Banda reviews

Banda Island staff is determined to make your stay enjoyable and memorable. We work hard to make Banda Island better and better and better!


Left to right: Sam, Jackson, Petra, Brenda, Kindi, Nakato, John, Deven, and Kito.

Many thanks from us for the visitors who left a review and made us earn the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016 (86 reviews scoring 4.5 points out of 5) and Print_Logo_COE2016_enhonouring us with the number 1 rating of specialty resorts on Ssese Islands.






In 2011 we were voted in the top 10 of African Beaches by Guardian Readers: Best 10 Beaches in Africa – imagine how we would score now! 🙂

The latest reviews, for all reviews check: ——–


Great booking experience
Very helpful and friendly staff. They arranged and coordinated the entire booking experience wonderfully. The island itself was extremely relaxing and had a lot of fun things to do – nature walk, board games, bonfire – all at a very affordable price
Sherina M, September 2016

“A soul touching natural paradise” 
Banda is a place I will always want to relax from. 5 nights was not enough for my partner and I. Banda am counting days to be back to the home of nature. And please Petra maintain nature and hospitality of Banda
Connieasea, August 2016

Nice Stay
Brenda is brilliant and it is a nice place to get away from the hustle and bustle for a taste of the easy life! Main complaints would be disappointing vegetarian food, for one meal I had to eat chips and avocado. But also, if the trusty boat is not running you have to make your way on a dodgy fishing boat!
Hatty2016, July 2016

An island far away from worries.
Banda Island is a hidden treasure. Not so easy to get to, it is worth the hassle. The place is perfect paradise, the wildlife is teeming, the staff are great, and the food is great. If you like to relax, eat fresh caught fish, and sit by the fire then you must go.
Brian B, July 2016

Relax in paradise!
Banda island is an incredible experience! I stayed for just 2 nights mid-week before my flight home. The journey to and from banda can seem a little daunting but we got a special hire to kasenyi and had called Jonathon in advance and he met us there and showed us where to go and was my porter onto the boat. The staff at banda island were very helpful with letting us know the available boat options. I got an upgrade to a cabin as it was mid-week; the cabin was very comfortable with a double bed in. Coffee was brought to outside my cabin in the morning which was lovely. The price is all inclusive of food and tea/coffee and the food is lovely – lots of fresh fish! all other drinks (water/soda/beer/wine) are also available and you can take when you like and just update the book yourself which makes it easy to keep track of your spending. Brenda was a fantastic host and taught us to play a new card game called ‘canister’ (I won!!) and also to play backgammon on the big stone table on the beach. Thank you very much for a lovely stay!
VHaff, June 2016

Simply Perfect
We got to Banda Island without knowing what to expect since we heard of it in a completely random way from someone we didn’t really know. Now we know that most people stumble upon Banda, but we also know that almost everyone that goes there ends up coming back.
An amazing hideaway, in the middle of lake Victoria, that has a perfect combination between feeling as if you’re a castaway and having a great time with amazing people.
The food is great, the lodging is simple and good just as it should be, and the views are just breathtaking. We will definitely be back here, better sooner than later.

Room Tip: Just come and have fun. Preferable to stay for a two night minimum.
Guggi1987, may 2016

Island paradise and a bit of adventure
I came across Banda Island just by chance and I am glad I did. We hitched a ride on a local fishing boat which took a while thanks to a head wind but once we got to the island it was all worth it. Brenda and the dogs were there to welcome us and showed us to our banda on the beach. Then it was lunch time which set the scene for countless amazing meals. The banda’s are rustic yet perfect. The island is perfect for relaxation and with a Nile Special and a good book you can’t help but let the stress of city life fall off you. And I shouldn’t forget the sunsets and the a visit to the fishing village. Make sure you climb to the top of the castle with a glass of vino for an amazing sunset. Can’t wait to go back!

