Entebbe Zoo (Uganda wildlife Education Centre): One of the most well-liked weekend activities for local tourists is a trip to the Entebbe, Uganda, Wildlife Education Center. While visiting Uganda, stay in Entebbe, a small yet fascinating town. The official state house, many important government buildings, as well as Uganda’s only international airport, are all located in Entebbe. If not for the land that leads to Kampala city, Entebbe would have been an island in Lake Victoria. Entebbe’s tranquility, historical significance as a hub of government, and other outstanding tourism attractions make it unique. The Uganda Wildlife Education Center is one of Entebbe’s most significant tourist attractions. Given its close proximity to Kampala, the capital of Uganda, the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC), often known as the Entebbe Zoo, provides a wonderful introduction to the country’s tremendous biodiversity. Because most of the animals reside in roomy cages that closely resemble their natural environments, The Centre successfully combines a zoo and a safari park.
With a network of walkways leading to various animal enclosures and a sizable natural forest, the Uganda wildlife education center (Entebbe Zoo) is spread across an area of roughly 72 acres. The zoo is distinguished from comparable facilities in other nations by its exceptional position along the shores of Lake Victoria. A veterinary facility and an animal breeding program for endangered species are also available at the center. UWEC supports wildlife research and public awareness campaigns about the value of protecting wildlife. Given its excellent location and expanding size, the Center is regarded as one of the top locations for presenting Africa’s animals.
After a long safari in the national parks, tourists with some free time must visit this location as they wait for their aircraft. Ugandan nationals and residents are fortunate to have a one-stop center where people can view and learn about most of Africa’s renowned wildlife without having to purchase pricey safaris in the far-flung national parks. Many people could even find a trip to UWEC more satisfying than a trip to one of Uganda’s national parks. The Entebbe Zoo gives amazing possibilities to get up close to the animals and is less expensive than other zoos, especially if one decides to take the exclusive “Behind the Scenes tour” led by a keeper.
The background of Entebbe Zoo (Uganda wildlife Education Centre)
Beginning in 1950, the Entebbe Zoo served as a facility for the rehabilitation of rescued, injured, or orphaned animals. The Wildlife Conservation Society assisted the colonial government in founding the Entebbe Zoo. Ten years later, in 1960, the Center continued to run like a traditional zoo, with visitors only coming to see some of Africa’s well-known fauna as well as a few imported species like tigers and bears.
Several animals died as a result of infrastructure failure, abuse, and bad management during the political unrest in the 1970s and 1980s. The zoo continued to operate at a modest level until the government started to take a larger interest and decided to remodel it. The government understood that the zoo could serve as an ideal venue for educating Ugandans and foreign tourists about wildlife protection. The New York Zoological Society conducted a study and produced a report with recommendations, including turning the zoo into a Center for Education alongside Tourism. The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre under the Ministry of Tourism was the name given to the establishment in May 1994.
The Center has grown and received more land, and it now extends right up to Lake Victoria’s edge. One of the most renowned wildlife conservation and educational facilities in Africa, the Centre has expanded as a result of increased funding from the government, foreign organizations/donors, and gate collections.
Animals at Entebbe Zoo (Uganda wildlife Education Centre)
Because of its extensive biodiversity and position within one of Uganda’s major urban areas, the Entebbe Zoo is particularly well-liked. It is home to giraffes, rhinos, cheetahs, leopards, baboons, ostriches, chimpanzees, and chimpanzees. the Entebbe Zoo, which is home to hyenas, zebras, lions, donkeys, the Uganda Kob, camels, waterbucks, egrets, the renowned Shoebill Stork, snakes, pythons, and tortoises. The facility is home to around 120 bird species and 23 primates. Aside from these animals and many others, the Center also houses red-tailed monkeys, cattle, crocodiles, peacocks, crested cranes, parrots, goats, elephants, poultry, warthogs, cobras, impala, topis, forest hogs, and eland. In addition to animals, there are a variety of amazing plants (flowers, shrubs, trees, and herbs), as well as butterflies. Unfortunately, the zoo is not home to any mountain gorillas. You must read about gorilla trekking in Bwindi if you want to see them.
