Entebbe city is the location of Uganda's international airport. The drive to or from Kampala is about an hour. The United Nations uses Entebbe as a depot and staging area for their vehicles and heavy equipment that are part of peace keeping and other missions in the central African region. Entebbe offers a relaxed stop-over alternative to Kampala on your way into or out of the country by airplane, as the air is clean, the streets are safe to walk, and the old colonial gardens and parks with the lake in the background make for a serene atmosphere.
Entebbe is perhaps most famous for an Israeli commando raid on July 4 1976, when over one hundred mainly Jewish hostages held on a hijacked Air France plane were rescued. The rescue was complicated by the fact that the then Ugandan president, Idi Amin, was supporting the hijackers. Over 40 Ugandan troops were killed by the Israelis during the rescue. State House, the official residence of the President of Uganda, is on a hill overlooking the center of Entebbe.
Where is Entebbe, Uganda
Entebbe sits on the northern shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake. It lies at 0.0500N, 32.4600E (Latitude: 0°3’0.00’’; Longitude: 32° 27’ 36.00’). The town is situated in Wakiso District, approximately 37 kilometers southwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The municipality is located on a peninsula into Lake Victoria covering a total area of 52.6 square kilometers out of which 20square kilometers is water.
Climate and Weather in Entebbe
Entebbe has a tropical rainforest climate with relatively constant temperatures throughout the course of the year. Entebbe has noticeably wetter and drier months, with January being the city's driest month and a noticeably drier stretch from July through September. However, since average monthly precipitation in each of these months is above 60 mm, Entebbe has no true dry season and therefore falls under the tropical rainforest climate category. Entebbe's wettest months are April and May, when, on average, roughly 250 mm of rain falls in each of these months. Entebbe's average annual temperature is approximately 21 degrees Celsius.
The unit of currency in Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling. United States dollar is also widely accepted by major companies and service providers. The bank times vary but it is more convenient to change money at the Reception desk. The rates will be slightly less than that offered by the bank but for convenience it is much easier. Credit Cards mostly Visa only is accepted in the tourist areas, however a surcharge is usually applicable. Master card is not widely used as Visa Cards.
During the 2002 National Census, Entebbe's population was estimated at 55,086 people. In 2008, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) estimated the population of the town at 70,200. In 2011, UBOS estimated the population of Entebbe at approximately 79,700.
The official languages are English and Swahili, although multiple other languages are spoken in the country; Luganda, other Bantu a Nilo-Saharan languages.
Things to do in Entebbe
Entebbe is located on a small peninsular in Lake Victoria around 40kms from the capital city of Uganda – Kampala. All major international flights come through Entebbe airport, however there is more to do here than just catch a flight! Karibu can advise on, organise, or book all of the following activities, please contact us if you would like more information:
Entebbe Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens were established in 1898 and are home to over 300 varieties of exotic plant species as well as an abundance of birdlife, Black and White Colobus and Vervet Monkeys.
The rainforest zone in the gardens was used as a backdrop during the filming of the original “Tarzan” film in 1940. Entry is a few dollars in local currency (additional charges if you have a camera or take a guide).
Uganda Wildlife Education Centre
The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) is a centre for the recuperation, breeding and rehabilitation of native Ugandan animals that have been rescued from poachers or illegal traders, or from injury in their wild habitats. UWEC strive to release rehabilitated animals back into the wild when possible and also work to educate the people of Uganda about the importance of our local animals and conservation.
You can visit UWEC to see some of Uganda’s unique and rare animals such as the shoebill stork, rhino, chimpanzee, ostrich and hyena. Other more in-depth visits are also available such as “Chimpanzee Close-up”, “Behind the Scenes Tours” and “Keeper for a Day Experience”.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Founded by the Jane Goodall Institute in 1998 this 100 acre island is a refuge for over 40 rescued chimpanzees. You can visit the island as a half-day trip departing at either 9am or 1pm. It is also possible to experience the chimpanzees “close up” although this must be booked well in advance to make sure you have all the necessary vaccinations.
18 Hole Golf Course
Entebbe has a well-groomed 18 hole course dotted with exotic trees and even the odd monkey! Day membership and club hire are available to travellers.
Sport Fishing on Lake Victoria
Half or Full-Day boat trips are available on the lake to fish for the legendary Nile Perch, known for their size and exciting fishing. The best is to go as a small group (3-4 people) as it splits the cost of the boat.
Search for Shoebill in Mbamba Swamp
A half day trip (early morning is best), 1 hour from Entebbe are the Mbamba swamps, a fantastic habitat to spot the rare Shoebill Stork in the wild. A trip includes return transfers from Karibu as well as a boat through the swamp.
Sunset Boat Cruises on Lake Victoria
Take a 1 – 1 ½ hour cruise out onto the lake to watch the beautiful colours created by the sun as it sets on the horizon. This is also a great opportunity to see some amazing bird life on the waters edge. There are a couple of options for the cruise, we can advise you on the best to suit your needs.
|Languages spoken||Luganda, English, Kiswahili|
|Currency used||Uganda Shillings (UGX)|
|Area (km2)||56.2 km²|