Location: Uganda is a small landlocked East African country that lies astride the equator. It is bordered by Sudan to the north, DR Congo to the west, Kenya to the east and Tanzania and Rwanda to the south.

Size: 242,000 sq kms (approximately the size of the UK) and 20% of its surface is covered by water, part of the Great Lakes.

Borders: Safe and accessible land borders with Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania; risky land borders with Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Population: 28 million (2005 estimates)

People: Ugandans are remarkably hospitable people. The 52 nationalities (tribes) are fall in the broad ethnic classifications of Bantu, Nilotics, Nilo-Hermites and Hermites. Each nationality has elaborate customs and traditions many of which are displayed in colourful dances and dressing.

Main towns: Kampala (capital city), Entebbe, Jinja, Mbarara, Mbale, Gulu, Arua, Fort Portal.

Government: Republic, with direct presidential elections.

Independence date: October 9, 1962 (from Britain)

Life Expectancy: 42 (males), 45 (females).

Average Family income: US $400

Facts
Time: GMT/UTC + 3
Population: 42 million
Seasons: Wet (March to May, October to November), dry (December to February, June to September)
Telephone: Country code 256; international access code 000
ATMs: Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, Mbarara and major towns in Uganda
Capital: Kampala
Visa: US$50 for one month; issued at the Entebbe International Airport and at most borders
Languages: English, Luganda, Kiswahili
Area: 236, 580 sq km
Budget :US$20 a day in town, US$50 in parks
Money: Ugandan shilling; US$1 = USh3600

General Information

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 at least another 100,000 lives. During the 1990s, the government promulgated non-party presidential and legislative elections.

Area : 241,139 sq km (93,104 sq miles).

Population : 24,748,977 (2002).

Population Density : 102.6 per sq km.

Capital : Kampala.

Population : 1,208,544 (2002) .

GEOGRAPHY : Uganda shares borders with Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, Lake Victoria to the southeast, Tanzania and Rwanda to the south and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west. Kampala is on the shores of Lake Victoria, and the White Nile flowing out of the lake traverses much of the country. The varied scenery includes tropical forest and tea plantations on the slopes of the snowcapped Ruwenzori Mountains, the arid plains of the Karamoja, the lush, heavily populated Buganda, the rolling savannah of Acholi, Bunyoro, Tororo and Ankole, and the fertile cotton area of Teso .

Government : Republic. Gained independence from the UK in 1962. Head of State: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni since 1986. Head of Government : Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi since 1999.

Language : English is the official language, with Luganda and Swahili also widely spoken.

Religion : 60 per cent Christian, 32 per cent animist and 5 per cent Muslim.

Time : GMT + 3.

Electricity : 240 volts AC, 50Hz.

Communications :

Telephone : IDD is available to and from principal towns in Uganda. Country code: 256. Service for local calls is unreliable.

Mobile telephone : GSM 900/1800 network. Main network operators are Cellular Celtel (website: http://www.uganda.celtel.com/ ), MTN-Uganda (website: http://www.mtn.co.ug/ ) and Uganda Telecom Ltd (website: http://www.utl.co.ug/ ). Coverage extends to all major towns .

Fax : Service is available at the Postal & Telecommunications Office, 35 Kampala Road, Kampala; in central post offices in Jinja and Mbale between 0800-1600; and in some hotels.

Internet : ISPs include InfoCom (website: www.imul.com) and MTN Uganda (website: www.mtn.co.ug). There are Internet cafes in Kampala.

Telegram : Available in main towns.

Post: Airmail to Europe can take from three days to several weeks. Post office hours: Mon-Fri 0830-1230 and 1400-1730. Some post offices are open Sat 0830-1300.

Press : The English-language papers include The Economy, Financial Times, Guide, The Monitor, New Vision and The Star.

Radio : BBC World Service (website: www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice) and Voice of America (website: www.voa.gov) can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online. There are also a number of FM Radio stations in the country which one can listen to for information and news.

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