Entebbe is a major town in central Uganda on the lake Victoria peninsula, Approximately 37 km southwest of the Ugandan capital, Kampala, it was once the government seat for the protectorate of Uganda prior to Independence, in 1962.
Entebbe is the location of the of Entebbe International Airport, Uganda’s largest commercial and military Airport ,best known for the dramatic rescue of 100 hostages kidnapped by the resistance group of the PFLP-EO and Revolutionary cells organisations. Entebbe is also the location of State House, the official Office and Residence of the president of Uganda.
The word came from Luganda language Entebbe which means seat / chair. Entebbe was the seat of the colonial governor in the early 1900 s and is now the location of the official office and residence of the president of Uganda , hence the name .Entebbe is the seat of power in the country.
Entebbe sits on the northern shores of lake Victoria , the second largest fresh water lake of the world with 68,000 square kilometers. The town is situated in Wakiso District. It covers a total area of 56.2 square kilometers ( 21.7 sq mi) out of which 20 sq km is water.
The population is estimated to be one million people. It first became a British colonial Administrative and commercial center in 1893 when Sir Gerald Portal, a colonial Commissioner, used it as abase. Port Bell went on to become Kampala’s harbor. Although no ships dock there now, there is still a jetty which was used by the 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 first opened in 1929.
Entebbe airport was the scene of a hostage situation and a rescue operation in 4 July 1976, when soldiers from the elite unit of the Israeli army freed over 100 hostages following a hijacking by a group of Palestinian and German militia. It was from this that 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. The city of Entebbe also hosted final resolution talks to end M23 rebellion.
Tourist Attractions in Entebbe.
The extensive Botanical Gardens laid out in 1898, are located in Entebbe. They are perfect for a leisurely stroll. The highlights are its pockets of thick rain-forest, which locals claim some of the original Tarzan films were made in and excellent bird watching with over 100 bird species. You shall also see plenty of monkeys ,including black and white colobus monkeys and tree squirrels.
They are located on the lake shore and you can be able to view many water birds like the long tailed cormorants, common squacco heron, black headed heron, open billed stock, yellow billed duck, grey headed Gull giant and pied king fishers among others.
Entebbe is also home to the Uganda Virus Research Institute
Entebbe is the location of the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) The center also serves as the National Zoo. Foreign visitors have noted near the jetty . foreign visitors have noted the seeming incongruity of wild monkeys sitting in the trees over the center’s paths.
State House, the official residence of the president of Uganda is located in Entebbe
Entebbe is also home to the historical site in kiggungu where the first catholic missionaries Brother Amans and Faher Mon Maple lourdel landed to establish the catholic faith in Uganda.
Lake Victoria is the huge lake that is located in east central Africa along the equator and boarders the countries of Uganda , Kenya and Tanzania .it is Africa’s largest lake and has a surface area of 26,600 square miles which is (68,000 square kilometers ) is is the largest tropical lake in the world .it is the second largest fresh water lake measured by the surface area. The only larger fresh water lake is Lake Superior in North America .
The body of water is named after Queen Victoria of the united Kingdom. lake Victoria is about 400,000 years old. The average depth is 130(40 meters) with the deepest point being 276 feet(84 meters)
Approximately 80 percent of the lakes water comes from rain. The other 20 percent comes from streams flowing into the lake. The Kagera River is the largest river that flows into the lake. Two rivers flow out of the lake, they are the white Nile ( called the Victoria Nile ) where it leaves the lake and the katonga River.
History of the lake
Arab traders were the first to record the discovery of the lake. A map of the lake was created by them dating back to approximately 1160 AD. John Hannington speke was the first European to sight the lake. This occurred in 1858 on an exploration to explore central Africa. He named the lake after the queen of England at the time, Queen Victoria. In 1858 John Hannington Speke, the first European to travel to the lake, claimed that it was the source of the Nile River. This claim caused a great debate in the scientific community before it was proven to be right.
Lake Victoria is endowed with so many tourist spots for example Ssese islands
Ssese is a collection of 84 attractive Islands situated in the north part of Lake Victoria and is one of the country’s populardestinations.
Apart from having various species of monkeys, and being a bird watcher’s and botanists paradise. Ssese islands in lake Victoria are particularly situated to those keen on walking or spot fishing. A wonderful place with lovely people called Abassese.
The most popular means of transport is by use of Entebbe–kalangala ferry. It connects from Nakiwogo at 1400 hrs and reaches Lutoboka in kalangala at 1700 hrs. It departs Lutoboka pier the next day at 0800 hrs and gets to Nakiwogo in Entebbe at 1100 hrs. The alternative route is to go from the Masaka mainland by the Bukakata ferry to Luku on Buggala island.
There are beautiful walks around the island , through the forest and you can visit a shelter that one of the earliest explorer’s john speke is believed to have built in 1862. Agro tours to the pineapple and palm tree farms managed by the Bidco and out growers can be organized on request. Trips between fishing villages are also organized for those interested in sport fishing.
The picturesque islands have birds that nest freely and others rolling in waters .the main island is buggala, which is 35 km long. It’s main town is Kalangala the name of the district.