Uganda is located in Eastern Africa, west of Kenya and east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is in the heart of the Great Lakes region, and is surrounded by three of them, Lake Edward, Lake Albert, and Lake Victoria. While much of its border is lakeshore, Uganda is landlocked with no access to the sea. The centre is dominated by Lake Kyoga, which is also surrounded by extensive marshy areas. Uganda lies almost completely within the Nile basin. Despite being on the equator Uganda is more temperate than the surrounding areas due to its altitude. The country is mostly plateau with a rim of mountains. This has made it more suitable to agriculture and less prone to tropical diseases than other nations in the region. Both eastern and western borders are marked by mountains. The Ruwenzori Mountains (often called the Mountains of the Moon) form a natural border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The highest peaks of Mount Stanley, in the Ruwenzoris, are snowcapped.
The time in Uganda is GMT + 3 hours.
English became the official language of Uganda following independence and in 2005 Swahili became the second official language. However, Luganda is the most widely used language and is used for teaching in primary schools. You will find that most educated people speak good English, so you will not have any problems buying souvenirs or ordering in restaurants etc.
Thanks to its equatorial location, the climate (and in particular the daily temperatures) of Uganda does not vary a great deal throughout the year. However, there are two periods of the year which experience considerably more rainfall than the average. These are March to May and October to November. We avoid these seasons. The western districts of Uganda are characterised by hot, humid tropical weather. In equatorial rainforest areas, like Bwindi, it can rain at any time of the year. We can expect daytime temperatures to range between 25°C (77°F) and 30°C (86°F) falling to between 12°C (54°F) and 15°C (59°F) at night.
The unit of currency in Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling. For up to date exchange rates visit: www.xe.com
There is no need to purchase local currency prior to travel. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash. GB pounds, Euros and US dollars are readily exchanged at Entebbe Airport. If for security reasons you prefer to use travellers cheques this is OK but please be aware that you are likely to get a poorer rate of exchange and you may be more limited as to where you can change money. Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and services and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergency.
A valid passport (with at least 6 months remaining validity) is required. Most nationalities require a visa for entry into Uganda. A Single Entry Ugandan Visa can be obtained on arrival in Entebbe. You will need to fill in an application form in the airport and provide a passport photo. We will provide up to date information on obtaining your visa when you make your booking.
You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. Your GP will have access to the most up to date information on the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. We recommend vaccination against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis ‘A'. You will be required to carry a current Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. Malaria prophylaxis is also recommended.
A very good online resource is the NHS travel website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
Additional Sources of Information
Lonely Planet - Uganda.
Uganda. The Bradt Travel Guide.
Footprint Uganda Handbook.
Nelles Uganda Travel Map. Scale: 1:700,000.
Ruwenzori. West Col Productions. Various scales