Entebbe city tour adventure
Entebbe city tour adventure : Entebbe was the capital of Uganda during the colonial era, the city stands on the Lake Victoria shore a few hundred metres north of the equator and only 40km south of the modern capital Kampala. In 1913, Sir Frederick Treves described Entebbe as “the prettiest and most charming town of the lake”. The name Entebbe derives from the Luganda phrase ‘entebbe za Mugula’ literally meaning the ‘Headquarters’. Entebbe regained its status after technological advances made during World War II enabled non-stop flights from Europe to land there. Entebbe’s bumpy airstrip was upgraded to create Uganda’s first international airport in 1951. Entebbe retains an unusually green feel and today is home to a quiet extraordinary number of hotels and guesthouses, not to mention a excellent selection of eateries, banks, bars and shops. While in Entebbe you can choose to go birding in Entebbe Botanical Gardens, explore the neighbouring Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre or relax on the beach.
Attractions in Entebbe
Entebbe Botanical Gardens
The Entebbe Botanical Garden is an attractively laid-out fix of indigenous forest, horticulture and cultivation. It’s highly an attractive destination that bird watchers should encounter. The garden offers an excellent introduction to various species of plants of the tropical, sub-tropical and temperate zones, besides several shrubs, butterflies and other plants regenerated naturally over the years.
The garden is a home of both black and white Colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, tree squirrels as well as Red tailed monkeys. Entebbe Botanical Gardens is one of the best place near Kampala, where you can spot many spider webs and species of birds namely; Palm Nut Vulture, golden baked weaver, red-chested sun bird, slender billed weaver, grey kestrel, throated leaf love, African Grey Parrot, Jackson’s Golden-backed, Black-headed, and Vieillot’s black weavers. The rocky headland along the Lake, making an ideal observation point are resident, whilst Bat Hawk is often seen over the gardens at sunset and is best observed from the Botanical Beach Hotel patio bar. Naturally there are loads of exotic plants and trees around and in the gardens. On the lake and around the shore look for long-tailed Cormorant, Common Squacco and black-headed herons, Hamerkop, African Open-billed Stork, yellow-billed duck, Grey-headed gull, various terns, giant and Pied Kingfishers, and swamp Flycatcher. Black-headed Gonolek occur in the dense scrub covering the headland.
The Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Center (ZOO)
The Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Center is an exciting place established as a sanctuary for wild animals and it has played a significant role in the protection of rare and threatened animals. While here, you can also have a comprehensive interactive interpretation and briefings on the animals. Here you will come across free ranging Vervet monkeys, black and white Colobus monkeys and a family troop of DeBraza monkeys in the jungle of the hillside forest. In addition to a standard visit, there are also a couple of alternative scenarios. The ZOO is filled with animals at close sight as the animal keepers feed them, carry out health checks. Animals such as Black Rhinos, Giraffes, Lions, African rock pythons, kobs, zebras, Warthogs, crocodiles, elephants, buffalo, leopards, Olive Baboons, and Chimpanzees are popular in the area. Visitors get the chance to take part in the food preparation, visit the pharmacy among others. The Uganda wildlife Conservation Education Centre is also a birders paradise where various birds’ species can be viewed such as the famous African fish eagle, shoebill, the Great Blue Turaco, Hammerkops, Giant Kingfisher, Wood pickers and the smallest sun birds including the world’s biggest bird the Ostrich that can only be found in Kidepo National park.
Reptile Village in Entebbe
Reptile village lies on the northwestern edge of Entebbe, 3Km off the main road. The lush green village is not a place for holiday makers, but a destination ideal for excursions. You will find a variety of snakes, chameleons, monitor lizards and a couple of crocodiles in the village, many tourists visit the village with the interest of sighting extremely dangerous animals. They are safely guarded in cages whereas the crocodiles are in huge ponds and therefore visitors on safari trips to Uganda are safe while visiting the village. Visitors are given an opportunity to lift the African rock python under the supervision of the reptile guides. It’s quite a thrilling experience and a moment to put away ones fears and tears. The founders of the village emphasize the purpose of the village as an education Centre about reptiles where people on tours in Uganda go to learn, research and also take part in the habituation of different reptile species. The guides at the village are informative and often share intriguing facts about reptiles and other species in the village. At the extreme edges of the sites, one can enjoy the sights of the swampy areas which are habitat to different reptiles, monkeys and birds inclusive. Around the swampy areas, tourists in reptile village can as well enjoy adventurous activities such as canoe cruising in the manmade river around and sport fishing as well. Today, Uganda reptile’s village is enclosed in a fence and three large concrete structures stand in the middle as the homes for the reptiles.
