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Destinations | Uganda

"For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life — bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale — Uganda is truly the ‘Pearl of Africa."

~Winston Churchill~

Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. It is well-watered country that consists of many lakes and rivers including the largest, Lake Victoria, which has its borders with Kenya and Tanzania.

Uganda borders five countries including: Kenya, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Tanzania. The longest border is shared with the DRC.

Interesting facts about Uganda:

1. Uganda is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa with a population of 50 million. It is also one of the fastest growing countries in Africa.

2. The capital city of Uganda is Kampala with the population of 3,8 million. Kampala is also the country's largest city.

3. Kampala’s nickname is 'City of Seven Hills' and it is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. With a current population of close to 4 million people and an urban growth rate estimated at 5.2%, the city generates about 60% of Uganda's GDP.

Parliament House in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda

4. Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is generally the dry seasons between June and September and December and February, although it can rain any time, especially in the forests/mountains. Long rains in March, April and May. Short rains from September to November. Gorilla permits are sometimes discounted in the rainier months of April, May & November.

5. Currency: Ugandan Shillings (UGX) and US Dollars (USD).

6. Languages: Uganda has over 40 local languages, however English and Swahili are the "official" languages.

7. The main airport is Entebbe International Airport.

8. Uganda is an independent republic since 1963. Since 1986 Uganda is ruled by Yoweri Museveni, who is one of the world’s longest standing presidents. On 14 January 2021 elections took place in Uganda, with popular Ugandan musician Bobi Wine challenging the re-election of Museveni.

9. Kabele and Kisoro, both districts located in South Western Uganda, sharing their borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Rwanda. Both districts have been referred to as “The Switzerland of Africa” for its temperate weather, hills and lush greenery.

Crater lake in Uganda - Uganda has more than 50 crater lakes. There are mainly three major crater lakes in Queen Elizabeth national park; Katwe Crater Lake where salt is excavated, Bunyaruguru Crater fields on the Kichwamba escarpment, and Ndali-Kasenda Crater Fields nearer to Kibale National Park.

10. Kisoro is home to two of Uganda's most famous national parks: Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, where you can enjoy a gorilla trekking tours.

Trekking gorillas in Bwindi National Park

Geography Facts:

11. Uganda has a fertile land with volcanic soil and many lakes and rivers. The country is mostly located on a plateau and there are high mountains in the eastern and western regions of the country.

12. The Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Uganda. The lake in southern Uganda is shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Lake Victoria is the largest tropical lake in the world and the second largest freshwater lake in the world.

Hippos hiding in Lake Victoria

13. Uganda is home to many rivers including the iconic Nile River, the longest river in the world. The Nile River is a total of 4,258 miles (6,853 kilometers) in length, making it the second longest river in the world. The Nile flows through the eleven different countries, including Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Crocodile taking a nap on the bank of the Nile River

14. The highest peak of Uganda is Margherita Peak of Mount Stanley in the Ruwenzori Mountains with 5,109 m/ 16,762 ft. Mount Stanley, also called Mount Ngaliema, is the third highest mountain in Africa - after Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya.

15. The Murchison Waterfalls on the Victoria Nile are among the largest waterfalls in Africa by water volume. They are up to 43 m/ 141 ft in height.

Elephants at Murchison Waterfalls

Attractions & landmarks:

16. The top best activities to do in Kisoro include canoeing at Lake Mutanda and gorilla trekking at Bwindi national park. Other attractions and sightseeing activities in Kisoro are golden monkey trekking at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, hiking the volcanoes of Muhabura, Gahinga, Sabyinyo, and volcano hiking Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Other popular experiences in Kisoro include coffee making tours, Mabungo cultural tours and a visit to the Batwa indigenous communities.

Jinja activities (water activities, enjoy your time with local community, learn how to make a coffee or banana bear/gin).

17. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bwindi National Park, located in Kisoro, Uganda, is home to more than half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas. Bwindi National Park, one of the top sightseeing tours and tour packages in Uganda, is among the best things to do in Kisoro.

Bwindi NP

18. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s small national park located in the border town of Kisoro, Uganda, and a top hiking destination with various sightseeing tours and tour packages, including hiking the famous Mount Sabyinyo volcano. Visiting Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the best thing to do in Kisoro.

19. Lake Mutanda

Lake Mutanda, located in Kisoro, Uganda, is a freshwater body known for its stunning views of the Virunga mountains and adventure tourism. Many sightseeing tours and tour packages are available at Lake Mutanda, including sunrise and sunset canoe cruise, bird watching, hiking, sport fishing, and cultural tourism. Spending a weekend getaway at Lake Mutanda is one of the best things to do in Kisoro.

20. Lake Chahafi

A top birding destination in Kisoro, Uganda, and one of the best things to do in Kisoro, Lake Chahafi is a small water body in the hills adjacent to the Uganda-Rwanda border. Tour packages and sightseeing tours at Lake Chahafi are often centered around hiking, bird watching, canoeing, and hiking.

21. Echuya Forest Reserve

Nestled in the Kigezi highlands, visiting the Echuya Forest Reserve is one of the best things to do in Kisoro, a top tourist destination in southwestern Uganda. The most popular tour packages and sightseeing tours at the Echuya forest are nature watching and bird watching.

22. Virunga Volcanoes

The Virunga volcanoes are a chain of eight volcanoes shared across Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. For guests interested in adventurous tour packages and sightseeing tours, hiking the volcanoes of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the best things to do in Kisoro.

23. Lake Bunyonyi - you can enjoy acommodation in its beautiful lakeside hotels besides taking a boat ride on the lake, where you can find cray fish, another fish of European origin.

Lake Bunyonyi

Elephants and hippos drinking water at Lake Bujagali

Hippo family in Lake Bujagali

Facts about People:

24. The official languages of Uganda are English and Swahili, while Luganda, also referred to as Ganda, is spoken widely. Until 2005, English was the only official language in Uganda!

25. Three major ethnic groups in Uganda are the Baganda, Banyankole and Basoga People.

26. As one of the poorest countries in the world, most people live from farming or work in the agricultural sector. About 70% of the land is used for agriculture.

27. Most Ugandans live in the central and southern parts of the country mainly along Lake Victoria and Lake Albert. Only 25% of the people live in urban areas. Uganda’s north and north-east regions are the least developed.

28. Over 80% of the Ugandans are Christians, with about 45% Protestants and 39% Catholics. About 14% of the population are Muslims.

Facts about wildlife:

29. Uganda has ten national parks and is known for its forest landscape. Renowned parks and attractions include the Ruwenzori mountains, the Great Rift Valley as well as Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is popular for its Mountain Gorilla population.

Trekking gorillas in Bwindi National Park

30. Uganda has a diverse wildlife. There are giraffes, elephants, antelopes, buffalos as well as hippopotamuses and crocodiles that are found in most lakes and rivers.

31. The grey crowned crane is the national animal of Uganda and is part of the Ugandan national flag.

The grey crowned crane

32. The country is also known as a paradise for bird-watching. More than one thousand bird species were recorded in Uganda. The African jacana and orange weaver bird are among the most common birds.

The Saddle-Billed Stork, also known as the Senegalese Stork. Mostly found in Uganda's wetlands and shallow lakes.

Mabamba Swamp Shoebill Bird Watching

Facts about Economy:

33. The country is sadly ranked as one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world, however, the economy is growing due to the large amount of natural resources.

34. Crude oil, natural gas and gold as well as coffee, tea and flowers are among the main export goods.

35. The main trading partners of Uganda are Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, UAE, China and India.

Tea plantation in Uganda


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