Entebbe tour guide – places to visit and things to do in Entebbe

Entebbe town is synonymous to the Entebbe airport which is Uganda’s only international airport that every international traveler coming to Uganda by air arrives at. Quite often arriving travelers will simply drive through and continue to the capital city Kampala because they don’t think there is much to do and see in Entebbe. On the contrary, Entebbe which is a quiet town by Lake Victoria, is a perfect base for arrival and stay for a couple of nights before kicking off your safaris and tours in Uganda, if you are a tourist. While for the local residents, Entebbe is a popular getaway mostly on weekends to visit the zoo or Lake Victoria, however there is still much more to do and see in Entebbe. Below are the top places to visit in Entebbe and things to do in Entebbe.

Uganda Wildlife Education Center (Entebbe Zoo)

Formerly called the Entebbe zoo, Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) is one of the iconic attractions of Entebbe. It has been named the best zoo in east and central Africa. The zoo has over 350 species of wildlife and more continue to be introduced, as recently tigers were brought into the Entebbe zoo. It is the place to visit if you want to see up-close and learn about many of Uganda’s (and many exotic) wildlife including animals, plants, birds, reptiles etc… There are lions, elephant, antelopes, chimps, hyenas, tigers, leopard, etc… It is a wonderful place for kids to learn about the animals from a safe distance. You can spend almost an entire day walking around and seeing the different wildlife. The zoo also offers the more exclusive “behind the scenes experience” where visitors can join the care takers in the feeding of animals.  UWEC is located on the shore of the Lake Victoria and so at the of the end of the study tour you can have a meal of delicious tilapia fish from Lake Victoria at the restaurant by the lake shore. There is also a kids play ground.

Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens is one of the most popular attractions of Entebbe, a wonderful place to go experience nature. The Gardens which extend to the shores of Lake Victoria are largely covered by forest and wetland along the shore of Lake Victoria. There is an extensive trail network accessing the different parts of the gardens. For the nature lovers the walk in the gardens will treat you to nice sightings of wildlife including several species of monkeys, birds, trees & plants and finally get to the shore for nice views of the Lake Victoria. The gardens are excellent for a casual walk on arrival in Uganda to shake off the jetlag as you experience the beautiful nature of Uganda. For the birders on birding trip in Uganda the gardens kickstart your birding in Uganda with the first day spent here. Over the weekend the gardens host many locals visiting for picnics, birthday parties, etc… Therefore if you wish to immerse in the nature with minimal disturbance it is best to visit during weekdays.

The Entebbe Beaches

Entebbe is Uganda’s premier beach destination and hosts lots of beach goes over the weekends. There are a string of beaches lining up the shore of Lake Victoria, starting right after exiting Entebbe International Airport and for international travelers flying in what better way to have your first experience of Africa’s biggest lake than stopping by at a beach for a meal after exiting the airport as you have the cool breeze wash away the jetlag. Safety is the key when choosing a beach to go to in Entebbe as many of the local beaches fill up with youths that can get rowdy sometimes. The big hotels that have a waterfront of Lake Victoria have private beaches that are safe. Some of the nice and safe beaches to think about include Protea Hotel Beach, Imperial Beach, Aero Beach, 2 Friends Beach Hotel, Spennah Beach

The Reptiles Village

Are you a herpetology enthusiast? The Reptiles village in Entebbe has many different species of snakes and other reptiles. Visit to see and learn about the different types of snakes, their importance to the ecosystem and learn how to hand them.

Shopping Malls/Centers – Victoria & Imperial Mall

Entebbe has two major malls, that is Imperial Mall and Victoria Mall. Victoria mall is the most popular and has almost everything you need ranging from; Shoprite shopping mall, KFC restaurant and Javas restaurants, a movie theater, a gym, telecom companies, a hotel, banks, boutiques, etc…

Entebbe Za Mugula cultural site

Few people know the exact origin of the name “Entebbe”, even those that are longtime residents of Entebbe. “Entebbe Za Mugula” (translated “the seat of Mugula” – Mugula was a chief of the Buganda Kingdom that answered to the king of Buganda) is a little known but very significant historical and cultural site in Entebbe that gave Entebbe its name. It is located right behind the airport in Kigungu village. Due to its location within the security zone of the airport public access is very limited, and one has first to seek for permission from the special forces command that is in charge of securing the airport. There is a shrine with an traditionalist attendant who explains all about the culture of the site and the Baganda tribe. Entebbe Za Mugula site also has a beautiful pristine shoreline that hosts flocks of water birds including sandpipers, herons, gulls etc… a perfect spot for water birding without going on a boat trip into the lake.

Half day chimpanzee trip to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Taking a boat ride off the shores in Entebbe you can take a half day tour a Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Lake Victoria. The forest island is home to more than 40 rescued chimps which live freely in a fenced forest. The chimps come out of the forest for a supplementary feeding with fruits in an open area where visitors can view them from behind the fence. This is a family friendly chimpanzee tour as kids can come too, unlike the popular chimpanzee trekking in the parks that has an age limit of 15 years.

Lake Victoria – Cruises on the lake

Wish to experience Africa’s biggest lake? You can take boat cruises on Lake Victoria and explore Africa’s biggest lake which is also the second biggest in the world after Lake Superior of the USA. You can choose a local motorized wooden canoes/boats that are plenty at many of the beaches, or take the fancier fiber boats run by sailing clubs & big hotels, such as the Entebbe Sailing Club or Wild Frontiers.

Fishing in Lake Victoria

Are you an avid angler, Entebbe is one of the best destinations for spot fishing that can be organized by sailing clubs or some high ranking hotels in Entebbe. You can also join the local fishermen using traditional methods such as using nets or fishing hooks.

Local markets e.g. crafts

Entebbe has organized craft markets with shops selling hand made items that one purchase as souvenirs. One of the big craft markets is called opposite Victoria Mall, and other another is near Imperial Mall.

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