The 51 square kilometers is a zoo in Uganda, conveniently situated in the city of Entebbe less than 20 minutes’ drive from the Entebbe International Airport. Courtesy of the colonial government, the UWEC was inaugurated in 1952 as a reception centre for wild animals that were found as causalities. Under the authority of the Game Department, an animal orphanage was formed in 1956 to hand raise the orphaned animals received through the Game department.
A national zoo was later founded in 1962 well as in 1994 the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre was created and has since evolved into one of the most esteemed conservation education institutions in Uganda and Africa wholly, for successfully carrying out its mandates to educate Ugandans on the importance of conserving the country’s biodiversity, to rescue and rehabilitate injured, orphaned and confiscated wildlife and to breed endangered wildlife species in captivity with an aim of re-introducing them back in the wild.
UWEC is the coordinating zoo for the zoos in East, Central and West Africa as mandated by Pan African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZA). Visiting the UWEC is such a memorable adventure as you will be enlightened about almost all the animal and bird species that thrive in Uganda’s protected areas like Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks, among others, before officially giving them a visit.
The UWEC resides almost all the animal species that you will find in Uganda’s national parks, reserves and sanctuaries. Among the animals to see in the UWEC include Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopard, cheetahs, baboons, buffaloes, huge pythons and other snake species, Uganda Kobs, Impalas, Waterbucks, Crocodiles, giraffes, chimpanzees, monkeys, and very many bird species including the tourists’ favorite – Shoebill.
The entrance fee you pay at the gate caters for the animals in the UWEC and also the people who look after them. You can also give donations to the UWEC as your contribution is very vital and highly appreciated in advance. There are bandas and dormitories for tourists who wish to stay there for a long period and engage in very many memorable activities like feeding the animals, keeping the animals for a desired period of time, visiting the pharmacy where animals get treatment from, preparing food for the animals, and many others.
The UWEC has good restaurants in and outside where you can have your meals from. The UWEC also has children’s rides and a play area plus a large Kids swimming pool, so you can also come along with your children and enjoy your day here. You can also go and swim in the UWEC beach or indulge in the boat rides as well.