City Guide: Entebbe

Located on the Lake Victoria peninsula, the town of Entebbe, Uganda is situated in Wakiso District, approximately 40km south-west of Kampala. Before independence in 1962, Entebbe was the seat of government for the Protectorate of Uganda, under colonial rule. State House, the official residence of the President of Uganda, is located in Entebbe.

Some of the city’s major attractions include:

* Entebbe Golf Club: Established in 1900, this is the oldest golf course in East Africa.

* Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary: Set on an island in Lake Victoria, it’s a great alternative if you can’t get to see wild chimps in Kibale.

* Mabamba Swamp: Just 28km from the city, this is a good spot to see rare shoebills. Early mornings are best and be sure to use local guides. Make contact with Premier Safaris.

* Entebbe National Botanical Garden: Laid out in 1898, it has its own rainforest that is filled with birds and unique plants. There’s also an island-style pub on the lake beach.

* The Ugandan Wildlife Educational Centre: Here you can feed rare Rothschild’s giraffes and walk with rescued young elephants.


* Serena Lake Victoria: Just 20 minutes from Kampala, this golf resort and Mediterannean style marina offers luxurious accommodation.

* Protea Hotel Entebbe: Close to Entebbe Airport, the golf course and the National Botanic Gardens, Protea Hotel Entebbe is a value-for-money option for both leisure and business travellers.

* Boma Guest HouseA popular upmarket B&B in lush gardens, close to the airport. Check out the video:

* Gately Inn: An affordable boutique hotel in Entebbe, close to the main attractions and there is also a lovely restaurant on the property, see below. 


* Faze 3: It’s close to the airport and offers wide range of international dishes.

* Goretti’s Beachside Pizzeria: Sit dangling your feet in Lake Victoria while enjoying an excellent pasta or pizza.

* Gately: For good meals in a garden setting.

Entebbe, Wakiso District, Uganda: 1927 british colonial building used by the Agriculture ministry - photo by M.Torres

Entebbe, Wakiso District, Uganda: 1927 british colonial building used by the Agriculture ministry – photo by M.Torres


Best time to visit: Uganda is on the Equator and is bordered by Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, the DRC and South Sudan. The weather’s warm most of the year, but cooler in the rainy seasons of April-May and November to mid-January.

Best times for tracking chimps and gorillas: During the dry seasons (June-August and January-February). For birding, visit from February-May and September-November. Uganda has over 1 000 species of birds, more than any other country in Africa.

Getting there: SAA flies directly to Entebbe from OR Tambo International Airport seven days a week. The city is 37km from the capital, Kampala.

Visas: $100 on arrival for South African passport-holders.

Land arrangements: Premier Safaris arranges superb itineraries and photographic safaris.

Accommodation: Marasa Africa offers excellent accommodation and proximity to wildlife across five lodges within national parks in Uganda. Most other accommodation is outside the national park borders.

Credit card usage is limited, so bring cash and exchange it into Ugandan shillings.

Road travel conditions: Mostly red sand roads through the western safari circuit of Uganda.

General safety: High. People walking along the roads carrying pangas are simply heading off to work in their food gardens.

Chimp in Kibale. Image by Chris Renshaw

Chimp in Kibale National Park. Image by Chris Renshaw


Kibale National Park is located in western Uganda, 22km south-east of Fort Portal, offers great opportunities to see the unique wildlife of Uganda. You will be able to see chimpanzees, olive baboons and a number of monkeys, including vervet, colobus, L’Hoest’s, blue, grey-cheeked and red-tailed.

Read more about travel in Uganda in Keri Harvey’s article, The Pearl of Africa, which appeared in the January 2016 issue of Sawubona magazine. Download it here, free of charge.

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