About Uganda

Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". The country takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country including the capital Kampala.

Uganda is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda and on the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which is also shared by Kenya and Tanzania. The official languages are English and Swahili, although multiple other languages are spoken in the country.

Ugandan cuisine consists of traditional cooking with English, Arab, Asian and especially Indian influences. Like the cuisines of most countries, it varies in complexity, from the most basic, a starchy filler with a sauce of beans or meat, to several-course meals served in upper-class homes and high-end restaurants. Main dishes are usually centered on a sauce or stew of groundnuts, beans or meat. The starch traditionally comes from ugali (maize meal) or matoke (boiled and mashed green banana), in the South, or an ugali made from millet in the North. Cassava, yam and African sweet potato are also eaten; the more affluent include white (Irish) potato and rice in their diets. Soybean was promoted as a healthy food staple in the 1970s and this is also used, especially for breakfast. Chapati, an Asian flatbread, is also part of Ugandan cuisine.

Uganda lies across the equator and part of the Great Rift Valley. To the East Uganda borders Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda in the south, west with Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan in the North. A sixth of the country is covered by bodies of water including lakes, rivers and swamps, another portion with vegetation mainly forest and the rest by Grass and Woodland Savannas.

Uganda enjoys one of the best climates in the world. It is sunny and green all year around with two distinct rainy seasons, from March to May and September to November. However, rain can occur anytime. The average temperature is 27°C about 31°C in the Karamoja and Kasese regions and 15°C in Kabale.

Unlike the other countries offering Safaris in East Africa, Uganda offers Mountain Gorilla hiking or trekking as it is referred to, as a unique type of safari attraction. Gorilla trekking offers an exclusive experience in Africa where the tourists hike through tropical forests in search of these gentle relatives of the human race. Upon finding an habituated Mountain Gorilla family we, unobtrusively accompany them for approximately an hour sharing with them their daily activities and watching them playing in amongst the thick vegetation often swing from branch to branch, while young Gorillas might be seen suckling from their mother’s breast while a dominant Silver back male watches protectively.

The well respected “Lonely Planet Travel Guide” says this about Uganda:

“Uganda is Africa condensed, with the best of everything the continent has to offer packed into one small but stunning destination. Uganda is home to the highest mountain range in Africa, the Mountains of the Moon in the Ruwenzori National Park. It is the source of the mighty Nile and around Jinja offers the best white-water rafting in the world. It has the highest concentration of primates on earth, including the majestic mountain gorilla, one of the rarest animals on the planet. Do yourself a favour and head to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for a chance to get close to these great apes. On top of all this, the scenery is so striking that it looks like an oil painting, the beautiful national parks see far fewer visitors than in neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania, and the capital, Kampala, is safer and friendlier than most in Africa. In 1907 pioneering tourist Winston Churchill called it the ‘Pearl of Africa’. He was right.

Mention Uganda to most people today and the first thing they’ll think of is the brutality of Idi Amin. Their naivety is their loss as, thankfully for Uganda, the big man died in exile in 2003. The reality is vastly different. Stability has returned to most parts of the country and tourists are welcomed with open arms. Despite the trials and tribulations of the past, Ugandans have weathered the storm remarkably well. The people offer heart-warming hospitality up and down the country, their ever-present smile accompanied by ‘Hello Mzungu!’ They are truly some of the finest folk on the continent. Take the plunge now, before the world wakes up to this magical microcosm of Africa”

Savanna Biome

A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses. Some classification systems also recognize a grassland savanna from which trees are absent.

East African savanna

Savannas are also characterized by seasonal water availability, with the majority of rainfall confined to one season. Savannas are associated with several types of biomes. Savannas are frequently in a transitional zone between forest and desert or prairie. Savanna covers approximately 20% of the Earth’s land area. The largest area of savanna is in Africa.

Defassa Uganda

Gorilla permits

Uganda-Permits to view gorillas in Uganda are in high demand, with only 48 tracking permits available each day in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

It is advisable that clients who are interested in gorilla tracking book as early as possible. We will endeavour to secure permits at short notice however in peak season (June through October, December through March) this can be fraught with frustration if your visit does not provide for flexibility


Visas are issued at Ugandan Missions abroad and also at entry/exit points to Uganda (i.e. borders and airport). You can get 3-months tourist visas on entry for US$50.00. Quite often they will only stamp your passport for one month and then you can get this visa renewed, free of charge, with the Immigration Office in Kampala. If there is a Ugandan Embassy in your country, you will be able to get multi-entry visa (6 months US$100.00 and 1 year US$190.00). This will be useful to those of you who will be in and out of Uganda during your stay. It is much easier to bring US$50.00 or US$100.00 (exact amount) to get your visa at the airport. 

Health Requirements

Certificates are required for vaccination against yellow fever. Check current medical advice on typhoid, cholera and hepatitis. It is advisable to start anti-malaria medications 10 days prior to arrival and continue with the same until 14 days after leaving East Africa. Our guests are also encouraged to make their own insurance arrangements for the time they will be in Africa. You need to consult with your local Doctor for advice on Medication.


Visitors can travel and see these Apes all year round. However, the best time, is January-Match, and June-October.

Fortunately Uganda has in recent years adopted a very successful conservation strategy, with the money made through National Park fees, gorilla tracking permits, chimpanzee tracking permits, etc being reinvested into the conservation of Uganda’s native wildlife. Consequently a recent chimpanzee census has actually shown that numbers of chimpanzees have actually grown.

Information are correct at time of writing.

Number of People*
Start Date*
End Date
Cruise Ship Passenger*
Cruise Ship Name*
Docking Time*
Dietary Requirements*
Medical Conditions*