What to visit on a Self Drive in Entebbe


Entebbe is a city in Central Uganda; nestled on a Lake Victoria peninsula, about 37 kilometers (23 miles) southwest of Kampala – the capital city of Uganda. Entebbe is one of Uganda’s most touristic cities – it has so much to offer. On a self-drive trip in Entebbe, you will really enjoy so many destinations you will visit in this naturally beautiful city. Among the top things you should really visit on a Self Drive in Entebbe include:

Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC);

Mostly known as the Entebbe zoo, the UWEC is one of the best educational centers for wildlife in Africa. The UWEC inaugurated in 1952 for rescued animals before later turning into a zoo. The Centre still helps rehabilitate animals rescued from poachers before their release back to the wild when possible. It has an amazing collection of wildlife and beautiful scenery. It is a quick place to go if you cannot visit Uganda’s national parks – there are so many wildlife species to spot here, such as; hyenas, lions, pythons, ostriches, DeBraza monkeys, baboons, leopards, buffaloes, chimpanzees, rhinos, cheetahs, crocodiles, and so many antelope species, as well as several bird species including the popular shoebill stork. Recently, the center received 2 Tigers to add on the animal count. At UWEC, there are different tourist activities which include; Behind the Scenes, Keeper for the Day, Chimpanzee Close Up, guided walk, and kids do have a play area.

Lake Victoria;

Among the top attractions you will visit on a self-drive trip in Entebbe also include Africa’s largest and world’s second largest fresh water lake – Lake Victoria. The lake is one of the top tourist sites in Uganda and Entebbe is perhaps the best place to explore it. There are so many activities that can be done around the lake including swimming (on the various beaches on the lake), fishing, boat cruises, canoeing, island hopping or simply relaxing by the lake shores.

Entebbe undoubtedly has the best and most popular beaches in Uganda, that include; Lido beach, white sand beach, Sports beach, Aero beach, Imperial resort beach and Spenah beach among many others. During weekends, these beaches are all thronged by revelers from Kampala and other nearby towns. Almost all the beaches have loud music playing in the background while some organize boat cruises on the lake in different shifts for revelers. Be sure to enjoy the sunset cruise on Lake Victoria, for the sunset here is like no other, some of these thing need to be experienced and not to be told about.

Entebbe Botanical Gardens;

Located in Entebbe along the shorelines of Lake Victoria, the Entebbe Botanical Gardens are a popular hangout place for locals and tourists who want a quiet place for relaxation and experiencing nature. In terms of biodiversity, it is one of the best within central Uganda. Besides relaxing in a calm and cool place, the botanical gardens also consist of so many monkey species and colorful birds that will make your visit so memorable while relaxing there with a partner, family or friends. While here, expect to spot Colobus and Ververt monkeys. It is always advisable not to keep foodstuff in the open, also in case you encounter vervet monkeys, please do not feed them for you might actually regret that act.

Mabamba Swamp;

If you’re a birder, Mabamba bay wetland is one of the destinations you do not have to miss while on your Self Dive in Entebbe town. A narrow water channel extends inside the swamp allowing for birders to visit the inside by boat. There are so many popular bird species to spot here, including the shoebill. The Mabamba wetlands sanctuary is actually said to be the best place to spot the Shoebill in Uganda. These elusive birds are often found standing on drifting papyrus islands as they feed on insects and frogs. Besides that, the Sitatungas also thrive on these swamps and it’s among the attractions you will enjoy seeing while here. Boat trips to Mabamba are arranged by tour operators and the purpose of this is indeed to spot the shoebill. This bird carries significant importance to bird watchers and for non-birders, a trip on the lake is always soothing.

Ngamba Islands;

This is one of the best places to spot the Chimpanzees in a semi wild environment. This chimpanzee sanctuary was set up with the aim of offering refuge for the orphaned and rescued chimpanzees. There are boat trips arranged to witness the feeding times for these chimpanzee which is done daily in the morning and in the afternoon. While in Entebbe you can either book to go on the boat to the island in the morning t 0900hrs or in the afternoon at 1300hrs. Please speak to your operator for they often want to put you on the boat where other people are booked for a better rate. There is always a minimum number required for the boat to set off for the island visit. Note that this visit is only possible by boat so you would have the car parked at the pier as you go on the island of which you are back on the mainland by 1300hrs for the morning session or 1700hrs for the afternoon session.