Besides the fact that they hold an exceptional position as one of the country’s tourist attractions, the Botanical Gardens Entebbe are also known as the National Botanical Gardens of Uganda. These gardens are located in Entebbe municipality which is found in Uganda – the Pearl of Africa and they are adored by tourists and the locals due to their irresistible charm!
History of the Entebbe Botanical Gardens
The Entebbe Botanical gardens were established at the turn of the 20th century – in 1898 by the first curator called Whyte, close to the shores of Lake Victoria. Furthermore, the gardens are divided into different zones including the rain forest zone which formed the backdrop to scenes from the Tarzan films that featured Johnny Weissmuller in the 1940s. Additionally, they were put in place as a paradise for flowers, trees and plants, which were not only native to Uganda but also from other tropical parts of the world.
Location of the gardens and some interesting facts
The spectacular gardens are located at the Equator line – at the shores of Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world, covering an area of around 2 kilometres along the shores. They provide a wonderful tourist destination for those who are interested in exploring the different animal and bird species there. Additionally, the gardens receive 1623 millimeters of rain every year which keeps them green throughout the year.
Due to the fact that the botanical gardens are found near Entebbe International Airport, they are easier to access by a person who has just flown into the country. However, it is still not so far for those travelling from Kampala. Also, every year in November, Entebbe Botanical gardens hold the Mileage World Music Festival where there is usually a lot of music and games to enjoy.
A wonderful bird paradise
The Entebbe Botanical gardens are an exceptional bird paradise and thus suitable for birding adventures. As you stroll through the gardens, you will be welcomed by the sweet melodies from the birds around you. There are about 115 bird species that inhabit the gardens. Some of them include; red chested sun birds, black headed Gonolek, common squaco, black headed gull, swamp fly catcher, yellow billed duck, giant king fishers, pied King fishers, long tailed Cormorant, African open billed stork, black headed heron, orange weavers, the Verreaux’s eagle owl (Africa’s largest owl) and several others. As you embark on your birding adventure, it is advisable to have a pair of binoculars and an ornithology book with you for a much better experience.
Get an encounter with some monkeys
While visiting Entebbe Botanical gardens, you ought to look out for some monkey species that are hosted there for instance; red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and vervet monkeys. It is an exciting experience to see these monkeys swinging from branch to branch, climbing the tree trunks and grooming their young ones.
Importance of the Entebbe Botanical Gardens
For many years, the gardens have been used for scientific research, education purposes, recreation and for awareness about conservation of our natural environment.
Also, tourists can be able to get nature walks at the rocky area that is situated near Lake Victoria as well as the forest canopy where they may view various bird species and enjoy the refreshing breeze. Due to this activity, the tourism industry is boosted and more money is generated to the country’s economy.
With regards to scientific research, the gardens host over 300 species of trees which are of interest to various botanists. There was a time when the gardens hosted around 2500 plant species of tropical, sub-tropical and warm temperate zones. However, this changed as a result of Uganda’s inner political turmoil over the years.
The community also benefits from the Entebbe Botanical Gardens in a way that they host over 120 plant species that have medicinal value. The locals use these plants to make herbal medicine which is then used in the treatment of various ailments.
For those who are not interested in any activity within the gardens, you may opt for a picnic in the woods. This can be quite relaxing and exciting especially with your friends or family. All you need is to pack food and drinks for everyone and garden chairs or mats to sit on. In addition to that, one may carry their music gadgets and camera to lighten up the mood and capture these beautiful moments in the lovely gardens.
How do I access the Entebbe Botanical Gardens?
If you are at Entebbe International Airport, it will take you approximately 5 minutes to drive to the gardens. If you are in Kampala – Uganda’s capital city, you will have to drive about 34 kilometres (40 minutes’ drive) to reach the gardens. You may use public means, private means or a safari vehicle (provided by us) for your journey. Also, the gardens are open every day starting from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Other activities at the gardens
For water lovers, you can always go for a swim at the shores of Lake Victoria during your visit to Entebbe Botanical gardens. Ensure to carry decent and appropriate swim suits and a towel. You should also be cautious as you swim to avoid accidents such as drowning. In addition to that, beware of the water that you intend on diving into since there is a risk of contracting a disease known as bilharzia (that is spread by water snails).
For people who love taking photographs of nature or are interested in taking part in a photo shoot with friends/family, Entebbe Botanical gardens is the perfect spot.
Imagine taking photographs with a background of tall green beautiful trees and probably tree squirrels or monkeys in the background. That would surely give you some of the best memories ever!
If you are not a fan of having nature walks or are not fully satisfied with having one, your tour guide can offer you an option of having a site drive. During this activity, your tour guide will drive you through the stunning forests while giving you all the necessary explanations and learning points that you may need. There will be several stops for you to take photographs and enjoy the cool breeze as you take in all these precious moments.
Games such as hide and seek, board games and others
It is occasionally said that work without play makes Jack a dull boy! Well, what better place would you choose for fun games with your family and friends as you begin your Uganda safari.
During your visit to the gardens, you may carry board games such as monopoly and scrabble to play with your people. Alternatively, you can engage in simple games such as hide and seek within the nearby areas from your chosen spot. It can be such an amazing and fun experience with your loved ones in such a beautiful place.
What other places can one visit in Entebbe?
After visiting the gardens, you could opt for other tourist destinations located in Entebbe to spice up your adventure. Some of these places include the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC), Ngamba Island, the crafts market and others. At UWEC, except to have an encounter with various animal and bird species that are conserved there for instance lions, rhinos, tigers, parrots, peacocks and others. Meanwhile, at Ngamba Island, you will have a tour of the chimpanzees (man’s closest cousins) and learn more about their traits and means of survival.
Accommodation facilities in Entebbe
After having an adventurous day in Entebbe, it would be nice to find a place where you can have a delicious meal and a good night’s rest. There are various categories of accommodation facilities in Entebbe that you can choose from depending on our preferences and your budget. Some of them include; Via Via Hotel (below budget), the Boma Hotel (on budget) and Protea Hotel by Marriott (above budget).
COVID 19 and Ebola travel guidelines
Ensure to follow all the necessary COVID 19 and Ebola travel guidelines to ensure that you are in a safe and healthy condition during your safari with us. One of our major priority is to provide the best possible safety and comfort during your tour, so please rest assured that you will be in safe hands.
Some of the travel guidelines include wearing and carrying a sufficient number of surgical masks, moving with an alcohol based hand sanitizer, vaccination against COVID 19 or taking a PCR test and several others.
Book your safari with us today and get an opportunity to explore the spectacular Entebbe Botanical Gardens. Visiting this wonderful gift from nature will leave you craving for more of its magic. Create memories with your loved ones and hold onto them forever. Lastly, our top priority is to ensure that you get an incredible, comfortable and safe safari experience.