Significantly for safarists, it contains Entebbe International Airport – transfers to the national parks of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori, Kibale, and Lake Mburo tend to start here. There are also links to Murchison Falls, and to Kampala itself. The Entebbe area provides both a comfortable stopover and longer stay alike.
The history of Entebbe
The name Entebbe means ‘seat’ or ‘chair’, referencing the town’s status at the beginning of the twentieth century. On colonisation, Entebbe took over from Kampala as Uganda’s capital, although Kampala remained the country’s centre for communications and commerce. Kampala regained its title following independence in 1962, but to this day Entebbe remains important – it is the official residence of Uganda’s President Museveni, who has been in office since 1986.
Activities & wildlife
Entebbe contains plenty of attractions. Foremost among these is its close proximity to the beautiful Lake Victoria, the greatest of all Africa’s Great Lakes. This vast expanse of water is well worth a visit for wildlife lovers. Mammals residing in the wetlands include hippo, marshbuck, reedbuck, waterbuck, otters, marsh mongoose, cane rat, and giant otter shrew. The reptile count is impressive too, featuring mud turtle, helmeted turtle, and the grimly smiling Nile crocodile. And keen birders can look out for papyrus canary, blue-headed coucal, white-winged swamp-warbler, and many more.
Further birding is on offer within Entebbe’s botanical gardens. Conveniently close to the shores of Lake Victoria, these were planted in 1898. Wildlife highlights here include hornbills, Marabou stork, and black-and-white colobus monkey. Additionally, the gardens host lots of events and activities throughout the year – music festivals, nature walks, biking, and even feeding the monkeys.
The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre makes for an exciting excursion as well. Golfers will relish the nearby Entebbe Golf Club, East Africa’s oldest course. And travellers with an interest in history will appreciate a trip to Kigungu, where Brother Amans and Father Mon Maple Lourdel came to establish Uganda’s Catholic faith.
You can take time in between visits to enjoy some fine local and international cuisine at a range of restaurants. With cafés, bars, and shops also to discover, Entebbe has something for everyone to enjoy. The town boasts some excellent accommodation options, from chic little guesthouses to luxury hotels. Please take a look at our property pages, and contact us to start planning your stay.