Lake Excursions can be organized from the resort for well planned experience of what the Majestic Lake Victoria has to offer.
At the resort we provide boat rides and jet-ski, For game fishing with necessary fishing gear, packed lunch boxes to keep your energy levels up so can reel in that fresh catch like tilapia or even a nile perch if you have enough stamina and have it prepared by our Chef at the resort for that special meal. You may visit local fishermen villages,bird watching and so much more.
Saa Nane Island was named after its previous owner, Mzee Saanane Chawandi, a fisherman who turned into a farmer and later shifted to another island (after being compensated) to pave the way for conservation efforts in the early 1960’s. The Tanzania government officially owned the island in 1964 as the first ever government owned zoo. Originally its territory measured some 0.7 square kilometers comprising both dry land and water. However, Saa Nane National Park annexed and includes two other smaller islets known as Chankende Kubwa and Chandkende Ndogo both located in the southern part of the main island into the bargain thus increasing its protected area to 1.32 square kilometers. The main objective was to promote intense and conservation education in wildlife and to promote recreation to the people of Mwanza. Local residents has asked park officials to take under their wing the two islands in order to curb illegal fishing, environmental degradation as well as fighting rampant crimes because the waters surrounding the two land features on Lake Victoria are manned and patrolled by TANAPA wardens.
Saa Nane Island has been upgraded from its previous status as a forest reserve and wildlife acclimatization zone. It is now the 16th National Park. It is the second National Park to stride Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest water body after Rubondo Island. The park was established as the first zoo in Tanzania in 1964. It is the smallest National Park in both Tanzania and East Africa. Its territory measures some 0.7 square kilometers comprising both dry land and water. It commands a 200 meter perimeter of water South and 100 meters aquatic corridor in the North.
Tanzania National Parks Authorities state that between 1964 -1966 different species of wild animals were ferried to the Island. These included buffalo, bushback, dik dik, elephant, eland, impala, black rhino, topi, warthog and wildebeest. Others were zebra, monkeys like pats and velvet, giraffe, porcupine and crocodiles. However, wilder animals like rhinos were caged. The park was upgraded to a Game Reserve in 1991.
Saa Nane Island is an amazing attraction sight. The island is described as a breathtaking scenic settings, natural growth and marine attraction. It has been pulling in many residents from Mwanza city and other surrounding areas. Some fascinating activities visitors can enjoy include rock hiking, picnics, game viewing and bird watching along the shores of Lake Victoria.
The island is home to mammals like the Impala, Rock Hyrax, Velvet Monkeys, Wild Cats, Clawless Otters and De-brazzas Monkeys. The aquatic part of the park offers all types of fish, crocodiles, water snakes and Monitor lizards, other reptiles including tortoises, grass snakes, pythons and agama lizards. Other attractions at Saa Nane Island include trademark landmarks of Mwanza: the huge naturally designed rocky hills and landscapes, the lake view and natural vegetation decorated by a variety of bird species, insects and flowers. Lake Victoria can be viewed nicely from the island’s protruding stone beacons including the famous and mystic “Bombay Cove”.
Located on the south-west shores of Lake Victoria, Rubondo Island National Park includes Rubondo Island and several other small islands on Lake Victoria. The park boasts a rich and diverse variety of butterflies and bird life, easily viewable from the lake shore. The rare Sitatunga, an extremely endangered amphibious antelope, can sometimes be viewed escaping charging predators by hiding and camouflaging itself in the lake shore marshes.
A visit to Rubondo Island National Park offers visitors a break from game viewing in the tranquil peace of a lake shore setting. Exploring the islands within the park makes for exciting day trips. Fishing expeditions into Lake Victoria are easily arranged through the major lodges. Rubondo Island National Park is a break from the rigours of the safari circuit and a relaxing place from which to explore Lake Victoria.
Ukerewe is the largest island in Lake Victoria and the largest inland island in Africa, with an area of approximately 530 km². Ukerewe Island is situated in the Ukerewe District, nearly 50 km north of Mwanza to which it is linked by ferry, and it takes 3 to 4 hours to travel.
