Uganda is a landlocked nation in East Africa bordered by Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania. Lake Victoria occupies a large part of the country’s southern part. Kampala is the capital city. Uganda’s total land area is 241,559 sq km. About 37,000 sq km of this area is occupied by open water while the rest is land. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which it shares with Kenya and Tanzania.
Uganda is located on the East African plateau, averaging about 1,100 meters (3,609 ft) above sea level. The plateau generally slopes downwards towards Sudan explaining the northerly tendency of most river flows in the country. Although generally equatorial, the climate is not uniform since the altitude modifies the climate. Uganda’s elevation, soil types and predominantly warm and wet climate impart a huge agricultural potential to the country. They also explain the country’s large variety of forests, grasslands and wildlife reserves.
Wondering why Uganda is called ‘The Pearl of Africa’? Where else can you see lions prowling across the open savanna as day breaks before white water rafting down the Nile; then the next day set off into the misty mountains in search of the majestic mountain gorillas before settling in to watch a local cultural evening around the camp fire? Uganda has been ranked the number one destination for tourists for the year 2012 by Lonely Planet which is the largest travel guide and media publisher in the world.
Uganda sits squarely on the equator with an average altitude of around 1,000m, which tempers the heat and means this really is a year-round destination. Marc to May and Oct to Nov see the highest rainfall, but gorillas are still lurking in the mist although trekking to find them will be slippery and slower. However, accommodation and even gorilla permits can be much cheaper at this time. The best time to visit Uganda is June-Sep, which is the peak season but Uganda remains happily oblivious to mass tourism and you won’t need to worry about crowds.
The tropical climate of Uganda is modified by elevation and, locally, by the presence of the lakes. The major air currents are northeasterly and southwesterly. Because of Uganda’s equatorial location, there is little variation in the sun’s declination at midday, and the length of daylight is nearly always 12 hours. All of these factors, combined with a fairly constant cloud cover, ensure an equable climate throughout the year.
Most parts of Uganda receive adequate precipitation; annual amounts range from less than 20 inches (500 mm) in the northeast to a high of 80 inches (2,000 mm) in the Sese Islands of Lake Victoria. In the south, two wet seasons (April to May and October to November) are separated by dry periods, although the occasional tropical thunderstorm still occurs. In the north, a wet season occurs between April and October, followed by a dry season that lasts from November to March. Gorilla Trekking is regarded as a year-round activity; however, there are certain points during the year that are optimal. The dry seasons are considered the best time to see the mountain gorillas with trekking paths in better conditions – in the wetter months the trails tend to get washed out. The advantage of trekking in the wet season is that the gorillas stick to the lower slopes where temperatures are milder and food plentiful, which means trekking times, will be shorter.
BEST UGANDA SAFARI PACKAGES
Read more about popular Uganda safari packages below. Our customized tours and packages holidays can include multiple destinations to ensure you get the most out of your Uganda safari holiday and other East Africa destinations.