24 hours in Entebbe
Hugging the shoreline of Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest), Entebbe is a tropical and verdant town offering a wealth of things to do.
Entebbe International Airport is the main gateway into Uganda, and the town is often used as a stopover for a day or two on arrival, or as a place to relax before departing Uganda. There is a wide variety of accommodation options, ranging from charming guesthouses to more extensive hotel complexes. Here is our checklist of four attractions to tempt you during your next stopover…
Botanical Gardens – Established in 1898, these tranquil gardens are perfect for leisurely walks along pathways through a variety of lush vegetation, from pristine gardens with abundant flowers to dense woodland set on the shores of Lake Victoria. Visitors to the garden often encounter a variety of monkeys, including the black and white Colobus, while birders will delight at the 115 species of birds that are present.
Mabamba Swamp – An hour’s drive south of Entebbe, this Ramsar Site and IBA is one of the most reliable places to view shoebill storks. The local community guides take visitors out on the swamp in search of these unusual birds, although various other species, such as Rufous-napped Lark, Whinchat and Little Bee-eater, are commonly sighted.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary – Just a 50-minute boat ride away, Ngamba Island is home to 49 orphaned chimps rescued from throughout Uganda. Although a man-made environment, the sanctuary offers visitors a chance to closely observe and interact with these fascinating great apes. The island provides an excellent secondary forest habitat for the chimps and other wildlife, including fruit bats, fish eagles, otters and monitor lizards.
Ssese Islands – The Ssese Islands are about three hours’ boat journey from Entebbe and are an ideal place to unwind after a safari. The archipelagos of 84 islands along Lake Victoria’s shore is home to some stunning white-sand beaches. There are canoes for hire, but swimming is not advised as some of the islands have the occasional hippo and crocodile!
Main image | Entebbe hugs the shoreline of Africa’s largest body of water, Lake Victoria