Uganda, also known as “The Pearl of Africa”, is a landlocked country in East Africa. She has a diverse landscape which encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria. Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and wildlife such as hippos.
Uganda shares her borders with Kenya in the east, South Sudan in the north, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west, Rwanda in the southwest and Tanzania in the south .
Click the headings in the toggle boxes to either show or hide details.
Although generally equatorial, the climate is not uniform as the altitude modifies the climate. It is sunny most of the year with temperatures rarely rising above 29°C (84°F). The average annual temperature is about 26°C (78°F). The rainy season is from March till May and October till November. Light rain season falls in November and December. Dry seasons are from December to February and June to August. Straddling the equator, there is little year-round fluctuation in temperature and no real winter or summer.
The ancestors of the Ugandans were hunter-gatherers until 1,700-2,300 years ago. Bantu-speaking populations, who were probably from central Africa, migrated to the southern parts of the country. These groups brought and developed iron-working skills and new ideas of social and political organisation.
According to oral tradition, the Empire of Kitara covered an important part of the great lakes area, from the northern lakes Albert and Kyoga to the southern lakes Victoria and Tanganyika. Bunyoro-Kitara is claimed as the antecedent of the Buganda, Toro, Ankole, and Busoga kingdoms.
The Luo invasion is believed to have led to the collapse of the Chwezi Empire. The twins Rukidi Mpuuga and Kato Kintu are believed to be the first kings of Bunyoro and Buganda after the Chwezi Empire collapsed, creating the Babiito and Bambejja Dynasty. Some Luo invaded the area of Bunyoro and assimilated with the Bantu there, establishing the Babiito dynasty of the current Omukama (ruler) of Bunyoro-Kitara.
Arab traders moved inland from the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa in the 1830s. They were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile. British Anglican missionaries arrived in the kingdom of Buganda in 1877. This gave rise to the death of the Uganda Martyrs.Later in 1879 the French Catholic missionaries followed them. The British government chartered the Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEAC) to negotiate trade agreements in the region beginning in 1888. From 1886, there were a series of religious wars in Buganda. It was initially between Muslims and Christians and then, from 1890, between ba-Ingleza (Protestants) and ba-Fransa (Catholics). Because of civil unrest and financial burdens, IBEAC claimed that it was unable to “maintain their occupation” in the region. British commercial interests were ardent to protect the trade route of the Nile, which prompted the British government to annex Buganda and adjoining territories to create the Uganda Protectorate in 1894.
The Republic of Uganda
Uganda is a presidential republic, in which the President of Uganda is both head of State and head of Government; there is a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly .
The flag was adopted October 9, 1962. It features 2 black, 2 yellow, 2 red horizontal stripes with a white circle in the centre that featured a grey crowned crane. Each element of the flag has a specific meaning. Black represents the African people, yellow represents sunshine, red represents the blood of the people and the grey crowned crane represents the gentle nature of the people.
His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is a Ugandan politician who has been President of Uganda since 29 January 1986.
National Anthem Uganda National Anthem by Juliana Kanyomozi, a renowned Ugandan pop musician, actress, and entertainer. Area
Uganda, twice the size of Pennsylvania (in the USA) covers an area of 93,065 sq mi (236,580 sq km).
Population The current population of Uganda is 40,907,174 as of Wednesday, December 21, 2016, based on the latest United Nations estimates. Motto For God and My Country Languages Uganda is a multilingual country. Forty of its living indigenous languages fall into three main families: Bantu, Nilotic, and Central Sudanic.
English, inherited from the colonial period as the official language. Swahili is regionally important with more speakers than English. There is also a Ugandan Sign Language.
Local Currency Uganda Shilling (UGX)
How to get to Uganda
Air: From outside East Africa, Uganda can be accessed mainly by air. All flights have safe landing at Entebbe international airport; the only international airport.
