Traveling Luck for Uganda
Uganda is located in Eastern Africa, west of Kenya.
Land in Uganda is mostly plateau with rim of mountains.
Ugandan land covers an area of 236040 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than Oregon
As for the Ugandan climate; tropical; generally rainy with two dry seasons (December to February, June to August); semiarid in northeast.
Ugandan(s) speak English (official national language, taught in grade schools, used in courts of law and by most newspapers and some radio broadcasts), Ganda or Luganda (most widely used of the Niger-Congo languages, preferred for native language publications in the capital and may be taught in school), other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili, Arabic.
Places of note in Uganda
Ugandan National Map
Regions of Uganda
- Uganda (general)
Uganda achieved independence from the UK in 1962. The dictatorial regime of Idi AMIN (1971-79) was responsible for the deaths of some 300,000 opponents; guerrilla war and human rights abuses under Milton OBOTE (1980-85) claimed at least another 100,000 lives. During the 1990s, the government promulgated non-party presidential and legislative elections.
Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, and sizable mineral deposits of copper and cobalt. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the work force. Coffee accounts for the bulk of export revenues. Since 1986, the government - with the support of foreign countries and international agencies - has acted to rehabilitate and stabilize the economy by undertaking currency reform, raising producer prices on export crops, increasing prices of petroleum products, and improving civil service wages. The policy changes are especially aimed at dampening inflation and boosting production and export earnings. During 1990-2001, the economy turned in a solid performance based on continued investment in the rehabilitation of infrastructure, improved incentives for production and exports, reduced inflation, gradually improved domestic security, and the return of exiled Indian-Ugandan entrepreneurs. In 2000, Uganda qualified for enhanced Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief worth $1.3 billion and Paris Club debt relief worth $145 million. These amounts combined with the original HIPC debt relief added up to about $2 billion. Growth for 2001-02 was solid despite continued decline in the price of coffee, Uganda's principal export. Growth in 2003-05 reflected an upturn in Uganda's export markets.
Ugandan natural resources include copper, cobalt, hydropower, limestone, salt, arable land
landlocked; fertile, well-watered country with many lakes and rivers
Ugandan religion is Roman Catholic 33%, Protestant 33%, Muslim 16%, indigenous beliefs 18%.
Natural hazards in Uganda include NA.
- We advise against all travel to northern Uganda (Kitgum, Pader, Adjumani, Gulu, Apac and Lira districts) because of banditry and rebel insurgency. Please see the Local Travel section of this travel advice for more details.
- The Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army signed a “Cessation of Hostilities” agreement on 26 August 2006, which came into effect on 29 August 2006. The situation on the ground in northern Uganda has yet to stabilise fully. Reports of clashes in Southern Sudan have added tensions to an already fragile process. We are keeping the situation under close review.
- The Lord’s Resistance Army is present in Democratic Republic of Congo, in the areas bordering Sudan and Uganda. We advise against all travel to the region known as West Nile (Nebbi, Arua, Moyo and Yumbe districts in Uganda’s far north west), with the exception of trips by air to Arua town. Please see the Local Travel section of this travel advice for more details.
- We advise against all travel to Karamoja region in north eastern Uganda (Kotido, Moroto, Nakapiripirit and Katakwi Districts). This area also covers the Kidepo National Park. If you wish to visit this Park you should only travel there by air. You should also seek local advice before embarking on any journey to the Park. Please see the Local Travel and National Park sections of this travel advice for more details.
- In November 2005, a British national was killed in Murchison Falls National Park. We advise you not to visit this Park. If you travel to the Park against our advice you should exercise extreme caution and take local advice. Please see the National Parks section of this travel advice for more details.
- We advise against travel by road at night except in central Kampala, and between Kampala and the airport at Entebbe.
- Uganda shares with neighbouring countries a threat of terrorism.
- Around 15,000 British tourists visit Uganda every year. Most visits are trouble-free. The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Uganda is for replacing lost or stolen passports. You should take the usual precautions against crime, especially when going out at night. Keep a photocopy of your passport data page and Ugandan visa in a safe place.
- If you intend staying in Uganda for more than a month you should register with the British High Commission.
- We strongly advise that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see Travel Insurance.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Kampala is a relatively safe city. By day you can walk the streets and visit local markets. But opportunistic crime such as burglaries, muggings and drive-by bag snatches do occur in Kampala. In recent months there has been an increase in theft from vehicles and muggings, some involving violence, in the Kololo Airstrip area of Kampala. We strongly recommend that after dark, you avoid going out on foot. You should not make yourself an obvious target for muggers and pickpockets by carrying large sums of cash in the streets or wearing expensive looking jewellery or watches.
In December 2006 there have been cases of bus travellers going to the extreme south-west of Uganda being drugged and robbed. You should be aware of what you are eating and drinking
In urban areas keep car doors locked and windows shut at all times. There have been a number of thefts of personal property from cars and taxis while stationary in traffic. If stopped by armed men, do not attempt to resist. Avoid travelling outside main towns after dark.
