Unless you got reasons to hurry to Kampala, Entebbe Town offers an ecstatic, relaxing introduction to Uganda. Its so far Uganda’s cleanest town. Many of our clients prefer to stay in Entebbe for a few days rather than stay in Kampala that is chocked on traffic. This town is also a great place to end your Uganda safaris. Its very near to Uganda’s only international airport (Entebbe International Airport) hence, makes it easy for you to catch late night and early morning flights.
Entebbe Town sits on the shores of Lake Victoria, one of the largest lakes in the whole world. There is so much to its attraction. It was once the capital city of Uganda during the early days of the British regime. Today its a relaxed place with lots of attractions that give it a spark.
There are lots of great stuff to see in this town. You can visit Entebbe Town with these recommended tour and travel operators.
History of Entebbe
The word “Entebbe” means “a sit” in Luganda. The town was named such because it was the very first place where a Buganda chief sat to judge locals who were involved in legal cases. In 1892, Entebbe Town became a commercial center for the British colonialists. Sir Gerald Portal used it as a base.
Most foreigners know Entebbe as the home of Entebbe International Airport, the only international airport in Uganda. This airport commenced operations in 1929. It is from this airport that Queen Elizabeth II, a royal who Queen Elizabeth National Park was named after departed Africa to return to England.
This town carries a lot of history and has a few landmarks that commemorate various occurring during the early colonial days.
Location of Entebbe
Entebbe Town is located in Wakiso District, on the Lake Victoria shores, about 37 kilometers south-west from Kampala City.
The “Uganda’s cleanest town” status
In 2013, Entebbe Town was declared Uganda’s cleanest town by New Vision. The town scored 68.7% in a survey which ranked over 100 towns, municipalities and divisions on cleanliness, sanitation and hygiene. Fort Portal came in second with a tally of 65.5% and third came Jinja with a tally of 52.8%. Surprisingly Kampala City was not on the list.
Let alone the declaration by New Vision, Entebbe is a very clean town till today. The roads are very clean with low scenarios of littering.
What to do / Activities
There are lots of activities to do in Entebbe Town right from primate experiences, to historic tours, birding, beaching and excursions. Below are some of the things you can do when you visit Entebbe.
Visit the Botanical Gardens: Established in 1898, the Entebbe Botanical Gardens shelters various plant species of tropical, temperate zones and sub-tropical and shrubs. The gardens has over 309 plant species. 199 are indigenous to Uganda, 109 are exotic and 122 have known medical value. Over 100,000 people visit the Botanical Gardens each year.
Go Beaching: Entebbe has some of the finest beaches in Uganda. When you visit, you should consider to go beaching. Its a great way to relax before and after your Uganda safari holiday. Some of the beaches you can visit include; White Sand Beach, Lido Beach, Aero Beach and several others.
Visit Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC): Formerly called Entebbe Zoo, the Uganda Wildlife Education Center is a great place to see and learn about several wildlife species and how they live in their eco-systems. The Zoo was opened in 1950s to shelter injured wildlife and take care of orphaned animals which had been recovered from smugglers. Several animals like Chimps, Cheetahs, Lions. Crocodiles, Monkeys and more can be found here. You can visit them at a fee.
Visit Uganda Reptile Village: This is so far one of the best places to see reptiles in Uganda. Common species here include; Forest Cobras, Gabon Vipers, Leopard Tortoise, Chameleons and Monitors. This village was founded with an aim of educating people to overcome the fear of reptiles and instead take charge in their conservation. Over 50 reptiles can be found here.
Visit Mabamba Swamp: Commonly referred to as the best place to see Shoebill stock in Africa, the Mabamba Swamp is a must visit for every passionate birder. Its frequently featured on several tourism brochures and ranked among the top tourism spots in Entebbe Town.
Birding: There are so many places for birding in Entebbe Town. Mabamba Swamp and Entebbe Botanical Gardens are so far the best hence, if you are so passionate about birding, include those two destinations before thinking of the rest.
Visit the Muzinga Square Park: This park is a common sight that you will pass when going to Entebbe Town or whilst departing for Kampala. It is situated just below the Entebbe State House. Despite being one of the most iconic symbols of Entebbe, it goes beyond that. The canon at this park was abandoned by the Tanzania Militia after a successful uprising against Idi Amin’s government. The troops had initially planned to blow up Entebbe Municipal Center but when they realized Amin’s troops were on the verge of defeat, they decided to spare the building and abandon the canon.
Visit Ngamba Islands Chimpanzee Sanctuary: The Ngamba Islands were founded to protect the orphaned chimpanzees of Uganda. Its one of the best places for Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. Consider visiting this sanctuary if you are a chimps lover.
Visit Ssese Islands: Seese Islands is one of the best honeymoon destinations in Uganda. The archipelago is a great place to relax and unwind from the stress of life. The sun rise and sun set views are awesome just like the ambiance.
There are lots more activities and places to visit in Entebbe Town that i have not mentioned. The ones above are so far the best and most popular.
Where to stay
There are so many accommodation facilities in Entebbe Town ranging from budget to luxury. Basing on your budget and duration of stay, i suggest you contact these Uganda tour companies for more information about organizing your stay in Entebbe.
Booking your safaris
If case you want to visit and get the best out of Entebbe, consider visiting with our recommended tour and travel companies. There are also many more operators online that you can contact. A day or two should be enough to visit most of these places.
Entebbe Facts you should know
- Zika Virus originated from Zika Forest in Entebbe
- Entebbe is home to Uganda’s only International Airport
- Entebbe was once the capital city of Uganda
- The final resolution to end the M23 rebellion was chaired in Entebbe
- Queen Elizabeth II departed Africa through Entebbe International Airport after learning about her father’s death
- Over 70,000 people live in Entebbe
- Sir Gerard Porter, a British colonialist used Entebbe as his base in 1893
- Entebbe is a paradise for birders
Wrapping it up
If you are thinking of visiting Uganda, Entebbe Town is a great place to start and end from. Surprisingly, most clients do not take time to explore Entebbe during their visit. Be the exception! Spare a day or two and visit some of the places i have mentioned above.
Lonely Planet: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/uganda/entebbe