Road: The Road transport network connecting other countries to Uganda is good for any visitor to reach the country. There are several bus companies that ply between Kampala and Nairobi, Bukoba, Dar-es-Salaam, Kigali, Bujumbura and Juba.
Visa requirements: Uganda uses a visa policy of reciprocity, meaning that if your country requires a visa for Ugandan citizens to enter, then you will also require a visa to enter Uganda.
Any person intending to enter into Uganda should do so only for lawful purposes. This should be in accordance with national immigration laws, guidelines and formalities.
Foreign nationals intending to enter Uganda for purposes of employment should comply with requirements for expatriate employment in Uganda.
Uganda visas may be obtained at Uganda missions abroad or on arrival at the ports of entry in the country.
Single entry 50 Students (for students who are not nationals of East Africa) 100 Multiple entry 6 – 12 months 100 East African tourist visa 3 months multiple entry for Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda 100 Multiple entry 24 months 150 Multiple entry 36 months 200 Residents of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda traveling to any of the three countries NIL
Note: Visas do not permit gainful or voluntary employment in Uganda
Uganda Government introduced an online visa application system that became operational in July 2016.
If the applicant is approved, an approval letter would be sent as an attachment to the email provided. If so, print it out and present it together with a valid passport /travel document at the port of entry.
All travelers to the Republic of Uganda MUST have a valid yellow fever Immunization card. Recommended is vaccination against hepatitis A, malaria and typhoid.
Also, proof of yellow fever vaccination required of all travelers leaving Uganda.
Tips on money
Uganda, for the most part is a cash based society and though the Uganda shilling is the local currency, the US Dollar is commonly used. It is important that you obtain dollar bills printed after 2006 and no tears or blemishes on them.
Here and there you can use your credit card, (Visa cards are most readily accepted, Master Card, but not Discover Cards and American Express. It usually attracts surcharge of 5 – 6%.
Wear a money belt around your waist to hide cash. Use a safe in the Hotel to put your airline ticket and your passport.
Never flash any money in public such as in restaurants or public places since it will attract unwanted attention and it will be your loss.
Never pull out large amounts of money in a restaurant, bar, market – it makes you a potential target that you certainly do not want to be.
Clients are advised to give a fair, reasonable tip to the local guides, cleaners, drivers, hotel staff, etc. We advise you to only give tips when you are truly happy with the service provided.
Working Days / Hours
Day Hours Monday – Friday (0800hrs – 1700hrs) Saturday (0900hrs – 1230hrs) Closed: Sunday and public holidays
Date Celebration 1st January New Year’s Day 26th January NRM Liberation Day 8th March International Women’s Day Varies Good Friday Varies Easter Monday 1st May Labour day 3rd June Martyrs’ Day 9th June Heroes’ Day Varies Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan (Muslim month of fasting) 9th October Independence Day Varies Eid al-Aduha (feast of the sacrifice) 25th December Christmas Day 26th December Boxing Day
1. Rwenzori Mountains National Park
2. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
3. Murchison Falls National Park
4. Kidepo Valley National Park
5. Queen Elizabeth National Park
6. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
7. Kibale Forest National Park
8. Lake Mburo National Park
9. Mount Elgon National Park
10. Semuliki National Park
LAKE BUNYONYI UGANDA (THE LAKE OF SMALL BIRDS)
Lake Bunyonyi also called Place of many little birds is located in south western Uganda between two districts of Kisoro and Kabale close to the border with Rwanda. It’s Located at 1,962 m (6,437 ft) above sea level, it is about 25 km (15.5 mi) long and 7 km (1.35 mi) wide. The depth of the lake is expected to vary between 44 m (144 Ft.) and 900 m (2,952 ft), which if true would make the lake the second deepest in Africa. It is one of the few lakes in the region that is rumored to be free of bilharzia and safe for swimming.
