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Uganda - Uganda Facts and Information

Uganda (East Africa) Introduction and Overview

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People carrying fire wood in a village at the beginning of gorilla trekking, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda, Africa
Juergen Ritterbach/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Uganda Basic Facts:

Uganda is a safe and friendly land-locked country in East Africa. It has a well-developed tourist infrastructure with excellent national parks that showcase Uganda's wide variety of wildlife including mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds.

Area: 236,040 sq km, (slightly smaller than Oregon, US and about the same size as the UK).
Location: Uganda is in East Africa, the DRC lies to the east and Kenya to the west, see map.
Capital City: Kampala
Population: Just over 30 million people live in Uganda
Language: English (official national language), Ganda or Luganda, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili, and Arabic.
Religion: Roman Catholic 33%, Protestant 33%, Muslim 16%, indigenous beliefs 18%.
Climate: The climate is tropical; generally rainy with two dry seasons (December to February, June to August). Average daily temperatures rarely exceed 29 Celsius (84 F). Click here for average temperatures in Kampala.
When to Go: June - August and December - February.
Currency: Uganda Shilling, click here for conversion rates.

Uganda's Main Attractions:

Winston Churchill referred to Uganda as the "Pearl of Africa" for its "magnificence, for variety of form and colour, for profusion of brilliant life". While Uganda's political turmoil during the 1970's and 1980's caused it to lag behind neighboring Kenya and Tanzania as prime tourist destinations, this lovely country is staging a comeback with its excellent attractions, here's a sampling:

Travel to Uganda:

Uganda's International Airport: Entebbe International Airport (Airport code EBB) is located just outside the town of Entebbe on Lake Victoria and 21 miles (35 km) from Kampala, Uganda's capital.
Getting to Uganda: There are direct flights from Europe and regional flights from Kenya and Tanzania. You can also catch a long-distance bus from Kenya and Rwanda.
Uganda Embassies/Visas: Most nationalities do require a tourist visa before entering the country, but many nationalities can obtain the visa upon arrival at the International Airport. Check with the Embassy of Uganda.
Tourist Information Office: 13/15 Kimathi Avenue, Impala House, PO Box 7211, Kampala, Uganda, E-mail: utb@visituganda.com, Web Site: http://visituganda.com/index.php.

More On Uganda Travel

Uganda's Economy and Politics:

Economy: Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, and sizable mineral deposits of copper, cobalt, gold, and other minerals. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the work force. Coffee accounts for the bulk of export revenues. Since 1986, the government - with the support of foreign countries and international agencies - has acted to rehabilitate and stabilize the economy by undertaking currency reform, raising producer prices on export crops, increasing prices of petroleum products, and improving civil service wages. The policy changes are especially aimed at dampening inflation and boosting production and export earnings. During 1990-2001, the economy turned in a solid performance based on continued investment in the rehabilitation of infrastructure, improved incentives for production and exports, reduced inflation, gradually improved domestic security, and the return of exiled Indian-Ugandan entrepreneurs. Growth continues to be solid, despite variability in the price of coffee, Uganda's principal export, and a consistent upturn in Uganda's export markets. In 2000, Uganda qualified for enhanced Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief worth $1.3 billion and Paris Club debt relief worth $145 million. These amounts combined with the original HIPC debt relief added up to about $2 billion.

Politics: The colonial boundaries created by Britain to delimit Uganda grouped together a wide range of ethnic groups with different political systems and cultures. These differences prevented the establishment of a working political community after independence was achieved in 1962. The dictatorial regime of Idi Amin (1971-79) was responsible for the deaths of some 300,000 opponents; guerrilla war and human rights abuses under Milton Obote (1980-85) claimed at least another 100,000 lives. The rule of Yoweri Museveni since 1986 has brought relative stability and economic growth to Uganda. During the 1990s, the government promulgated non-party presidential and legislative elections. In January 2009, Uganda assumed a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2009-10 term.

More About Uganda and Sources:

Photos of Uganda
Uganda Map and More Facts
Kampala Facts and Information
Gorilla Safaris
Uganda Travel Articles and Links
Uganda Travel Planner
CIA Factbook
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