Ukerewe Island is situated 45 km (25 nautical miles) north of Mwanza to which it is linked by ferry, but a shorter vehicle ferry crossing of only 3.8 km also links the island across the Rugezi Channel to a dirt road on the eastern lake shore, which runs to Kibara and Musoma. The shoreline of Ukerewe Island is carved into numerous bays and it is surrounded by at least a dozen smaller islands.
The shoreline of Ukerewe Island is carved into numerous bays and it is surrounded by 27 small islands surrounding the neighbourhood with 3 of them not occupied by humans and the rest are occupied by fishermen with their families. Its largest community is Nansio. Its simple lifestyle and rocky terrain broken by lake vistas and tiny patches of forest, makes an intriguing, offbeat diversion.
The few proper sights include agricultural activities in which the residents farm maize, sweet potatoes, millet, cassava and rice, including the main activity here, fishing. Seen from Nansio are 27 small islands surrounding the neighbourhood with 3 of them not occupied by humans and the rest are occupied by fishermen with their families.
The are visits to Kagunguli, the oldest Roman church built in 1895 located near a hill with the same name; the old school and dispensary which were built between 1902 and 1913 and surviving to date with few repairs all are still in use. The Chief’s palace, Bukindo built from 1922 to 1923, the modest European-style palace of the island’s former king, which is still in use is a must see place if you are in the area and find out from the palace guide why one of its rooms has remained closed more half a century.
Others include, Irondo point where visitors see amazing views of Mwanza city, Entebbe in Uganda and Nairobi in Kenya; a chance to be part of a traditional dance group Buzegwe staff band that is sure to leave you fascinated; a visit to the historic sites, including graves in the area.
The dancing stone in Ukara, a neighbouring island is also another attraction in the area, including crocodile tree and the knife of truth and learn how the people eke out a living.
As part of the activities here, visitors are introduced to local fishing, canoeing, biking, village tour and more, are mildly interesting, but the deeply rural life between them is the real attraction.
Accommodation is available in a few small hotels in Nansio. The list includes: Labima hotel, Kondeni hotel, Holiday Motel, Monarch beach resort and Bwiru cultural thatched simple traditional houses. Camping grounds are available in some villages; the Ukerewe cultural tourism program will be able to guide visitors accordingly.
WHAT TO SEE / DO IN UKEREWE
There are many great places to been seen, but among the key sights are the following:
1. RUBYA FOREST
Rubya Forest is the largest forest in the district. Is a very peaceful place with fascinating environment. Also in the forest’s area are Fishing- activity area and natural Beach on Lake Victoria. It takes about 50 minutes on car to reach the place from Nansio.
2. RUTARE HILL
We can climb Rutare Hill which is great for viewing the scenery of Ukerewe. It takes an hour by bicycle to reach the Hill.
3. SPECIAL CULTURAL TOURS.
These can include traditional dance shows, visit to traditional Healer, visit to local families, trip to meet Farmers on their Fields, and Preparation and eating local food.
4. DANCING STONE OF UKARA ISLAND
Ukara Island is the home to ‘dancing stone. It has the cultural and traditional value to the Kara people. The island is also a good place to cycle in as no cars.
It takes about three hours to get in the island from Nansio.
Note: It is impossible to go and come back on the same day because you may be late for the ferry backs to Ukerewe.
Ukerewe Island is a good place to cycle in, especially in villages where there is no traffic. When you do, you get a chance to view the natural beauty of the villages.
6. A VISIT TO LOCAL PRIMARY SCHOOL.
A visit to local schools is a great way to understand more about the education system of Tanzania. The local children are very keen to ask you some questions about the education system in your country.
7. CHIEF’S PALACE.
In Bukindo village is the chief’s Palace which used to be the most magnificent building on the island. In the palace are drums that were used as means of communication between the ruled and the ruler. It takes about 53 minutes to reach the Palace by cycling.
There are many nice hotels in Nansio, the town of Ukerewe.Our Tour Guide can make accommodation reservation for you if needed.