Geographically Lake Bunyonyi is a body of water seven kilometers or 4.3 miles west from Kabale Town, southwestern Uganda. It is 25 km long and 7 km (4.3 mi) wide, covering an area of 61 square kilometers (23½ sq. miles). The lake’s altitude is 1,950m above sea level and it is surrounded by hills that are 2,200 to 2,478 meters high and intensely cultivated. Its 29 islands are concentrated in the central part and have few settlements but instead they are mostly used for tourist facilities and for secondary as well as a primary school study tours.
The data on the lake’s maximum depth varies, from 44m to 900m (144 to 2,952 ft) in parts. If the latter is true, Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa as witnessed by Uganda safari travelers that safari in Uganda on their Uganda Birding Safaris or visit for their adventure vacation safari holiday tours in Uganda Rwanda Africa. The temperature on the surface rises to 25 degrees Celsius (77ºF). Fish was introduced to the lake in the later years and in the 1930s fishing became profitable. Unfortunately in the 1960s the fish died massively as a result of a violent shallow mixing that is anticipated to be caused by wind. Subsistence fishing prevailed in the lake, people mostly caught clarias species – the lake’s depth and stratification makes it difficult for the breeding of the common Ugandan species Nile Perch and Tilapia. Nevertheless, 300,000 Nile Tilapias and Clarias fish were released in the lake at the end of 2002. Also present in the lake are Mud fish, Cray fish and Mirrowcarp – and plenty of their predators, otters.
Towns on its shores include Kyevu and Muko, while its 29 islands include Punishment Island and Bushara Island. It is a popular location for water sports and is known for the surrounding terraced hillsides. It is popular with both foreign and domestic tourists and there is a wide variety of tourist accommodation.
Many tourists and travelers who undertake a Gorilla trekking safari in Uganda or come to Uganda after their Rwanda Gorilla safari experience rest and relax at the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi as they enjoy the best scenery in the whole world, involve themselves into various cultural and community activities as well birding and canoe rides.
The lake’s main Centre is Bufuka Village which is the area’s inhabited by two tribes of the Bakiga and the Batwa.
Click the header in the toggle boxes to either show or hide details about other destinations.
Budongo Forest Reserve
The forest is part of Murchison Falls National Park whose incredible biodiversity includes 9 different species of primates, 360 species of birds, over 290 different types of butterflies and some of the oldest trees in Uganda. All within utterly easy access of available forest activities – an exciting jungle experience guaranteed for lasting memories!
The forest is an important East African forest. This is because it is a particularly well-studied area and was, in the past well-known for its Mahogany timber.
Enjoy a guided walk in search of the habituated chimpanzee family
Chimp habituation experience
Spend a full day in the presence of the chimps and study their behavior.
Go in search of some of the elusive bird species such as the paradise flycatcher and chocolate-backed kingfisher
Join a guided forest walk on the extensive network of trails.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
We are conveniently located 176km (100 miles) north of Kampala on the Gulu highway towards Murchison Falls (branch off at Nakitoma trading centre). Ziwa is the only place where you will be able to see rhinos in the wild.
Presently the sanctuary is home to fifteen (15) southern white rhinos. The sanctuary has become increasingly popular with tourists; for rhino trekking, bird watching, nature walks and relaxation.
Activities / Services
The sanctuary provides trained rangers who will ably guide you through this expedition. You will have the opportunity to observe the rhinos at a very close and safe distance. While at the sanctuary you will also encounter a range of other wildlife species including Uganda kobs, reed bucks, oribis, rich bucks, hippos and crocodiles.
It is also home to over 250 bird species and is a great sport for avid birders interested in finding those rare African species. Experienced bird guides will enable you enjoy this experience.
Guided nature walks will enable you to experience the geography, fauna and flora of this beautiful part of Uganda.
Ziwa rhino sanctuary offers peace and tranquility in beautiful surroundings. We have a variety of accommodations to meet your overnight needs. Our guest houses have both private and shared indoor facilities. The budget rooms use a shared ablution with full facilities. Our camp grounds are pristine and located very close to our headquarters. Our electricity is run on solar power with a generator back up and all rooms have light and warm water for your shower in the evening. You can charge your phone batteries as needed upon request.
