Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa, boarded by Kenya to the east, Rwanda and Tanzania to the south, The Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and South Sudan to the north. The capital Kampala is in the central region, and is located on the edge of Lake Victoria. It is a beautiful and diverse country, with mountains to the west, a semi-desert to the north, tea plantations and an extinct volcano to the west, and the lake to the south.
Uganda sits on the Equator, and has a tropical climate. There is a fair amount of rain, especially during the two rainy seasons, but it remains warm throughout the year, with temperatures in the mid to high twenties Celsius. Dry season is in January and February, and is the hottest time of the year. The north is hotter than the south. Rainy season is April and May as well as October to December. The sun is strong in Uganda at any time of the year, so bring adequate sun protection, such as sun screen and a hat. There is a risk of malaria, so it is advisable to bring mosquito repellent, as well as taking malaria prophylaxis during your trip.
Visas can applied for online, or bought on arrival at the port of entry. The current fee is USD$50 for a single entry visa, although this is subject to change. It is a requirement to have the yellow fever vaccination in order to enter Uganda, so make sure to bring proof of immunisation with you.
Uganda is a safe country to visit. The Lord’s Resistance Army, the subject of our northern tours, left Uganda in 2006. Kampala is considered one of the safest cities in Africa. There have been isolated incidences of terrorism, such as the twin bombings in Kampala in 2010, but in general it has a relatively low crime rate. It is nevertheless advisable to exercise caution when out and about: do not wear flashy jewellery and keep money and valuables out of sight.
The local currency is the Ugandan shilling, although prices – especially in the tourism sector – are often quoted in US dollars. Within major towns, it is relatively simple to exchange US dollars, Pound Sterling or Euros. Credit cards are rarely accepted, and where they are, they usually carry a 3-5% surcharge for use. For US dollars, bring notes printed after 2000, in dominations of $50 or $100. Smaller notes attract a lower exchange rate.
English is the official language in Uganda, although there are 56 local languages throughout the country. Swahili is the language of the uniform services.
Changing Horizons is a tour company which specialises in travel to sites of historical interest in East Africa.
Our tours take you to places that are identified with past events and experiences, such as sites of great discovery, like the source of the Nile, or sites of great sacrifice, like the shrine of the Christian martyrs.