GUIDE ON ENTEBBE IN UGANDA
Entebbe Introduction - Location, Attractions & HistoryWhen Sir Frederick Treves first arrived in Entebbe in 1913, he was charmed by the lakeside ambience that gave it the feel of an untouched summer holiday town, with lush, sprawling greenery bordering the sparkling beauty of Lake Victoria. Entebbe (experience tour activities) sits on a narrow finger of land jutting into the lake, with the rural market area of Kitoro forming its main economic hub. Visitors arriving in the town are sometimes pleasantly surprised to find that Entebbe feels more like a tranquil lakeside getaway spot than the conventional entry point of a country. Its setting offers an authentic barefoot beach experience around its distinctive shoreline and on the myriad freshwater islands of Ssese.
Despite hosting Entebbe International Airport, the main travel entry point into the country, Entebbe retains its old-world charm and boasts some colonial style accommodations. At the same time, it has welcomed elements of modernization, particularly in the variety of cuisines now on offer in local restaurants and cafes. Of course, your time in Entebbe would be incomplete without a brief sojourn in the Ssese Archipelago, a collection of 84 islets nestled within the lake. Named among the Top Hidden Islands in the World, the islets are home to the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Lacustrine Protected Area (LPA), which is on the private Bulago Island.
- Mentioned in historical accounts of Sir Frederick Treves from 1913 where he describes his impressions of the summer holiday town
- The town stands on a narrow finger of land jutting into the lake. Combines the charms of an lakeside getaway with the barefoot beach experience in the heart of Africa
- Enchanting old-world charm combining colonial-style accommodations with contemporary facilities and amenities
- Availability of authentic gastronomic delights from all corners of the world intermeshed with global fast-food outlets
- Explorations of the Ssese Archipelago named one of the Top Hidden Islands in the World
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|1. What Are The Other Experiences Around Entebbe?|
|What Are The Areas Of Interest In Entebbe|
|2. Ssese Islands|
|3. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary|
1. What Are The Other Experiences Around Entebbe?
- Ideal relaxed stopover for vacationers planning high-paced safaris in the parks and reserves of Uganda
- Gained importance for a short while as the capital of the British Protectorate after the completion of the Ugandan Railway
- Has a casual laid-back ambiance that is utterly captivating. Visit attractions such as the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Center, Entebbe Botanical Gardens, Mabamba Swamp, or the Uganda Reptile Village. Golfing green that gently slopes into Lake Victoria
Most tourists stop here for a couple of days on their way to Uganda’s diverse parks and reserves, or take some time to relax and unwind after a flurry of action-packed safari and wildlife experiences. While in the town, you can visit attractions such as the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Center, Entebbe Botanical Gardens, Mabamba Swamp, or the Uganda Reptile Village. Each of these conservation areas provides an opportunity to see some of the unique flora and fauna. And, if you enjoy golfing, you could take time from your trip to play a round or two at the Entebbe Golf Club. A delightful 18-hole course, it slopes down gently towards Lake Victoria and lets you savor the exceptional beauty of this amazing landscape in the heart of Africa.
What Are The Areas Of Interest In Entebbe?
2. Ssese Islands
- Located within Lake Victoria that covers an area of 68,800 square kilometres and is the source of the Nile River.
- Comprises of an archipelago of 84 islets providing the opportunity to enjoy a beach holiday in the heart of Africa. Opportunity to go boating, fishing, or kayaking on the lake
- Few islands inhabited by people giving them a pristine allure. Home to the Bassese people in the early 20th century, popular tourist destination since 2006
Visit the Ssese Islands for a startling discovery: stunning golden sand beaches, gentle breezes rustling through the palm trees and other lush island vegetation, warm sunny weather, and glistening blue waters in the heart of Africa, 12,000 years old and almost 1000 kilometers (620 miles) from Mombasa on the Indian Ocean. Take long naps, sunbathe, or read a good book as the indigenous birds regale you with their songs. You could also go boating or kayaking on the lake, or simply enjoy a spectacular sunset with drinks in hand. Since the lake abounds with tilapia, Nile perch, and other freshwater fish, angling trips are also a popular activity.
