Travel to Uganda

Uganda

Uganda - the pearl of Africa, a country with fantastic natural scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures. Traveling through Uganda, you’ll be captivated by its beauty, safety, accessibility and friendliness. The natural beauty of its people and its landscapes are outstanding. It is one of the most appealing nations and Africa’s friendliest country. 

Ecologically, Uganda is where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle. Where else but in this impossibly lush country can one observe lions prowling the open plains in the morning and track chimpanzees through the rainforest undergrowth the same afternoon, then the next day navigate tropical channels teeming with hippos and crocodiles before setting off into the misty mountains to stare deep into the eyes of a mountain gorilla? Certainly, Uganda is the only safari destination whose range of forest primates is as impressive as its selection of plains antelopes. And this verdant biodiversity is further attested to by Uganda’s status as by far the smallest of the four African countries whose bird checklist tops the 1,000 mark.

By African standards, Uganda is a postage stamp-size country, at the heart of the continent, sandwiched between Kenya, Rwanda, Congo, Sudan and Tanzania. It is roughly the size of Great Britain or the State of Oregon in the USA. Uganda’s most alluring features are its forests, lakes and mountains.  Most of the country is 1,000 m above sea level and there are three mountainous areas - the Rwenzoris, Mount Elgon and the Virunga volcanoes.

Overview

Uganda - the pearl of Africa, a country with fantastic natural scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures. Traveling through Uganda, you’ll be captivated by its beauty, safety, accessibility and friendliness. The natural beauty of its people and its landscapes are outstanding. It is one of the most appealing nations and Africa’s friendliest country.

People

Situated at the geographical heart of the African continent, Uganda has long been a cultural melting pot, as evidenced by the existence of 30-plus different indigenous languages belonging to five distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and handicrafts. The country’s most ancient inhabitants, confined to the hilly southwest, are the Batwa and Bambuti Pygmies, relics of the hunter-gatherer cultures that once occupied much of East Africa to leave behind a rich legacy of rock paintings, such as at the Nyero Rock Shelter near Kumi.
At the cultural core of modern-day Uganda lie the Bantu-speaking kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro, Ankole and Toro, whose traditional monarchs – reinstated in the 1990s after having been abolished by President Milton Obote in 1967 – still serve as important cultural figureheads. According to oral tradition, these centuries-old kingdoms are offshoots of the medieval kingdoms of Batembuzi and Bachwezi, which lay in the vicinity of present-day Mubende and Ntusi, where archaeological evidence suggests that a strongly centralized polity had emerged by the 11th century. Three former kings of Buganda are buried in an impressive traditional thatched building at the Kasubi Tombs in Kampala.

Language

The central area is largely Bantu-speaking with the Baganda as the largest group. The Northern tribes are Nilotic in origin; the north is also the home of the nomadic Karamajong and the remote mountain tribe - the Ik. There are pygmy communities (the Batwa) in some forest areas. More than 30 languages are spoken - with English, Luganda and Swahili being the most widely used.

History

Lord Lugard established a British East African Company base in 1890 in Kampala and shortly after-wards Uganda became a British Protectorate, centered around four old African Kingdoms. The Uganda Railway linking the interior to the coast reached Kisumu (in Kenya) on Lake Victoria in 1901 and Kampala in 1915. The system of indirect rule gave Uganda greater autonomy than elsewhere in British-ruled Africa. At independence in 1962, Uganda was a prosperous and peaceful country. It went through a turbulent period after Amin seized control in 1971 and expelled the Asians. In 1986 the National Resistance Movement, lead by Yoweri Museveni, took control of the country. Today, the country is progressive, peaceful and inviting. The old kingdoms, abolished in the 1960s, were restored in 1993 and the monarchs have now re-emerged as symbols of traditional society. The 36thKabaka of the Baganda, Ronald Mutebi, was crowned in 1993 and married in 1999, to great public rejoicing.

Travel Guide

Currency

The official currency is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX), which is divided into 100 cents

Weather

Uganda is near the Equator. As a result the climate does not change much, this makes both countries all year round destinations. The rainy seasons tend to be from March to April and October to November, but this varies in different areas and it can rain any time of year, especially in the gorilla parks areas. Travel can be slower in the rainy season but the views are often better. Gorilla tracking can be muddier but remains open. In the mountainous areas it is much colder than on the plains and the rainfall is greater. The temperatures on the plains tend to be between 70°F and 86°F and in the mountainous areas they can go down to 50°F in certain months. So our advice is to travel when it is most convenient and usually the rain, which is often for short periods, is part of the great experience. A client may avoid tracking in the “official” rainy season only to find that it pours throughout his visit during another period! For this reason Volcanoes does not close our lodges during the rainy season as they do in savannah countries.

Health Requirements

Anti-malaria tablets and mosquito repellent are essential.  Travel to and from some African countries requires a Yellow Fever inoculation.