The Ziika Forest
Apart from other forests, the Zika forest is also one of the many small forests in Uganda that has got exclusive mature trees and the best for bird watching from Entebbe road. Ziika “overgrown” provides a cheap and convenient taste of the tropical forest. A small trail network explores the forest at ground levels while a high metal tower provides a birds’ and monkeys’ eye view across and at the top of the forest canopy. This forest has numerous forest which is one of the main attractions you need to visit while on your safari to Uganda. Bio diversity of swamps that is full of crocodiles, grasslands as well as forest types which spreads to Lake Victoria. There are over 140 types of woody plants, 60 moth types, leopards, snakes, mosquitoes, monkeys that are found in this forest.
Many of the birders have also said that bird watching here is a great experience with in the forest. Apart from its nature, wildlife and history, this forest has got an educational advantage most especially to students who study classification and the ability to give breakthrough leisure tourists. If you are interested in forest exploration and you are on a Ugandan safari then this is one of the incredible forests that you shouldn’t miss while on a safari.
Mabamba is a natural swamp and one of the convenient places in Uganda. It is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria the largest Lake in Africa and the second the largest in the whole world. The swamp is a birder’s destination to spot various bird species. Wildlife that are in the area include; Antelopes, bird species including the shoebill stork that is rarely found. Butterflies, fish species and other plant species.
Birding at Mabamba is carried out on small canoes run by experienced tour guides with developed skills and having knowledge of special places where the rare shoebill stork can be viewed, the swamp hosts over 260 bird species and a lucky person can encounter over 150 bird species a day including the migrants species from Europe such as the white winged terns that came in August running away from the winter that hit Europe. Bird species in the area include; flycatcher, brown throated weaver, grey headed gulls, malachite kingfisher, lesser jacana, papyrus canary, blue chested bee-eater, goliath herons and much more. Over 200 butterfly species can be spotted in the area for the butterfly lovers and these include; gossamer winged butterflies, skippers, brush footed butterflies, emperor swallowtail, hairstreaks to mention by the few. Mabamba swamp can be accessed from Entebbe town which is a 1hour drive, and still a ferry from Nakiwogo landing site can be used which takes only 20 minutes to the swamp.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary is an island in Uganda located in south east on Lake Victoria near Koome district, dedicated to take care of orphaned chimpanzees that have been rescued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Ngamba Island was gazetted in October 1998 for 40 chimpanzees rescued from various parts of East Africa. The Island is situated on Lake Victoria approximately 27 kilometres, near the Equator on the largest lake. The island supports a rich diversity of natural wildlife and provides a variety of natural foods for the chimpanzees. The Island is one the places to view chimpanzees alongside Kibale National park, Kalinzu forest, Budongo forest and Kyambura Gorge in Uganda.
Up-close chimpanzee encounter is a thrilling opportunity to have a close-up experience with the chimps. This involves giving vegetables and fruits to the chimps from a raised platform, participate in environmental enrichment and monitoring chimpanzee behaviors. A morning forest walk is another opportunity to the travelers and hooking the Nile perch on the world’s largest fresh water is also another chance which lasts for 4hours. Ngamba provides cultural performances by the bonfire in the night giving a unique cultural experience to travelers through interacting, performing, drumming and storytelling.
The suitable time to visit the Island is 11:00am and also 2:30am (during the feeding time), here the travelers are able to view and explore the Chimpanzee in there habituated area. Care giving and integration offers a golden opportunity to the travelers to interact with the Chimpanzee and during this process, you walk in a small group of young chimpanzees through the forest for 1 hour alongside a well-trained guide for your safety and how to work out with the naughty chimpanzee. Not only the chimps are in the area, the Island also provides diversity of wildlife such as bats, fish eagles, Otters, lizards, spiders and many various bird species. For those of you who would like to enjoy a swim in the fresh waters, you will have a chance to do so before continuing to the mainland. If interested in swimming, the Equator is the right point and you will be allowed a couple of minutes to enjoy the waters before proceeding with the journey. You will have a stopover at the Uganda-Equator to observe your boat being thrust by forces from both the North Pole and South Pole, making it almost stationary in one place.
This small wetland on the eastern side of the Kampala–Entebbe Road is notable for seasonal Palaearctic and Afro-tropical migrants. Over 108 species of water bird have been recorded and these include; papyrus yellow warbler, shoebill, Madagascar squacco heron, papyrus gonolek, African skimmer, great snipe and 24 regionally threatened species such as the northern brown-throated weaver, slender-billed gull, greater cormorant and the white winged black terns.
Accommodation in Entebbe
- Protea Hotel
- The Boma Hotel
- Lake Heights Hotel
- Lake Victoria Hotel
- Imperial Resort Beach Hotel
- Airport View Hotel
- Anderita Beach Hotel
- Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel
- Pineapple Guesthouse
- Airport Guesthouse
- Entebbe Flight Motel
- Entebbe Backpackers
- Wildlife Education Centre