Room Tip: Don’t be scared or worried about the journey… He who makes an effort gets the most rewards.
James L, March 2016

Fantastic little island paradise with great staff!
Stayed for a long weekend on Banda Island and it´s the perfect place if you want to relax away from busy Kampala:
Beautiful little beach and very nice (but basic) facilities. Safari Tents (Lazy Camping) or Beach Cabins have fantastic views of the lake (try to catch a sunrise!) and you can pitch your own tent as well. The shared bathroom facilities are sufficient and there is an outdoor shower which is filled with hot water every evening (fantastic to shower with view of the lake under the majestic trees). The staff is very friendly and it´s nice to socialize a bit during the evening camp-fires or one of the many available games. Apart from some little exploration on the Island and the activities offered from the Camp-Team (Volleyball, Boat ride) relaxing will probably take up most of your time. So make sure to bring some books (book swap point is there, too) or music to make the most out of your hammock-time 😉
MrWoppel, March 2016

Perfect hide-away from Kampala
Since I moved to Uganda I have been several times to Banda Island. The staff is super friendly and the food is delicious. The communal atmosphere amongst the visitors is amazing as people love to chat with each other over dinner at the castle or over a drink during the evening campfires. Over time the facilities have been improved with more options to choose from, including the recently added Lazy Camping also referred to as Glamping! I also love the outdoor bamboo shower with hot water. The walk to the fishermen’s village to the other end of the island is beautiful and the smiles of the children are incredible. Do I need to say anything else? Just go and check it out yourself!
Paul v, returning customer

Banda Island – “Robinson Crusoe on Treasure Island”
Banda Island is a little paradise “away from it all”. One of the smaller Ssese Islands (about a kilometer long and 3/4 kilometers wide) the resort has only solar power and its own water system, pumped and filtered from the lake. The resort is on one side of the island. On the other side is a small fishermen’s village – great to visit…..
The accommodations are simple, clean and well maintained: from (covered) tents and a dormitory to a safari tent and bandas. One can bring and pitch one’s own tent, too.
Bathroom facilities are fine, the open air hot shower is an experience not to be missed….. It is as well about people. Every time we have been, we have met nice and interesting people (who else would go to Banda Island ?): Ugandan, Indian, Dutch, US, German, Scottish, just to mention a few of the many nationalities represented.
And it is about staff: welcoming and accommodating, Brenda and Kito and the rest are doing a great job. Brenda is the friendly face at the beach when the boat arrives (and she takes your money when you leave), Kito does all the cooking: lots of fresh fish prepared in different ways, the fish cooked in foil is truly delicious, fresh lasagna (vegetarian, too) and spicy pilau etc.
HelenDutch, February 2016

Never disappointed!
I have been to Banda many times in the last years and I have never been disappointed. The place is peaceful and quiet, and at the same time I have always met new interesting people. The staff is nice and efficient, and the food is good.
I definitively go back to Banda Island!
Barbara C, January 2016

Time Out (alias Kindle Time
… on arrival via the ‘boat experience’ from the hectic fishing village of Kasenyi (you’ll understand that once you’ve done it – it’s interesting), we were met by the beautiful, welcoming smile of Brenda: the resort’s manager (from that moment on, we affectionately referred to Banda as ‘Brenda Island’), and the wags and investigations of the furry, four-legged friends: Missy Brown, Stella, Diana (and oops I’ve forgotten the name of the other one). It felt like paradise immediately, the sense increased by the offering of delicious Tilapia, green, green, green and wonderfully tasting avocado salad and homemade chips! Life felt good….. The main attractions of the place for me were the simplistic beauty of staying right on the lake’s edge (in one of the two bandas), where you could hear the lap of the gentle waves, and see the vast expanse of water and occasional land; the morning coffee delivered outside the banda to take in the start of the new day accompanied by the affectionate presence of one of the dogs (‘the girles’); and the depth of warmth and friendliness radiating from Brenda, the staff, and the few other guests who arrived from different parts of the globe. A short hike to the local fishing village with a guide, and also climbing to the top of ‘the castle’ to watch the sun go down are both a MUST!
KindleLynn, January 2016

