Activities in Entebbe

Things to do

Papyrus Guesthouse is fortunate to be located in Entebbe, a peninsula town on the northern shores of Lake Victoria, with a pack of tourist activities to introduce travellers to incredible Uganda's gifts. This charming town, a summer-like lake resort, spreads passively, carelessly over the peninsula, in an equally lazy fashion, to the lake. You are more like lost among the trees at the Guesthouse, for a significant part of Entebbe is heavily wooded. Before you head into the countryside for your holiday, or while you wait for your flight at the Airport, you can join our local guides on some of these great activities. Take a look.

A shoebill peeps over water plants in Mabamba Swamps.
Mabamba Bay is one of the top tourist attractions in Entebbe, especially for bird watchers and the like. 

Shoebill Tracking

Mabamba Bay

Tracking the prehistoric shoebill stork-like bird in Mabamba Bay is a top activity for most tourists coming through Entebbe. The enormous grotesque bird with a beak that looks like a shoe wades in the swampy mashes on the shores of Lake Victoria, an hour away from Papyrus Guesthouse. The Ramsar-listed wetland is of international importance, hosting more than 250 bird species, including the blue swallow, papyrus gonolek, pallid harrier, swamp flycatcher, and lesser jacana. Your trip here will be gratifying if you are a bird-watching enthusiast. Getting there, you'll drive 10 mins to Nakiwogo jetty and take a fisherman's boat with an expert tracker into the swamps for about two hours.

A family picnic in the botanical gardens.
Entebbe Botanical Gardens are a perfect getaway for nature walks, birding, meditation, and watching wildlife. 

Nature Walk

Botanical Gardens

The National Botanical Gardens of Uganda, commonly known as Entebbe Botanical Gardens, has a general collection of tropical plants, including trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials, and it is a sanctuary for many rare birds and animal species, including great blue turacos, hornbills, marabou storks, vervet monkeys, and black-and-white colobus monkeys. A perfect place for a nature walk in the late afternoon for many tourists. Laid in 1889 by a British curator, the gardens fade into the calm Lake Victoria shores on the lower side. The rainforest zone of the gardens formed the backdrop to the Tarzan film scenes 1940s. Getting there, you can take a 30-minute walk from Papyrus Guesthouse or ask our transfer driver to give you a lift. There's an entrance fee of about $10 for a day's pass and an extra charge for a birding expert at the gate.

Open market day at Entebbe Central Market.
Tuesdays (Kitooro Market), Fridays (Entebbe Central Market), and Saturdays (Nakiwogo & Abaita Markets) are market days in Entebbe. Farmers and retailers spread their items, especially fresh food, for customers to buy as they stroll through. An amazing place to what local business cultures in Uganda. 

Local Market Visits

Entebbe, Kitooro

If you feel like stretching your legs outside the beautiful guesthouse gardens, take a walk through Entebbe suburbs to the local fresh food markets and immerse yourself in the vibrant colours, food smells, sounds, and the busyness of the locals. Three local produce markets within an hour's walk from Papyrus Guesthouse will introduce you to Uganda's cultures, including Nakiwogo Landing Site Market, Kitooro Central Market, and Entebbe Town Market. Carry a dollar or five to buy a fruit or taste some street food like the popular Rolex (flatbread and eggs roll). The activity can be booked at least 2 hours in advance so that we can find you a local walking guide.

BikeX, Entebbe's local cycling tour guides.
Guided cycling in the backroads and backstreets is the best way to discover the local scene, culture, views and people. 

Guided Cycling


If you want to take a tour in the backstreets of Entebbe like a local and see what many tourists miss, take a guided bicycle tour. You'll find hidden local architectural buildings, calming views, and quiet neighbourhoods usually reserved for local eyes only. Cycling is one of the best ways to explore in one trip. It is perfect for those who would like to see as much as possible in a short time, immerse themselves in the region's culture and traditions, and meet the friendly locals. Local bike guides offer day tours from 2-7 hours and will provide guests with a well-maintained and tested bicycle. Your bike tour can start from the Guesthouse in the calm heat hours or morning or evening.

