Popularly known as “Entebbe Zoo”, was opened in 1952, by the Colonial Government in Uganda, as a reception centre for wild animals that were found as casualties (sick, injured, orphaned, confiscated from illegal trade etc).
In the early 1960s, it changed its role to a traditional zoo (”Entebbe Zoo”), a name that rings memories in the minds of many Ugandans to date. At that time, a number of non-indigenous species, including bears and tigers, were kept as attractions.
In May 1994, the UWEC Trust was founded to take over the zoo primarily for Conservation Education purposes.
The Centre’s location on the edge of Lake Victoria, its rich vegetation and its surprisingly wide range of birds, butterflies and other indigenous animals make it an attractive venue for education as well as a pleasing one for those who visit, whether Ugandans or people from overseas
Did you know?
The former Entebbe Zoo derives its name from Entebbe town.
“Entebbe”, in the local Luganda language, means a “seat”, and was probably named that because it was the place where the Buganda chief sat to adjudicate legal cases.
It first became a British colonial administrative and commercial center in 1893 when Sir Gerald Portal, a colonial Commissioner, used it as a base. Port Bell went on to become Kampala’s harbor. Although no ships dock there now, there is still a jetty, which was used by Lake Victoria ferries.
Entebbe is perhaps best known to Europeans as the home of Entebbe International Airport, the main international airport of Uganda, which was inaugurated in 1947.
The Entebbe airport was the scene of one of the most daring counter-terrorism operations in history when soldiers from an elite unit of the Israeli army freed over 100 hostages following a hijacking by a group of Palestinian and German militia. It was also from this airport that Queen Elizabeth II departed Africa to return to England in 1952 when she learned of her father’s death and that she had become Queen.