Many people know Entebbe as the home of Entebbe International Airport but forget that the place hosts alot of other amazing features in Uganda. The city which is sorounded by Lake Victoria has much more to offer than just an international airport.
Use our guide to explore all of the travel accommodation in Entebbe so that you can stay to experience all of the incredible things this small city has to offer.
What is the location of Entebbe?
Entebbe is on the peninsula of Lake Victoria. It is one of the 15 cities in Uganda. The city center is less than 4 kilometers from the Entebbe International Airport and approximately 45 kilometers from the capital city of Kampala.
What is Entebbe famous For?
Entebbe is remembered for the 1976 operation Thunderbolt when Israel Commandos rescued hostages aboard a french jet airliner hijjacked by Palestinian terrorists that took place at Entebbe International Airport. The Entebbe raid event was recently made into a film called 7 Days in Entebbe.
The city of Entebbe also hosts the international airport of Uganda. It is also home to many government residencies, including the State House, the official home and office of the President of Uganda.
There are more Fun Things To Do In Entebbe, UgandaWhether we are trying to pass time before a flight or escaping for the weekend, here are some favorite things to do in Entebbe:
1. Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre.
Known as the Entebbe Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Education Centre is an awesome way to spend a day in Entebbe, Uganda.Stroll through the education center to check out some of the animals you couldn’t spot on your other wilderness adventures in Uganda. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable about the animals and love to share about their work and the conservation efforts they are doing.
If you want to get up close and personal with the animals, we highly recommend a Behind the Scenes tour. We were able to get inside to feed or pet a baby elephant, a giraffe, rhino, and cheetah.
2. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
If you can’t make it to western Uganda to do chimpanzee trekking, Ngamba Island is the next best thing. Affectionately known as Chimp Island, Ngamba is a short boat ride off the shores of Entebbe.
It is home to orphaned and confiscated chimps, rescued from the illegal pet and bushmeat trade. The 100 acre sanctuary provides a safe and semi-natural home for their rehabilitation.
Ngamba Island has many options for touring, including half day, full day, overnight, and long stay experiences. You will be able to learn all about their conservation efforts and get to interact with some of the chimpanzees living here.Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is one of the best things to do in Entebbe.Book your Ngamba Island tour here.
3. Equator Sign
Most people are familiar with the equator sign seen on the way to the southwestern part of Uganda. Did you know there’s also an equator sign in Entebbe?
Grab a motorized boat and head out to Lwaji Island on Lake Victoria to see the “other” equator sign.
Did you know there was an equator sign in Entebbe? Head out to Lake Victoria to find latitude 0.
Pro-tip: Have your hotel or guest house help you set up a ride to the island for the best deal.
4. Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens in Entebbe, Uganda is a lovely spot to take a relaxing stroll. Under the lush canopy of trees, you can see a number of plants and make your way to the shores of Lake Victoria.
Keep an eye out for monkeys and the many birds that live here.
We recommend grabbing a guide at the gate who can help you to navigate the expansive gardens. The guide will also be able to share a lot of knowledge and point out the different species of trees, plants, and birds on your walk. It will make the experience much more pleasurable.The Botanical Gardens are a relaxing thing to do in Entebbe.
5. Reptile Village
If you’re looking to see some of the most incredible animals in Entebbe, Uganda, look no further than Reptile Village. This site is home to rescued and injured reptiles from around Uganda.Get up close and personal with snakes, chameleons, tortoises, turtles, lizards, and crocodiles while learning more about their mission to educate communities about wildlife preservation. You will surely leave here feeling more compassion for these creepy creatures.
If you like snakes you won’t want to miss a trip to Reptile Village in Entebbe.
6. Mpanga Central Forest Reserve
Technically it is 1 hour outside of Entebbe, Uganda, but this is the perfect place for a retreat amongst trees. You can go for a guided forest walk on one of the trails and try to spot monkeys, flying squirrels, birds, and butterflies. You can also arrange a guided tour of the Kiganda shrines.
If you’d like to spend more than an afternoon at Mpanga Central Forest Reserve, there is basic accommodation that can be arranged or you can bring camping gear for a self-catered stay.
7. Ssese Islands
A hidden paradise with white sand beaches, the Ssese Islands are one of the most incredible things to do in Entebbe, Uganda!
Swimming in Lake Victoria is not recommended while staying at the Ssese Islands because of Bilharzia. Some of the outlying islands also have hippos and crocodiles in the water. You can still get in the water and enjoy boating activities and fishing.The largest island of the 84 island archipelago is Bugala. Bugala and Kalangala are the most popular areas for accommodation. If you want to swim, check out some of the hotels with pools.
How To Get To Ssese Islands From Entebbe:
Head to Nakiwogo Landing site near Entebbe town. You will take a 3 hour ferry ride to Kalangala. The ferry departs from Nakiwogo every day at 2:00 pm.
We recommend getting to the landing site at least one hour early to get your tickets. You can also reach out to the ferry booking site to reserve your ticket.
8. Uganda Buddhist Centre
Entebbe, Uganda is home to the first and only Buddhist Centre in the country, and the first Buddhist temple in Africa introduced by an African.The Buddhist Centre hosts a number of programs free to the public including mindfulness meditation for adults and children, as well community programs aimed to address water access and women and youth empowerment.
9. Anderita Beach
If you’re looking for a relaxing place to grab some delicious food and a cold drink, Anderita Beach is definitely where you’ll want to check out.
The warm breeze and waves crashing onto the beach will have you feeling like you’re on a secluded ocean island rather than a lakeside peninsula. You won’t want to skip Anderita Beach on your visit to Entebbe, Uganda.
Anderita Beach is the best place to grab food in Entebbe. It may have the best views too!
10. Aero Beach
One of the most interesting things to do in Entebbe, Uganda is a visit to Aero Beach.
At Aero Beach, you will find an array of old planes that inspired the beach’s name. There are also a number of statues of famous figures like Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth II, the Obamas, and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
This spot is much more lively and crowded than Anderita Beach, but it makes an interesting spot to take some photos.
11. Bike Tour
Looking to check out a number of sites in Entebbe along with some knowledgeable local companions? Add a Bike Tour onto your list of things to do in Entebbe.This awesome tour will allow you to stretch out your legs and enjoy the incredible Entebbe weather after a long flight.
12. Entebbe Walking Tour
Not one for biking? If you’re still looking to explore Entebbe like a local and get a historical background on the city, then you won’t want to pass up a walking tour.
On the tour, you will take leisurely stroll through Uganda’s first capital, hear about the colonial history, check out some top tourist spots, the craft market, and grab lunch at the best street food locations.
Even as residents who have visited Entebbe countless times, we found the tour well worth our time.
13. Mabamba Bay Swamp
If you’re interested in trying to find the elusive Shoebill Stork while in Uganda, Mabamba Bay Swamp in Entebbe is your best chance. Mabamba Bay is the largest swamp on Lake Victoria. You will enjoy finding this endangered bird along with many other birds and aquatic animals that make their home here.
Is Entebbe Safe?
Entebbe is mostly a residential area for government employees.
Overall, yes, Entebbe is safe.
Does crime still happen? Yes, but most of it can be avoided.
Use common sense strategies as you would anywhere else you travel. Keeping a watchful eye on your bag, phone, and valuables while dining out, walking, and while in cars or on boda bodas can help you to avoid petty thieves and snatch and grabs.