While most tourists to Uganda prefer visiting the National Park and Wildlife Reserves to explore the wildlife and bird species, a near yet endowed site exists within the shores of Lake Victoria in Entebbe to offer up-close encounter with what most Parks may not even offer. It was established in 1952 (as Entebbe Zoo) by the Colonial Government to act as a reception center and World-class animal refuge for wild animals that were casualties (orphaned, sick, confiscated from illegal trade or injured), the Uganda Wildlife Education center (former Entebbe Zoo) also functions primarily as a zoo and also takes the frontline in educating Ugandans about the importance of conserving the country’s biodiversity.
On 5th May 1994, the Uganda Wildlife Education was created and has since grown into one of Africa’s most cherished Conservation Education Institutions for successfully achieving its mandates of educating the country on the significance of conserving the rich biodiversity, rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and confiscated wildlife as well as breeding some of the endangered species in captivity with an aim of re-introducing them into the wild.
Uganda Wildlife Education Center offers shelter to numerous wildlife species including Elephants, Buffaloes, white Rhinos, Chimpanzees, Vervet monkeys, Leopards, Lions, waterbucks, bushbucks, elands, Uganda Kobs, Impalas, giraffes and many others. Also, there are more than 500 flora species and over 250 species of birds like the Great blue turaco, African fish eagles, Giant Kingfishers, African fish eagles, Pied Kingfishers and the small sunbirds in their natural habitats that depict three of Uganda’s ecosystems-forest, wetland and savannah. Some of the animals are free ranging while others are found in Cages but you will also encounter different birds, butterflies, trees and shrubs among others.
Activities to Conduct within Uganda Wildlife Education Center
Much as the Uganda Wildlife Education Center is known as a refuge for rescued wild animals, it also has a number of packaged activities to relish at greatly affordable rates for tourists intending to visit the site. You can choose to engage in general guided tours (for only $40 per person) in the company of professional and experienced tour guides who will attend/answer all your questions.
You can enjoy the behind the scene program (for only $70 per person) to learn about what activities are conducted behind the scène. While on this activity, you will get the chance to observe the behaviors of the animals to experience firsthand information especially how the care takers feed the animals such as lions, giraffes in addition to carrying out health checks and bringing them back to their holding facilities.
There is also the Chimpanzee close-up (for $290 per experience) to have a close encounter and bond with man’s closest relatives-chimpanzees but will require participants to be free from diseases/illnesses such as flue and cough that also affect chimpanzees.
Another activity is the keeper for a day (for only $150 per person) to observe the activities of the animals from when they wake up and also participate in preparing their food hence making you also a keeper for a day.
In addition to the activities you can enjoy, you can actually help in some activities but this depends on the visitor fees to sustain the daily activities such as feeding the animals found at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center thus by visiting the site, you will help in its running. Not only that, you can also volunteer with a number of programs or become a friend of the Center by sponsoring or donating so that the animals are taken care of.