Welcome in Uganda the ‘Pearl’ of Africa. Uganda is located in east-central Africa, situated north and northwest of Lake Victoria. It is a landlocked country bordered by Sudan on the North, Kenya on the east, Tanzania on the South, Rwanda on the southwest and Zaire on the northwest.
The greater part of Uganda consists of a plateau about 4,000 ft in height. Along the western border of the Ruwenzori Mountains reaching heights of over 16,000 ft, while on the eastern frontier Mount Elgon rises to 14,178 ft. By contrast, the Western Rift Valley, which runs from north to south through the western half of the country, is as low as 3,000 ft on the floor of Lake Edward and Lake George and 2,000 ft on the flow of Lake Albert.
The White Nile River has its source in Lake Victoria.
The official languages are English and Swahili, although “any other language” may be used as a medium of instruction in schools or other educational institutions or for legislative, administrative or judicial purposes as may be prescribed by law.” Luganda, a central region-based language, is widely spoken across the Central and South Eastern regions of the country, and several other languages are also spoken, including Lango, Acholi, Runyoro, Runyankole, Rukiga, Luo and Lusoga.
Uganda is located in southeast Africa between 1º N and 4º N latitude, and 30º E and 35º E longitude, its geography is very diverse consisting of volcanic hills, mountains, and lakes. The country sits at an average of 900 meters above sea level. Both the eastern and western borders of Uganda have mountains. The Ruwenzori mountain range contains the highest peak in Uganda, which is named Alexandra and measures 5,094 meters.
Uganda’s educational system, while lacking in many areas, has seen significant change in recent years. The educational system is set up so that children spend seven years in primary school, six years in secondary school, and three to five years in post secondary school. In 1997, the government declared that primary school would be free for all children. This amendment has had huge benefits. In 1986, only two million children were attending primary school. By 1999, six million children were attending primary school, and this number has continued to climb. Following significant gains in access to primary education since 1997 when universal primary education (UPE) was introduced, Uganda in 2007 became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to introduce universal secondary education (USE). This bold step by the Government of Uganda led to an increase in lower secondary enrolment of nearly 25% between 2007 and 2012.
Students in Uganda
At the 2002 census, Uganda had a literacy rate of 66.8 percent (76.8 percent male and 57.7 percent female). Public spending on education was at 5.2 percent of the 2002–2005 GDP.
As of 2020, the NCHE website listed 46 private accredited universities. to mention a few, Makerere University, Mbarara University of science and technology, Kyambogo University, Gulu University, Uganda Christian University, Kampala international University among many more.
Although Uganda is located on the equator, its climate is warm rather than hot, and temperatures vary little throughout the year. Most of the country receives an annual rainfall of at least 30 inches. In the Lake Victoria region an annual rainfall of 59 inches is distributed throughout the year and the average annual temperature is 21.6°C (71°F) with a daily range of 7 – 9°C (13-16°F). Further north rainfall averages about 35 inches, with a pronounced dry season in June and July. The mean annual temperature in this region is 15.5°C (60°F) with a daily range of 11-13°C (20-23°F)
Visas are required by all except nationals from Angola,. Antigua, Barbados, Bahamas, Belize, Comoros, Cypress, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Italy, (only Diplomatic passports), Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Singapore, Tonga, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe These can be obtained from Uganda’s Diplomatic and Consular Missions abroad.
It is possible to get issued a visa on arrival at Entebbe Airport as long as one satisfies the entry requirements. However, it is advisable that you get your visas before you embark on the trip to Uganda to avoid unnecessary paper work at point of entry.
On arrival in the country, you may be asked to show you have sufficient funds to support your stay and that you have an onward ticket.
Official Currency: Uganda Shilling. Banks and forex bureaus are available at the airport, and in all towns. Visitors may bring in as much foreign currency as they wish. Credit cards arc accepted in the main hotels, but not in outlying areas. Visa is the most commonly accepted credit card. Traveler cheques are best taken in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling and Rands
Barclays Bank Cash Machine Locations
Banking: Monday to Friday: 0830-1400
Shops: Monday to Saturday: 0830-1800
Uganda is three hours ahead of GMT
Transport and flights
Air: International Flights to Uganda: Find all flights at the websites of expedia or booking.com for your international flight to Uganda or ask us for assistance.
Domestic Flights: Air Uganda offers a domestic service to some of the major towns. Air Charter is also available. Usually you will be required to pay for flights in hard currency.
Train: There are services from Kampala to Kasese and Tororo but the service is slow, uncomfortable and erratic.
Lake Ferry: Lake Victoria has a ferry service which connects Port Bell and the Ssese Islands.
Bus:Bus services connect all the main towns but they can be slow, crowded and they make frequent stops. Minibuses and shared taxis are a good way of getting around. They have fixed rates and leave when full.
Scandinavia Express Services
Cross border Bus Service between Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia
1st January New Year’s Day
26th January Liberation Day
8th March International Women’s Day
1st May Labour Day
3rd June Martyrs Day
9th October Independence Day
25th December Christmas Day
26th December Boxing Day
Moveable Holidays Good Friday and Easter Monday
Variable Islamic holidays
Electric Power is 240V running at 50Hz. The Plug type used is:
If you need medical care whilst in Uganda, it is best to be aware that medical providers may not accept payment through your insurance company. In these circumstances you will have to pay in full after your treatment and file a claim with your insurance company for reimbursement. Therefore you should have access to cash, either from a credit card or by wire transfer. If you need assistance contact the country’s local embassy or representative.
To be compensated you must be treated by licensed medical personnel and provide your insurance company with proper documentation and receipts.
It is advisable to always ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy which covers you for repatriation to your home country.