Uganda Travel Information

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Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park are World Heritage sites.
Uganda Wildlife Authority Information about Uganda's national parks and wildlife preserves.

Facts About Uganda

Background: Uganda achieved independence from the UK in 1962. The dictatorial regime of Idi AMIN (1971-79) was responsible for the deaths of some 300,000 opponents; guerrilla war and human rights abuses under Milton OBOTE (1980-85) claimed another 100,000 lives. During the 1990s the government promulgated non-party presidential and legislative elections.
Government type: republic
Capital: Kampala
Currency: 1 Ugandan shilling (UGX) = 100 cents

Geography of Uganda

Location: Eastern Africa, west of Kenya
Geographic coordinates: 1 00 N, 32 00 E
total: 236,040 sq km
land: 199,710 sq km
water: 36,330 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 2,698 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 765 km, Kenya 933 km, Rwanda 169 km, Sudan 435 km, Tanzania 396 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: tropical; generally rainy with two dry seasons (December to February, June to August); semiarid in northeast
Terrain: mostly plateau with rim of mountains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Lake Albert 621 m
highest point: Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley 5,110 m
Natural resources: copper, cobalt, hydropower, limestone, salt, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 25%
permanent crops: 9%
permanent pastures: 9%
forests and woodland: 28%
other: 29% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 90 sq km (1993 est.)
Environment - current issues: draining of wetlands for agricultural use; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching is widespread
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - note: landlocked; fertile, well-watered country with many lakes and rivers

People of Uganda

Africans of three main ethnic groups--Bantu, Nilotic, and Nilo-Hamitic--constitute most of the population. The Bantu are the most numerous and include the Baganda, which, with about 3 million members (18% of the population), constitute the largest-single ethnic group.

The people of the southwest comprise 30% of the population, divided into five major ethnic groups: the Banyankole and Bahima,10%; the Bakiga, 8%; the Banyarwanda, 6%; the Bunyoro, 3%; and the Batoro, 3%). Residents of the north, largely Nilotic, are the next largest group, including the Langi, 6% and the Acholi, 4%. In the northwest are the Lugbara, 4%, and the Karamojong, 2% occupy the considerably drier, largely pastoral territory in the northeast. Europeans, Asians, and Arabs make up about 1% of the population with other groups accounting for the remainder.

Uganda's population is predominately rural, and its density is highest in the southern regions.

Until 1972, Asians constituted the largest nonindigenous ethnic group in Uganda. In that year, the Idi Amin regime expelled 50,000 Asians, who had been engaged in trade, industry, and various professions. In the years since Amin's overthrow in 1979, Asians have slowly returned. About 3,000 Arabs of various national origins and small numbers of Asians live in Uganda. Other nonindigenous people in Uganda include several hundred Western missionaries and a few diplomats and businesspeople.

Population: 27,269,482 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 51%
15-64 years: 47% 
65 years and over: 2% 
Population growth rate: 2.72% 
Birth rate: 48.04 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 18.44 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -2.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
note: according to the UNHCR, by the end of 1999, Uganda was host to 218,000 refugees from a number of neighboring countries, including: Sudan 200,600, Rwanda 8,000, and Democratic Republic of the Congo 8,000
Infant mortality rate: 93.25 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 42.93 years
male: 42.22 years
female: 43.67 years 
Total fertility rate: 6.96 children born/woman 
noun: Ugandan(s)
adjective: Ugandan
Ethnic groups: Baganda 17%, Karamojong 12%, Basogo 8%, Iteso 8%, Langi 6%, Rwanda 6%, Bagisu 5%, Acholi 4%, Lugbara 4%, Bunyoro 3%, Batobo 3%, non-African (European, Asian, Arab) 1%, other 23%
Religions: Roman Catholic 33%, Protestant 33%, Muslim 16%, indigenous beliefs 18%
Languages: English (official national language, taught in grade 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, preferred for native language publications in the capital and may be taught in school), other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili, Arabic
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 61.8%
male: 73.7%
female: 50.2% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Uganda > Map Economy History