Entebbe International Airport
Entebbe international airport is Uganda’s international airport located on a peninsula about 40 km (3782ft) from Uganda’s capital city –Kampala near Entebbe town on the Lake Victoria shores which is the largest freshwater body in Africa shared by Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Entebbe international airport stands on an elevation of 1,153 m above the sea level and lies at 00.020N, 320E on the Equator line. The climatic conditions at Entebbe International airport lie between 16°C to 27°C throughout the year.
In early 1930s, Ugandans witnessed a motorized flying boat that was delivering the mail from the colonialists as it landed at port bell situated on the shores of Lake Victoria. This greatly inspired and excited Ugandan in that in 1947, they created a Directorate of Civil Aviation to help in mobilizing Civil Aviation activities with in the East African Region and by 1951, the British Colonialists opened up Entebbe International Airport in presence of the queen of England Queen Elizabeth (II) which is still the only international airport in Uganda offering landing area to different aircraft with in Africa, Asia, middle east and some other countries around the world.
Entebbe international airport is under the management of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority which was previously called the Civil Aviation Authority that was founded in July 1994 by the act of government. however, in July 2019, the president of Uganda signed the amendment act that led to the changing of the name from (CAA) Civil Aviation Authority to UCAA (Uganda Civil Aviation Authority) and in September 2019, the UCAA was recognized with an award of the government agency of the year going global based on the improvement in infrastructures, customer care, export of the agricultural products, training the staff among others. The UCAA offices are based at Entebbe airport to easily manage the airport and other airfields around the country. The climatic conditions at the airport attract the settlement of different bird species that reside on a gazette bird sanctuary most bird species seen include the African fish Eagles, herons, Egrets among others.
Best Transportation means at Entebbe International Airport
There are several taxis operated along Entebbe road which always packed at the airport next to the Arrival Terminal ready to offer the best transportation to the people arriving at the airport. However, most visitors on a tourism adventure are always picked up by their respective tour operators and transferred to their reserved lodges in Entebbe, Kampala or to the parks in case the arrival time is early and favorable to drive to the parks
Check-in at Entebbe international airport
People or visitor planning to leave the country should know that check-in time is maximum 3 hours prior to departures and in these three hours, a visitor is supposed to line up at the check-in point for with properly organized travel documents and the required luggage which doesn’t exceed the stipulated weights on the ticket so as to ease the check-in process and be on board in time. In case of any inquiries, the visitors can look for the customer inquiry desk which is always strategically positioned in the passengers’ terminal and be helped out as soon as possible in order to not miss out on the flight. Important to note is that the check-in process closes around 45mins to the departures time so always try to be at the check-in point as early as possible to obtain the boarding pass in time
Passenger Airlines that land on Entebbe International Airport
Entebbe international airport operates several flights for passengers and so many airlines land and takes off at Entebbe international airport. These airlines include; Uganda Airlines, Kenya Airways, Air France, Brussels Airlines, KLM, Qatar Airways, Fly Dubai, African Express, Aero link Uganda, Rwanda Air, Turkish Airlines, Fly-SAX, Eagle Air, Singapore Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air India, Egypt Air, Fly Dubai, Air Tanzania, Emirates and many more. Some of these flights aren’t direct as they stop over in some countries with main stopovers in Rwanda and Ethiopia hence always advisable to confirm your ticket in order to be sure of your next destination to avoid getting out at a wrong destination.
The airport emerges other small airfields for visitors who wish to fly to other destinations with in Uganda and these airfields are the landing spot for domestic airlines such as Aero link Uganda and Eagle air which organizes domestic and charter flights to several managed airfields which include Pakuba Airfield, Kisoro Airfield, Pakuba Airfield, Soroti Airfield, Tororo Airfield, Kasese Airfield, Gulu Airfield, Lira Airfield, Kidepo Airfield, Jinja Airfield, Arua Airfield, Masindi Airfield, Moroto Airfield, Mbarara airfield and mweya airfield. These airstrips lead to several destinations including national parks such as Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park, Masai Mara national park in Kenya, Kidepo valley national park, Murchison falls park, Bwindi impenetrable national park, Semliki national park among others. To enjoy these domestic flights, visitors need to connect with the trusted tour operators such as achieve Global Safaris to organize for them an entire flight and tour at large. These domestic flights are the fastest means of transport and save visitors from toiling on the road transport which takes a lot of time and gets the movement boring.
