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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 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.
What to see
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.
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.