Buvuma Island has a rich history, one that is not known to several people but felt once one steps foot on the beautiful grounds.
It’s about a 2-hour journey from Kampala to Kiyindi landing site and depending on the weather, the 45-minute ferry ride can either be smooth or a bumpy one but none the less, it does little to prepare a person for the beauty that lies ahead.
Home to about 125,000 people, the island was plagued with sleeping sickness in the early 1900s that led to hundreds of deaths. The British tried to evacuate everyone off the Island, but many people refused because it was the only home they knew and this resulted into a construction of a health centre that was placed at the heart of the island.
The Island has hundreds of tree species but only the Canarium Schweinfurthii stands tall and mighty. This tree species is believed to be the oldest on the land dating back to 300 years.
Unfortunately, only 3 trees remain to this date because the rest were cut down during the era of the chiefdoms. It’s said that the locals at that time were not working and only wanted to feast on the fruits of the Canarium Schweinfurthii which angered the chiefs.
They agreed amongst themselves to cut down the trees starting with the ones in the Bulongo chiefdom but when the time came to cut the ones in the Majjo chiefdom, the leaders refused and that sparked off a fierce battle which ended with hundreds of trees cut, living a few survivors.
One of the remaining 3 trees is right in front of the health centre and if it could talk like Treebeard from Lord of the Rings, I would have heard the voice recorder ready. But since that wasn’t a possibility, some guys hugged it just to show some love.
The lost Butterflies
A kilometre from the town centre lies Nakunye central forest reserve which is about 600 acres. Within the forest, there are signs of ancient settlements that were completely destroyed by time or by bitter rivals. The sight is accompanied by crickets and birds chirping and some distinctive sounds that are believed to be butterflies.
A swarm of butterflies sounds like a distant waterfall but what we (Mountain Slayers) heard was a sound we believed to be a bird but the locals told us that they are butterflies which are often found on coffee trees.
After failed attempts to find a butterfly that makes that kind of sound, I was made to believe that maybe just maybe these are the lost butterflies of the island, heard but cannot be seen.
And if my imagination was anything to go by, I would probably say, “these butterflies had motor engines attached to there vocal cords because there is no way I could see such a light creature making that kind of sound. It’s like imagining an ant crowing but I can never rule it out, evolution may shock me.”
The island is also home different bird species like the pied kingfisher, African Skimmer and cattle egret among others.
There are several beaches in Buvuma and some of them are virgin, making them ideal for perfect weekend getaways. The clean freshwater makes it ideal to swim while the fresh air is just cherry on top.