Samuka Island Retreat

Ask a dozen dedicated travelers why they love to travel and you will get a dozen different answers. However, there are some general themes that will show through time and again. One is the thirst for new adventures and to get first hand experience of different cultures. Another, from a less gregarious perspective, is the concept of wanting to “get away from it all.”

Travelling is like flirting with life, it’s enjoyable and builds up positive energy not forgetting the good memories we bring home from a trip. Just like a photo can’t fully capture what it feels like to stand on the edge of a fjord, neither can ‘wanderlust’ fully express how we feel when we crave our next adventure.Uganda hasn’t had my attention that much in the past and when this island was tabled i decided to give it a try. The feeling when I pass groups of strangers, speaking a language that is completely foreign to me, makes me realise just how incredibly big the world is,we all have a life that is full of different connections, memories and possibilities. That’s sonder.And then there is also so much we hear about the Ugandan culture that my curious self couldn’t ignore and i figured this was my perfect opportunity to find it all out.

You’ll find Samuka Island off the shores of Jinja, Uganda, only one and half hours away from Kampala but a world away from the crowd. The Island is home to Samuka Island retreat . It’s a boutique lodge within a bird Sanctuary with over 50 species of birds. They may not have gorillas, they may not have Chimpanzees Neither the Lions nor of course 😉the Elephants But they do have something that’s in short supply: serenity, peace and tranquility. 

Getting to Jinja from Nairobi is easy via Tahmeed buses or any other bus of preference. It’s an overnight safari. From Jinja town you can hire a cab or take boda boda to rumours. Boats and corporate cruises to Samuka Island are available at Rumours the Gateway to Samuka Island. You can also get a boat from Masese and Jinja Sailing Club. When we traveled they had an offer, book a minimum two nights full board and get speed boat transfers to and from. O’wise the transfer usually comes at a fee. Long story cut shot, check out my experience.

I captured this on the streets of Jinja right before breakfast. 


Uganda’s traditional matoke is a must try, i insist. 
The beautiful blend of the colours caught my attention. It reminded me of Bo kaap capetown. I took this photo from Igar cafe. Their breakfast is 😋😋
And this’s rumours, the gate way to the island. 


Cruising to the Island offers you beautiful views like this plus so much more. The beautiful landscape, birds fishing… Ok, i found it quite amazing how they could just dive into the waters🤗. I didn’t know birds did that but then traveling teaches us alot. 
And then here we have Samuka Island retreat. Their lawns are lush green, beautifully manicured and a little bit of colorful flowers. Did i mention that the place is a haven for bird watchers?

The lodge has a massive compound with a beautiful view of the lake from every turn. It’s a beautiful place to hold a party or even a wedding. 

Built right at the middle of the facility, slightly elevated this dining space offers you a 360° view of the hotel. 


The kitchen and restaurant
The pool area,a favorite spot in the afternoons. It can get really hot at times. 


This’s the biggest room, the deluxe. It’s spacious unlike the other rooms, has a huge bed, bathroom, AC and all other essentials. It’s perfect for honeymooners and also offers the perfect spot to catch the sunrise, something you can do at the comfort of the bed. Am not a sunrise person but the view was irresistible. 


All the cottages are similarly built featuring plastered walls all the way to the roof forming the bell shape just like the thatched roofing that effortlessly integrates the cottages with nature. The rooms incorporates a little bit of traditional decor, a bathroom with a shower, a standard alone wooden rack, either a king size, queen or double beds that are made to incoporate both traditional and modern style. The shower water is solar heated. 


How beautiful is this view? 


The deluxe
One of the double rooms



There are quite afew monitor lizards around and they don’t seem to bother much about people. That doesn’t mean i wasn’t scared😂
This was a beautiful evening. I think in future i’ll consider fixing my travels within the full moon period. Try capturing the moments from different locations. It’s a feeling i can’t put in words. Watching the moon rise from the horizon right above the lake, the view was spectacular. 

What to do while at Samuka Island retreat

Water activities:
Kayaking, swimming, tubing, bird watching. 

Boat cruises. 


First time kayaking. It’s easy but strains the arms muscles if you asked me but it’s good exercise and fun. 
The whole idea was a sunset cruise but the boat was a little bit late for the party. We however had our boat party and dinner on the lake. It was such a beautiful experience. This is great for team building and a group of friends, like if you really have good numbers


Our DJ at work
The meals at Samuka were delicious. Am not a greens person but on this particular trip, they were my favorite. 
I haven’t seen a fish so huge my entire life. This would pass for a baby shark😅😁



Samuka Island remains one of my best holidays in 2019. It’s been quite an adventurous year and am looking forward to more travels in 2020. If you ever find yourself in Uganda, give this place a shot, you wont regret it.

Thank you for stopping by, Merry Christmas🎄🎅 and a blessed new year.  Let’s travel more in 2020 🥂.

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