Timothy Tye
Uganda Travel Tips

Mount Khadam, UgandaMount Khadam, Uganda
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Uganda is a landlocked country in central East Africa. It covers 236,040 sq km (91,136 sq mi) and has a population of 32.3 million people. The country is bordered by Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, Tanzania to the south, Rwanda to the southwest and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. The capital and biggest city in Uganda is Kampala. Although otherwise landlocked, it faces Lake Victoria to the south.

The official languages of Uganda are English and Swahili. Luganda is also commonly spoken, and was an official language of instructiin in primary schools in Eastern Uganda until the 1960's. Over 60% of the population are Christians, split between Roman Catholics and Protestants.

Bujagali Falls, UgandaBujagali Falls, Uganda
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Uganda is today a democratic republic. It is three hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+3). The official currency of the country is called the Ugandan shilling (UGX). The traffic is driven on the left here, just as in Britain. The electricity is 240V 50Hz using UK plug.

Uganda is a developing nation. In 2010, it had an estimated nominal GDP of $17.703 billion, equivalent to a per capita nominal GDP of just $514. Its per capita GDP at purchasing power parity stood at $1,226.

Uganda is located on the East African plateau, at an average height of 1,100 m (3,609 ft) above sea level. There are a number of big lakes in the center of the country, among them Lake Kyoga, Lake Albert and Lake Turkana.

Kasubi Tombs in Kampala, Uganda, razed by fire on 16 March 2010Kasubi Tombs in Kampala, Uganda, razed by fire on 16 March 2010
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Uganda has been inhabited since over two thousand years ago by hunter-gatherers. The first non-natives to arrive here were Arab traders who by the 1830's have already settled along the coast of East Africa. British explorers discovered the land in the 1860's, and in their wake came Protestant and Roman Catholic missionaries.

Uganda was made a British protectorate in 1894, taking its present shape in 1914. The country attained its independence from Britain in 1962, and is today a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. In 1967 the country adopted a new constitution in which it abolished traditional kingdoms and declared itself a republic.

In 1971, Idi Amin seized power and made himself dictator. Among the actions he took included the expulsion from Uganda of Kenyans and later Asians, mostly Indians. The country was in political turmoil for years, at the cost of over 300,000 lives. It was at war with neighboring Tanzania, which attacked and invaded it. Some form of stability only returned when Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1986 and is still the president of Uganda.

Street view of Kampala, UgandaStreet view of Kampala, Uganda
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Planning your visit to Uganda

Uganda practises a principle of visa reciprocity requiring visa from citizens of countries that require visas for visiting Ugandans. Visas are available at embassies as well as at entry points. A single-entry visa costs $50 and is valid for three months.

Visitors from the following countries do not need a visa for entering Uganda: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Comoros, Cyprus, Eritrea, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The main airport serving Uganda is the Entebbe International Airport (EBB), located on the shores of Lake Victoria, about 35 km (21 mi) from Kampala. It is served by British Airways from London-Heathrow.

Major Cities in Uganda

  1. Kampala
  2. Arua
  3. Entebbe
  4. Fort Portal
  5. Jinja
  6. Kabale
  7. Kisoro
  8. Mbarara
  9. Pakwach

Places of Interest in Uganda

  1. Ajai Game Reserve
  2. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  3. Kibale Forest National Forest
  4. Kidepo Valley National Park
  5. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
  6. Murchison Falls National Park
  7. Queen Elizabeth National Park
  8. Rwenzori National Park
  9. Semliki National Park
  10. Ssese Islands

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