Uganda Destinations Travel Guide

Language: English, Swahili

Currency: Ugandan shilling (UGX)

Calling Code: +256


Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda (in English Republic of Uganda, in Swahili Jamhuri and Uganda) is a sovereign country located in East Africa. Its form of government is that of a presidential republic, whose territory is composed of 111 districts. Its capital and most populated city is Kampala with 1,208,544 inhabitants (2002). The country borders on the southeast with Lake Victoria, on the east with Kenya, on the north with South Sudan, on the west with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and on the southwest with Rwanda and Tanzania. Uganda takes its name from the vanished Kingdom of Buganda that encompassed the southern portion of the country, including the capital, Kampala. Ugandan natives were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations colonized the region.


Travel Destinations in Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in the South- West Uganda. This ancient forest is most famous for numerous gorilla families that live in the area.

Mount Elgon National Park protects an area around extinct volcano of Elgon. This area is most famous for its "Elephant caves" that inspired many stories including a novel "King Solomon's Mines".

Murchinson Falls or Kabarega Falls is one of the largest water falls on the White Nile river in Kabarega National Park in North- west Uganda. Murchison Falls reached a height of 130 ft (40 m).

Kibale National Park in Kabarole District in Uganda is one of the best places in Africa to view chimpanzees in their natural habitat.

Kidepo Valley National Park  in Uganda is a large expanse of savannah that are inhabited by numerous species of wild animals. Due to isolation of the region wild life saw little effect from illegal poaching.



The toponym "Uganda", which is the name of the state of Buganda in Swahili, was used by the British in 1894 when creating a protectorate with the center in Buganda. The Swahili name includes the prefix y-, used to designate territories, and the basis Ganda - the name of the Bantu people, one of the most numerous peoples of the country, and thus means "country of the Ganda people."


History of Uganda

On March 1, 1962, Great Britain granted Uganda self-government, and on October 9, 1962, complete independence. Uganda was proclaimed a unitary state, but at the same time 4 kingdoms (Buganda, Bunyoro, Toro, Ankole) and the territory of Busog received autonomous status.

The government of Uganda was led by Obote, Milton, the leader of the Uganda People’s Congress Party. Since 1963, he also held the posts of ministers of defense and foreign affairs. The King of Uganda Mutes II was appointed President of Uganda.

Immediately after independence in Uganda, problems arose - inter-ethnic clashes, riots in the army, the mass departure of Europeans. Obote introduced state economic planning, expanded the state and cooperative sectors.

In early 1966, Obote ousted King Mutesu from power, arrested several ministers, and appointed himself president of Uganda. September 8, 1967 Obote proclaimed Uganda a republic, abolished all the kingdoms and the power of tribal leaders. Obote conducted nationalization in the economic sector, and created “collective farms” in agriculture. To carry out these reforms, Obote created the paramilitary “National Youth Service” in 1968.

In December 1969, at the conference of the ruling party of the NKU, the "Charter of the Common Man" was announced - the program for building communism in Uganda. In August 1970, officially, by a decision of the Uganda People’s Congress, a one-party regime was established.

On January 25, 1971, when Obote was traveling abroad, the Ugandan army carried out a coup. The military dismissed the parliament, dispersed local councils in areas of the country. The head of state was the 45-year-old Major General Idi Amin Dada of the Kakva tribe, a professional military man who had served in the colonial forces of the British Army since 1946 and had been involved in suppressing the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya.

In August 1972, Amin announced the course of "Ugandanization." First, the property of immigrants from Asia was requisitioned, and then the property of Europeans. People of Indian and Pakistani origin living in Uganda who did not have local citizenship (60 thousand people) were expelled from Uganda.

Amin reoriented Uganda's foreign policy. In 1972, Amin broke off diplomatic relations with Israel. Amin began to make friends with the Arab states, as well as with the USSR, from which he began to receive significant financial assistance. In 1973, Amin defiantly sent a group of Ugandan officers to participate in the next war of Egypt and Syria against Israel. In 1976, Amin broke off diplomatic relations with Britain.

In 1972, armed clashes broke out on the Ugandan-Tanzanian border. Amin made territorial claims against Tanzania and Kenya.

At the same time (in 1972-1975) the army was tripled, a large number of weapons were purchased (from the USSR). Due to increased government spending, Amin froze wages in the public sector, cut funding for social programs and medicine. The discontent of the population became widespread. Amin launched widespread repression. Among the physically destroyed were army officers and even ministers.

In 1975, Amin appropriated the title of Field Marshal, and in 1976 declared himself lifelong president.

In October 1978, Amin’s troops invaded Tanzania. However, the Tanzanian army, armed with Chinese weapons, expelled the invaders and transferred hostilities to Uganda. In March 1979, anti-Amina groups formed the Uganda National Liberation Front. The armed units of the Front began to work together with the Tanzanian army. Amin’s troops were defeated, in April 1979, Tanzanian troops occupied the capital of Uganda, and the Front created an interim government.

