adventure, I would definitely recommend this and its cheaper too). You can leave earlier from Kampala/Entebbe and arrive in the light of day! When we arrived, the barbecue was already going beside the big camp fire. They were even baking fresh bread in a Dutch oven - amazing! The hosts were lively, fun and friendly. The food was great and the company too. Nothing like sitting on a beach with a camp fire. We even got to see and hear a few hippos! It was all very chilled and smooth.

The next day we took a guided walk on the island to take in the fishing community and the wildlife. I would recommend doing this if you're a tourist.

If you are looking for somewhere to relax, rough-it a little and enjoy good food and good company, this is the place. This isn't the place if you are looking for anything that resembles a lodge! We took our own tent which I think was the best option. I would also recommend a (head) torch as I forgot mine!

Room Tip: Camp! Take a tent if you can.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank RachieLandmine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Ssese Islands
23.1 mi away
2Friends Beach Hotel
2Friends Beach Hotel
#2 of 30 in Entebbe
4.5 of 5 bubbles 262 reviews
20.4 mi away
Protea Hotel by Marriott Entebbe
0.0 mi away
Panorama Cottages
Panorama Cottages
#3 of 9 in Ssese Islands
4.0 of 5 bubbles 28 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Pearl Gardens Beach Resort Kalangala
23.9 mi away
Pineapple Bay Resort
Pineapple Bay Resort
#1 of 2 in Bulago Island
4.5 of 5 bubbles 49 reviews
9.5 mi away
Mirembe Resort Beach
Mirembe Resort Beach
#6 of 9 in Ssese Islands
3.5 of 5 bubbles 24 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Banda Island? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Banda Island

Property: Banda Island
Address: Banda Island | Ssese Islands, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Central Region > Ssese Islands
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Ssese Islands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Banda Island, the hidden gem of the Ssese Islands archipelago, is a beautiful place with the most amazing sunsets. Peace and tranquility are at the top of the list, with amazing staff and management making sure nothing detracts. For the adventurous at heart, there is water skiing, wake boarding and a small Laser yacht. We also offer fishing, boat trips, nature walks and have a beach volleyball net waiting for you. In the evening we light a bonfire on the beach so you can watch the lights of the fisherman on the lake. Above all, you can be assured that the people you meet there are friendly and like minded travelers, there to simply enjoy a piece of paradise. And .... Our food is great! ... more   less 

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing