Where is Uganda Located?
Uganda is a landlocked country with a developing economy. Its capital, Kampala, is on the southern shore of Lake Victoria.
Travel outside of Kampala is dangerous due to limited road infrastructure and the lack of safety measures. U.S. Embassy personnel should avoid traveling on highways at night and should use taxi services to and from the airport.
The nation of Uganda is located in East Africa. It is west of Kenya, south of Sudan, and north of Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire).
Its most notable features are its two UNESCO Natural World Heritage Sites, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Ruwenzori Mountains National Park. These parks contain unique plant life and serve as habitats for endangered animals, including mountain gorillas.
Its largely rural population primarily engages in subsistence farming. The majority of the population is Christian. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution, although government critics say religious leaders and their followers face restrictions. Its capital is Kampala. The president is Yoweri Museveni, who took office in 1986 after a six-year guerrilla war.
Uganda is a country with a tropical climate that is heavily influenced by its own topography and the surrounding region. From the steamy lowlands with a truly tropical feel to lofty peaks covered in snow, Uganda’s landscape and weather has something for everyone.
The equatorial climate is characterized by two rainy seasons. However, the topography, prevailing winds and large water bodies like Lake George, Lake Edward and Lake Victoria influence rainfall patterns. Consequently, we have identified significant decreases in average rainfall across most of the country over the past 34 years. These decreases are a concern for agriculture, food security and wildlife habitat.
The main language of Uganda is Luganda, which is used by the biggest ethnic group, Buganda. It works as a language of inter-ethnic communication, and also in wider domains such as media and telecommunication. It’s also popular in urban hip-hop and the church.
Swahili is Uganda’s second official language. It’s used primarily to communicate with Uganda’s Eastern neighbors, Kenya and Tanzania. It also features on the shilling note and in courts of law.
Body language is also important when communicating in Uganda. It’s normal to shake hands with both men and women, and hugging is not uncommon. Eye contact is also an important part of the conversation.
Almost 80% of Ugandans practice Christianity, mostly either Catholic or Protestant. Islam was the first non-indigenous religion to arrive here, brought with trade from the Arab world, and it is still practiced by a small minority of people.
Religious beliefs and practices provide a common framework for meaning making. For example, an elder’s ability to communicate with the ancestors can reinforce the authority of lineage leaders; spirits are also said to cause illness and curse relatives.
Religious groups often register with the government’s NGO board in order to access donor funding. Nevertheless, there are concerns about government interference with the freedom of religion.
Among Uganda’s ethnic groups, Bantu tribes are the most numerous. The Baganda are the largest, accounting for nearly half the population. Other Bantu groups include the Basoga, Banyankore (Bahima and Bairu), Iteso, Bakiga, Bunyoro, Batoro and Banyarwanda.
The Nilotic peoples of Uganda’s north include the Lango, Acholi, Alur, Padhola and Lulya. Their traditional economies are based on crop growing.
The southern region includes a range of hilly and mountainous terrain. Its inhabitants are primarily Christian but also practice traditional religions. Idi Amin’s regime of economic decline and guerrilla war cost many lives, but Yoweri MUSEVENI has brought relative stability and prosperity since 1986.
Uganda is a highly rural country, with just over 20% of the population living in urban areas. The capital city is Kampala. Over 70% of the land is covered by forest, woodland and grassland.
Uganda’s high fertility rate has contributed to its rapid population growth. Each woman has an average of seven children, and many women start giving birth at a young age.
Uganda gained independence in 1962 with one of the strongest education systems in sub-Saharan Africa, but under Milton Obote the government had a poor human rights record and laid waste to large parts of the country in an attempt to stamp out an insurgency by Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Army (NRA). The NRA eventually won power.