This small town on the Lake Victoria
shore lies about 30 km from Kampala
, and as the site of Uganda’s only international airport, it is arguably little more than an extension of the capital. Most arrivals to Entebbe international airport
head straight on to Kampala city
, but Entebbe town is in many respects a more attractive place to stay, particularly so if you have an interest in natural history. The excellent botanical garden alone justifies a visit to Entebbe; the birding here is excellent and you are practically guaranteed close-up views of black-and-white colobus monkeys.
Entebbe International airport achieved instant immortality in June 1976 when an Air France airbus flying from Israel was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists and forced to land there. Non-Jewish passengers were released and the reminder held hostage against the demand that certain terrorists be freed from Israeli jails. In response, on July 4th, 1976, a group of Israeli paratroopers stormed the airport in a daring surprise raid which resulted in all the hostages being freed.
During the hijack, Idi Amin then president of Uganda pretended to play the mediating role between the Israeli government and the hijackers, but his complicity soon became apparent. A 75-year-Old Israeli woman called Dora Bloch, rushed into a Uganda hospital after choking on her food, was never seen again, presumably killed.
The raid also signaled the end of the already tenuous East African Community when Idi Amin broke off relations with Kenya
(the raid was launched from Nairobi). The building where the hostages were held is now unused. It can be visited with special permission from the airport authority.
Entebbe Town is just 7 km from the airport. There is a variety of recent developments in form of malls, hotels, restaurants that have sprang up in Entebbe town making it a favorable destination for day trips. You are able to visit the botanical gardens, the Uganda Wildlife Education Center also known as the Entebbe Zoo. There is also a golf course for the lovers of the gentleman's game. There options for day swimming in Entebbe town