Uganda is a remarkable country located in east Africa. It has been affectionately called the Pearl of Africa for over a hundred years, though it may be that Winston Churchill’s words published in 1908 in his book, “My African Journey” best capture what most will experience when exploring Uganda. “For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life – bird, insect, reptile, beast – for vast scale – Uganda is truly the Pearl of Africa.”
Uganda is situated within the Great Lakes region of Africa and its major lakes include: Lake Victoria, Lake Edward, Lake Albert. Though much of the country is a plateau sitting within the Nile basin, the elevation range ranges from 620 meters (2,020 feet) to a staggering 5,111 meters (16,768 feet) at Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley.
Uganda has the distinction of being the world’s second most populous landlocked country in the world (second to Ethiopia). Its population of well over 37-million people inhabits 236,040 square kilometers (91,135 square miles). The country is covers about the same square kilometers as Great Britain though with just half of its population. It is bordered on the north by South Sudan, on the east by Kenya, on the south by Tanzania, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Victoria stretches across much of Uganda’s southern region. The capital of Uganda is Kampala which is located in the southern region adjacent to Lake Victoria. International flights come and go through Entebbe which is just over a 1-hour drive (44 km, 27 miles) from Kampala.
Uganda was ruled as a British protectorate between 1894 and 1962. The Republic of Uganda began when independence was achieved on October 9, 1962. The current president of Uganda is His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and he has been in office for consecutive terms since 1989. The National Assembly, a parliamentary structure, is in place.
Uganda has been a stable and peaceful country for many years. Tourism offers prosperity to the people and to the nation and visitors are treated kindly and respectfully.
The official languages are English and Swahili though Luganda is widely spoken. Other common native languages include: Runyankole, Rukiga, and Langi among others. The country’s currency is the Ugandan Schilling and automatic cash machines (ATMs) are available in all cities.
Uganda’s relatively high elevation (above 620 meters, 2,020 feet) keeps the tropical temperatures from rarely rising above 29°C (84°F) and the average temperature is a pleasant 26°C (78°F). There are two rainfall seasons: heavier rains in March through May and lighter rains October through November. Though rain is possible at any time, the dry seasons are: December to February and June to August. Regardless of rain, travel to and around Uganda is possible throughout the year and there is something special for the traveler to see in each season.
MAP OF UGANDA