Sunday, March 29, 2020

Entebbe

This is the gateway to Uganda for most visitors who arrive at Entebbe International Airport. The town is situated on Lake Victoria at 3,800 feet above the sea level. Until 1962, it was Uganda’s national administrative capital. The word Entebbe means “chair” and is derived from a local legend in which the King commanded his dominion from a carved rock that he used as a chair.

Entebbe is a traditional lakeshore resort town with lovely tree-lined avenues and some unusual and interesting buildings dating back to the 1930s and 40s.

Several government offices are still housed at Entebbe, including State House (the official residence of the President). Entebbe has excellent hotel facilities and restaurants.

Access

  • By Air: Entebbe International Airport is four kilometres from the centre of town.
  • By Road: Entebbe is linked by a modern tarred road with Kampala, 40km to the north-west.
  • By Lake: Boats can be hired to take you to many of the landing sites on the shores of Lake Victoria.

What to see

Entebbe Wildlife Educational Centre: Originally started as an animal orphanage and zoo in the 1920s, it is a showplace of Uganda’s fauna, especially chimpanzees and birds.

Entebbe Botanical Gardens: First developed from a natural forest in 1898, the Gardens are a paradise of Uganda’s tropical plantlife.

Kigungu Landing Site: Site of the landing of the first Catholic missionaries to Uganda in 1879.

Kasenyi Fishing Village: A traditional lakeside fishing village with a colourful market.

Jinja

Jinja is a major commercial centre and the second largest town in Uganda. It is located 80km east of Kampala. It sits on the banks of Lake Victoria at the source of the River Nile. While primarily an industrial town, Jinja is a good centre for exploring this central part of Uganda.

Surrounding Jinja is prime agricultural country with extensive plantations of sugarcane and tea.

ACCESS

By Road: 80km by tarred road to Kampala, 143km to the Kenya border at Busia.

By Air: Light aircraft access via Jinja Airstrip.

By Lake: Ferry services on Lake Victoria, including services to Mwanza (Tanzania).

What to see

The Source of the Nile: This famous and popular site was formerly Rippon Falls. The monument to the 19th century explorer, Speke, the first European to set eyes on the site in 1862, is three kilometres off Nalufenya Road.

Owen Falls Dam: A magnificent example of modern engineering, the hydroelectric generating plant on the dam supplies electricity to most of Uganda and parts of Kenya and Rwanda. The Owen Falls have disappeared under the lake created by the dam. Photography is prohibited.

Bujagali Falls: This one km of raging white water is10km north of the Kyabazinga Roundabout.