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Uganda

Uganda
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The republic of Uganda is a state in East Africa. The capital city is Kampala. The country borders Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda.

The climate in Uganda is sub-equatorial. The temperature during a day can vary from +16°C to +29°C. The best time for travelling to Uganda is from December to February and from June to August when the weather is warm and dry.

The official languages in Uganda are Swahili and English. People also speak Luganda and local dialects.

The majority of the population are the Christians.

Uganda is known for its unique nature with tropical forests, beautiful savannahs, mountains, lakes, and waterfalls. The tourists will be impressed by the diversity of the animal world in Uganda. There are elephants, monkeys, leopards, lions, giraffes, crocodiles, antelopes, and hundreds of species of birds. In Uganda, there are many national parks such as the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Kibale National Park, the Semuliki National Park, the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and the Murchison Falls National Park. The travellers can go hiking and take safari tours in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, the Mount Elgon National Park, and the Kidepo Valley National Park. The lake Mburo National Park offer a unique opportunity to spend some days and nights in the camping right in the middle of the reserve.

In Entebbe, the tourists can visit the Zoo and Geological Museum. In Nakasongola, one-day trips are arranged to the Lake Kyoga where the tourists can enjoy the nature and go fishing.

The active tourists can go rafting across the Nile River, the Munyange River and go extreme fishing on the Lake Victoria.

The lovers of shopping will love the choice of non-traditional for a European clothes and jewellery. In large cities, one can go to clubs and bars and listen to the local music. You will find modern nightclubs and casinos in Kampala.

Get in

There are no direct flights between Uganda and CIS countries. The best variant is a transit flight with a transfer in London, Paris, Frankfurt or Dubai.

By Ferry

One can get to Uganda from Tanzania by ferry.

By Land

There are automobile border crossings between Uganda and neighbouring countries. So the tourists can get to Uganda by car from Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, and Rwanda.

Visa

The CIS and European tourists need a visa to travel to Uganda. A visa is issued at the Embassy or on arrival at the airport in Entebbe.

The Embassy issues a visa within 2-4 working days. A visa is valid from 2 to 6 months.

Be aware that a visa does not define the length of your stay in the country. The immigration officers decide how long you will stay in Uganda.

Transit tourists do not need a visa provided they will leave the country within 24 hours.

Customs

According to the Customs legislation the tourist are allowed to bring in the following goods duty-free:

  • alcohol and tobacco;
  • food;
  • personal belongings.

It’s allowed to import foreign currency in any amount but it must be declared. The export of currency is limited to the sum indicated on the declaration form. The import and export of the national currency is prohibited.

It is prohibited to export from Uganda ivory, horns of rhinoceros, skins of animals, diamonds, and gold. Jewellery, coins, and stamps can be exported provided there are documents confirming the legal purchase.

Yellow fever and poliomyelitis vaccination certificate is required to travel to Uganda.

Cuisine

In Uganda people commonly cook food right on the street under a tent. The main ingredient here is bananas. They boil them, bake, mash, make chips, beer, and gin. The locals also use potatoes, millet, sorgo, and fish.

The people in Uganda are good at making sauces with mushrooms, peanuts, dairy products, and even certain insects (crickets and white ants).

In Uganda, everyone should try Matoke (sweet banana puree). Matoke is sold everywhere in shops, on the markets, and on the street.

In Uganda, people make a very delicious meat stew and serve it with beans. The locals prefer grilled chicken or they roast it over the charcoal. Rice and banana chips are common side dishes. If you strive for something more exotic try roasted termites and locust.

There is not a great choice of fish dishes. The tourists can try roasted tilapia with banana sauce.

Do not leave Uganda without trying banana beer and banana gin. The restaurants will offer European wines.

Money

The national currency is the Ugandan Shilling (UG).

The tourists can exchange the currency at banks, in Forex exchange bureau, at the airport and in hotels.

Credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) and traveller’s checks are accepted in large hotels and restaurants. Traveller’s checks in US dollars, sterling pounds, and South African rands are preferable.

There are not many ATMs in Uganda.

Details of interest

Sightseeing in Uganda

  • In Kampala, the tourists can take a walk along the shady alleys, study architectural and historical monuments such as the Kingdom of Buganda Palace, the Uganda National Museum, and the Kasubi Tombs.
  • In Jinja, the second largest city in Uganda, which is built on the shore of the Victoria lake right at the head of the White Nile River, the tourists can have extreme entertainments. For example, rafting, kayaking, fishing and a boat trip across the Lake Victoria.
  • In Entebbe, there is the Botanical Garden where anyone can see and take a picture of rare birds and cute colobus monkeys.
  • The city of Fort Portal can offer a great number of excursions. Visit the Karambi Tombs, the Toro Palace and take a trip to the crater lake. Fort Portal is a starting place for excursions to 10 national parks and reserves in Uganda.
  • An excursion to the Kibale National Park will be an unforgettable experience. The tourists can see over 335 species of birds and over 60 species of mammals.
  • The Murchison Falls National Park will impress the tourists with its amazing beauty. The height of the waterfall is 45 meters. In this park, lion and elephant safari is organised.
  • In the Semuliki National Park, there are 462 species of birds. The tourists can take a boat trip across the Lake Alberta.
  • The Budongo Forest Reserve is the largest reserve of red forests in East Africa. The Reserve is the habitat for 465 species of plants and 366 species of birds. In Budongo, there is the largest colony of chimpanzee and colobus.
  • The place on the White Nile River between Jinja and Bujagali attracts the lovers of kayaking.
  • A special permission is required to visit the Bwindi National Park, which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is a habitat for endangered mountain gorillas.
  • There are hiking routes in the Mount Elgon National Park. The tourists can visit the waterfalls SIPI and Sisyi, go rafting and fishing on the rivers Sasa and Trail.
  • The Rwenzori mountain attracts the climbers.

Souvenirs in Uganda

We recommend buying souvenirs only in shops as street trading is prohibited in Uganda. Both sides (a customer and a seller) can be punished and send to prison for 5 to 7 days.

  • In Kampala, the tourists can buy silver and black tree jewellery, bones of animals and fruit stones.
  • Ceramic tableware is sold in Jinja.
  • Black tree figurines of gorillas, colobus, lions, and Nile crocodiles can be found in Entebbe.