THE INTERESTING AND AMAZING FACTS ABOUT UGANDA – UGANDA AS A DESTINATION
Looking for a memorable experience in Uganda? It is important to know some of the facts about Uganda before you visit. Uganda also known as the “pearl of Africa” is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa. Uganda is blessed with lots of special features & attractions. Are you a traveler? Is Uganda part of your next African destination list? Don’t miss reading these interesting and amazing facts about Uganda. Dive into Uganda’s culture, how people in Uganda behave, the top Uganda tourist attractions, Uganda’s History. Additionally you’ll know the facts about Uganda and her economy.
Brief History and Location
Uganda is a landlocked (has no access to any big water bodies such as ocean or sea) country located in the Eastern part of Africa. This is itself one of the serious facts about Uganda. The country covers a total land area of 241,038 square kilometers. On the other hand, 37,000 square kilometers are covered by open waters such as rivers and lakes.
After Winston Churchill’s good impression of Uganda’s flora and fauna, in 1908, he named Uganda “The Pearl of Africa.” This was published in his famous book titled “My African Journey. ”What makes Uganda the Pearl of Africa
Before the British – colonial masters changed her “Uganda” name, Uganda was called Buganda. The name Buganda originated from her biggest Kingdom which exists until now and is known as Buganda kingdom. Buganda kingdom is headed by the royal king called “Kabaka.” Those who pay a visit to Uganda get a chance of visiting the Buganda kingdom palace in Mengo as well as the Kasubi tombs from where Buganda kings are laid to rest. Knowing facts about Buganda kingdom is an amazing experience on a Uganda safari.
Politically, Uganda gained her independence on 9th October 1962 from the British. She has been under different governments but the longest being the present National Resistance Movement (NRM) government. This government has been under the leadership of His Excellence Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tubuhaburwa from 1986 up to date. Uganda has been under political ups and downs however, for the last 30 years the country has enjoyed tremendous peace. She is currently part of the East African Community and other regional bodies.
Uganda bordering countries
Uganda is bordered by Tanzania in the south, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west, the Republic of South Sudan in the north, Kenya in the East, and Rwanda in southwest
Which Currency is used in Uganda?
Uganda’s official currency is the Uganda shilling (UGX ) which currently consists of banknotes and coins.
50Ugx, 100Ugx, 200Ugx, 500Ugx, and 1,000Ugx
1,000Ugx, 2,000Ugx, 5,000Ugx, 10,000Ugx, 20,000Ugx and 50,000Ugx.
It is important to remember to convert your money to Uganda Shillings prior to your travel or entry. However, if you forget to exchange, you can do so with the help of Love Uganda safari guides who can take you to the bank or local Forex Bureaus within the cities and towns. Inform us before so that we add that to the travel plan while scheduling setoff and arrival times to different destinations.
Uganda’s country code:
Uganda’s country code is +256.
Facts about Uganda travel requirements and Visa Acquisition
Like many other countries in East Africa, Uganda is open to all travelers as long as they present relevant travel documents such as an Identity card and passport. You may also be required to present a stamped visa depending on which country you come from. All these documents are required whether you are entering either by land, air, or even water.
It is important to ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months and has some blank pages before you travel to Uganda. You are advised to check your visa before you travel and get help from your agent.
The majority of travelers require visas while traveling to Uganda and visas can be got on arrival at the airport or from Uganda High Commissions in the respective countries. Visas to Uganda can as well be purchased online.
For more information about Visas to Uganda, follow the link below https://visas.immigration.go.ug/.
Facts about Uganda Embassies and Consulates
It is always important to get information about the country you want to visit before setting off. Love Uganda safaris advises all travelers to get relevant information from Ugandan embassies in their respective countries. This helps you know better and mentally prepare for you trip.
For more information about Ugandan Embassies and Consulates follow the link https://embassy.goabroad.com/.
Travelling to Uganda by air should not stress you at any point. All major flights into and out of Uganda happen at Entebbe International airport. Get acquainted with up to date flight information by following the link below https://entebbe-airport.com/flight-information/arrivals/.
Facts about Uganda Airlines
Uganda Airlines is the national flag carrier of Uganda that flies to different countries and airports across the world. The airline was established in 1977 but later stopped in 2001. In August 2019, the airline was revived and currently operates in Africa and Dubai.
For more information about Uganda Airlines, Follow the Link below https://www.ugandairlines.com/.
Safety and security
Your safety while in Uganda is our top priority.
Uganda is one of the countries in Africa and the world that are safe for travelers. You will encounter check points at different roads such as the Toll Gate at the Entebbe Express Highway and other major and minor roads. You will meet policemen and sometimes soldiers of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF). Do not feel afraid to talk to them since they speak English and Kiswahili majorly. National parks are protected by park and game rangers to ensure safety of travelers and tourists.
However, there are criminals in Uganda who engage in robbery and pick pocketing especially in crowded areas. Ensure to keep your wallet, phones and other gadgets with care. Do not intimidate them, call 999 or 911 or go to the nearest police station or local council authorities in case something goes wrong.
