UWEC Entebbe Zoo

UWEC Entebbe Zoo—Behind The Scenes Tour

Entebbe is one of the best places to stay on an Africa Safari and the UWEC Entebbe Zoo is one of those attractions that make it unique. it is a small town in Uganda and features Uganda`s only international airport and many central government offices including the official statehouse. Had it not been the land stretch that leads to Uganda`s capital-Kampala city, Entebbe would have been an island because all other corners of the town are surrounded by Lake Victoria. Serenity is one of the secrets which make Entebbe a unique destination in Uganda however they are other unique features like the historical role of administrative centre, the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Botanical gardens, among other tourist attractions in Entebbe town.

The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) also known as the UWEC Entebbe Zoo gives a brief but outstanding introduction of Uganda`s unmatched biodiversity and given its strategic location near the international airport and on the only way to Uganda`s capital Kampala, the Zoo is one of the most visited tourism sites in Uganda.

The facility is a complex mixture of a Zoo and a safari park because it was planned in a way that animals live in very spacious enclosures that are almost similar to their natural habitats. The areas cover about 72 acres of land built with a network of walking trails which lead you to different animal enclosures and a large natural forest. The zoo is strategically located along Lake Victoria; it has a breeding programme in place for endangered species of animals as well as a veterinary hospital among others which make it a standout from similar establishments in other countries.

One of the main purposes for Uganda Wildlife Education centre is to educate the public about the need for wildlife conservation and also it contributes to wildlife research. It is big enough and has an ideal location which rank the Entebbe zoo among the best places for showcasing Africa`s wildlife. If you have come for an Africa safari in Uganda, spare some time after your long trip to Uganda`s national parks and visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre while you wait to connect with your evening flight at Entebbe international airport.

It is a great pleasure to have this stop centre where one can see and learn about the famous wildlife of Africa without going for long distances and expensive safaris in the national parks. In fact, some people find it more rewarding to visit the UWEC Entebbe Zoo that’s the national parks because of many reasons like the opportunity to go for the “Bind the Scenes Tour”, the chimpanzee close up, etc. and above all, it is cost effective than going to the national park.

uwec entebbe zoo lions behind the scenes tour

Animals Found in The Zoo

UWEC Entebbe Zoo allows visitors to take the famous behind the scenes tour and meet some of the animals live and even the exhilarating experience of entering the lion cage and patting it. You’ll see leopards, lions, rhinos, elephants, giraffes, Uganda Kobs, chimpanzees, zebras, camels, waterbucks, the Shoebill stork, tortoises, pythons, snakes, cattle, buffaloes, crested cranes, peacocks, parrots, cobras, warthogs, impala, topis, goats, eland, forest hogs and so many other famous mammals of Uganda you may find on your African safari. The bird species in the area range to over 120, while about 23 members of chimpanzees are all found here at Entebbe zoo. Also to find in the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) are the incredible plant species and butterflies species. What is missing in Entebbe zoo are the mountain gorillas and if you wish to see the, you will have to plan your Uganda trip to include a visit to either Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park or Mgahinga National park or both parks respectively.

What maybe a surprise to some visitors in Entebbe zoo is the kind of setting where by some of the birds and animals roam freely in the zoo.

It is also important to note that Entebbe zoo is most visited by students on study familiarization trips and families with children mainly to allow children experience what is being taught in class as well as see the cartoon characters.

There is a souvenir shop, mobile toy shops, children`s playground, ice cream and many other that can bring a smile to the child while the parents and also enjoying the experience.

Remember the amount collected from visitors to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre is sued to feed the animals, pay caretakers, breed wildlife, and rescue animals from remote areas among others. Therefore, every time you visit the Entebbe zoo, you have directly contributed to conservation.

uwec entebbe zoo behind the scenes tour
Behind the scenes at UWEC Entebbe Zooo

UWEC Entebbe Zoo Behind The Scenes Tour

This is a remarkable experience which goes beyond just the sights and sounds of animals at the Uganda Wildlife Education centre. It is mainly offered to tourists who wish to experience the opportunity of close interaction with the wild animals ate the centre and get to know about their life stories.

The behind the scenes tour is a completely unique experience which cannot be obtained during the standard safari to Uganda.

By the end of your tour time, you will live to appreciate the role played by the caretakers in ensuring the good living of animals in the Entebbe zoo.

The behind the scenes experience at Entebbe zoo in Uganda is divided into three different and rewarding categories namely; the keepers guided tour, keeper for the day experience and Vet for the day experience.

Keeper's guided tour
Keeper's Experience at the Zoo

The Keeper’s Experience

Keeper’s guided tour

Once you decide to go for the keeper`s guided tour, a caretaker to share with you all the details about Entebbe zoo as he or she prepares you to visit the animal enclosures.

You will visit all the sections of the zoo including private facilities and staff offices. During the keeper`s guided tour, participants have the opportunity to get close and personal with the wildlife in the zoo such as Sushi the Shoebill Stork, …

Albert the giraffe, Kabira the Lion, Mutagama the lioness, Charlie the Elephant and Chimpanzees like Ndugu among others.