A little paradise where time stops ❤
Great place, so private, so beautiful.
At our arrival, we received a warm welcome from the lovely Managers. The moment you stepped in this peaceful land, you are in Heaven. All the staff was friendly and helpful, always with a shining smile. The lovely peace of forest, between the hotel and the fishermen village of Banda, give a good opportunity to watch some bird Species (around 50), especially African Paradise Flycatcher in its white morph. Rooms are basics but with spectacular views on Victoria lake Beach. The services and Food were excellent.
We really don’t know where to go after this, there is nothing in this world that has this very special style and atmosphere which we love.
Alain M, December 2015

Amazing place, you’ll regret it if you don’t go!
I came to Banda to spend a weekend away from all the chaos in Kampala and I loved it so much, that I came back another time for 4 days! The staff is super friendly, the food is amazing and there is always a cold beer (or two..) available. The cabins have good beds/bednets and there are toilets/showers outside. If you ask for it, the staff can heat water so you can have a nice hot shower. It is not super fancy, but the price is good and the island has everything you will need.
I loved sitting outside at night, at the beach, admiring the sunset and stars next to a hot campfire. I wish I could go back!
Anne S, November 2015

Amazing break from reality
The place is simple and in touch with nature. Exactly what my two friends and I wanted. Minimal to no technology but still have hot showers! the owners/staff were accommodating friendly and went out of their way to make the trip special. An amazing experience of being a desserted island where you spend the day relaxing on beach, playing back gammon, swimming and sailing around the small island. Lots to see if you are a keen photographer especially the spiders. Food was amazing too.
A Tripadvisor member, October 2015

A robinson crusoe experience
The moment you are departing from mainland, you are in a different world!
From little chaotic, but vibrant fisherman village, feeling the space around you while being on the lake.. Than your first step on this “like a boys dream Island”..hihuuuuu.
Perfect place to be with your mates/lover/to explore and to relax..
Host Brenda is an amazingly clever/enthousiatic and friendly ugandan Madam who shall make you feel comfortable right away. But be prepaired… she shall beat you with all board games. Great way to be separated from modern world for a day or two.!!
SjaakdeBloois, October 2015

A lovely place to have some timeout
Our family enjoyed a relaxing 5 days on Banda Island. Swimming, lazing in hammocks, spotting birds and playing backgammon. Brenda and the team will make sure you have everything you need. A perfect getaway from Kampala.
Jenny R, October 2015

A wonderful place to relax on Lake Victoria
I have just come back from 3 days on Banda. Myself and three friends were the only people staying on the island so we had the place to ourselves which was fantastic. Yes, some of the facilities are basic but I can’t think of a better place I’ve been to escape and relax. The little bit of exploring we did was great too, seeing hundereds of bats leaving the forest at sunset is something I’ll never forget. The highlight of our stay was our host, Brenda who was the best;so friendly, fun and helpful – nothing was too much trouble. Great food as well. Banda has so much potential to be even better but I hope it never loses that je ne sais quoi which makes it so wonderful.
Ashley Benford, October 2015




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Amber Schrock
    Dec 16, 2013 @ 22:30:50

    We immensely enjoyed our time at Banda for all the reasons stated in the other reviews. One thing not mentioned were the magical nights when the fishing boat lights would dot the water. The beach was clean, the water warm and clear. My children spent hours exploring the shoreline. The food was delicious and the company friendly. I was also impressed that the cabins had comfortable pillows and bedding…not always a luxury at Ugandan hotels.

    As I’m sure others have mentioned, the buildings desperately need renovations. But that didn’t matter so much to us as the fact that they hadn’t been cleaned that well either. We battled spiders and their webs in both the bathroom and our cabin. I understand it’s a tropical location, but I think the staff could give the cabins and public areas a better cleaning. We were also disappointed to learn that we were paying over triple the amount for the ferry to get to Banda than the other passengers. I understand that we’re mzungus but I still like to pay a fair price and it just didn’t seem fair to me.


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