White Rhinos at UWEC, Entebbe Zoo.
Other than Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary (200 km away), UWEC is the only place you can see the endangered white rhinos. 

Wildlife Viewing


UWEC, a 15-minute drive from Papyrus Guesthouse, will introduce you to Uganda's unique wildlife, including the BIG Five safari animals. The centre is a breeding, healing and rehabilitation place for animals rescued from poachers and illegal traders or injury in their habitats. Although the thrill of watching animals behind cages is not as compelling as on safari, you at least get an arm's length close. The best experience for the UWEC animals is the guided behind-the-scenes tour ($70) at 6:00 am. Guided by a local vet, the adventure takes you the closest you can get, into the lion's or tiger's cages, feeding the giraffes and chimpanzees. When you get bored of the animals, take a walk on one of the nature trails around the centre's bushy boundaries and enjoy the rainforest feel. UWEC gates open until 6:00 pm, and you need a day's pass ($15) that you can get at the entrance.

"Throw it up to me," the chimp seems to be telling a tourist.
Although it is a small forest on a tiny island, Ngamba Chimp Sanctuary is the best thing to ever happen to orphaned and rescued chimps. Take a day trip here to meet our evolutionary cousins. 

Chimp Island

Ngamba Island Chimp Sanctuary

Ngamba Island, a sanctuary for orphaned chimpanzees, is a perfect place to visit if you love primates but will not be going to see them in the countryside national park. The chimp sanctuary, set up on an island on Lake Victoria in 1998, is a haven for over 45 rescued and orphaned chimpanzees who wouldn't survive in the wild on their own. The Island lies a few miles (45-90-minute boat ride) off the Entebbe coast in the northeastern corner of Lake Victoria near the Kalangala Islands. Visitors can feed, watch, and play with the chimps. A day trip or overnight stay provides a unique insight into the intricacies of the chimps' social interactions. Some chimps stay in the forest at night, and others return to night-time enclosures, where they can construct nests and receive dinner. Ngamba Island tour price can be $336 for a solo traveller or $73 per person for eight or more people.

Former Spenah Beach is newly rebuilt.
Take a walk on a quite beach barefoot on a weekday evening when there are no local crowds to disrupt your meditations. 

Beach Walks

Entebbe Sandy Beaches

Entebbe is a peninsula, so expect to find long white-sanded beaches lining the shores of Lake Victoria a few minutes from the Guesthouse, places many Ugandans for a family weekend. Clean, beautiful white sand, celestial sunrises, and remarkable rare birds are but a few of the treats that await anyone who goes out for a day at the beach. The line of beaches along the airport road is a great place to stroll barefoot on a weekday morning or evening when there are few locals to intrude on your privacy. But if you prefer the loud and crowded culture that pervades happy Ugandan families, visit the beaches over the weekend and join in the merrymaking. Our driver can drop you off at the beach and pick you up at a specified time. You'll need a day's pass of about $5 to access private beaches like Lido, Spenah, White Sands, Aero, and Waterfront.

Brick oven pizza in Entebbe, at Goretti's Pizzeria & Beach Bar.
If you crave a smoky Italian bite in Entebbe, there's only one place we can take you; right at the waterfront with beautiful cultural dances, reverberating African drums, and a small cosy bar. 

Brick-oven Pizza

Goretti's Pizzeria & Bar

Who doesn't love a brick-oven pizza? Any pizza connoisseurs know that the best-cooked pizza is cooked in a traditional wood-fired brick oven. The brick oven is a true classic for Italian pizza. The smoky flavour, crisp toppings, and fluffy crust flecked with dark spots and evenly baked slices. If you crave a smoky Italian bite in Entebbe, there's only one place we can take you; right at the waterfront with beautiful cultural dances, reverberating African drums, and a small cosy bar. Goretti's Pizzeria is about a 15-minute drive from the Guesthouse, and it's a perfect place to relax after or before your flight.