The Entebbe Botanical Gardens lie on the shores of one of Africa’s biggest lakes. It’s situated near the capital of Uganda, Kampala and is also relatively close to its main airport, which welcomes international visitors on a daily basis. The gardens attract over 40,000 tourists annually since its overhaul in recent years.
Right at the entrance of the gardens are a pair of Verreaux Eagle Owls, which are beautiful giant owls that are grey in colour. Verreaux Eagle Owls were once distinguished from other owls through their pink eyelids. Some of the most popular birds that hang around the gardens include orange and Red-chested Sunbirds, Vieillot’s Black Weavers, and Orange Weavers. The Orange Weavers breed in the bushes along the shores of Lake Victoria along with their cousins, the Northern Brown birds.
The Verreaux Eagle Owl at Entebbe Botanical Gardens by Bruce Marcot. Image credit:
Since 1901, the gardens have offered tourists a wonderful introduction into Ugandan wildlife. For keen bird watchers, it’s advised that they carry with them an East African Ornithology Book so they can identify the many species of birds that they will encounter while at the Botanical Gardens.
The gardens are also home to a multitude of plants species from the tropics, subtropics, and temperate zones. To date, there are over 300 species of plants, 200 of which are exclusive to Uganda. The botanical gardens also house over 120 plants known for their medicinal value in Chinese medicine.
According to old records of the first people who tended to the gardens, the Entebbe Botanical Gardens was the site used for the 1957 film Tarzan. Today, Entebbe, along with many other African cities, is being used by Hollywood production companies as a filming location. Although, the recent remake, The Legend of Tarzan which was released in 2016 starring Alexander Skarsgard and Christopher Waltz relied on CGI and was shot in London due to budgetary constraints.
Due to Entebbe abundance of wildlife and beautiful landscapes, the Botanical Gardens was an easy choice for the makers of the 1957 original. So it was surprising that it wasn’t chosen for the recent The Legend of Tarzan movie, too. It could’ve helped gain the movie more commercial success as well as helping it foster new traction in gaming through the Tarzan slots title on the mobile portal Slingo. The recent Legend of Tarzan lacked the same lifelike qualities that the Botanical Gardens provided in the 1957 original and failed to bring to the fore the sheer beauty of Africa as a whole. Although, it’s likely this won’t deter other Hollywood films in the coming years. For movie fans across the world, this is reason enough to venture to the beautiful Botanical Gardens.
Below is a trailer of the 1957 Tarzan film.
To get to the Entebbe Botanical Gardens, you can take “matatus” which are privately owned mini buses. They leave from the New Taxi Park in Kampala every 10 minutes. The fare to Entebbe Botanical Gardens is only about $1, and it will take you about an hour to get there in total.