You may be surprised to find that most of the islands are untouched by a crowd of visiting tourists (where to stay around Entebbe). If so, you may understand better after asking the locals of Entebbe about how the Bassese people lived here in the early 20th century. They thrived on the islands until an epidemic of “sleeping sickness” — trypanosomiasis, an insect-borne parasitic disease—made them abandon their homes. While some did return years later, the old culture and language of the islands never entirely recovered. The islands became popular again in the 1990s, but trips there shrank after ferry service was suspended.
Since the ferries to Bugala, the closest island, began running again in 2006, it’s been easier to travel there. You will be delighted by the laid-back ambience, where life seems to pass at a snail's pace and the only excitement may come from the local tour operators’ activities: quad biking, biking, fishing trips, sunset boat cruises, or horseback riding. On public holidays and weekends, Bugala sees a rush of visitors when resident Ugandans, expats, and tourists take trips to relax, adventure, party and enjoy music around the evening bonfires that are common at island accommodations.
3. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
- Chimpanzee conservation center established by the Jane Goodall Institute in 1998
- Ngamba Island covering an area of 95 acres
- Walking around the elevated platform to watch their activities. Checking out plaques to learn about the characteristics of the individuals and their stories. Interactions with baby chimps and participating in feeding sessions
On one small 5-acre section of the isle, the trust founders have established a compact, eco-friendly accommodation (Ngamba Ecolodge) where vacationing guests can stay when visiting the chimpanzees. You also have the option of half-day tours that begin at 9 a.m. or 1 p.m. Since the camp has adequate accommodation for only a limited number of guests, do request your rooming in advance. The camp is sequestered from the rest of the island by way of an electric fence. This precaution is necessary because chimpanzees share 98.7% of their DNA with humans and are therefore susceptible to getting infections from us.
Spend time on your trip viewing the chimpanzees through the fence as they feed or groom one another to establish rank. You can also travel along an elevated walkway around the enclosures to get a closer look at the chimps. In one section, an exercise grid has been erected for the animals. and you can watch them as they swing around using their long arms to firmly grip the bars. On the side of the enclosures, you will find plaques that have pictures of each of the residents, along with information about their unique characteristics and the circumstances under which they were brought to the island, some of them so heart-rending, it may bring tears to your eyes.
While the center does offer chimpanzee interaction walks with the babies and the opportunity to feed them (at an extra cost), AfricanMecca Safaris recommends respecting the animals and refraining from participating in any wildlife interactions. Go ahead and take all the pictures you can while learning about how chimps live in their island community - you will no doubt enjoy every educational moment of this safari holiday in Uganda.
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WHERE & BEST PLACES TO STAY IN ENTEBBE
Entebbe offers a diversity of accommodations, from the boutique chic Hotel Number 5 to the mid-range Protea Entebbe and Pineapple Bay Resort (Lake Victoria island). The value options are Karibu and Boma.
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TOUR ENTEBBE ATTRACTIONS
Experience city tour activities and attractions in Entebbe - visit the Botanic Gardens, birding safari and shoebill viewing at Mabamba Swamp, explore islands of Ssese, fishing on Lake Victoria, craft shopping etc.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT ENTEBBE
The long dry season in Entebbe and Lake Victoria starts around the middle of December, January and February, and is considered the best time to visit. The alternate best time is June, July and most parts of August.
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LAKE VICTORIA GUIDE
Lake Victoria, also called Victoria Nyanza, is the largest tropical and the world’s second largest freshwater lake. It continues to captivate and awe many travelers, and the source of the mighty Nile River.
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EAST AFRICA SAFARI BOOKING TRIP IDEA FOR ENTEBBE IN UGANDA
When visiting Entebbe near Lake Victoria, we recommend combining it with Bwindi Park for your gorilla safari trek, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Kibale (chimpanzee safari) alongside your city tour visits of Kampala.
You may optionally extend out to other wilderness areas such as Mgahinga to track down golden monkeys and gorillas in the same park, Jinja for whitewater rafting on the Nile River, Semliki, Lake Mburo or Kidepo for an offbeat wildlife tour.
You can end your vacation on the beach by extending out to the exotic spice island of Zanzibar or Lamu, or even Mombasa.
Best Safari Planning Ideas & Trip Experiences For UgandaBelow are guide references on how to plan each of the below safari experience in Uganda. Alternatively, go to the summary section for a quick overview of each trip planning experience.READ MORE
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