In Uganda, a power struggle has unfolded; over the course of the year, two presidents were replaced - Y. Lule and G. Binais. In May 1980, the military junta of the Front took power. She allowed activities in the country of parties, trade unions, public organizations.

In December 1980, parliamentary elections were held. Obote won the party, and he again became president of Uganda. Soon, ethnic conflicts in Uganda escalated, anti-government protests began, organized by various groups. The so-called People’s Resistance Army, led by Museveni, launched a guerrilla war in the west of the country.

In July 1985, a military coup was carried out, a military junta led by General Basilio Olara-Ochello came to power. Parliament was dissolved and the constitution suspended.

In January 1986, the military junta was overthrown by the People's Resistance Army. Museveni declared himself the president of the country.

1986 - Movement of the Holy Spirit by Alice Lakwena.
1987 - The defeat of the Movement of the Holy Spirit. Formation of the Lord's Resistance Army.
the end of the 1980s - the beginning of the civil war.
1998 - Sudanese air raids in connection with the involvement of Uganda in the Second Congo War.
2002 - peace with Sudan.
On November 14, 2004, it was reported that the president had declared a week-long truce with the rebels, which was to begin the next day.
In August 2005, parliament voted to change the constitution to remove limits on the number of presidential terms, allowing Museveni to run for a third term. In a referendum in July 2005, 92.5% supported the restoration of multi-party politics, thereby abandoning non-partisan politics. In October 2005, Museveni's main political rival Kizza Besigye returned from exile. That same month, Museveni's other rival, Milton Obote, died in South Africa.
Elections in February 2006, the first multi-party elections in 25 years, made Museveni president.
February 2006 - Opposition (supporters of Colonel Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change) street clashes with law enforcement forces. President Museveni accused the opposition of links to terrorist groups.
February 18, 2011 - regular presidential and parliamentary elections were held. As expected, Yoweri Museveni again received the majority of the vote (68%).
In the 2016 elections, President Museveni was re-elected with a score of 60.62%.
In 2021, the resident and parliamentary elections in Uganda took place on 14 January. Incumbent head of state Yoweri Museveni has been re-elected for a sixth term. On May 12, he took the oath and took office. On June 8, the president submitted to parliament a list of members of the new cabinet of ministers.


Geography and natural conditions

Uganda is located in the northwest of the East African Plateau, in the area of ​​the Great African Lakes, mainly in the zone of savannas and light forests of the subequatorial belt.

The surface of Uganda is a plateau with a height of 1000-1500 m, with individual mountain peaks (the Rwenzori massif, up to 5109 m high). The plateau is dissected by valleys, often swampy.

The climate is subequatorial, humid in summer, softened by a significant height above sea level. The average temperature of the coldest month is 20°C, the warmest 25°C.

The vegetation is dominated by tall-grass savannahs; small tracts of tropical forests have been preserved.

The animal world is rich, in Uganda there are elephants, hippos, buffaloes, antelopes, giraffes, lions, leopards, monkeys. There are many birds and reptiles (crocodiles, snakes), as well as insects (tsetse fly, malarial mosquito, etc.). There are many fish in the rivers and lakes.

Previously, there were quite a lot of rhinos in Uganda, but as a result of a 20-year civil war, they were gone. The last rhinoceros in the wild was seen in 1983. In 2001, 2 rhinos were brought from Kenya to the zoo in Entebbe. For breeding rhinos, the Nakasongola nursery was specially created, to which 4 rhinos were donated. In 2009, one of the females in the nursery had a cub, he became the first rhinoceros born in Uganda in the last 20 years.


State structure

Uganda is an authoritarian presidential republic, where all power is concentrated in the hands of the president. Since January 1986, he has been Lieutenant General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Presidential elections are held every 5 years, the number of terms of the presidency is not limited, according to the 2005 amendments to the Constitution.

Unicameral parliament - 332 deputies; 215 are elected by popular vote for a 5-year term, 104 are appointed from various groups (79 women, 10 military, 5 disabled, 5 from youth, 5 from trade unions), 13 deputies are appointed by public office.

Political parties have been allowed since 2005. The largest party in parliament (205 deputies) is the National Resistance Movement (headed by Museveni).

Rebel groups operate in the country, the largest is the Lord's Resistance Army.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the country in 2018 was classified on the Democracy Index as a hybrid regime.


Armed forces

The country's armed forces are the Uganda People's Defense Forces. The total number is 40-45 thousand people, including the ground forces and the air force. There is no universal conscription, and the armed forces are recruited on a contract basis.


Administrative-territorial division

Uganda is divided into 4 regions, comprising 111 districts and 1 capital district of Kampala.

In addition, the 1995 Ugandan constitution recognizes the autonomous status of the traditional kingdoms of Buganda, Toro, Bunyoro, Busoga and Rwenzururu, which are ruled by local hereditary rulers. They represent a parallel administrative system extending to the southern and central territories of Uganda, inhabited by the Bantu peoples. The kingdoms have the rights of cultural autonomies.