Our camp grounds are pristine and located very close to our headquarters. Our electricity is run on solar power with a generator back up and all rooms have light and warm water for your shower in the evening. You can charge your phone batteries as needed upon request.
Before or after your activities, join us for a meal in our restaurant. Our specialized chefs will provide you with fresh, tasty and satisfying meals. We also serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and takeaways. Our bar is fully stocked with a variety of drinks : beers, alcohol, juices, tea and coffee. You are most welcome.
Mabira Forest Reserve
The Mabira Central Forest Reserve, located 60 km (37 mi) east of Kampala on the Jinja Road, is among Uganda’s largest surviving natural forests, covering a total area of 306 sq km (120 sq mi). Rich in biodiversity – including a number of endemic and endangered species – the forest boasts 312 different species of trees, 315 species of birds and 218 species of butterfly. The reserve offers visitors opportunities to participate in a number of outdoor activities, including: camping, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, zip-lining, and more.
The forest is evergreen all year round.
There are a variety of birds to see, including the Great Blue Turaco, Nahan’s Francolin, Papyrus Gonolek and the Black Hornbill.
Being a catchment area between the River Nile and Sezibwa, the forest swallows a lot of water. Given its proximity to both Kampala and Jinja and ease of access from the main road it has become a popular weekend destination for tourists.
Activities / Services
Canopy Super Skyway (Zip-Lining):
Experiencing the Mabira Forest canopy just makes you behave like monkeys! The first of its kind in Uganda. The Mabira Forest Canopy Super Skyway is a canopy “zip-line” system that sends you soaring between the tallest trees in the rainforest. Located 44 kms East of Kampala City, outside of Lugazi town at the griffin falls camp , the skyway makes for you a great day.
You are led to pass through ancient trees by experienced Sky Captains / Sky guides across a network of 5 zip-lines that stretches 250 metres across River Musamya. Using strict International safety standards with imported climbing gears and art high ropes from America, participants are belayed up the first tree, brought through the whole system and repelled on a 78m diagonal zip. High up in the canopy one is able to enjoy a view of the forest layers, mammals like grey cheeked mangabeys and red tailed monkeys, birds like palm nut vultures, African fish eagles, great blue turacos and the roaring griffin falls, making your zip a memorable day!
The hike back from the skyway takes you past the beautiful Griffin Falls and back to the camp which offers accommodation, meals, mountain biking among others. The take a maximum of 4 hours.
Zip-line activities are done from 8am in the morning to 1pm and from 2pm to 6pm daily. The skyway was designed and certified by the Uganda Engineers Registration Board and insured by the National Insurance Corporation.
Well trained guides will give you a comprehensive forest experience; from a long and adventurous trek into the backcountry to a gentle meandering stroll through well maintained trails. It’s difficult not to run into one of the 3 species of monkeys native to the forest on your 30 minute walk. You will also see rich populations of birds and butterflies and giant, ancient trees.
One of the rare species of primates in a few Tropical Rain Forests of Uganda, a family between Chimpanzees and Monkeys. It has been habituated in Mabira Forest, at least three (3) groups can be seen in a day. Meet our specialized guides who have habituated them over a period.
Mabira forest boasts of 315 species of birds including the rare ones like the Nahan’s francolin, Tit Hylia, Yellow and grey long bills, Purple-throated cuckoo shrikes, Illadopsis, Jameson’s wattle eyes. 46% of Uganda’s forest birds can easily be seen in Mabira than any other forest in Uganda.
Griffin Falls Camp has a variety of accommodation options, all of which are surrounded by Mabira Forest. You can expect a peaceful symphony of forest songs to replace the usual blare of city noises and playful Red-tailed Monkeys to replace your noisy neighbors. Wake up to a misty sunrise and get an early start on your day’s forest adventure.
GO TO TOP