Quick facts about Uganda

 

Location:
Uganda is an East African country that lies astride the equator. It is bordered by Sudan to the north, DR Congo to the west, Kenya to the east and Tanzania and Rwanda to the south.
Size: 242,000 sq kms (approximately the size of the UK) and 20% of its surface is covered by water, part of the Great Lakes.
Population: 28 million
People:
Ugandans are remarkably hospitable people. The 52 nationalities (tribes) fall in the broad ethnic classifications of Bantu, Nilotics, Nilo-Hermites and Hermites. Each nationality has elaborate customs and traditions many of which are displayed in colourful dances and dressing.
Language: English is the official language.
Main towns: Kampala (capital city), Entebbe, Jinja, Mbarara, Mbale, Soroti,Gulu, Arua Hoima, Kabale,and Fort Portal.Major towns at the Boarder: Busia, Malaba (eastern), Katuna, Merama hills (West)
Government: Republic, with direct presidential elections. The country moved to a multi-party system in February 2006.
Independence date: October 9, 1962 (from Britain)

Getting into the country

 

A single entry visa fee of $30 is payable at entry points. Citizens of some countries (mostly Commonwealth countries and those with reciprocal agreements with Uganda) are however exempted. Check with your travel bureau and or the nearest Uganda mission to know in which category you fall.
A number of international airlines fly directly into Entebbe. They include British Airways, SN Brussels, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Air Tanzania, KLM Royal Dutch Airline among others. There are also easy connecting flights from Nairobi, Kenya.
Inter-state buses, that operate between Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Arusha, Tabora,Mwanza, Dar es Salaam.

Currency
The Uganda shilling is the legal tender in Uganda. It is based on the decimal system. Thus the shilling is divided into denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 for coins while paper notes are in the denominations of 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000. The 5, 10 and 20 coins are however largely obsolete. There are no restrictions on money transfers in and out of Uganda.


Communication
In terms of telecommunication, the country is well served with a wide and reliable Fixed lines and mobile phone network run by Four companies, namely MTN, Celtel/Zain, Warid Telecom, Orange Telcom, and UTL-Mango. Internet facilities are widely available in Entebbe. Upcountry towns have limited Internet points, though. Nearly all hotels in the country have Internet points.


Weather
Uganda enjoys one of the best climates in the world. It is sunny and green all year round with two distinct rainy seasons stretching from March to May and September to November. However, rain can occur anytime. The temperatures average 27 C with the highest being 31 C in the Karamoja and Kasese regions and lowest being 15 C in Kabale. Kampala temperatures range 21 – 28 C. Because Uganda is generally warm, you are advised to dress light. During most months, there is no need for warm clothing – even at night. In areas around Lake Victoria, humidity is high so light cotton fabrics are advisable.

About Uganda

 

Travel
Travel within Uganda is either by public commuter mini-buses, ‘special hire’ taxi (cabs) or self-drive cabs. In and around the towns, the most convenient means of travel is by boda-boda cycles (motorcycle taxis). These easily get around Kampala’s notorious traffic snarls-ups. They are however quite dangerous as two in every three accidents in the city involve a boda-boda cyle.
Driving is on the left – as in most former British colonies. There are regular internal flights to distant areas like West Nile (North western Uganda) by airlines such as Eagle Air and United Airlines. Chartered flights are also available to all the major national parks. For Tours & Travel reservations Click>> Tours & Travel services.


Safety
like in many countries, petty thuggery is occasionaly reported in urban centres, especially in Kampala. One should therefore not conspicuously display their valuables such as expensive jewellery, electronics, money, etc as pick-pockets could easily snatch them and disappear in the crowd.
In Kampala, do not go to certain downtown streets at night, as they are generally not safe. Mention to your hotel concierge where you would like to go and he/she will advise you if it is safe. In case of any trouble, call the police immediately. The Police emergency number is 999 for landline and police immediately. The Police emergency number is 999 for landlines and 112 for mobile phones.

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