In 1952, the Games Department in Uganda’s colonial administration led by Sir Andrew Cohen established Entebbe Animal Sanctuary as a reception centre for wildlife casualties. These included the sick, injured, orphaned, and animals confiscated from illegal trade. Eight years later, the sanctuary changed its role to a traditional zoo, hence the name Entebbe Zoo which evokes strong memories among many Ugandans, spanning decades. In the 60s, 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 is on the edge of Lake Victoria, the second-largest freshwater body in the world. The lake, a real treasure from an ecological point of view attributed to its rich vegetation and an astonishing plethora of birds, butterflies, and other indigenous animals makes it an attractive education hub, as well as a pleasant one for those who visit from within Uganda and beyond borders.
In 2015, through the UWEC Act, No. 27 of 2015, UWEC is now a fully-fledged statutory body under the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities. The UWEC Act, 2015 mandates UWEC to; undertake Conservation Education, wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, and breeding of endangered animal species among others. Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Center is a designated national (CITES) wildlife rescue centre.
ENTEBBE AT A GLANCE
Entebbe first became a British colonial administrative and commercial centre in 1893 when Sir Gerald Portal, a colonial Commissioner, used it as a base. Port Bell went on to become Kampala’s harbour. 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. 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.
Along the way from Entebbe Airport, there is a canon near the Statehouse, the official residence of the President of Uganda. It bears a number, name, and date: 103, Krupp of Essen, 1917. Around it is a dysfunctional fountain. Nearby are statutes of two modern soldiers dressed in camouflage peering through binoculars across Lake Victoria. This old gun is among the many attractions in Entebbe with intriguing history and culture.
Entebbe lies on the shores of Lake Victoria, about 40Km from the Capital, Kampala. It is a beautiful town, with stunning vistas of the largest lake in Africa and the second-largest freshwater body in the world.
Entebbe is a historical town with a legend attached to the name. Once upon a time, Mugala used to rule over his territory from his royal seat near the present-day Entebbe International Airport. Entebbe is a local word to mean chair. Mugula’s Chair was designed out of a rock. Unfortunately, his seat was submerged by Nalubaale (a local name for Lake Victoria) but the area remained Entebbe.
Every visitor to Entebbe is encouraged to take a sightseeing walk in the botanical gardens, the largest in East Africa. Strolling through the well-maintained paths, the sounds of birds and the sight of white colobus monkeys swinging from one tree to another are amazing. Many trees have metal labels on them, the forest here is still virgin. You will be overwhelmed to discover the spot used in the scenes from the Johnny Weismuller ‘Tarzan’ films shot in the 90s. Entebbe is not only a suitable filming location but a town that was once used as a movie title; Raid on Entebbe. The Action film based on an actual event was shot in California. The 1976 Entebbe raid occurred when an Air France plane from Israel was hijacked and forced to land at Entebbe Airport. The Jewish passengers were held hostage as demands were made for the release of prisoners held in Israeli jails. The tale is told of how Israeli paratroopers rescued all prisoners except one. The raid took place in the old section of the airport that has been turned into a tourist attraction. The plane from the hijack was turned into an attraction at the nearby Aero beach, though little or no information is availed about it.
A visitor to the historical town must wind up the day at the Rhino restaurant at the Zoo beach. It is here that the aroma of cooked fish wafts through the air to trigger appetites for a taste of the Nile perch. As you stand by the longest beachline in Entebbe, the African sun going to sleep is a sight to behold!
In striving to take the direction we have chosen, upholding our values will be central. This
plan reviewed the organizational culture and beliefs that will help staff achieve the
institution’s mission and aspirations. The following will be our core values that will be
upheld in service delivery.
We take personal responsibility for wildlife and all other resources under our care.
We embrace partnerships in achieving a common goal.
iii) Excellent customer service and provision of quality services
We provide an enriching, hospitable environment and ensure quality services for all our
We are committed to protecting the safety and health of our staff, animals, guests and
We achieve more toge