Bulago is just over 500 acres. From tip to tip it is nearly 2 miles long. There are about 6 kms of sandy beaches and about 10km of shoreline altogether, the balance of the shoreline is made up of rocky outcrops and low cliffs. Around the shore the soil is highly fertile and is in places tree covered. The north-east tip of the island contains a small portion of rain forest. The interior of the island is less fertile and is covered with savannah-like grassland. It is intended that Zebra and some antelope be brought to Bulago where they may exploit the savannah-like environment in the interior of the island.
LVSC is aiming to make the island as self-sufficient as possible. A number of local farmers are able to provide a range of fruit (Bulago pineapples are heavenly) and vegetables. Ducks, chickens, suckling pigs and goats are also available and the prices are very reasonable – a whole suckling pig for £8, for example. The fish – Nile Perch and Tilapia – can be caught by line or bought from the fishermen and is quite delicious. LVSC has established a small farm and various European vegetables such as courgettes, green beans and aubergines can be bought when available. Other goods, such as wines, meat and luxury items can be bought in Kampala. Basic essentials are cheaper than UK but luxury goods are more expensive.
Sailing on the lake is great fun, and a laser is available free of charge for the use of club members. A small sailboat or a windsurfer is highly recommended for owners and can easily be launched from the beach. Waterskiing and tubing is available through the Lodge or an owner could invest in a speedboat.
One of the great pleasures of Bulago is the sheer range and diversity of walks available and with two dominating hills on the island, the views can be magnificent. The size of the island means that walks can range from quick strolls through to full-blown hikes.
Bird watching is another great past-time on Bulago and the range of birds is dazzling – even to non-twitchers.
Ngamba Island chimpanzee sanctuary is located just 4 miles south of Bulago Island. Ngamba, known locally as Chimp Island, is home to 30 orphaned chimpanzees and is run by the Jane Goodall Trust.
Horses thrive on the island and there are currently two Somali ponies used for riding. LVSC can provide a livery service if an owner wished to purchase a horse (about £750 landed on Bulago), or the ponies – more are planned soon – can be hired for trekking.
It is intended that donkeys and carts will soon be available on Bulago for transport and pleasure rides. LVSC does not wish to encourage motorised transport, although there is a degree of flexibility if there is good reason. Currently, there is a policy of prohibiting two stroke engines on the island and jetskis are not allowed; this is quite simply to preserve the essential peace and tranquillity of the Island.
Access To Bulago Island
Entebbe airport is a modern, efficient and friendly airport. It is just under 8 hours from Heathrow. There are flights to Europe every day of the week; the main carriers are BA, Emirates, AfricaOne, Kenya Airways and SN Brussels. Alternately, flights via Nairobi connect to a variety of European destinations daily with a wide range of carriers. A grass airstrip which is currently being built on Bulago will allow owners to access Bulago directly from Entebbe airport. The flight time in a Cessna 210 is approximately 8 minutes. The cost of this short hop will be about US$40 per person.
Entebbe is located on the lake. There are three locations for boarding a boat to Bulago: the Entebbe Sailing Club, the Botanical Beach Hotel and Entebbe Pier. Each of these locations is less than ten minutes from the airport. Entebbe is located 10 miles from Bulago Island. It is possible to hire a local canoe, but not specially recommended as these native boats are not compliant with safety regulations. It is more likely that an owner would have his or her own boat or would charter a boat from LVSC or another company (of which there are a growing number). It takes about 30 minutes by speedboat from Entebbe to Bulago, depending on the condition of the lake.
The journey from Kampala to Bulago takes about forty minutes and many private boats are now based at the newly opened Speke Resort and Country Club marina which is located in the lakeside suburb of Munyonyo, ten minutes from the city centre. If desired a permanent mooring can be arranged at Speke Marina. Speedboats may also be chartered.