For more information about Uganda’s safety and security, follow the link https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/uganda/safety-and-security.
How are the behaviors of Uganda People?
From experience, the people of Uganda are hospitable, friendly, social and lovely. Driving around the cities and urban areas, you will meet them in small groups chatting and laughing. They are easy to blend with. However, like any human beings, Ugandans have culture and etiquette.
It is important that you ask your love Uganda Safari guide about every tribe you are going to interact with before doing so. This will help you know what turns them on and off. The interaction behaviour will change according to tribes and regions of the person you will interact with, i.e the interaction behaviour of the person from the central will not be similar to the person from the North. So asking guidance from your guide or Ugandan friend is advised.
What is the main race in Uganda?
Uganda is one of the countries in Africa with multiple races and ethnic groups. There are Bantus, Hamites, Nilotic, etc. The Bantu make up the bigger percentage and the Baganda are the dominant ones of all the Bantu tribes in Uganda. The Baganda make up to 16.7% of Uganda’s total population, with popular and known language (Luganda) around the capital city.
Uganda Capital City-Kampala City
Recently Uganda launched a chain of regional cities for developmental purposes but Kampala city remains the capital. The name Kampala came from the word “Impala” which were the dominant animals occupying the area before it was urbanized. The city sits on 7 old traditional hills though development and expansion has given birth to other several hills. The seven hills of Kampala include; Mengo hill, Rubaga hill, Namirembe hill, Makerere hill, Kololo hill, Nakasero hill, and old Kampala hill. Tourists who visit Kampala usually enjoy the views of all the 7 hills from the Old Kampala Mosque which was built by the Late President of Libya Col. Muama Gadhafi.
Kampala has other areas of attraction such as the Bahai temple, Namirembe shrine, Kasubi tombs, to point out a few.
Uganda is divided into regions and districts which are the basis of effective administration. The regions include;
comprising of districts like Bundibugyo, Bushenyi, Hoima, Ibanda, Kabale, Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kanungu, Kasese, Kibaale, Kabingo, Kiruhura, Kisoro, Kyenjojo, Masindi, Mbarara, Ntungamo and Rukungiri
- Central regioncomprising of districts like Kampala, Wakiso, Mpigi, Mukono, Kayunga, Buikwe, Buvuma, Mityana, Butambala, Kalungu, Kalangala, Masaka, Lwengo, Bukomansimbi, Sembabule, Gomba, Luwero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola
- Eastern region comprising of districts like Amuria, Budaka, Bugiri, Bukwa, Busia, Butaleja, Iganga, Jinja, Kaberamaido, Kaliro, Kamuli, Kapchorwa, Katakwi, Kumi, Manafwa, Mayuge, Mbale, Pallisa, Sironko, Soroti and Tororo.
- Northern region Comprising of districts like Lamwo, Gulu, Pader, Kitgum, Nwoya, Otuke, Agago, Apac, Dokolo, Lira, Amuria, Kole, Oyam, Abim, Alertong, Amolarata, Apac, Kaberamaido and Amudat.
What is the weather and climate like in Uganda?
Uganda is one of the countries in Africa crossed by the Equator. This means that her climate changes according to altitude. Most of the land is plateau with an altitude ranging from 1,000 to 1,400m (3,300 to 4,600 feet).
In such areas, the climate is pleasantly warm, with average temperatures ranging between 20 °C and 25 °C (68 °F and 77 °F), and annual rainfall ranging between 900 and 1,500 millimeters (35 and 60 inches).
Throughout the year, Temperature variations are little, however, the months of December to March are always warm especially in the northern region. On the other hand the months of June to September are always cool.
Generally, Ugandan temperatures are pleasant in a way that they can be warm during the day especially from December to April and cool during the night especially from June to August.
The rains, they occur in the form of downpours or thunderstorms usually in the afternoon or evening. , thunder and lightning storms can erupt throughout the year, sometimes in some parts of the country, precipitation drops below 1,000 mm (40 in) per year, but the north-east (where the Kidepo Valley National Park and the Matheniko Wildlife Reserve are located), near the arid areas of Kenya, is more subject to drought.
The wettest areas are the north-central (Gulu District) and some shores of Lake Victoria. In these areas rainfall reaches or exceeds 1,500 mm (60 inches) per year.
Wildlife Reserves in Uganda
- Ajai Wildlife Reserve
- Bokora Wildlife Reserve
- Bugungu Wildlife Reserve
- Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve
- Karuma Wildlife Reserve
- Katonga Wildlife Reserve
- Kigezi Wildlife Reserve
- Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
- East Madi Wildlife Reserve
- Matheniko Wildlife Reserve
- Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
- Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
- Lido Beach
- Imperial Beaches
- Lutembe Beach
- One Love Beach
- Munyonyo Beach
- Serena Resort Beach
- Ssese Islands
- Nabinonya Beach
- Spennah Beach
- Lost Paradise Beach
Other attractions in Uganda include
- The Source of River Nile in Jinja
- Fort Portal city
- The Uganda Equator
- Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
- Historical sites such as Kasubi tombs, Bigo’Byamugyenyi, Nakayima tree in Mubende district, etc.
