Entebbe is a city built on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda.
The city is the location of Uganda's international airport. The drive to or from Kampala is about an hour. The United Nations uses Entebbe as a depot and staging area for their vehicles and heavy equipment that are part of peace keeping and other missions in the central African region. Entebbe offers a relaxed stop-over alternative to Kampala on your way into or out of the country by airplane, as the air is clean, the streets are safe to walk, and the old colonial gardens and parks with the lake in the background make for a serene atmosphere.
Entebbe is perhaps most famous for an Israeli commando raid on July 4 1976, when over one hundred mainly Jewish hostages held on a hijacked Air France plane were rescued. The rescue was complicated by the fact that the then Ugandan president, Idi Amin, was supporting the hijackers. Over 40 Ugandan troops were killed by the Israelis during the rescue.
State House, the official residence of the President of Uganda, is on a hill overlooking the center of Entebbe.
Entebbe airport is Uganda's major gateway and is served by several African and international airlines. As of 2014 there were daily flights from Addis Ababa with Ethiopian, from Cairo with Egyptair, from Dubai on Emirates, from Istanbul with Turkish and from Johannesburg with South African. British Airways, Brussels Airlines and KLM have several flights weekly. Kenya Airlines flies in more than once a day from Nairobi.
To get to Entebbe from the rest of Uganda will usually involve passing through Kampala. Small minibuses go to Entebbe from Kampala every 30 minutes or 1 hour. The fee is UGX3000 (USD1) but for foreigners sometimes the driver will ask UXG6000 USD2. The journey itself takes 45 minutes to 1 hour, much quicker when you avoid Kampala's chaotic rush hours. You can take the minibus in the minibus station near to the Kampala central market, with signs of every destination served.
Boda-boda (Motorcycle Taxi) is the easiest choice to go around.
As boda-boda accidents are one of the most common medical concerns in Uganda, hiring a taxi from a trusted source (decent hotel, friend, or colleague recommendation) may be wiser.
- Entebbe's Zoo - If you are not having any safari planned, this might be your opportunity to catch a glimpse of Africa's wildlife. The zoo (formally known as Uganda Wildlife Educational Center) has a medium-size collection of wildlife saved from captivity, including lions, rhinos, zebras, crocs, giraffes, hyenas, chimpanzee and others. All animals are held in large, natural-like areas that gives a nice semi-authentic feeling. Admission for foreign adult is 30k Shillings (about $12) and you end up with 1.5-2 hours of good-old fun. TIP: The zoo opens daily in 9am and it is advised to come early before the animals go hiding in the shade from the midday's sun.
- The Botanical Gardens - while not spectacular, the gardens are of interest to botanists and bird-watchers. They host stands of large trees in a parklike setting, an alleged filming site of a "Tarzan" movie, a troop of colobus and vervet monkeys, and various birds. As of 2005, the unofficial guides at the gardens were unusually aggressive for Uganda, and if you engage their services you should agree on a reasonable price beforehand.
- Boat trips on Lake Victoria. These include fishing trips and a visit to see the chimpanzees on Ngamba island, You can also go to the Boytanical Garden, a great place to have bird watching or enjoy fresh fish by the shows of the second largest lake in the world, the Lake Victoria.
Fresh fruits and wonderful, sweet smelling, black German bread at the authentic, if somewhat cheesy, bakery that opened its doors on the lakeside in early 2008. A popular retreat for all tourists and not simply Germans, Cafe Bavariana offers excellent pastries and proper mircofoam cappucinos and other espresso based coffees. They are particularly proud of the organic, free-trade, coffee that they procure from the gorilla-clad slopes near the Rwandan border. Open six days a week, Monday to Saturday, from 7.30am until 10pm.
- 4 Points, Kampala Road, (By the airport and Pearls supermarket). Great Indian food, good atmosphere cheap beer. Has a bar with a pool table, and expats are welcome. Mid. edit
- The Gately, Kampala Road. Thai inspired menu. Open for breakfast, and is the only "English" breakfast other then the Boma (need reservations. Friendly atmosphere and warm, oddly quick, service. edit
- China Garden, Kampala Road (Across the street from the war monument). Every town has a Chinese restaurant. The food is good, and its all outdoors so watch the weather. edit
- Goretties Pizza, Lake Victoria. A good pizza by the lake. Service is VERY slow, so plan on having a few drinks. Beautiful scenery, sand in your toes kind of place. Don't go around dusk unless you don't mind being eaten while you eat. edit
- Nickey's Pizza, Kampala Road (Beside the mosque). Wood fired, clay oven pizza. Indoor and outdoor seating. Slot machines and a pool table. Good service and good pizza. edit
- Faze 3. New place in town. Great Deck, overlooks the lake. Good assortment of western and Indian foods. Try the daily pot pie. Great coffee end excellent fruit shakes! edit
- Boma Guesthouse, Julia Sebutinde Road, ph: +256(0)772 467929, (email:) They have excellent food, good service, and a friendly atmosphere. only $99 a night.
- Banana Village Eco Resort, off Garuga Road (12 Kilometers from Entebbe Town, off at the Garuga stage and 25 Kilometers from Kampala city center), ☎ +256 772 509692 (email@example.com). checkin: 11:00am; checkout: 10:00am. $35 for a single. edit
- Entebbe Travellers Inn, Portal Road (center of Entebbe on the Kampala road), ☎ 0414 321 946 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . $80 for a single. edit
- Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel, (bottom of Lugard Avenue), ☎ +256 (0)414 311400 (email@example.com), . checkout: 10:00. A large hotel on land allegedly originally grabbed from the Botanical Gardens by someone with political clout. Mainly used for conferences and functions and there are many large meeting rooms dotted around the grounds. Can get rather depressing when no meetings are in progress as it is very quiet and the service somewhat lacking. The "beach" is very small and swimming is forbidden but, in compensation, there is an enormous swimming pool. Bill Clinton stayed here and you can stay in his suite for a nightly rate of $1750 according to the web site. Ordinary rooms are of a good three-star standard but you may have to call maintenance once or twice! Around $100. Prices quoted on the website start at $265 however but the room quality certainly does not justify such prices. edit
- Laico Lake Victoria Hotel (Libya Hotel), 9 Circular Road (on the Kampala-Entebbe Airport road near the center of Entebbe town), ☎ +256 312 310 100 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 4-star hotel bordering the golf course. All the usual facilities. edit
- Thames Hotel (Thames Hotel Entebbe), Entebbe (17 Mile Entebbe Road Off Mpala Trading Centre), ☎ +256 (0)702 358534 (email@example.com), . Thames Hotel offers all guest a free two way airport transport and the have excellent food, good service, clear rooms, free wi-fi (wireless internet) access and a friendly atmosphere. From $50 for a Single Room. edit