Entebbe

Fishing boat in Entebbe.
Overview

Visit the old capital, Entebbe, on the banks of serene Lake Victoria for a laid-back introduction to Uganda. Seek out the Entebbe Botanical Gardens for tropical flora, or use Entebbe as a base to see wildlife at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

Background

Relaxing Entebbe nestles on the northern banks of the vast Lake Victoria. You'll soon realise that nothing is really hurried here enjoy a relaxing picnic on the river bank, a touch of bird-spotting or a game of golf. The 19th-century capital of the British Administration, Entebbe lies next to present-day capital Kampala.

First-time visit

You'll be immediately drawn to Lake Victoria, Africa's biggest lake and scene of peaceful fishing, picnics and even a spot of swimming. You can easily spend several hours at Entebbe Botanical Gardens, created in 1898, by wandering the natural forest - try and spot a grey kestrel or a fish eagle. At the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, home to orphaned animals, see lions or get up close to the more approachable pelican-like shoebill birds. Before you head home, buy wooden carvings and batik-dyed fabric at colourful Kitoro Market, open on Tuesdays.

Return visit

Use laid-back Entebbe as a base to explore other areas of Uganda. Enjoy a daytrip and sail to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary where rescued chimps live happily in the rainforest. Just west of Entebbe, get binoculars at the ready at Mabamba Swamp to spot rare water birds. Ask locals to help you with a dugout trip into the swamp. Play a round of golf at Entebbe Golf Course or just enjoy its unbeatable lake views. You can take a ferry to the nearby Ssese Islands for rambling or fishing for Nile perch.

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