- Hospitable local communities
- Religious centers such as the Old Kampala Gadhafi mosque, Namugongo shrine and Bahai temple.
Transport and Accommodation
The most common means of transport in Uganda is road transport which can be both private and public. Love Uganda safaris organizes safaris according to the desires of the travelers, let us know of what means of transport you like most.
Each national park is connected to a place where domestic flights are organized, if you do not wish to drive the long distances Love Uganda is here to organize flight trips to different parts Uganda. However, driving these roads comes with spectacular views of rolling hills, lush vegetation, plantations and human settlement. These turn moments into memories.
Accommodation in Uganda range from budget to Mid-range and then luxury. We are here to advise but not to choose for you. Each of these destinations has accommodation facilities that cater for all kinds of travelers.
Do I need travel insurance while coming to Uganda?
When you start any journey, you have 50% chances of getting an accident, why then not insure. This is of course not to scare you but to remind you that having a travel insurance is an added security measure for every travelers. Unless otherwise stated, Love Uganda safaris does not cater for clients’ travel insurance.
Is Uganda Rich or Poor?
Other than her resources such as copper, tungsten, cobalt, columbite-tantalite, gold, phosphate, iron ore, and limestone, Uganda is rich with national parks, rivers, lakes and mountains. She is also rich in fertile soils that support agriculture.
In terms of GDP, Uganda is ranked number 93 of the major economies.
Is Uganda a good country to live in?
Her climate, hospitality of the natives, diverse cultures are enough reasons for Uganda to be declared a reliable home.
This is addition to her peace and stability. Though there are reported cases of crimes in Uganda, they are not strong enough to fail one from staying.
What is Uganda best known for? – What are interesting facts about Uganda?
Are you wondering why Uganda has been on top of the list on an African safari? Below are some of the reasons;
- Uganda is the home source of River Nile – the world’s longest River
- Uganda is the home to the second largest lake in the world – Lake Victoria
- Murchison falls is the world’s strongest water falls
- Uganda has the biggest number of Mountain gorillas in the world found Bwindi impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla national park
- Uganda has one of the best athletes in Olympic Games.
- Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and third largest in the whole world
- Rwenzori Mountain’s peak Margherita is snowcapped throughout the year
- Uganda has over 50 tribes each speaking different languages and having different cultures
- Uganda is one of the few areas from where you can see all the big five animals (lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo).
- Uganda has over 1066 bird species recorded
- Uganda is one of the few countries with tree climbing lions in the whole world
- Hospitality of Ugandans
- Uganda has affordable / budget safari destinations
- Uganda has destinations that suit all types of travelers. Whether you fancy isolated or crowded destinations, Uganda has all on her table.
- Uganda has one of the smallest churches in the world – a chapel in Biku hill (Measuring in at 8 feet tall and 250 centimeters wide having just enough room inside for 3 people including the pastor).
- Uganda has the best Rolex in the world (flied eggs rolled in chapatti)
Best time to visit
Uganda is an open destination and welcomes travelers all year round. However, depending on which destination and the activity you want to do, some love wet seasons while other love dry seasons.
Love Uganda safaris advises travelers depending on the activities they like doing for instance those who love gorilla trekking, the dry months between (June to August and December to February) would be recommendable first.
Travel tips – What to consider before travelling to Uganda
Love Uganda Safaris cares about your safety while you travel to Uganda. Below are some of the tips that you should keep at the back of your mind in order to have the best experience in Uganda;
- Carry some pain killers and antimalarial drugs while coming to Uganda
- Ensure to check your luggage before leaving one lodge or hotel to another
- Do not tempt thieves by leaving your bags open, speaking on phone in crowded places
- Do not walk alone at night
- Carry some changed money, you may need to tip a driver or guide during your safari
- Learn some local words like greetings before making your way to Uganda. You may love to talk to them during your safari. like ( How are you: olyotya , Thank: Webale, Bye: Welaba e.t.c )
- Carry copies of your travel documents and identification documents including your passport.
- Carry power bank and spare batteries if you can.
- Uganda is a hot destination, light clothes should be more than heavy ones. You can carry one or two jackets depending on how long you plant to spend in Uganda.
- Follow the park rules and regulations strictly if you are to visit the national parks since you may be penalized or threaten animal attack in case you violate them.
- Some items like drinks, sunglasses, etc. can be bought in local markets, you may not need to come with them.
- You can bring clothes and other items you no longer use and donate them to communities or organization like Love Uganda Foundation during your safari to Uganda
Uganda is a prime destination for travelers from all corners of the world. Whether you are a student, family, couple on a honeymoon, researcher, name it, put Uganda on your to-do-list and let Love Uganda Safaris take you to this Pearl of Africa as you create ever-lasting memories.
Have we left out anything you are interested in knowing on Uganda?, don’t get stuck, inquire with Love Uganda Safaris and our experienced team will give you valid information of what you want to be informed and you can as well book for a trip to explore the Uganda’s Flora and Fauna.