ACTIVITIES AT UGANDA WILDLIFE EDUCATION CENTER.
Uganda wildlife education center is famously referred to as “Entebbe Zoo” by Ugandans. It was originally established in 19950s as Entebbe Zoo to harbor confiscated and injured wildlife and to look after orphaned animals that were rescued from smugglers. The center was preserved by the government of Uganda in association with the Wildlife Conservation Society in the New York, and managed by wildlife Trust. However, in 1960s it changed its role from a traditional zoo. The center is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s biggest lake
Activities at Uganda Wildlife Education Center [UWEC]
Uganda wildlife Education Center is home to over 120 bird species, these include; sun birds, giant kingfisher, hamerkops, blue turaco, African king fisher among others.
While at UWEC, you will come across free ranging vervet monkeys and family troops of DeBraza monkeys that are always up in the trees and hilltops enjoying life.
Chimpanzee close up experience.
This experience takes about one hour in a controlled environment. The chimpanzee caregivers will tell more stories about these chimps and how they came to the center. The guide will interpret for you the sounds and gestures made by the chimpanzees. You will be able to see them holding cups taking porridge, peeling their bananas and sometimes when they are asking for more food.
Keeper for a day
this a program aimed at equipping skills to people who interested and would like to have a career in wildlife care. You will spend a day in the center’s keepers as they give you skills on how to take care of the animals around. This activity is similar to job shadowing.
This trail is about one kilo meter from the headquarters, you will have a guided walk as you see different bird species, chameleons, mammals, butterflies and so much more. The forest has over 100 plant species with medicinal value.
You can go and spend a full there or just hours at UWEC. You will see giraffes, lions, cheetahs, primates, flora and fauna, chimpanzees, different cat, birds, rhinos, elephants among others. You can also go for horse riding.
Cheetah and elephant experience
This activity last for about one hour. You get a chance to be near the cheetahs or elephants while in their free time.
Long stay volunteer programs
Be part of the team at UWEC as you volunteer at the center. You can take part in activities like cleaning the holding facilities, animal observation, animal food preparation, take care of injured animals, undertake interpretation talks among others.
Entebbe botanical gardens
These are situated outside Uganda wildlife education center but a good place you can visit after your trip. They are located on the shores of Lake Victoria harboring a lot of plant species. There are over 309 species, 199 which are indigenous to Uganda, 122 have known medicine benefits and over 110 which are exotic. There are primates you will see inside the gardens; these include the colobus monkeys which are commonly seen. It is a good place for birding, picnics and photoshoots. Examples of bird commonly seen include, whilst bat hawk, African grey parrot, palm nut vulture among others.
Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary
The island is home to 52 orphaned and rescued chimpanzees. The island is taken care of by the chimpanzee sanctuary and wildlife conservation trust an NGO responsible for the wellbeing of the chimps. The sanctuary offers day and night trips and provide you with an opportunity to observe the chimps as they feed, spend their time and how they manage their own communities or families.
Chimpanzee trekking in Ngamba island doesn’t involve much movements, they are seen in at point.
While at Ngamba island the guide takes through how they feed the chimps and see what they eat, you also get a chance to visit their hospital where they are treated from. The number of chimpanzees at Ngamba island is maintained by putting female chimpanzee on birth control.
Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary is managed through donations. You can donate to Ngamba island and help in saving orphaned and rescued chimpanzee.
Entebbe reptile village
The reptile village was established in 2002. The village is home to over 20 species of reptiles that are rescue from the near by communities and people who try to harm them. Dens and cages were constructed to harbor them. Reptiles found here include, cobras, Gabon vipers, nile monitors lizard, boomslangs, chameleons, leopard tortoise among others.
Bird watching at Mabamba bay.
Mabamba bay is located a few kilo meters away from UWEC, it’s a birding sight famously known for the shoe bill, Uganda’s most sought-after bird by the tourists.
The wetland is located on the shores of Lake Victoria in Entebbe, famous for the shoe bill stork birds. The wetland provides the best environment and weather for the birds that live near water bodies.
Mabamba bay has over 300 bird species and hosts a flock of migrant birds every October to March.
Birding watching at mabamba bay is done as you ride a canoe through the wetland, you get to see birds like the shoe bill stork, malachite, black kite, African marsh harrier, African open billed stork, black headed heron, papyrus gonoleks, swamp flycatcher, pied kingfisher and more birds.
Apart from birds, the mabamba wetland has a lot of fish species like the Rung fish which is loved by the shoebill. The best time to go birding in mabamba island is 7am in the morning.
While birding at Mabamba bay wetland, you follow a trail from mabamba landing site. Upon reaching the site, you are welcomed by a number of birds even before reaching the wetland, this is because the wetland is surrounded by a lot of trees which harbor bird nests.
You board a canoe and sail on the wetlands as you sight a lot of birds which include the Rufous napped lark, sooty chat, scrub robins and a lot more birds.
You can decide to head to Nkima forest to expand your birding tour, this is a small forest on a hill overlooking mabamba wetland, it’s a 20 minutes’ walk from the wetland. It also has a lodge where you can stay while on your birding tour. The nkima forest lodge has 8 cottages which are spacious and overlooking the wetland.
Location of Uganda wildlife education center.
UWEC is located 10 kilo meters away from Kampala city and 15 minutes’ drive from Entebbe international airport.
Where to stay while at Uganda wildlife education center.
The center offers accommodations which range from cottages, camp sites, hostels and luxurious stays.
UWEC has African traditional-styled furnished cottages with 6 double occupancy and 2 family bandas. The cottages are adjacent to the Kidepo exhibit where you can see a lot of animals.
These are mostly used by students. They consist of single beds, shared bathrooms with running water and power.
These have wo self-contained bedrooms, a living room and a television. Ideal for both short and long stays.
There is available space for you to set your tents.
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