Name: Republic of Uganda
Population: 37.58 million
Language: English, Swahili, Luganda
Currency: Ugandan Shilling (UGX)
Time Zone: GMT +3
For a small country, Uganda boasts everything an adventurer could wish for. It has everything its more popular neighbors do, including the “Big Five” to watch out for. More than that, the country is home to the tallest mountain range in Africa as well as the largest lake. Half the remaining mountain gorillas in the world reside in this tiny country, making wildlife watching a unique experience!
Uganda boasts a tropical climate on most of its area, except the mountainous areas (which can get quite cold and some even receive a bit of snow). Temperatures range from 21-25°C (70- 77°F). The hottest months are December to February, while the rainiest happen between March and May and October and November. The dry season occurs between January and February and from June to September.
Uganda’s culture is made of up many ethnic groups and so, it is hard to generalize it. Fr example, in the north, Lango and Acholi people dominate, while in the east, the Iteso and Karamojong people rule. Moreover, Pygmies live isolated in the rainforest in the western region.
At least 40 languages are in use in Uganda, with Luganda language being the most common despite English being considered the official language. In fact, English is barely spoken. Swahili is also widely used.
Uganda has a conservative Muslim and Christian society. This means it is often not acceptable to wear clothes that display too much skin. In Kampala, for example, there is an exception to this rule, but it is, however, advised to dress as locals do in order to blend in and be taken seriously outside tourist hotspots. Another important thing worth noting is that you should never criticize religion in presence of a Ugandan, as this is taken seriously and can be a great offense.
Ugandan cuisine has been heavily influenced by English, Arab and Indian traces. The most common ingredients are vegetables, potatoes, yams, bananas, chicken, pork, fish, beef, goat and mutton.
Boda-Bodas are motorcycles or scooters are a fun and inexpensive way to get around in big cities such as Kampala.
In Uganda, there are two classes of buses “matutus”, which are minibuses with fixed routes and coaches, which run less frequently (i.e. they only leave Kampala in the morning). These two options run between major cities. One thing to note is that neither run on fixed schedule but rather do when they get full.
For more information on Uganda check out the Uganda Tourism Board website here.