Location & Size
Uganda is among the 5 countries that form the East Africa region, bordered by Sudan in the North, Kenya in the West, DRC in the West and Tanzania in the South. Lying mostly between latitudes 4°N and 2°S and longitudes 29° and 35°E. It averages about 1,100 metres (3,609 ft) above sea level. Uganda that lies across the equator, although landlocked, Uganda contains many large lakes, besides Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga, there are Lake Albert, Lake Edward and the smaller Lake George.
Uganda covers a total area of 241,039 km2 and is comprised of a list of almost 10 protected areas and Wildlife reserves rich in Wildlife and it is in these National Parks Uganda was nicknamed the Pearl of Africa by Sir Winston Church Hill as described in his book, “My African Journey”
Located a stride the equator, Uganda is associated with high temperate ranging from 260C during day and 180C in the night than the surrounding areas due to its altitude. The country is mostly plateau with a rim of mountains. The climate is tropical; generally rainy with two dry seasons (December to February, June to August). It is semiarid East Sudanian savanna in north near Sudan
Uganda’s population is made up of a diverse range of different tribal-ethnic groups and a total population estimated to have risen to 30 millions. The central part of the country is largely Bantu-speaking, with the Baganda as the largest group. The northern tribes are the Nilotic in origin; the north is also the home of the nomadic Karamajong and the remote mountain tribe known as the Ike. More than 30 languages are spoken, with English, Luganda and Swahili being the most widely used.
Uganda, the Kanzu is the national dress of men in the country. Women from central and eastern Uganda wear a dress with a sash tied around the waist and large exaggerated shoulders called a Gomesi. Women from the west, northwestern drape a long cloth around their waists and shoulders called (Suuka). Women from the southwest wear a long baggy skirt and tie a short matching cloth across their shoulders.
Uganda entirely survives on agriculture, accounting for about 27% of the country’s exports in 2003. Agriculture has been boosted and a success in Uganda due to significant natural resources, including ample fertile land and regular rainfall and much exports have been realized thus an increase in the foreign exchange earnings to Uganda’s economy.
Uganda’s industrial sector has been revamped and steadily increasing as a result of willing foreign investors to set up manufacturing and processing industries in the country such as cement, reinforcing rods, corrugated roofing sheets, and paint. Domestically produced consumer goods include plastics, soap, cork, beer, and soft drinks. Major Cement manufacturers like ‘Tororo Cement Ltd’ caters to the need of building and construction material consumers across East Africa
Travel and communication
Traveling within Uganda is mostly by public commuter taxis, cabs and self driven cars and the most convenient means of travel is the motorcycle commonly known as boda bodas , as they are reliable and fast in helping to beat the heavy traffic but quite deadly as most of the riders are either careless or flout traffic rules easily.
Scheduled and chartered domestic flights are in operational and well established connecting you to various tourist destinations in the country. Public Buses, connecting the city to the up country destinations are running on the daily basis
Uganda is all over network covered, a number of telecom companies are in business offering you the most reliable Mobile communication services across the country, and they include MTN- Uganda, Uganda Telecom, Airtel Uganda, K2 Telecom and Smile Telcom
Visitors are cautioned to take great care with their valuables while traveling. Crime is less prevalent in the rural areas, but it is still wise to be careful. Visitors should not carry excessive jewellery or money. Save deposit boxes should be utilized where they are available and also wise to secure your travel documents and avoid walking un escorted at night.
Visas are now necessary for most Nationals and should be obtained prior to travel at a fee of $ 100.00 per person. You can also get a visa upon arrival at the airport at the same cost. One can also acquire an East African Visa that permits you to visit the East Africa states of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda & Burundi
Yellow Fever vaccinations are mandatory, and we recommend anti – malarial tablets, especially during the rainy season. Most prescription drugs can be bought affordably and with ease over the counter in Kampala. Personal Insurance is advised
Currently there is one International Airport at Entebbe. A number of international airlines fly directly to Entebbe, among them South Africa Airways, British Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM, Egypt air, Ethiopian Airways Air Rwanda. Most major towns have an airstrip as do most National Parks and Game Reserves. Airport tax is included in your flight fare.
Media of Exchange:
Uganda Shillings. It is advisable to carry American dollars (the series should not be less than the year 2000) or Traveler’s cheques or any more hard currency. There are numerous Forex bureau and banks in the capital and the main towns. Credit cards are accepted in major hotels and restaurants, but generally it is best to carry cash upcountry.
Safari attire is casual and comfortable. Light clothing, hats, sturdy shoes, long sleeve shirts for evening. Sweatshirt or fleece for evening’s upcountry. Uganda’s position on the equator suggests a need for sun cream. Women in rural towns may feel more comfortable wearing clothing that covers their knees and shoulders, but this is not mandatory. It’s usually hot by midday, but evenings are always pleasant.
Best Time to visit:
All year round, Uganda can be visited. The rains come twice a year, in October/November (short rains) and mid- March to end of May. Rainy season is no reason to postpone travel however, as generally it rains for an hour and the rest of the day is clear and sunny.
In Uganda, tipping is not compulsory but a way of service appreciation and for a job well done.
Uganda is GMT +3hrs