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Entebbe has a population of approximately 90,500. It is located on the shore of Lake Victoria near the capital city of Kampala.

"Entebbe", in the local Luganda language, means a "seat", and was probably named that because it was the place where a Baganda chief sat to adjudicate legal cases. It first became a British colonial administrative and commercial centre in 1893 when Sir Gerald Portal, a colonial Commissioner, used it as a base.

Rhino at Entebbe ZooThe entrance to the national zoo is located near to the jetty, though foreign visitors have noted the seeming incongruity of wild monkeys sitting in the trees over the zoo's paths. The extensive National Botanical Gardens, laid out in 1898, are also in Entebbe.

Entebbe International Airport is the main international airport of Uganda. It is located near Entebbe, about 35 km (21 miles) from Kampala.

Entebbe was the site of a seaplane base in the late 1930s, built by the British in order to facilitate long-range flights from Great Britain to South Africa and other points. Runways were added in 1947, and a terminal building was ceremonially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.

The airport was the scene of a hostage rescue operation by Israeli Sayeret Matkal, dubbed Operation Entebbe, in 1976, after an Arab-German hijacking of an Air France flight out of Tel Aviv. The scene of that particular rescue was "the old airport", which was recently demolished except for its tower — right next to "the new airport". In late 2007, a domestic terminal was constructed at the site of the old airport, leaving the "new airport" to handle International flights exclusively.

It retains a certain charm with a lack of extending corridors to link planes to the terminal. You still climb down a set of steps and walk across the tarmac to arrivals. For arrivals, there is a small bar serving drinks and food, as well as an ATM. Taxi's are plentiful outside the terminal, but the initial prices quoted will be higher than the going rate. Remember that in Uganda you haggle so expect to negotiate to a much lower rate.

Departures has a few shops selling duty free items, but arts and craft items are considerably more expensive than they are in Entebbe or Kampala. Tourists are advised to do their shopping before they reach the airport.

In 2007, the airport served 720,000 International passengers.



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