Uganda Wildlife Education Centre

Conservation through education

UWEC was opened in 1952 by the Colonial Government then, as an animal Orphanage that offered sanctuary to young animals found abandoned in protected areas due to the death or poaching of parent animals. In the early 1960s, it became a traditional zoo until 1994 when it was converted into a wildlife education centre.

About Uganda Wildlife Education Centre

All the animals at UWEC have been rescued from poachers, illegal trade or accidents. The animals are brought to the centre by government agencies, animal welfare groups and concerned citizens. The great thing about UWEC is that it is not a traditional zoo, so they do not capture or purchase animals to show here.

Shoebill stork Chimps at UWEC Some of the 142 Gray Parrotts confiscated from poachers

Visiting the Centre

Uganda Wildlife Education Centre is located off the main Kampala to Entebbe International Airport road some 40 kms from Kampala, 5 kms from the airport and 1.5 kms from Entebbe town.

Over 50 different animal species are represented by over 200 animals, all housed in large, open air enclosures, simulating their natural habitat in the wild, with interpretations about each animals' biography, biological and social information. The centre is a bird watchers' paradise where one can watch over 250 bird species and for photographers, an excellent close-up photo opportunity for wildlife in an environment very similar to the wild. .

The centre is has four main sectors:

The Savannah ecosystem is the largest in Uganda and is represented by  exhibits: Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo and Kidepo
The Wetland ecosystem represents the 25% of Uganda's land mass under the wetlands. The Shoebill Stork, lungfish, Weaver Birds and Monitor Lizards live here.
The Queen Elizabeth Forest ecosystem represents the forest cover of Uganda and includes a 1000m forest trail with free ranging antelope, beautiful debrazza monkeys, vervet monkeys, hundreds of beautiful coloured butterflies and indigenous plant species.
The Herbalium consists of over 250 herbal plant species that are commonly found in Uganda homes, as well as information on the type of diseases that they cure.
The centre also offers a variety of accommodation in the form of self contained flats, bandas, dormitories and camping. Visitors facilities including a canteen, kiosk, and bar, a picnic area, donkey and camel rides and a crafts shop as well as entertainment every Sunday evening by a local cultural group.

About UWEC


Uganda Wildlife Education Centre exists to educate the public on conservation of wildlife, with emphasis on the young generation, in partnership with stakeholders


To be the leading Centre in biodiversity Conservation Education in Africa

Mandated Roles

  • Conservation education of the Uganda public
  • Rescue and rehabilitation of animals
  • Captive breeding unit for threatened species
  • A zoo where people come to see and learn about animals, as well as a Recreation Park for the Ugandan public

How can you help?

  • Visit ! Go and see them, stay with them, visit the animals and shop in the craft shop.
  • Join ! Become a member of the centre and sponsor an animal. The membership program has several different categories of membership, each with varying privileges attached.
Membership starts at only US $100. per year.
All members receive:
Certificate of sponsorship
Bi-annual newsletter
Information about your animal
  • Adopt ! For as little as $20 per year you can adopt anything from a baboon to an elephant.  You will get a colour photo of the adopted animal, a fact sheet, adoption certificate and more ……
  • Volunteer ! The centre takes volunteers from all over the world. Volunteers play an important role and their work is very much appreciated. Volunteer terms range from a few weeks to a few months. Areas of volunteering include veterinary work, conservation education, animal husbandry, construction, marketing and communications.If you would like to become a UWEC volunteer please e-mail or phone the Education Department for more details.
  • Ask ! Contact them, they will be happy to talk with about ways in which you can get involved.
  • Share ! And when you have done that tell your friends, colleagues, and especially people travelling in Uganda, or in the travel industry about the work they are doing.