Official Language: English
Hours ahead of GMT: 3
Monetary Unit: Uganda Shilling ( approximately between 1,500 - 1,700 : One US Dollar)
Banking Hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm (some banks also open on half-day on Saturdays.
Credit Cards: Only accepted at a few establishments, expect to use cash in most places.
The cash point machines at Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank in Kampala accept Visa and Visa Electron Cards.
International Dialing Code: +256
National Holidays: 1st January, 26th January, 8th March, Good Friday, Easter Monday, 1st May, 3rd June, 9th June, 9th October, 25th & 26th December.
Uganda is largely a free market economy and in recent years has maintained a growth rate of about 5% per annum. Agriculture provides about 60% of GDP and over 80% of the adult population are either subsistence farmers or work in agriculture related fields. Major export crops include coffee, tea and tobacco.
Industry is diverse and centered around Kampala. It is mainly small scale and aimed at supplying the domestic market with basic products. The majority of manufactured goods are imported.
Uganda is one of the 53 Countries that form the second biggest continent on the face of the earth – Africa.
The African continent is so huge that the following countries could all fit in:
China: 3,705,387 sq mi
USA: 3,615,102 sq mi
India: 1,269,388 sq mi
Argentina: 1,068,296 sq mi
Europe including Scandinavia: 1,906,176 sq mi
And the total area altogether comes to 11,564,299 which is still less than Africa’s 11,706,166 sq mi. The continent is sparsely populated.
Africa is the second largest continent on the face of the earth, but it has the most countries more than any other continent in the world.
Africa is home to the largest desert in the world: the Sahara Desert. Grasslands cover much of the land, and rainforests are in western and part of East Africa near the equator.
River Nile is in Africa and it is the LONGEST RIVER IN THE WHOLE WORLD.
Lake Victoria (the Source of River Nile) is the LARGEST LAKE IN AFRICA and is the SECOND LARGEST IN THE WORLD. Uganda is the MOTHER of River Nile and Lake Victoria-shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Just pack your bag and come and enjoy the spectacular sceneries in Africa.
Thousands of species of animals live in Africa and so do many different kinds of people. There are over 1000 languages spoken in Africa. Some of the languages have been spoken for hundreds of years, and some Africans speak the European languages of the explorers and colonists from other countries. Africa is also home to some of the tallest and the shortest people in the world.
Uganda “the Peal of Africa” lies between the two arms of the Great Rift Valley in East Africa. It is crossed by the equator. It is roughly the same size as Great Britain having an area of 241,139 sq. km. Of this 17% sq km is made up of swamps and open fresh water bodies, 12% forest reserves and game parks. It is bordered by Kenya to the East, Sudan to the North, DRC to the West and Tanzania and Rwanda to the south.
The country has an average elevation of 1200m above sea level. Mountain areas are the Rwenzori mountains (5000m) with permanent snow cover and Mount Elgon (4300m).
Uganda's climate is equatorial but this is tempered by its elevated altitude and average daytime temperatures range between 20C and 27C. Average annual rainfall is in the region of 1000mm. There are two rainy seasons - March to early May and September to December.
Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and second largest in the world. It is also the source of the River Nile. Lakes Edward and Albert lie to the west of the country.
The landscape and vegetation have exceptional diversity. Uganda lies at the overlap between tropical East African savannah and the West African rainforest zones. The south of the country is mostly covered by forest and sub-tropical cultivation (plantains, coffee and tea). There are woodland and open savannah grassland areas. The north is drier than the rest of the country. It is covered in semi-desert and dry acacia woodland, which lacks the heavy intertwining canopy found in tropical forests.
The population of Uganda is about 25,000,000 million according to year 2000 estimates. Kampala city, the capital has a population of around 2,000,000. Approximately 51% are female.
The percentage of urban and rural population is 14% and 86% respectively. Annual population growth rate (natural increase) is 2.7% and the annual death rate is 21 per 1000 people.
National Parks refer to relatively large areas containing representative examples of major natural regions, features, or scenery of national or international significance. Uganda is well endowed with a number of National Parks and/or Wild Life reserves that attract large numbers of people both locally and internationally.
Some of the major National parks in Uganda include:
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Murchison Falls National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park –home of the Gorillas
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Mount Elgon National Park
Lake Mburo National Park
Kibale Forest National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park
Semliki National Park
Semliki Wildlife Reserve
‘There is a world of difference between a sightseeing tour and a well planned safari’ Hugh Cott 1959
A tiny landlocked country supporting more than 1000 species, Uganda deserves its reputation as “birders’ Eden”. A short trip here to soak up the bizarre and mind-blowing Shoebills at Murchison Falls, or Albertine Rift endemics at Bwindi National Park, is incredibly rewarding, while the chance to come face to face with Africa’s most noble beast, the MOUNTAIN GORILLAS, is probably the most touching experience any wildlife enthusiast could hope for. Uganda is a superb destination for rainforest fanatics and those in search of the rare and elusive.
In terms of size, Uganda is the richest country in Africa for birds. It has an excellent infrastructure and a great diversity of habitats, from the papyrus-fringed swamps of the Lake Victoria Basin, through both lowland and its forest has one of the highest diversity and density of primates in Africa totaling 13 species including the black and white colobus, blue monkey and grey – checked mangabey, the threatened red colobus, bush babies and pottos'.