Entebbe sits on the Lake Victoria peninsula, approximately 37 kilometers southwest of the Ugandan capital, Kampala. The drive to and from Kampala is quite unpredictable, and it takes between 1 hour and two hours. The completion of the expressway will make the journey less cumbersome, cutting the journey to just 20-30 minutes. Jambojet flies two times daily to Entebbe International Airport. Check out our flight schedule below and book your ticket today!
"Entebbe", in the local Luganda language, means a "seat" the town was probably named that because it was the place where a Buganda chief sat to adjudicate legal cases. It first became a British colonial administrative and commercial center in 1893 when Sir Gerald Portal, a colonial Commissioner, used it as a base. It is a major town in Central Uganda.
Entebbe International Airport, Uganda's largest commercial and military airport is best known for the dramatic rescue of 100 hostages kidnapped by the resistance group of the PFLP-EO and Revolutionary Cells (RZ) organizations. Entebbe is also the location of State House, the official office and residence of the President of Uganda, and the oldest golf course in East Africa called Entebbe Golf Club.
Entebbe experiences tropical rainforest climate according to the Köppen climate classification as the city has no real dry season throughout the year.
Entebbe is tranquil, and offers a great stop over when getting into or out of Uganda. The air is clean and the gardens and lake provide a great backdrop for relaxation. Here are a few Ideas on what to do in Entebbe:
Visit Entebbe Botanical Gardens
Are you a botanist or a bird watching enthusiast? Then you really have to visit the impressive Botanical Gardens in Entebbe. The 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 Columbus and Vervet Monkeys.
Fun Fact: The rainforest zone in the gardens was used as a backdrop during the filming of the original “Tarzan” film in 1940.
Experience the Wildlife
For all animal lovers out there, The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre boasts of a notable collection of Africa’s unique wildlife. The animals in this zoo have been rescued from captivity, while others were rescued after being orphaned or injured. The zoo gives you a chance to get a glimpse of lions, rhinos, zebras, crocodiles, giraffes, hyenas, chimpanzee and more. All animals are held in large, natural-like areas that give a nice semi-authentic feeling. UWEC strives 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.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is also a perfect place to get one on one with your closest relatives, The Chimps. It is possible to experience the chimpanzees “close up” although this must be booked well in advance to make sure you have all the necessary vaccinations.
East Africa's oldest golf course is in Entebbe! It was originally laid down in 1901 as a 9-hole course just a stone throw away from the lake. Today, the golf course is a magnificent 18-hole championship course of 6,784 yards and a par of 71 but SSS should if applied be 72. The club members planned and laid out the 2nd nine in 2000-2001 to celebrate the clubs centenary. Playing golf in this tranquil course dotted with exotic trees and an occasional monkey is a perfect reason for you to fly to Entebbe.
There are so many ways in which you can experience Lake Victoria. All of them have one thing in common. They are thoroughly fulfilling!
- Sports Fishing on Lake Victoria - 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.
- Sunset Boat Cruises on Lake Victoria - Take an hour cruise out onto the lake to watch the beautiful colors created by the sun as it sets on the horizon. This is also a great opportunity to see some amazing bird life on the water’s edge.
- Finally, the good old lazy walking by the shores. This is a good place to chill and let your mind wander to beautiful places.
Entebbe market day is held on a Saturday on a piece of land near the Mayors Park as you enter Entebbe. This is the best place to be if you are an avid bargain hunter. There is no limit to the items that can be found in this market. From Gucci handbags to Jimmy Choo shoes which are usually sourced from Europe. There are also a few lovely craft markets located along the main road in Entebbe. Each market is filled with stalls, staffed by very friendly Ugandans, and offers an abundance of goodies to bring back home: jewelry, handicrafts, clothes, and art.
When you think of Ugandan Cuisine, the rolex (Chapati and omelette roll) and Matoke (Fried plantain) are probably what come to mind. Entebbe might not be famous for its food but there is quite a long list of savory treats to try out while you are there.
Probably not the safest option for people with weak stomachs but still very appetizing. If you aren’t strong willed enough to pass by the food stalls without being tempted to indulge, then go for it. After all, it is rumored that African germs are lazy.
This is an East African staple and can be found along the street in almost every town. What makes them extra tasty is the fact that the grill plates they are cooked on don’t seem to ever get washed. But there is an unspoken rule about street food, the dirtier the plate the tastier the food.
This delicious number seems to be everyone’s favorite. The Rolex involves 2 or 3 eggs cooked into an omelette with cabbage, tomato, onion and a large pinch of salt. A chapatti is then placed on the omelette and the two are rolled together into a cylindrical shape. There are various variations of this dish, personalized to someone’s taste. However you choose to have it, it’s quite the treat.
Irish with Egg – In Uganda, Irish refers to what most of us call potatoes. This dish involves a large boiled potato with a whole boiled egg inside it. How they place the egg inside the potato without denting it, we will never know.
A snack with Indian origin which is very popular across East Africa. They are triangular pastries filled with vegetables and or meat.
Muchomo – Barbecued meat on a stick. This could be goat, pork, chicken and sometimes beef. It is a little risky if you have a weak stomach as the meat is traditionally preserved… but if you can’t resist the amazing smell of goat meat cooking over smoky coals, then try it.
If you are not so keen about street food, there are some pretty decent joints that cater for different cuisines. 4points – Kampala road is famous for Indian food, and a cheap well stocked bar. For Thai food, The Gately is the place to go. It should be noted that you need reservations for the Gately.
Entebbe also has a Chinese food joint called China garden which has an outdoor setting perfect for hot days. When you aren’t in the mood for a sit- down meal and would prefer pizza and fast foods, then Nickey’s Pizza and Goretties Pizza have that covered.
Faze 3 is a fairly new joint that comes highly recommended for a delicious assortment of western and Indian food. As a bonus, the joint has airy decks overlooking the Lake. Cafe Javas is another popular joint, for locals and tourists alike. They have a visually appealing menu, and their food delivers to the taste just equally, if not more!
Entebbe offers varied accommodation options that cater for all needs. The 2 friends Beach hotel would be an excellent choice because it is located on the shores of Lake Victoria and offers a complimentary airport transfer either to or from. Another convenient location is Karibu Hotel. This boutique hotel is set in a former presidential residence. It offers a homely cozy experience as it Caters to a small number of guests at a time.
For a more inland experience, you can spend the night at Carpe Diem. The Guest house is located on a hill with perfect views of the lake. Carpe Diem Guest house has 4 luxury rooms, all with en suite bathrooms. The rooms are finished to a high standard and promise of a good night’s sleep is given The Imperial Botanical Beach mainly caters for conferences and functions with its many large meeting rooms and conference halls it also has an enormous swimming pool. Thames Hotel offers all guests free airport transfers and they have excellent food, service, clean rooms, free Wi-Fi and a friendly atmosphere.
For an even more homey feeling, you can stay at Alison & Dave's Guesthouse. It is a small 4 bedroom family friendly guesthouse with 2 double rooms and a twin room all in the main house. All the rooms have en suites and working hot showers. Their cheaper option is the 'Cottage' with bunk beds and external but private, cold shower.
Check out Booking.com for a complete list of accommodation options in Entebbe.
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