The activity runs for about 3hours and you can choose to do it either in the morning or in the afternoon but morning hours are the best to observe the animals while feeding. Do not forget a fully charged camera to take enough pictures with you.

Keeper for a day experience

The keeper for the day attempts to take you what the caretakers do every day when taking care of the animals, this option involves more work compared to keeper`s guided tour but the experience is much rewarding.

The keeper for the day starts with the keeper`s briefing, you get the animal food ready, then you load the food onto the carrier and take the food to different enclosures for animals to eat. Here you are not only to help serve the animals but also record the behaviour of animals for any signs of stress or sickness.

At the point of serving, you have the opportunity to pose for a picture with a python, lion or any other animal. If you luckily find a newly rescued animal, you will be involved in the process of rehabilitation for that day and this is surely a memorable lifetime experience.

Velvet Monkey at Entebbe UWEC Zoo
Zebra at the zoo

Vet for a day experience

The Vet for the day experience is open to everyone but under the supervision of the resident veterinary doctor. It also begins with a briefing and there after you are led into the animal enclosures for the daily health checks.

You will observe the way health checks are done on wild animals and snakes, it may also be necessary to transfer a certain animal to the holding facility for advanced, thorough and comprehensive checks.

You will also visit the animal pharmacy in company of the doctor to ensure that you follow the health precautions.

Note: to participate in the behind the scenes experiences, one much undergo several health checks. This is why you need to book your spot in advance and prepare to be vaccinated against the below diseases at least two weeks before you get anywhere closure to the animals.

Measles, Tuberculosis (TB), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal meningitis, Polio and Tetanus; For those coming from abroad, you are expected to come along with vaccination cards for the above diseases if you intend to do the Behind the Scenes Experience while on your safari in Uganda at the Uganda Wildlife and Education Centre.

UWEc Hyena
White Rhino at UWEC

Other Exciting Experiences at UWEC Entebbe Zoo

UWEC Guided Tour

This activity can take you a half a day if you want a more educative and in-depth experience. You will be able to see all the animals in the facility with the company of a guide who will be ready to answer all your questions.

However, a guided tour requires an extra guide fee of 10$ but you can as well choose to tour the area without assistance from the guide and at no extra cost.

UWEc Chimpanzee Closeup

Entebbe zoo organises specific tours for those interested in visiting the chimps at UWEC Entebbe Zoo. All you have all the requirements to do the chimp close-up, you are then allocated to the caretaker to guide you and ensure that you participate in feeding the chimpanzees. Generally, chimpanzee close-up means feeding the chimps and playing with the young ones to make sure they get used and feel comfortable with humans.

Forest Trail and Bird Watching

Uganda Wildlife Education Centre features a natural forest of over 1km with remarkable scenery. After visiting the animal enclosures, visitors can have this experience of nature walk in the zoo using the available forest trails while you enjoy the breath-taking views of birds, small primates and plant species, butterflies, chameleons among others.

It is safe to walk in this forest, you can choose to hire a guide who will explain to you each and everything in the forest and the forest walk lasts between 1 to 2hours. And you have a chance to see over 100 species of birds.

Donkey, Camel and Boat Rides

If you want to excite your children, just bring them at the Entebbe zoo and prepare them to take part in many activities like swimming in the pool, donkey and camel riding among many other activities that will keep your children busy for the entire time. There`s a small park with playing equipment designated for children entertainment. The adult birders can go for a boat ride along the shores of Lake Victoria while sporting some species of water birds of Uganda.

Note; There are a big number of velvet monkeys which keep roaming around the zoo. Please avoid feeding them and try to keep distance away from them.

Volunteer at UWEC Entebbe Zoo

You can volunteer at UWEC Entebbe Zoo for a minimum period of one week to a few months. The program is intended to offer hands on experience to participants (volunteers) by working closely with kinds of animals and every feature that is found in this zoo which includes chimpanzees, birds like shoebill, rhinos, lions, leopard, and reptiles among others. As a volunteer, you are expected to take part in program development, animal feeding, cleaning of animal enclosures, fundraising efforts, students training, guiding guests, research, among others.

A volunteer is given one of the accommodation facilities within the Centre and they eat food from the restaurant available in the Centre. You’ll need to have submitted in a Motivation letter, a CV, letter of recommendation and your area of interest. Health requirements include; Immunization against yellow fever, tetanus, meningitis, polio, Hepatitis A and B and you must be tested for tuberculosis. And you are expected to pay for your own health and travel insurance. At the end of the volunteering program, each member is given certificate of participation

Donations and visiting UWEC Zoo

The easiest way to support the UWEC Entebbe Zoo is to pay a visit; If you pay a visit, the money gotten from entrance fees is allocated to feeding the animals and paying staff, which means your indirectly supporting the zoo.

Another way of donating to Entebbe zoo is by participating in the Animal Parents Program which means sponsoring one of the animals in the zoo. Also you can buy a special membership package or support the conservation programs.

Please contact us to plan for your safari in Uganda and if you show interest in visiting the UWEC Entebbe zoo, we shall be glad to arrange it for you!

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