Uganda is a beautiful country with so much greenery thanks to the high rain fall and volcanic plateau between the Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Victoria. After a tumultuous period of wars following the independence in 1962 peace and stability came back to the country in 1996 under Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the current President of Uganda. Visitors have come rediscovering this brilliant country, its unique wildlife, the beautiful national parks and the fascinating and the mountain gorillas Uganda is one of the few places in the world where you can have up close encounters with the majestic mountain gorilla.
To the far west of Uganda, on the Congo border, the snow covered Rwenzori Mountains (or Mountains of the Moon as Ptolemy called them) rise into almost permanent equatorial mists. The mountain slopes have their own strange successive worlds of vegetation, each with its own characteristic flora. In the extreme south-west are the Mufumbiro volcanoes, a chain of imposing cones that rise out of the lava plain f the western rift. The tropical hardwood rainforests of Western Uganda such as Maramagambo, Budongo and Bwindi evoke adventure and wonder.
Getting there: KLM (0871 222 7474; klm.com) flies to Entebbe from London Heathrow from £695 return. KLM also flies from 15 UK regional airports. The main airport is at Entebbe, on Lake Victoria, a much more civilised stop for a first or last night.
Tour operator: A 10-day trip ( The best of Uganda) with Churchill Safari tours www.churchillsafaris.com costs from £1,800, including international flights, accommodation, rafting, chimp tracking and driver/guide.
Visa: British nationals need a visa, which can be paid for at the airport.
Population: Around 30 million. The main religion is Christianity.
Environment: Uganda has a high proportion of closed canopy forest and lakes, rivers and other wetland make up 25 per cent of the country. There are 10 national parks.
Language: English is the official language, but the most widely spoken is Luganda.
History: Dictator Idi Amin was driven out of Uganda 30 years ago, but political stability only came to the country in 1986 when Yoweri Museveni became president. He’s still in power, having won elections in 2006, in the first multi-party poll in 25 years.
What to see: Fort Portal on the edge of Kibale forest, Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth national parks are the places to see big game and a huge array of birdlife. Mountain gorillas are found in the Bwindi Impenetrable national park, in the south-west.
When to go: The wettest months are April, May, October and November. The temperature averages about 25C all year.
Is it safe? Generally, yes, though the Foreign Office advises against travel to the Karamoja region, in the north-east.
Money tips: Credit cards are not widely accepted, only large hotels and companies will take them but you can use them at banks to withdraw cash. The Uganda shilling is generally stable against the US Dollar. Dollar cash is the most welcome foreign currency. Other major currencies accepted are euros and British pounds.
Road distances from Kampala in KMs
Arua 523 – Entebbe 37 – Fort Portal 290 – Gulu 332 – Hoima 200 – Jinja 80 – Bushenyi 394 – Kabale 411 – Kasese 370 – Lira 347 – Masaka 130 – Masindi 217 – Mbale 256 – Mbarara 267 – Mubende 164 – Soroti 360 – Tororo 211 – Rukungiri 442
Entebbe, the former administrative capital, is still very picturesque, though rundown and neglected. The century old botanical gardens are being restored to their former splendour. The presence of the international airport at Entebbe will ensure its continued restoration.
Of the other towns around the country, Jinja at the source of the Nile, Mbarara on the road west, Fort Portal at the foot of the Rwenzori and Mbale on the eastern border are all howling promising signs of economic recovery. The apparent slow development and poverty of areas outside Kampala is combined result of cautious investment and the relatively recent restoration of countrywide infrastructure.