The gardens are located about 40 kilometers from Kampala, with in a 14 minutes walk from Victoria mall Entebbe. To get there, take a “matatu” (the leave from the new Taxi Park in Kampala every 10 minutes or so, cost $1 and take approximately an hour) and get off at the China Garden city restaurant. Alternatively drive the 34km to Entebbe on the perfect tarmac road. Turn left at the big clock near the Botanical Gardens. Entrance fee is $0.20.
The gardens can also be accessed via Lugard avenue from the first junction before (TASO), lying on the shores of Africa’s greatest lake, with a sandy beach, and a bar on the edge of the beach
Brief Background about the Gardens
The beautifully landscaped Entebbe botanical gardens, was established in 1898. By this time, Uganda was still a British Colony.
The ceremony was graced by the consul general and commissioner general for the British protectorate of Uganda. A year later, commissioner Ernest James Berkeley was succeeded by sir Harry Johnson.
Entebbe botanical gardens was the first Agricultural center long before Kawanda. Today the gardens are still under the management of National Agricultural Research Organization
Sights and Sounds
The gardens offer a superb introduction to Ugandan birds and are situated conveniently close to the capital and international airport. The gardens are well known camping grounds in Entebbe, .
The gardens host a variety of open country and woodland species and you can easily spend a pleasant couple of hours here. The tall trees near the main entrance are the favorite day-roost of a pair of Verreaux’s eagle owls.
The key Birds of the gardens are orange tufted and red chested Sun birds and orange weaver. The latter breed in the bushes on the shores of Lake Victoria along with slender-billed, Northern Brown –throated, yellow backed, Jackson’s Golden –backed , Black-headed and Vieillot’s black weavers . The rocky headland makes an ideal observation point.
On the lake and around the shore looks for long tailed Cormorant , Common Squacco and black-headed herons, hamerkop ,African Open-billed Stork , yellow billed duck , Grey headed gull , various terns ,giant and pied Kingfishers and swamp Flycatcher . Scan the boats at the large jetty near the Pratincoles (2-3 pairs are usually present). Black headed Gonolek and Red- chested Sunbird occur in the dense scrub covering the headland.
There is a small patch of rain forest where Guereza Colobus and vervet monkeys can be observed next to great Blue and Ross’s turacos , Klaas’s and Diederik Cuckoos , Woodland Kingfisher , Broad-billed Roller ,Black and white casked horn bill and splendid starling
The two highly vocal and conspicuous species you should find in the gardens are African Fish eagle and eastern Grey Plantain-eater, the latter constantly uttering their strange, chimp-like calls. Other Species to watch for include Hadada Ibis , palmnut and Hooded Vultures, Shikra , Lizard buzzard , Long-crested eagle , Grey kestrel , Black Crake , Blue-cheeked Bee eater , Angola swallow , winding and red faced cisticolas , Grey capped warbler , common wattle –eye , and Green –throated and scarlet-chested Sunbirds.
Please note that on your birding trip, you may need birding binoculars, an ornithology book for better identification of Uganda birds.
The gardens are an ideal destination for camping, they offer camping space and camp fires