Culture Week in Uganda
Location:East-Central Africa, west of Kenya, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Currency:Ugandan shillings (UGX)
Area:241,038 sq km
Population:44,712,143 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:English (official language, taught in 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 and the language used most often in the capital), other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili (official), Arabic
Religion:Protestant 45.1% (Anglican 32.0%, Pentecostal/Born Again/Evangelical 11.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.7%, Baptist .3%), Roman Catholic 39.3%, Muslim 13.7%, other 1.6%, none 0.2% (2014 est.)
Things to Do
1. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Trek through the dense jungle of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to see endangered mountain gorillas up close. The forest is home to over half of the world's population of gorillas, making it one of the best places in the world for gorilla trekking.
2. Murchison Falls National Park
Experience the power of nature at Murchison Falls National Park. Witness the Nile River squeeze through a narrow gorge and create a magnificent waterfall. Take a boat safari to see hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of bird species.
3. Queen Elizabeth National Park
Embark on a wildlife safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, known for its diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife. Spot elephants, lions, buffaloes, and various antelope species. Take a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel for a chance to see hippos and birds.
4. Lake Bunyonyi
Relax and unwind at Lake Bunyonyi, the second deepest lake in Africa. Enjoy canoeing, swimming, and birdwatching in this tranquil setting. Explore the surrounding hills and visit the local communities to learn about their culture and traditions.
5. Kibale Forest National Park
Go chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park, home to over 1,500 chimpanzees. Follow experienced guides as they lead you through the forest in search of these fascinating primates. Keep an eye out for other wildlife species, such as monkeys and birds.
6. Mount Elgon
Embark on a challenging climb to the summit of Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and visit the unique vegetation zones found on the mountain.
7. Kidepo Valley National Park
Discover the remote beauty of Kidepo Valley National Park, tucked away in Uganda's northeastern corner. Encounter a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, and ostriches. Explore the park's rugged landscapes and cultural heritage.
8. Sipi Falls
Hike to the stunning Sipi Falls, a series of three waterfalls located in the foothills of Mount Elgon. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding farmland and sip on freshly brewed coffee from the nearby plantations.
9. Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Embark on a mountaineering adventure in Rwenzori Mountains National Park, home to the famous Mountains of the Moon. Scale the snow-capped peaks and explore the pristine alpine lakes and glacial valleys.
Experience the thrill of white-water rafting on the mighty Nile River in Jinja. Conquer the rapids and enjoy the scenic beauty of the river. After the adrenaline rush, relax at one of the lakeside resorts and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.
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Uganda has a tropical climate, with two distinct rainy seasons. The long rains occur from March to May, and the short rains from October to December. The rest of the year is relatively dry, with temperatures remaining warm throughout. The climate can vary greatly depending on the location, with some areas being very hot and dry, while others are cooler and more humid.
Best time to visit
Dry season (June-September)
The best time to visit Uganda is during the dry season, which runs from June to September. This is the time when the weather is the most stable and the wildlife is most active, making it the peak season for safari and wildlife viewing. This is also the best time for hiking, climbing and trekking in the mountain ranges.
Shoulder season (January-February and October-November)
The shoulder season, which runs from January to February and October-November, is also a good time to visit. The weather is still relatively dry and stable, and there are fewer tourists, which can make for a more authentic experience.
Rainy season (March-May and November-December)
The rainy season is not the best time to visit Uganda for safari, as the heavy rains can make travel difficult and disrupt safari plans. However, it is also less crowded and the prices tend to be lower. If you're planning to visit during the rainy season, it's best to focus on the gorillas and chimpanzees trekking as they are less affected by the heavy rainfalls.
Uganda has a wide range of hotels, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses. Many of the larger hotels are located in tourist hotspots such as Kampala, Entebbe and Jinja, but there are also many smaller, more intimate hotels located in more remote areas of the country.
Guesthouses are a popular accommodation option for budget-conscious travelers in Uganda. These small, family-run establishments offer basic amenities and a homely atmosphere at a fraction of the cost of a hotel. Guesthouses can be found in most towns and cities across Uganda, as well as in rural areas.
Campsites are a popular option for budget-conscious travelers and adventure enthusiasts. There are many campsites in Uganda, which are particularly popular with hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Some campsites offer basic facilities such as toilets and showers, while others offer more luxurious amenities such as private bathrooms and hot water. Many of the national parks in Uganda have designated campsites, which are a great way to experience the parks and their wildlife.
Luxury lodges and tented camps
Uganda is home to many luxury lodges and tented camps, which offer an upscale accommodation option. These properties are located in prime wildlife-viewing areas such as the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Murchison falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. They offer comfortable accommodations, delicious meals, and excellent wildlife-viewing opportunities.
Homestays provide an immersive cultural experience, as travelers stay with a local family in their home. This type of accommodation is becoming increasingly popular in Uganda and can be found in many rural areas, as well as some towns and cities. Homestays offer a unique opportunity to experience Ugandan culture and hospitality firsthand.
Buses are a popular and inexpensive way to get around Uganda. The bus system is extensive and covers most parts of the country, although it can be crowded and uncomfortable at times. Buses in Uganda are operated by both government-run and private companies and have different levels of comfort and safety standard.
Car rental is a popular option for those who want more flexibility and independence when traveling around Uganda. There are many car rental companies in the country, with a wide range of vehicles available to rent. However, it's important to be aware of the local traffic laws and road conditions before renting a car. It is also important to note that some of the national parks and remote areas can only be accessed by 4x4 vehicles.
Flying is a convenient and relatively fast way to travel around Uganda, particularly for those who are short on time or want to get to remote areas. Uganda has a few domestic airlines that operate flights to most of the major tourist destinations, such as Entebbe, Kidepo and Kisoro. However, it can be quite expensive compared to other options and some of the smaller airports and airstrips have limited flights schedule.
Taxi and Boda-boda
Taxis and boda-boda are a popular and inexpensive way to get around in cities and towns. They are convenient for short distances, however, it's important to agree on a fare before setting off and be aware of the traffic conditions. Taxis and boda-boda are not always available in rural areas and remote destinations.
Boats are a popular way to explore Uganda's many waterways, such as the Nile River and its lake systems like Lake Victoria. Boats can be rented for fishing, sightseeing and cruising, and offer a unique way to experience the country's wildlife, culture and natural beauty. It is also a great way to access some of the national parks, such as Murchison falls National Park, that are located on the banks of the river or lakes.
- The currency in Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX).
Cash And Cards
- It is recommended to carry both cash and cards in Uganda.
- Credit cards are accepted in major hotels, restaurants, and shops.
- However, it is advisable to carry cash for smaller establishments.
- ATMs are widely available in cities and major towns in Uganda.
- It is advisable to use ATMs within banks or secure areas.
- Visa and Mastercard are commonly accepted at ATMs.
- Tipping is not mandatory in Uganda, but it is appreciated.
- It is customary to tip about 10% of the bill at restaurants or for exceptional service.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Uganda is relatively low compared to other countries.
- Accommodation, food, and transportation are generally affordable.
- Be cautious of scams and pickpocketing in crowded areas.
- It is advisable to keep valuables secure and be aware of your surroundings.