Take care of your passport: replacing lost or stolen passports is our most common consular task.
A rebel group known as the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) has been active in northern Uganda and southern Sudan for 19 years and has been responsible for a large number of murders and abductions. More than 1.7 million people are currently living in camps for internally displaced people in northern Uganda. In October 2005, the International Criminal Court (ICC) unsealed arrest warrants for five LRA Commanders.
Talks between the Government of Uganda and the LRA have been ongoing in Southern Sudan since July 2006. On 26 August 2006 the parties to the talks signed a “Cessation of Hostilities Agreement”. This agreement came into force on 29 August 2006. Part of this agreement sets time limits for LRA members to assemble in agreed locations in Southern Sudan. Few LRA members assembled before the deadline passed. The peace process remains active but the situation on the ground continues to be potentially unstable. Since 16 October 2006 there have been reports violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and of clashes in Southern Sudan which have added to the tensions in this already fragile process.
Political tensions can flare up, often with little warning. There are cases ongoing in the courts relating to opposition figures that can also be a potential cause of friction. You should exercise caution and avoid demonstrations and rallies in Kampala and other towns.
Uganda Country Profile
Because of rebel insurgency and banditry we advise against all travel to the districts of Kitgum, Pader, Adjumani, Gulu, Apac and Lira. These are all areas of recent LRA activity, including two fatal ambushes of vehicles in October 2005 near Anyeke (just north of Murchison Falls National Park) and Kitgum respectively. The LRA (see Political Situation section) is thought to be responsible for a number of separate attacks in October and November 2005, against vehicles containing aid workers in northern Uganda and southern Sudan. These attacks resulted in the deaths of at least five people and others were seriously injured. If you are currently in northern Uganda you should exercise extreme caution and think carefully about your security.
North West Uganda
We advise against travel to the region known as West Nile (Nebbi, Arua, Moyo and Yumbe districts in Uganda’s far north west), with the exception of trips to Arua town. Arua town should only be visited by air and you should remain within the confines of the town. The LRA is present in Democratic Republic of Congo, in the areas bordering Sudan and Uganda. In response, the Ugandan armed forces have built up a stronger presence in West Nile, particularly along the border with the DRC.
The situation in eastern DRC remains extremely volatile and unpredictable (see separate Travel Advice for DRC, which advises against travel to eastern and north eastern DRC, including entering from Uganda). Some gorilla trekking operators cross into eastern DRC. We strongly advise you not to take these tours.
North East Uganda
We advise against all travel to Karamoja (Kotido, Moroto, Nakapiripirit and Katakwi Districts) in the north east. Lawlessness there is endemic (e.g. road ambushes). Tribal clashes are frequent and unpredictable in Karamoja. In late October and early November 2006 there was an increase in clashes between the army and armed cattle herders. Following a large military operation the situation is generally calmer but the risk of further clashes remains.
In April 2006, there were outbreaks of fighting between Ugandan forces and Congolese rebels along the border between DRC and Bundibugyo District in western Uganda.
There have been armed attacks on vehicles in the Murchison Falls National Park, most recently on 8 November 2005, which resulted in the death of a British national. We advise you not to visit this Park.
There were violent clashes in Karamoja between the army and armed cattle herders in late October and early November 2006. Following a large military operation, many of the belligerent groups have now left the Kidepo National Park area. All facilities in the Kidepo Valley National Park are open and aircraft are flying into the Park as usual. If you wish to visit the Park you should only travel there by air. The situation may change rapidly and you should seek local advice before embarking on any journey to the Park.
The National Parks in the extreme south-western corner of Uganda, Bwindi Impentrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla, border the DRC and Rwanda. The situation over the border in DRC has a history of instability and problems can flare up with little notice, most recently in December 2006 when clashes between dissidents and Government troops, resulted in a number of refugees fleeing into Uganda. Anyone planning to visit this south-west corner of Uganda, including the National Parks, should exercise caution and seek local advice before embarking on their journey.
Uganda's other National parks attract thousands of overseas visitors each year. Queen Elizabeth National Park and those in its vicinity are popular with tourists and locals. We strongly recommend that you only use reputable, registered tour operators.
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country, or in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. For further information on exactly what will be required at immigration, please contact the Ugandan High Commission in London before travelling.
Credit cards are not widely used in Uganda. Fraud is commonplace. We advise you to carry sufficient travellers’ cheques to meet normal expenses, though be aware that they can only be cashed in major towns and at a significantly lower rate of exchange than cash. So also bring sufficient US dollars in cash to meet any essential or emergency expenses. US dollars dated earlier than 2000 and notes smaller than US $50 are usually only exchanged at a less favourable rate and in some cases not accepted for exchange at all.