If, like us, you are not keen on seeing African wildlife or any other animals locked up in cages for human viewing pleasure, then you will enjoy an afternoon or morning visit to Entebbe Zoo also known as the Entebbe Wildlife Education Centre.
In some respects a visit to the zoo is even better than a much more expensive safari at such national parks as Queen Elizabeth because the animals are close up, accessible yet they have their own large compounds ~ in fact in the giraffe enclosure we couldn't even see the boundary fence.
Whilst more expensive for foreign nationals than locals, the Entebbe zoo represents good value for money, and, during less busy periods,
a member of staff will
act as an informative guide ~ without expecting financial recompense at the end of the tour.
You start off, if you
choose to do so, at at the zoo's museum then progress around the zoo following the forest trail where you can see mammals ranging from lions, giraffes, crocodiles, rhinos to birds and
butterflies in a relaxed environment.
There is a lakeside
restaurant and a play area for younger kids as well. One
word of caution; there are free running monkeys through-out
the zoo and they are rabies infected so keep your distance.
They won't approach you, but will protect themselves if
Entebbe Zoo was founded in 1950 with
the aim of caring for injured animals and those who had been
confiscated from poachers and is today described as "not a zoo in
a conventional sense and neither is it a Safari Park but it is a
centre where wildlife education is combined with leisure."
It certainly fulfils that role and
even offers a volunteer program as well as opportunities for
children to become zoo keeper for the day ~ not just for local
children but foreign nationals as well. Although around £40 for a
day to be a day keeper the profit goes towards the care of the animals and food,
drink and a certificate of participation are included in the cost.
The zoo also offers packages for local school children where they
can meet the animals and learn about ecosystems in Uganda and what
they can do to build and enhance them for future generations. It
costs around £10 to visit Entebbe Zoo per person.
The verdict of our two Ugandan student
reports, Ian and Ben? "Excellent. A great day out and very
informative. Well worth a visit!"