What are the requirements for entry at Entebbe International Airport?
Well, like another airport, to enter Uganda through Entebbe International Airport, the following requirements must be met;
- First and foremost, a valid passport which is the major travel document to move from one country to another and it should at least be valid for 6 months
- Vaccination is yet another important requirement before accessing Entebbe international airport and the major Vaccine required is the Yellow fever evidenced by the yellow book which must be presented at the airport for confirmation before obtaining the Visa
- A valid tourist visa. It’s important to book it online in time at a fee of $50 and then pick it at the airport upon arrival. However, this Visa lasts for only one month and once it expires while still in the country then a visitors need to report to the Immigration office for the renewal otherwise the overstay charges apply. For visitors who wish to exploit different east African destinations, it’s better to obtain an east African tourist visa which goes for $100 valid for 3 months. an east African tourist visa covers almost 21 countries including Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Mozambique, Eritrea, Comoros, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Burundi, Mayotte, Malawi, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Seychelles, Mauritius and Somalia.
Facilities and services at Entebbe International Airport
There are several facilities and services offered at Entebbe International airport and these include,
- A 24hours working ATM, Banks, duty free Shops, Forex Bureau exchange, telephones services, mobile money services among others
- V.I.P longue services that are used by the government officials and cooperates
- services for PWD (People With Disabilities) such as wheel chairs, clear walking ways, lifts and designated washrooms specifically for PWD and elderly people are offered at Entebbe International Airport to ensure the best flight to the passengers
- Baby changing areas are also available in the washrooms at Entebbe International airport to give your child comfort
- Baggage facilities where the lost and found luggage or luggage can be reported to the Ground handling personnel and the Aviation security officers for intervention, there are also baggage identification services for recording the names and destination of the passenger on the luggage. In case you need a Wrap fly service, then do not hesitate to inquire about it as it goes for $8 or 30,000UgX per luggage wrapped
- There are designated waiting/ meeting points at Entebbe international airport where people can sit as they wait for their loved ones or even meet and interact with friends since the areas are in close vicinity to restaurants, lodges and easily accessed by the arrivals and any many more facilities and services that enable the passengers to have a relaxed departure and arrival at Entebbe International Airport
- And lastly but not least, there are several accommodation facilities near the airport where visitors can book and relax their minds in case of late arrivals when they cannot be picked up. These include 2 friends hotel, La Nest hotel, Pineapple Guest House, precious Guesthouse , mission Guesthouse ,Guinea Fowl, Carpe Diem, Protea Hotel by Marriott Entebbe, La Fève Bed & Breakfast, Entebbe Palm Hotel, Lake Heights Hotel Entebbe, Airport Guesthouse, Prestige Resort Cottages, Phenicia Motel, Laico Lake Victoria and Imperial Resort Beach Hotel among others according to the passengers pocket.
Are visitors allowed to tour Entebbe international airport?
Yes, anyone who wishes to explore the only international airport in Uganda is most welcomed by the Civil Aviation Authority let it be students, researchers or mere visitors are all allowed to visit as long as they get in touch with the Aviation Authority and obtain the permission.
Besides touring the airport, there are also other tourist attractions around the airport which include sport fishing on Lake Victoria specifically on Ssese Island with possibilities of catching the Nile perch, tilapia and other fish species, bird watching as Entebbe is filled with plenty of bird species for bird watchers around Mabamba swamp where there are several bird species including the Goliath heron, weaver birds, papyrus canary, papyrus Gonolek and the rare shoebill stork among others, also a visit to Ngamba Island offers the best opportunity to be in touch with the chimpanzees for a trek in their sanctuary, a visit to UWEC (Uganda Wildlife Education Center) is also rewarding for visitors on Entebbe tour . This harbors a number of wildlife including Rhinos, Lions, Chimpanzees, Giraffes and many more. Don’t forget to take a boat cruise on the Lake Victoria for the best views of nature along the shores sighting mammals, and birds.
“Entebbe international airport is the only international hub in Uganda the pearl of Africa. During landing, passengers experience the cool breathe from lake Victoria and watch lots of birds flying and swimming in the water”