Landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of east-central Africa.
Nickname: The Pearl of Africa.
- Size: 241,038 km2 (93,065 sq mi), 79th largest country in the world; same size as the US state of Oregon.
- Bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south-west by Rwanda and to the south by Tanzania.
- The country is on the east African plateau at an average elevation of 1,100 metres (3,609 ft) above sea level. It slopes downwards to the Sudanese Plain to the north. In the west there is a series of mountains associated with the Albertine Rift.
- The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda also lies almost completely within the Nile basin. The White Nile flows out of Lake Victoria at Jinja, northwards to South Sudan and beyond.
- Although the country is landlocked, it boasts several large lakes, including Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga, Lake Albert, Lake Edward and Lake George. Almost a fifth of the country is open water or swampland.
- Habitats are varied; montane forests, swamps, tropical forests, freshwater lakes, dry woodlands and moist savannah.
- Highest point: Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley, at 5,111 metres (16,768 ft) above sea level; the third highest peak on the African continent.
- Climate is tropical and the country has two rainy seasons (average annual rainfall is 1,000 to 2,000 mm) in the south. It is semi-arid in the northeast.
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 3. Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (2001), Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (1994) and Rwenzori Mountains National Park (1994).
Famous parks and reserves
- Murchison Falls National Park: home to a spectacular waterfall where the Nile crashes through a narrow gorge, and also fantastic birds and mammals.
- Kibale National Park: boasts an incredible 13 primate species, including our closest relative, the Chimpanzee, and fantastic forest birding of over 300 species.
- Queen Elizabeth National Park: visually dramatic must-visit park with 95 Mammal species, 600 bird species and photogenic volcanic features.
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park: UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to about 400 Eastern (Mountain) Gorillas, along with 350 bird species.
- Lake Mburo National Park: small but awesome park, with 350 bird species, amazing wetland scenery and some special mammals.
- Semuliki National Park: unique “jungle” park that is more Congo than Uganda, with at least 50 bird species found nowhere else in east Africa.
- 353 mammal species, including Africa’s Big Five
- National Mammal: Kob Kobus kob
- Other star mammals: Eastern (Mountain) Gorilla, Chimpanzee, Guereza, L’Hoest’s Monkey, Ashy Red Colobus, Ugandan Grey-cheeked Mangabey, (Rothschild’s) Giraffe and Cheetah
- 1010 bird species, including 1 endemic (Fox’s Weaver) and 29 globally threatened species
- National Bird: Grey Crowned Crane
- Other star birds: Shoebill, Congo Serpent and Crowned Eagle, Great Blue, Ross’s and Black-billed Turaco, Spot-breasted Ibis, Grey Parrot, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, African and Green-breasted Pitta, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Black and Blue-breasted Bee-eater, and Papyrus Gonolek
- IBAs (Important Bird Areas): 34, including Budongo Forest Reserve, Bwindi, Kibale, Lake Mburo, Lake Opeta, Mabamba Bay, Murchison Falls and Semuliki National Park.
- 142 species of reptiles
- 82 species of amphibians
- 501 species of fish
- 1,250 species of butterflies
- 4,500 species of plants, including 110 species of fern
Travelers from all over the world visit Uganda to experience the utter beauty, attractions and fantastic conservations efforts. It’s a definite add-on to your bucket list.