Those who are unfamiliar with this kind of environment might be surprised to see some of the animals and birds roaming around freely. Students from primary, secondary, and postsecondary universities make up the majority of visitors to the center. At least ten student groups arrive at the center each day. The amount of people can be overwhelming on the weekends. For families with children, going to the Entebbe Zoo may be very beneficial (A chance to experience what is taught in class and see some of their cartoon characters). There is a playground for kids, as well as ice cream and many other enjoyable activities. Another method to support wildlife conservation is to go visit the Entebbe Zoo or Uganda Wildlife Education Center. The funds raised are utilized to rescue animals from isolated areas of Uganda, feed the animals, pay the caregivers, and breed wildlife.
Entebbe Zoo (Uganda wildlife Education Centre) Entrance Fee
Entebbe Zoo admission is $15 for adults who are non-residents and $10 for minors who are non-residents. Ugandan adults pay 10,000 shillings, while kids pay 5,000 shillings. For those that visit the Center for educational purposes from schools and university institutions, there is a different charge. The zoo will charge you 10,000 Uganda shillings if you want to record a video there. For a longer, guided tour of the facility, the Centre charges a supplementary fee, as we’ll see later. Parking costs 2000 shillings for each vehicle.
The Entebbe Zoom is open from eight in the morning until six in the evening. If you arrive at 6:00 o’clock, you won’t be permitted in. We advise that you arrive before 4:00 pm in order to have the best experience and time with the animals.
Accommodation while visiting Entebbe Zoo (Uganda wildlife Education Centre)
Accommodations are available on the grounds of the Uganda Wildlife Education Center. These self-contained, traditional African Banda cottages cost about $30 each. Each banda is nicely built; accommodations in Entebbe are roomy and provided with a fridge, a private toilet, a mosquito net, and cooking utensils. For families traveling together or groups of students, there are also sizable dorms available. One internet-connected computer and shared restrooms are provided in each dorm. A restaurant with a view of the lake serves meals. It is crucial to order your dinner before the restaurant shuts at 6:00 p.m. If you want a straightforward yet pleasant lodging option with the majority of utilities, we strongly advise booking a banda. Booking hotels outside the zoo and in Entebbe town will get you access to more upscale lodging options.
Behind the Scenes Experience and tour
Tourists who want to experience more than just the Center’s animals’ sights and sounds are given the option to do so with this activity. Visitors have a unique chance to get up and personal with a variety of animals at the Center during this encounter, learning about their lives in the process. From the moment they awaken until they retire to their cages, you may witness their behavior and daily routines. This type of encounter is entirely unattainable on a typical safari since it is so distinct. By the end of the trip, you will have developed an appreciation for the efforts made by the zoo’s keepers. Three groups of the experience have been identified.
the Keeper for a Day experience, the Vet for a Day experience, and the Guided Tour by the Keeper. Each person must pay $70 for the Behind-the-Scenes Tour.
If you want to take the Keeper’s Guided tour, a caretaker will be assigned to you and will tell you all there is to know about the center before leading you to all of the animal enclosures. You will have full access to the Center, including the staff offices and other private areas. You will get the opportunity to interact closely with a variety of creatures on the tour, including Kabira the Lion, Sushi the Shoebill Stork, Mutagama the Lioness, Albert the Giraffe, Charlie the Elephant, and Chimpanzees like Ndugu. About three hours and less effort are required on the Keeper’s Guided tour. The excursion is available in the morning or the afternoon. Early in the morning is the finest time to see the animals eat. Don’t forget to bring enough battery for your camera and your camera. Each individual must pay $40 for the Keeper’s Guided Tour.
Experience as a keeper for a day: This option requires more interaction with the animals and aims to give you a sense of what zookeepers go through when caring for their charges. The program begins with the Keepers briefing, followed by preparing the animal food, putting it on the zoo tractor, and transporting it to the various animal enclosures.
Everyone is welcome to participate in the “Vet for the Day” experience, which will be watched over by the local veterinarian. The animal doctor will direct you to the animal enclosures for daily health checks after the customary briefing. You will watch the health examinations being performed and might even help carry one of the animals back to a holding area for more thorough examinations. The doctor will make sure you take any necessary health precautions while accompanying you to the animal pharmacy. You are obliged to abide by the sanitation regulations in place while visiting the area where food is prepared in order to prevent animal diseases.
