Reptile Village in Entebbe
Uganda reptile village is located north of Entebbe in Bunono village just a short drive from Abaita Ababiri along Entebbe–Kampala highway. This amazing reptile center is one of the fun and most exciting places to visit while on Entebbe city tour ranking it one of Entebbe’s popular attractions for tourists with snake phobia because it will not only blow your mind but also take away your fears. Also known as the snake park, this reptile village is a home to over 20 reptile species and was established in the year 2002 by a Ugandan man called Yasin Kazibwe who was formerly a speed boat captain but also had a good knowledge about reptiles and a passion of saving them. The reason to its establishment was to sensitize and educate the community about the importance of wildlife, how to protect and conserve them and their importance to the future generation. The Uganda reptile village also educates about the importance of many other natural resources such as swamps, water bodies and forests which are important in saving these threatened reptiles.
Yasin Kazibwe was formerly known as snake man by his peers and family and he disagrees with the saying that snakes or other reptiles are bad that why he really strived to make people understand that these reptiles are not bad and they need to be saved and conserved. He sought permission to start a reptile project which was approved under government community-based poverty eradication project. So far, Yasin Kazibwe has rescued about 40 various reptile species and given them a home at the Entebbe reptile village. He has also published different documents about reptiles including a book titled snake bite. Entebbe reptile village is a home to approximately 50 reptile species with 20 species on the display in the premises of this village, some of the reptiles in the village were rescued from harm’s way and given a safe home for them to stay. Reptiles that are encountered here include; Forest cobra, Gabon viper, tortoises, Nile monitor, Leopard tortoise, Jackson’s chameleon, boom slangs, Cobras, skinks, African rock python, Monitor lizards, Mambas, Viper lizards, puff adders among others. Today, the Uganda reptile village is flooded with people such as animal researcher’s and students who love and are interested in reptiles and this is because it’s the first haven for conservation of reptiles in the country. There is a donation box at the reptile village where well-wishers can deposit money to contribute to the operation costs which includes; treating the animals, feeding them and development of the area.
This is one of the unique areas in Uganda where you have a chance to see the care takers of these reptiles play a round with snakes that you would not expect to be friendly. Regardless of how poisonous some of these animals are, they know the best way to handle them and this is where you can have such unique experience. You will also get a golden opportunity of lifting the African python snake though it’s done in the presence of a well-trained supervisor. Surely, it is a very frightening and fear filled experience but nothing in the world can ever beast how amusing it feels to hold such a huge snake. The reptile village has got other attractions such as the two basins; one with different tortoise species and the other with non-climbing reptile species. There is also a point where you will be able to watch camouflaging chameleons. It also consists of a swamp that is a habitat to many other reptiles and primates such as the blue monkeys, vervet monkeys not to mention but a few. The swamp also has a number of birds and fish which makes sport fishing one of the activities to be carried out here. Canoeing as well is one of the activities that you should not miss when you visit the reptile village and it takes place on a 3km manmade river stream.
The Entebbe reptile village can be accessed 4 kilometers off the Kampala–Entebbe highway; tourists can use public transport from either Entebbe or Kampala. The entry fee to this place is affordable and tourists who would like to join the conservation can donate in the box within the reptile village. It is open to visitors 7days a week from 8am to 6pm including public holidays. There are various accommodation units where tourists can sleep in when visiting the reptile village within Entebbe and they vary from budget, mid-range and luxurious accommodation.