The Entebbe Wildlife Sanctuary, popularly know as the Entebbe Zoo, is one of the places one must visit when in Entebbe or Kampala.
It is located in Entebbe, but not that far from Kampala; about a hour’s drive, which makes it an excellent family outing option.
We have been there several times already, but this time round was more special to us as we had yet to see the two Bengal Tigers the zoo acquired sometime last year.
There is a lot to see at the zoo. From chimpanzees, to beautiful lions, cheetahs, giraffes, elephant, snakes, otters and even the elusive Shoebill stork, usually found at Mabamba Bay. I have already written about our visit there here.
There were a few changes we noticed while there. Obviously, there are standard Covid 19 prevention protocols to be observed, the zoo is now charging parking fees, and there is a small vehicle to drive those who do to want or are unable to walk around, (at a fee of course).
There is a big playground filled with different activities for children, a restaurant (that serves some awesome fish) and an area one can picnic at on the shores of Lake Victoria.
This time round though, we just wanted to see the animals. We began at the tiger enclosure. Such majestic creatures.
The lions, cheetah and leopard were all asleep though, I guess it was big cats nap time.
They also have a caracal and a serval which I find so beautiful with its black spots, long neck and long legs which make it a great jumper.
The zoo has two rhinos too that are so good at minding their own business, just grazing peacefully.
The kids were fascinated by the tigers, the rhinos which we were lucky to get really close to, the chimpanzees as well as the otters.
It was also our first time to see the otters up close as most times they hide out in the water.
Other fascinating sections were the reptile section, with the snakes and crocodiles.
If you are an avid birdwatcher, you will be able to hear and spot a few birds in the trees as you walk around the zoo. We spotted other animals too that are not part of the captive ones such as vervet moneys frolicking in the trees and a monitor lizard.
There is a botanicals section too, that is very informative on indigenous plants and their healing properties. Sadly this time round the guide was not available and the garden looked a bit rundown but I was able to get a few photos and information. It is one of my favorite parts of the gardens as we get to learn how many plants and trees around us, including some we view as weeds, were actually used in olden times to heal and manage various diseases and disorders. Quite intriguing.
The zoo has many other animals, warthogs, giraffes, baboons, red tailed monkeys, crowned cranes, ostriches, buffalos, waterbucks, a zebra, elephant and many more.
PS: I know there are people who do not like going to zoos as they do not want to see the animals in captivity. Well, for me, I see it is a learning opportunity. We get to see many animals and learn about them without having to travel to do so. Travelling to see animals in the wild is not within reach for many. Some of the animals are also rescued from the wild as they are at risk of being poached or endangered, so it is part of animal conservation efforts undertaken by those entrusted to care for them.
Many of the trees around the zoo had signs indicating their names, both local and scientific and if they are indigenous to the region or not.
Some also have installations around them to promote conservation and how to reuse plastics that are a menace to the environment.
We all enjoyed ourselves despite being a hot day and the place being quite busy than all the other times we have been there.
When you decide to visit the zoo, wear comfortable shoes and clothing, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses will not hurt too as there is quite a bit of walking around to do to see the animals.
Definitely worth a visit.