Getting to Uganda
It took me about one hour of flight by Kenyan Airlines to get Entebbe from direction of Nairobi. There are several flights during the day between this two destinations, I choose departing at 12:00 AM. Entebbe is rather small airport and in pretty bad conditions, something I didn't expected to see. There wasn't any custom controll but I spend about half an hour to get visa, which cost me 50 dollars. I gave 50 euros to custom officer but he didn't gave me change (10 dollars) before I asked him.
My first impression wasn't good at all.
The Taxi Park in Entebbe is in the Kitoro area of town. Here is where you get transport to Kampala that seems to run all day and more or less through the night. You can also get taxis to the airport or to Nakiwogo for the ferry to Ssese Islands from here. Outside are numerous boda-bodas that will take you anywhere you like for the right price
Entebbe (EBB) is Uganda's largest commercial and military airport, and is the airport of the capital city, Kampala. The distance between Entebbe and Kampala is 35 km (45 min drive by car). Many international airlines has EBB on their route map.
The airport is also known for "operation Entebbe", a hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Israel when an Air France plane was hijacked by Palestinians in 1976.
GPS coordinates: 0° 2' 39.1100" N 32° 26' 35.5400" E
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Ferry out of town
A short distance of a few kilometres down the road from Kitoro Taxi Park is Nakiwogo landing site. A taxi from just outside Kitooro taxi park to Nakiwogo costs 500 UGX.
This is where you can catch the ferry the MV Kalangala to Ssese Islands. The ferry departs for the islands at 14:30 and should reach Lutoboka at around 17:30
10,000UGX per passenger.
You shall have a fishy on a little dishy
You shall have a fishy when the boat comes in
You shall have a herring on a little dishy
You shall have a herring when the boat comes in
Arrival at EBB
Ah, you've just spent the last 8 hours drifting in and out of sleep on a night flight from Europe and then you suddenly arrive in the sticky, humid, lake fly filled air of Entebbe airport.
When you are half asleep airports can be a major ball ache airports in African can be a tad more confusing but at least in Entebbe airport the Customs and immigration people do it with a smile on their faces as people queue jump from one queue to the other.
There is at least one immigration official in his little booth with a sign that says 'VISA' above his window but last time I came through here all the blokes in their little booths seemed to be dishing out visas on arrival. Just remember to have the right money for the visa £ or $ were both accepted and it helps if you have filled din your entry card on the flight, I always travel with a pen in my hand luggage for this purpose.
If you can get off the plane and get in line sharpish then Entebbe is pretty much hassle free. I've never had to wait long for my bags to appear on the carousel so pretty much as soon as I grab my bag I'm through customs and changing money at one of the two Forex bureaus and am in a taxi to my hotel.
from one queue to the other.
Since the recent West African Ebola outbreak arrivals at Entebbe will have to fill in a health form, have antibacterial gel sprayed into their hands and have their temperature taken.
Transport from the airport
I have been told that it is possible to get public transport from the airport into Entebbe but myself as soon as I arrive after a long flight the last thing I want to do is stand around at a bus stop for any length of time.
So as soon as I've got about £50 worth of Ugandan shillings in my back pocket I'm off to bargain a price with the taxi (special hire) drivers. The taxi drivers here are pretty firm about their pricing and there is not much chance for negotiating. There appears to be a set amount to pay to get into Entebbe town or Kitoro in Entebbe and I guess also for a trip all the way into Kampala. A special hire ride into Kampala would work out quite expensive. As there are shared taxis from the taxi park in Kitoro moving 24 hours a day, a cheaper way of doing it would be to get a special to Kitoro Taxi Park in Entebbe and then get a shared taxi from there into Kampala. In Feb 2013 the price of a spcial hire taxi to or from Kitooro from the airport was 25,000 UGX
I have at one time caught a boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) from the airport with my bag on my lap to the taxi park before catching a taxi to the big city and that way that worked out even cheaper and was rather a nice way to arrive.
The flow through baggage and security was very slow, but manageable. The airport employees were professional. We were taking medical supplies to Sudan and had to spend a night in Entebbe before moving on. At first the security people at Entebbe Airport didn't want us to take our medical supplies with us to where we were staying, and tried to tell us we had to keep it there at the airport, but we expressed our concern about this and explained politely but firmly that we cannot allow these supplies to leave our hands, and they finally did allow us to take them with us.
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Ferry to Buwaya/Kasanje Rd
A couple of days before I was to leave EBB I took the shared taxi from outside taxi park to Nakiwogo for 500UGX then was expecting to jump on the free ferry across the bay to Buwaya on the otherside which is used as a short cut from the Kasanje to Mpiji and the south. Sadly the Ferry wasn't running as only one engine was working and they thouhgt it not safe to travel with only the solitary engine. So plenty of truck and car drivers were stranded on either side.
Passengers like myself without a vehicle had no trouble getting a small boat (taxi) across. I was told it would cost 1,000 but was charged 2,000 UGX not sure if the rate has gone up or that was muzungu price or the 'pilot' wa taking advantage of the ferry not working.
Coming back from Buwaya there were only two of us in the boat it was like a 'special'.
Have a window seat
When taking off or landing in Entebbe, try to have a window seat, and make sure your camera is ready, as there are wonderful views to be taken of the town sitting on the lake.
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