Top events in Uganda

July
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...

July
28

The UNCB is composed of eight dancers from different dance companies in Kampala, and a percussionist. They perform together every last Wednesday...

August
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...

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.

From the moment the visitor lands at Entebbe's international airport, located on the forested shore of island-strewn Lake Victoria, it is clear that Uganda is no ordinary safari destination. Winston Churchill called Uganda 'the pearl of Africa', presumably basing his opinion on the country's great natural beauty.

Dominated by a century-old botanical garden alive with the chatter of acrobatic monkeys and colourful tropical birds, Entebbe itself is the least obviously urban of all comparably sized African towns, and provides a gentle introduction to the country and its wildlife. 

Just 40km (25 miles) away, sprawled across seven hills, there is the capital Kampala. The bright modern feel of this bustling, cosmopolitan city reflects the ongoing economic growth and political stability that has characterised Uganda since 1986. Since the late 1980s, the nation has managed to move on from the abyss of civil war and the economic catastrophe of the Idi Amin years which ravaged the country, its people and its wildlife. 

In a relatively short space of time, Uganda has thankfully recovered to become one of the world's most exciting destinations, offering stunning scenery, unique wildlife encounters, excellent trekking and a plethora of opportunities for adventure. Facilities have improved greatly in the last decade, and there's now no end of great restaurants, hotels and lodges to suit travellers on any budget, from luxury to shoestring. 

Yet while tourist numbers are on the up, Uganda has managed to remain untouched and natural, and even the country's better known attractions seem to have avoided the overcrowding and exploitation experienced in some other African countries. On the whole, tours are kept to smaller groups and wildlife encounters in the many national parks and reserves are, thankfully, not the fraught scrum that's so often played out in other safari destinations. Visitors should find spending time here relatively hassle-free and – the country's north-eastern border aside – travelling throughout the region should be an easy and safe experience.  

Uganda is where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle and the country's diverse topography include vast tracts of lush forest, soaring mountain ranges, thundering rivers and waterfalls, and unspoilt islands. Thrillseekers can ride the white waters of the Nile by raft or kayak, while nature lovers can observe lions prowling the open plains, track chimpanzees through the rainforest undergrowth, spot a dazzling array of bird species and navigate tropical channels teeming with hippos and crocodiles, before setting off into the misty mountains to stare deep into the eyes of a mountain gorilla. 

Uganda, along with neighbouring Rwanda and DRC, is home to the last remaining populations of these incredible endangered apes, and a trek to see them in their magical natural habitat in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a highlight that shouldn't be missed.  

Pair this multitude of must-sees with the genuine warmth and hospitality of the country's friendly people and it's easy to see why Uganda is fast-becoming one of Africa's most popular travel destinations.  

Travel Advice

Last updated: 23 July 2014

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 Karamoja region of north eastern Uganda (the districts of Kotido, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Katakwi, Kaabong) with the exception of trips to Kidepo Valley National Park, which you should make by air. See Local Travel

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

There were a number of demonstrations in Kampala in 2013. Demonstrations have also occurred in other parts of Uganda. Some political demonstrations have in the past become violent without warning. Take care and avoid demonstrations wherever possible.

There is a general threat from terrorism. Terrorists have previously targeted places where football matches are being viewed. See Terrorism

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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