The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) was established in 1952 by the colonial government as a reception centre for wild animals that were found as causalities. Under the jurisdiction of the Game Department, an animal orphanage was created in 1956, to hand raise the orphaned animals received through the Game department. In 1962, a National zoo was created.
On May 5, 1994 Uganda Wildlife Education Centre was born and has since grown to be one of the most respected conservation education institutions in Africa and beyond, for successfully carrying out it’s mandates to educate Ugandans on the importance of conserving the country’s biodiversity, to rescue and rehabilitate injured, orphaned and/or confiscated wildlife and to breed endangered wildlife species in captivity with an aim of re-introducing them back in the wild.
Uganda Wildlife Education Centre lies on 70 acres in Entebbe, a 10 minutes drive from the International Airport. The centre has three ecosystems; Savannah, Forest and Wetland. UWEC is the coordinating zoo for the zoos in East, Central and West Africa as mandated by Pan African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZA).
Some of the memorable activities at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre include; The Behind the scenes tour. Visitors are able to observe the animals at close sight as the animal keepers feed them, carry out health checks. Animals such as Rhinos, Giraffes, Lions, Chimpanzees are popular on the menu. Visitors get the chance to take part in the food preparation, visit the pharmacy among others.
Some visitors opt to be Keepers for a day. Here they are able to serve Rhinos and lions breakfast. They wake up early from either the dormitory or bandas and head to the kitchen to prepare the food, then jump onto the tractor from one animal station to another feeding a variety of exotic and endangered animals and birds. This experience is granted upon getting a vaccination from the health team at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.
The centre has numerous Conservation education, internship and volunteer programs on and off site for both Ugandans and foreigners.