/Explore Popular Islands in Lake Victoria

Explore Popular Islands in Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is the largest tropical lake in Africa, and it is shared by three East Africa countries( Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. For an adventure of a lifetime, explore the main islands on this awe-inspiring lake during your safari in any of the three East African countries. The islands in Lake Victoria that worth exploring are:

  • Rusinga Island
  • Mfangano Island
  • Rubondo Island
  • Ukerewe Island
  • Ssese Islands

Islands in Kenya – Lake Victoria

In Kenya, Lake Victoria is located in the western frontier, in Kisumu, about an hour’s flight from Nairobi. Although Kenya shares the least percentage of the Victoria waters, it has some of the best islands of this lake. A trip to these islands will almost feel like a Robinson Crusoe adventure. The most popular islands in Lake Victoria within Kenya include

Rusinga Island

Rusinga Island is located on the northeastern side of Lake Victoria. The island has a historic significance to the Luo community. This is an amazing place to go for fishing, swimming, hiking and bird watching being home to several species of birds. Visit the Ruma National Park on Rusinga Island to see the rare wildlife like Rothschild giraffe, Roan and Oribi antelope and Jackson’s hartebeest among other wildlife.


An idyllic view of the the lake from Rusinga Island.

Mfangano Island

Mfangano is also located in the eastern part of the lake.The inhabitants are mainly the Suba people. The Island has two ancient rock art sites with some historically important cave art that are worth visiting. To enjoy the island better, try out activities such as fishing, bird watching, boat cruises, experiencing a scenic sun-downer boat ride and enjoying island walks to nearby villages Since the island is remote, guests enjoy an intimate safari there. There are over 300 species of birds and several giant monitor lizards.

Tanzania takes up the largest percentage of the lake, about 49% of it. Lake Victoria surrounds major towns of Musoma and Mwanza in Western Tanzania. Some of the popular islands in Lake Victoria around this region include

Rubondo Island

Rubondo Island is tucked away in the southwest corner of Lake Victoria, north-west of Mwanza Town. The island hosts the largest island national park in Africa. The waters around Rubondo Island is a breeding ground for fish and other aquatic animals. The great variety of vegetation from savannah to open woodland forests and swamps makes a suitable habitat for different animals on Rubondo island. The national park is home to bushbucks, crocodiles, giraffes and vervet monkeys. This would be a great place to go for game and bird watching.

rubondo island

Rubondo Island in Tanzania

Ukerewe Island

Ukerewe Island is the largest of the islands on Lake Victoria, located north of Mwanza Town. The curved shoreline of Ukerewe Island is the reason for numerous bays, it is also surrounded by a dozen smaller islands occupied by fishermen and their families. A tour around the island offers you an opportunity to explore some of the attractions such as visiting the oldest Roman Church built in 1895. The church has similar name to the island’s oldest school and dispensary, built between 1902 and 1913 respectively. Other places of interest include the chief’s palace built in European style, Rubya Forest and Rutare Hill.

Lake Victoria in Uganda, dominates the southern border of the country taking up about 45% of the lake. It surrounds the cities of Jinja and Entebbe.

Ssese Islands

Ssese Islands are an archipelago of approximately 84 islands, and most of them are uninhabited by man. They are characterized by thick rain forests and white beaches that provide a refreshing and tranquil getaway. While on Ssese Islands, visit local fishing villages, interact with Ugandans and learn more about their culture.

Ssese island in Uganda

Ssese islands in Uganda

Ngamba Island 

This small island of approximately 40 acres is also known as Chimp Island since the Chimpanzees occupy 39 acres where they roam freely in the tropical forest. Ngamba island is offshore from Entebbe.