Population - 34,856,813 (2014 census). The official language is English, of the African languages ​​​​the most common is Luganda (of the Ganda tribe, used as the language of interethnic communication among the Bantu tribes). Swahili is used in the field of domestic trade.

Annual growth - 3.6% (2nd place in the world).

According to the average forecast, by 2100 the population of the country will be 192.5 million people.

Birth rate - 48 per 1000 (fertility - 6.73 births per woman (2nd place in the world), infant mortality - 64 per 1000).

Mortality - 12 per 1000.

Average life expectancy is 52 years for men, 54 years for women (in 2010).

Average age - 14.8 years (The youngest country).

Infection with the immunodeficiency virus (HIV) - 6.4% (2010 estimate).

Urban population - 13% (in 2008).

Ethnic composition:
Bantu peoples - only about 70%:
ganda - 4 126 093 people. — 16.9%;
nkole - 2 329 972 people. - 9.5%;
Soga - 2,062,761 people — 8.4%;
kiga - 1,679,451 people — 6.9%;
gisu — 1,117,243 people - 4.5%;
gnoro - 667,012 people — 2.7%;
konjo - 608 690 people. — 2.4%;
toro - 606 897 people. — 2.4%;
Bafumbira (close to Nyarwanda) - 488,890 people. — 1.9%;
Gwere - 408 738 people. - 1.7%;
nulli - 340 469 people. - 1.7%;
Nyarwanda - 314,598 people - 1.3%;

and others.
Nilotic peoples: (live in the north of the country) - only about 30%:
Teso - 1,566,921 people - 6.3% (East Sudanese group);
Lango - 1 483 817 people. - 6.0% (East Sudanese group);
Acholi - 1,141,097 people - 4.7% (East Sudanese group);
Lugbara - 1,022,059 people - 4.1% (Central Sudanese group);
alur — 530 110 people - 2.1% (East Sudanese group);
adola - 359,659 people. - 1.4%

(Eastern Sudanese group);
Nandi - 332,000 people. - 1.3% (East Sudanese group);
madi - 296 230 people. - 1.1%

(Central Sudanese group);
Karamojong - 258,307 people - 1.0% (East Sudanese group);
and others.



Natural resources: copper, cobalt, niobium, gold, tungsten, hydropower, fertile land.

GDP per capita in 2009 was $1.3 thousand (204th in the world). Below the poverty level - about a third of the population.

The main sector of the economy: agriculture (82% of employees, 22% of GDP), the main export product is coffee. Tea, cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, cassava (tapioca), potatoes, corn, millet, flowers are also cultivated; fishing; animal husbandry is underdeveloped.

Industry: (5% of employees, 25% of GDP) - sugar, brewing, tobacco, textiles.

International trade
Export - $2.9 billion in 2017: coffee, fish, tea, cotton, flowers, gold.

Main buyers: Kenya (17.7%), UAE (16.7%), Democratic Republic of the Congo (6.6%), Rwanda (6.1%), Italy (4.8%).

Imports: $4.6 billion in 2017 - manufactured goods, vehicles, petroleum products, medicines, grains.

Main suppliers: China (17.4%), India (13.4%), UAE (12.2%), Kenya (7.9%), Japan (6.4%).

It is a member of the international organization of ACT countries.



The first schools in Uganda were created by missionaries who used the educational system adopted in Great Britain. Schools are now run by the state and private individuals. There are much more people who want to study than the number of school places. Over half of primary school graduates do not go on to secondary school, and more than a third of secondary school graduates have no opportunity to continue their education. In 1994, the adult literacy rate was 62%. Makerere University is the largest and most prestigious educational institution in Uganda. Since 1988, with the financial support of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic University has been operating in Mbala. Gradually, the advantage that males enjoyed when entering educational institutions is disappearing. In 1991, they accounted for 55% of students in elementary schools, 62% in secondary schools, and 76% in higher education.

According to the 2002 census, 76% of men and 57% of women can read and write.



The Museum of Uganda has been operating in Kampala since 1908.



There is no provision in the constitution for a state religion. Because Protestants have been favored by British officials since colonial times, the latter still retain a privileged status, followed by Catholics and Muslims. More than half of Ugandans are Christians. Muslims have less political influence. Most Ugandans respect local traditional beliefs, whether they consider themselves Muslims or Christians.

According to the 2002 census: Protestants - 42% (Anglicans - 35.9%, Pentecostals from the Assembly of God and the Church of God - 4.6%, Adventists - 1.5%), Catholics - 41.9%, Muslims - 12, 1%, other beliefs - 3.1%, atheists - 0.9%.


Mass media

State television and radio company UBC (Uganda Broadcasting Corporation - Uganda Broadcasting Corporation), includes UBC TV, UBC Star TV, UBC Magic TV, UBC West, UBC West Nile, UBC Radio, UBC Star FM, UBC Magic 100 FM, UBC Butebo Radio and others