Off the Kampala-Entebbe highway in Uganda, there is the Uganda Reptile Village. A slithery, slimy place filled with cold blooded animals that will send squally emotions up your spine. On the surface, you might be charmed by all the lush green surrounding gardens, but tucks underneath the greens are creatures whose teeth bear tickets to your 6-feet-under.
Am talking about the tourist attraction Uganda Reptile Village that only a handful are brave enough to dare visit. But to be fair, the Reptilia are just misunderstood animals. Sure most of them bear potent poison, can give a painful bite and arouses emotions of fear and terror because of the perception we have about them. They are also quite beautiful creatures that need to be protected especially since they are the target of hate, fear and horror from people.
The founders of Uganda Reptile Village say the set up the sanctuary as a safe haven for these misunderstood animals and also to facilitate learning about them. The village was established in between 2002 by Yasin Kazibwe a Reptile Expert who is also reported to have rescued close to 38 different species of snakes that he relocated to the habitat between 2003 to 2008. Mr. Kazibwe also wrote a “Snake bite” guide book and made a number of reptile documentaries.
At the village you will be sure to find a number of reptiles indigenous to Uganda such as; snakes, chameleon, tortoises, monitor lizards and of course the crocodiles. The are all kept in their respectives cages with the crocodile enclosed in a huge pond and like most African countries, anytime snakes or crocodiles are found they are either captured or killed and this village provides a safe haven for this poor creature. Most of the reptiles found on the grounds are mostly rescued from near death and brought to the village to be taken care of. It is even more interesting when you see the several chameleon species in a cage changing colours as they crawl around their home, such a beautiful sight to behold.
When there almost everyone rushes to the snake section, even when you have a fear of the reptiles you will want to see them out of curiosity and there is a big chance of petting a python and the peaceful tortoises that are children favourites at the village.
The village will kill your fear of reptiles especially snakes with educational tidbits given by caretakers during the visits about what the animals are and about their nature. The best part about this tour is it is something you do not expect to do, but you will find yourself enjoying the every little information that you did not know about some of the species of reptiles that we have in Uganda, you will be shocked to know that not all snakes are killer snakes. They have one called the egg eating snake that is non venomous and solely eats eggs and at the same time you will find the beautiful three horned chameleon.
The village can be found 3km from the main road and hotels away from Entebbe town.