Note: Booking a space in advance is required to participate in the behind-the-scenes program. Additionally, two weeks before coming into contact with any animals, you must have multiple health examinations completed and be prepared for vaccination against the following diseases:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Meningococcal meningitis
- Tuberculosis (TB)
Other activities and things to do at Entebbe Zoo
Guided Tour: For those seeking a thorough and educational experience, a guided tour of the Entebbe Zoo might last up to an hour. A Guide will be able to show you the entire facility and all the animals while also answering all of your questions. For their services, guides ask for as low as $10. After paying the entrance charge, please take note that you are free to explore the area on your own without a guide, unlike the majority of visitors.
Chimpanzee Close-up or Habituation Experience: Although Uganda is home to one of the world’s largest populations of chimpanzees, the species is fast dwindling in size. For an additional fee, the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre arranges trips focused only on chimpanzees for interested guests. You must get the immunizations mentioned above in order to do this. If you have any contagious illnesses, you must stay far away from the chimpanzees. When you are given the all-clear from your doctor, a caretaker will be assigned to you to guide you and make sure you help feed the primates. You might be fortunate enough to take part in the chimpanzee habituation experience if there are recently rescued chimpanzees. This interaction is intended to help newly introduced chimpanzees get used to feeling at ease around people. Feeding the chimpanzees, playing with the babies, and making sure they feel at ease around people are the norm during the Chimpanzee Close-Up. More chimps than the Center can handle are brought to the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Lake Victoria. Each guest must pay $290 for the extremely informative Chimpanzee Close-up tour.
Volunteer: The Entebbe Zoo welcomes volunteers from all around the world for stints ranging from a week to a few months. The Volunteer program is made to give individuals firsthand experience working closely with all of the zoo’s animals, such as rhinos, chimps, reptiles, and birds. In addition, the Volunteer is expected to assist with fundraising, program development, student training, research, cleaning animal cages, feeding animals, and showing visitors around the facility. Contact the Uganda Wildlife Education Center by email at email@example.com if you’re interested in volunteering for a week or longer. The email should also include a letter of recommendation, a CV, a statement of interest, and a motivation letter.
The volunteer eats at the lakeside restaurant and stays at one of the lodging options. Yellow fever, polio, meningitis, tetanus, measles, and Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are required for all volunteers. Additionally, a TB test for the volunteer is required. The $1500 charge covers all volunteers’ lodging, meals, airport pickups, and excursions to Lake Victoria’s islands. This may seem pricey, but it is less than what one would spend on a volunteer experience at places like the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Health and travel insurance are the responsibility of the volunteer. Volunteers receive a certificate of participation at the conclusion of the program.
Forest Trail and bird watching: Over a mile of virgin forest and stunning views may be found nearby the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre. One can also take a nature walk along the forest trail after visiting the animal cages for a more sedate interaction with butterflies, chameleons, birds, small primates, and plants. You can choose to hire a guide to accompany you while they discuss the significance of each plant and its significant therapeutic properties. Over 100 different bird species can be seen during the one to two-hour stroll through the protected forest.
If you’re intending to take kids to the zoo, they should be ready for many of activities, including donkey, camel, and boat rides. For a modest price, the Center organizes camel and equine rides. A little park with playthings is also available for kids. Adults and bird enthusiasts can rent a boat and cruise along Lake Victoria’s shoreline in an effort to see some of Uganda’s magnificent waterbirds. The zoo restaurant, which has a view of the lake, serves food.
Vervet monkeys can be seen freely ranging throughout the zoo in large numbers. Avoid feeding them if you can and maintain your distance. Some might be rabidly ill.
Donations and visiting the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre
How to contribute to or assist the Uganda Wildlife Education and Conservation Center’s efforts is one of the often-requested questions. Visit the Center—this is the simplest way to support it. Because the money raised goes toward staff salaries and animal nutrition, paying the admission fee enables you to indirectly support the Center’s operations. The Animal Parents Program, which is another way to help the Center’s efforts, allows you to sponsor a zoo animal. Aside from this, there are other methods to support conservation initiatives and unique membership options. For additional information on all donations, go to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre’s website.