Visa Requirements

Ugandan visas are required by citizens of the European Union, the USA and Japan; other nationals should check. Entry visas can be obtained at Ugandan missions overseas or at Entebbe airport or land borders. A single entry visa to Uganda costs US$ 50, and is valid for three months.

Credit Cards

Major credit cards are accepted by very few outlets in Kampala, and a few hotels/lodges up-country.

Electrical Appliances

240 volts. 3-pin (square) sockets.

Water

Drink bottled or boiled water only

Map

A: Alexandria
B: Amboseli National Park
C: Arusha
D: Aswan
E: Bazaruto Island
F: Benguerra Island
G: Botswana
H: Bwindi Impenetrable NP
I: Cairo
J: Cape Town
K: Cape Winelands
L: Central Kalahari Region
M: Chobe National Park
N: Denis Island
O: Desroches Island
P: Drakensburg
Q: Dubai
R: Dubai Beaches
S: Dubai City Center
T: Dubai Desert
U: Dubai Marina
V: Durban
W: Eastern Cape
X: Eastern Cape Safaris
Y: Egypt
Z: Ethiopia
AA: Etosha National Park
AB: Franschhoek
AC: Garden Route
AD: Greater Kruger National Park
AE: Greater Winelands
AF: Hermanus
AG: Hwange National Park
AH: Johannesburg
AI: Kafue National Park
AJ: Kampala
AK: Kariba
AL: Kenya
AM: Kigali
AN: Knysna
AO: Kruger National Park
AP: Kwazulu Natal
AQ: La Digue
AR: Lake Manyara NP
AS: Lake Nakuru
AT: Lewa Wildlife Conservation
AU: Linyanti/Savuti Region
AV: Livingstone
AW: Lower Zambezi National Park
AX: Luxor
AY: Madagascar
AZ: Madikwe Game Reserve
BA: Mahé
BB: Maldives
BC: Mana Pools National Park
BD: Masai Mara
BE: Mauritius
BF: Mombasa
BG: Mozambique
BH: Nairobi
BI: Namibia
BJ: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
BK: North Island
BL: Okavango and Moremi GR
BM: Oman
BN: Oudtshoorn
BO: Plettenberg Bay
BP: Port Elizabeth
BQ: Praslin
BR: Queen Elizabeth National Park
BS: Quirimbas Archipelago
BT: Rwanda
BU: Sabi Sands
BV: Samburu National Park
BW: Selous Game Reserve
BX: Serengeti National Park
BY: Seychelles
BZ: Sharm El Sheik
CA: Sheik Zayed Road
CB: Silhouette Island
CC: Skeleton Coast National Park
CD: Sossusvlei
CE: South Africa
CF: South Luangwa
CG: Stellenbosch
CH: Sun City
CI: Sun City and Surrounds
CJ: Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
CK: Tanzania
CL: Tarangire National Park
CM: Timbavati Region
CN: Uganda
CO: Umhlanga
CP: Victoria Falls
CQ: Vilanculos
CR: Volcanoes National Park
CS: Windhoek
CT: Zambia
CU: Zanzibar and Pemba Island
CV: Zimbabwe

Destinations

Explore the rest of our Uganda destinations:

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This Destination

Uganda

Related Destinations

Alexandria
Amboseli National Park
Arusha
Aswan
Bazaruto Island
Benguerra Island
Botswana
Bwindi Impenetrable NP
Cairo
Cape Town
Cape Winelands
Central Kalahari Region
Chobe National Park
Denis Island
Desroches Island
Drakensburg
Dubai
Dubai Beaches
Dubai City Center
Dubai Desert
Dubai Marina
Durban
Eastern Cape
Eastern Cape Safaris
Egypt
Ethiopia
Etosha National Park
Franschhoek
Garden Route
Greater Kruger National Park
Greater Winelands
Hermanus
Hwange National Park
Johannesburg
Kafue National Park
Kampala
Kariba
Kenya
Kigali
Knysna
Kruger National Park
Kwazulu Natal
La Digue
Lake Manyara NP
Lake Nakuru
Lewa Wildlife Conservation
Linyanti/Savuti Region
Livingstone
Lower Zambezi National Park
Luxor
Madagascar
Madikwe Game Reserve
Mahé
Maldives
Mana Pools National Park
Masai Mara
Mauritius
Mombasa
Mozambique
Nairobi
Namibia
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
North Island
Okavango and Moremi GR
Oman
Oudtshoorn
Plettenberg Bay
Port Elizabeth
Praslin
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Quirimbas Archipelago
Rwanda
Sabi Sands
Samburu National Park
Selous Game Reserve
Serengeti National Park
Seychelles
Sharm El Sheik
Sheik Zayed Road
Silhouette Island
Skeleton Coast National Park
Sossusvlei
South Africa
South Luangwa
Stellenbosch
Sun City
Sun City and Surrounds
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Tanzania
Tarangire National Park
Timbavati Region
Uganda
Umhlanga
Victoria Falls
Vilanculos
Volcanoes National Park
Windhoek
Zambia
Zanzibar and Pemba Island
Zimbabwe

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