Uganda Travel Planner - a brief guide to the country with information about travel within the country, accommodation, geography, history, economy, game parks, adventure activities, forex infomation and maps.
A brief guide to Uganda – a beautiful country in East Africa which provides an interesting, safe and relatively cheap option for tourists. A great destination for your African adventure.
Uganda has good tourism facilities in place and more being developed. The country is easy to get to and hard to leave.Jinja Tourist Guide Adventure Activities Bujagali Information
Uganda has come a long way over the last 3 decades and is now an up and coming tourist destination of note. Straddling the Equator but with much of the country over 1000m above sea-level, Uganda has a beautiful climate 12 months of the year. Temperatures range from the high 20’s to the low 30’s C and good rainfall promotes many areas of lush vegetation. Uganda well deserves the label once applied by Sir Winston Churchill as the "green pearl of Africa". Renewed efforts to develop game parks and an increasingly wide range of options for tourists in areas such as; accommodation and related facilities such as, transport, sites to visit and cultural experiences; make this one of the best destinations to come and experience the Africa that is changing fast but still holds elements of what you may expect to find and some pleasant surprises.
Hospitality and safety rate very highly in Uganda. The country provides a level of safety that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. Those who still associate Uganda with the Idi Amin era, should remember that it ended over 40 years ago. Recent changes have brought the modern world with extensive mobile phone networks, large modern shopping complexes in the capital city of Kampala and high standards of service; coupled with the more traditional lifestyles experienced by most Ugandans. The population is still predominantly rural based. The roads and transport systems are improving while still providing an adventure travelling around the country. The mix of cultures will help you see the world in a different way.
And you will still find parts of Uganda with a feel of Africa that goes back through the centuries and it isn’t hard to find space to walk down a dusty track lined with the occasional grass roofed hut, greetings from kids – "jambo mzungu" – and to feel that you have entered a part of Africa that will find a special place in your heart.
Gorilla Trekking is an activity that has brought many visitors to Uganda. The only remaining populations of mountain gorillas live in the area that covers the southeast corner of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many companies offer you the opportunity to do this although numbers are limited (book well ahead) and time allowed visiting a gorilla group is restricted to 1 hour, so as to minimise human impact. The money generated is used to protect these remaining populations.
Economy: Uganda is largely a free market economy and in recent years has maintained a growth rate of about 7% per annum. Agriculture provides about 60% of the GDP and over 80% of the adult population are either subsistence farmers or work in agriculture related fields. Major export crops include coffee, tea and tobacco. Industry is diverse and centred around Kampala. It is mainly small scale and aimed at supplying the domestic market with basic products, however this is rapidly changing as local and foreign investors are constructing many new factories. The majority of manufactured goods are imported.
International and Domestic Tourism are increasing rapidly and now makes a significant contribution to the economy.
Geography : Uganda lies between the two arms of the Great Rift Valley in East Africa. It is crossed by the Equator. It is roughly the same size as Great Britain having an area of 241,139 sq. km. Of this 17% sq km is made up of swamps and open fresh water bodies, 12% forest reserves and game parks. It is bordered by Kenya to the East, Sudan to the North, DRC to the West and Tanzania and Rwanda to the south.
The country has an average elevation of 1200m above sea level. Mountain areas are the Rwenzori mountains (5000m) with permanent snow cover and Mount Elgon (4300m).
Climate : Uganda's climate is equatorial but this is tempered by its elevated altitude and average daytime temperatures range between 20C and 27C. Average annual rainfall is in the region of 1000mm. There are two rainy seasons - March to early May and September to December.
Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and second largest in the world. The only major outlet for the lake is at Jinja where the River Nile starts it's 6,700km journey to the Mediterranean Sea. Lakes Edward and Albert lie to the west of the country. The landscape and vegetation have exceptional diversity. Uganda lies at the overlap between tropical East African savannah and the West African rainforest zones. The south of the country is mostly covered by forest and sub-tropical cultivation (plantains, coffee and tea). There are woodland and open savannah grassland areas. The north is drier than the rest of the country. It is covered in semi-desert and dry acacia woodland, which lacks the heavy intertwining canopy found in tropical forests.
The population of Uganda is approaching 40 million and growing rapidly. Kampala, the capital city has a population of around 5 million people. The percentage of urban and rural population is about 20% and 80% respectively. Annual population growth rate is very high compared to many other countries.
History : Uganda was under British rule between 1900 and 1962. Prior to that it had for many centuries been made up of a number of separate kingdoms divided mainly along tribal lines.Post independent Uganda had a turbulent history under a number of Presidents until President Yoweri Museveni gained control in 1986 and managed to bring a war torn and divided country together. Since that time the country has been largely trouble free with the exception of occasional local disturbances and, as a result, has enjoyed rapid economic growth.
Air Travel to Uganda : The main airport at Entebbe which is 41.5 km from the capital city, Kampala. Many major airlines now operate out of the recently refurbished airport. Emirates offers flights directly from Dubai, Kenya Airways connects direct from Nairobi and British Airways operates flights from London and elsewhere in Europe. There are many links to Entebbe International Airport from destinations throughout the World.
Accommodation : There is good accomodation in all major centres - especially in Kampala, Entebbe and in Jinja - from Backbackers to 4-star Hotels. All National Parks also have a choice of accommodation ranging from campsites to top-end luxury safari lodges.
Road Travel within Uganda is relatively straight forward, most major roads being in good or reasonable condition. Once off the major roads, conditions are more difficult and 4 x4 vehicles may be needed. If you are not familiar with driving in Africa, we recommend hiring an experienced Ugandan driver - if you do have any problems you will be glad to have him to assist you. There are many tour companies offering great safaris to all areas of the country and there are a lot of companies that offer car hire if you would like to arrange your own travel.
Public Transport is readily available in most of the country and there are now a number of bus companies with good quality vehicles operating between Kampala and Nairobi in Kenya, and to Kigali in Rwanda and other destinations throughout East Africa.
Air Travel within Uganda : is good option to get quickly to many places in Uganda and elsewhere in East Africa. A number companies such as; Eagle Air, Fly Uganda, and Aerolink offering chartered flights from Entebbe Airport and Kajjansi Airfield to most National Parks and other destinations in Uganda and many nearby countries. Helicopter services are also available.
Jinja and Bujagali Falls - East Africa's centre for adventure. See current and detailed information about this special part of Uganda on our website. Jinja and Bujagali Tourist Guide For more information contact Peter Knight - Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jinja Adventure Safety Association - we take your safety seriously
We offer a variety of ATV Quadbike Safaris for suit all ages and all levels of rider.
Come with us on an African adventure - off the beaten tracks and into the warm heart of Uganda.
A fun, very affordable activity for all ages, with discounts for families and Ugandan citizens.
Enjoy an African themed Mini-Golf Safari with the 'Big 5' and many other life-sized game animals.
Information about the many adventure activities near Jinja on and beside the River Nile at East Africa's centre for adventure.