Top events in Uganda

February
01

Organised by the Rotaract Club, this popular annual day of sport brings together athletic teams from across Uganda to raises funds for local...

February
04

Buy homemade bread, cakes, jams and local fresh vegetables and fruit at this Farmer’s Market, which takes place every Saturday at cultural arts...

February
28

An exciting night to showcase music from one of Uganda’s top pianists, David N’saiga aka Pragmo, at the Kampala Serena Hotel. Expect a musical mix...

Picking Tea in Uganda
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Picking Tea in Uganda

© Creative Commons / jpslim

Uganda Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

241,038 sq km (93,065 sq miles).

Population

34.8 million (2013).

Population density

144.2 per sq km.

Capital

Kampala.

Government

Republic. Gained independence from the UK in 1962.

Head of state

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni since 1986.

Head of government

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi since 2011.

Electricity

240 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style three-pin plugs are used.

A reputation for political instability and the looming shadow of Idi Amin have long – and unfairly – blighted Uganda’s fledgling tourism sector. Now, though, things are looking up for the central African nation once described as “the pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill.

And a brief look around is enough to show you why. From the second you step off the plane, the overwhelming impression of Uganda is one of rich natural diversity, friendly locals and a burgeoning cultural scene that is currently producing some of the most exciting artists in Africa.

Culturally, much of the action happens in the capital, Kampala, an urban sprawl ringed by farmland and perched on the muddy banks of Lake Victoria. While most foreign travellers confine themselves to the city centre or the diplomatic quarter, Kololo, its worth venturing into the bustling bars and clubs of Kabalagala, where expats and locals meet for a slug of the local Nile beer and a friendly game of pool.

Away from the capital, Uganda’s towns and cities have little in the way of diversions, although Jinja’s location on the banks of the River Nile has made it a favourite with thrill-seeking rafters.

Instead, head west towards the Congo border where, along with the fascinating pygmy people of Fort Portal, Uganda’s natural wonders reveal themselves.

Largest and most famous of the national parks is Queen Elizabeth, home to four of the big five, a smelly flock of flamingos and the rare tree-climbing lions of Ishasha.

The star attraction, though, is the iconic mountain gorilla, which can be found further south in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. While you’re down there it’s also worth taking a detour to Lake Bunyonyi, a mountain retreat famed for its stunning vistas and freshwater crayfish.

More natural wonders await in northern Uganda, home to the magnificent Murchison Falls, and in the east, where visitors will find the outstanding desert crags and ossified anthills of Kidepo.

Regardless of where you go in Uganda, when it comes to leaving, it will be with a heavy heart.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 31 January 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to the districts of Kaabong, Kotido, Abim, Moroto, Napak, Nakapiripirit, Katakwi, Amudat, Kapchorwa, Kween, and Bukwo in the Karamoja region of north eastern Uganda with the exception of trips to Kidepo Valley National Park, which you should make by air. See Local Travel

There is a high threat from terrorism. The Ugandan police conducted a security operation in September 2014, and confirmed that a terrorist attack had been foiled. The police announced increased security in public places and asked the public to exercise extra vigilance and report suspicious movements to the authorities. You should continue to be vigilant at all times, exercise extreme caution and closely monitor this travel advice.

Avoid travel by road outside major towns at night, except between Kampala and the airport at Entebbe.

Some demonstrations have in the past become violent without warning. Take care and avoid demonstrations wherever possible.

Around 15,000 British nationals visit Uganda every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

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