To rejuvenate tourism in the district, some hotel managers have had to cut the costs of accommodation and other services. Kalangala district has 600 guest rooms comprising both small lodges and advanced resorts.
in the hospitality industry in Kalangala district have slashed their costs to
attract local tourists. There are over 100 hotels, inns and lodges spread
on various islands in Kalangala district.
However, majority of the facilities are on Bugala and Bukasa
island to their historical and cultural attractions. Kalangala
districts attracts thousands of tourists because of its rich historical and
cultural heritage, which includes hosting the royal regalia in Bubembe and Bukasa
shrines, the tree species from where the royal mace is moulded.
The island also hosts Nanziri Waterfalls, Wanema shrine on Bukasa island, the
Ssese tree and John Speke cave in Lutoboka forest. Most tourists flock
Kalangala for forest walks, bird watching, boat cruises and picnics among other
However, the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic, which saw president,
Yoweri Museveni announce a nationwide shut down, took a huge toll on the
hospitality sector in Kalangala.
To make matters worse, MV Kalangala ferry, which plies the
Kalangala-Entebbe route is grounded because of the ongoing road works at
its docking piers at Nakiwogo in Entebbe and Lutoboka in Kalangala.
Kalangala carries at least 100 people and 10 vehicles on each trip.
Private vessels –MV Nathalie and MV Vanessa can carry only
36 passengers because of the COVID-19 restrictions.
This is half of their normal
capacity. MV Kalangala would ferry many tourists, both local and foreign to
Kalangala at Shillings 10,000 for the general wing and Shillings 14,000 for the
executive wing compared to MV Vanessa and MV Nathalie that charge between Shillings
35,000 to 75,000.
rejuvenate tourism in the district, some hotel managers have had to cut the
costs of accommodation and other services. Kalangala district has 600 guest
rooms comprising both small lodges and advanced resorts.
These often cost
between Shillings 60,000 and 800,000 for a single and deluxe rooms respectively
during the peak season in December. During the off peak season, hotels charge
between Shillings 40,000 and Shillings 700,000.
Some of the facilities that have revised their costs include
Mirembe Beach Resort, Ssese Islands Beach Hotel and Brovad Sands Lodge on
Buggala island. The price cuts are targeting local tourists who travel for mainly business and
Tonny Kataate, the Sales Manager Mirembe Beach Resort Hotel,
says their prices are flexible and "very negotiable". He says the
prices have been cut to a level the hotel can still maintain its quality of
accommodation and meals.
A room of Shillings 250,000 is currently going
for as low as Shillings 135,000 depending on one’s negotiation capacity. Eric Mukuru, a staff of Brovad Sands Lodge Ssese Islands says since business is
still low, the facility has had to half its prices.
For instance, rooms which
used to cost US$100 about Shillings 370,000 now costs US $50, which is
approximately Shillings 185,000.
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However, apart from low business, some hotels are also grappling with submerged
beaches as a result of increased Lake Victoria water levels. Yucia Abaho,
the manager Kingfisher Camping Site on Lutoboka Island, says the hotel with 10
rooms, hardly gets guests nowadays.
The situation is worsened by the fact that the beaches have
been under water since January.
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Daniel Kikoola, the Kalangala Resident District Commissioner, says Kalangala
was initially meant to attract tourists who want a peaceful and calm
However, as a compromise, the leisure centers are allowed to hold
"wild parties” to meet demands of the district's young
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He also says the district needs to have a sketch map of its tourist sites for
better development and publicity. Some of the sites such as John Speke cave
have been abandoned for several years and may never pick up.