The Pearl of Africa – short film by Stef

Uganda is located in eastern Africa, west of Kenya, south of South Sudan, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and north of Rwanda and Tanzania. She is in the soul of the Great Lakes region, and is surrounded by three of them, Lake Edward, Lake Albert, and Lake Victoria. While much of its border is lakeshore and about 1,100 metres (3,609ft) above sea level, Uganda is landlocked with no access to the sea. Uganda also lies within the Nile basin, and has a wide-ranging but generally a modified equatorial climate. She got her name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the central and Southern parts of the country, including the capital city Kampala and the major international Entebbe.

The country is mostly plateau with some rolling hills and low mountains. Grassland and tropical forest dominate the central region, with volcanic foothills in the east. The Ruwenzori Mountains form much of the southwestern border between Uganda and the DRC. The highest peaks there are snowcapped. In eastern Uganda, the border with Kenya is marked by volcanic hills.

Uganda is replete with water and contains many large lakes. In fact, almost one-fifth of its total area is open water or swampland. Four of East Africa’s Great Lakes – Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga, Lake Albert, and Lake Edward lie within Uganda or on its borders.

Lake Victoria is the second largest inland freshwater lake in the world (after Lake Superior), and it feeds the upper waters of the Nile River, which is referred to in this region as the Victoria Nile.

Lake Kyoga and the surrounding basin dominate central Uganda. Additional lakes of note include Lake Kwania, Lake Bugondo, Lake George and Lake Opeta.

The Nile River leaves Lake Victoria near Jinja, as the Victoria Nile. It flows for approximately 300 miles (500 km) further, through Lake Kyoga, until it reaches Lake Albert. After leaving Lake Albert, the river is known as the Albert Nile. It then flows into Sudan, where it is known as the Bahr al Jabal, or Mountain Nile. Situated across the Equator, average day time temperatures commonly range between 24-28 degrees Cereous. An annual rainfall of 125 mm over two periods – April /May and November to early December, but with the sun still shining even during the rainy season, and the rain still rains during the dry months but just in some parts of the country mostly around Lake Victoria, then this climate provide the country with a suitable conditions all the year round.


Kampala has a hot and humid tropical climate, with temperatures usually around 30 °C or just below. The hottest month is February when temperatures occasionaly hit 35 °C. The cooler period is from May to August when temperatures can drop below 15 °C but it rarely get colder. March to May is the long rainy season, with April being the wettest month. A shorter and less wet period lasts from late October to early December.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg Max 28.5 °C 29.3 °C 28.7 °C 27.7 °C 27.2 °C 26.9 °C 26.7 °C 27.2 °C 27.9 °C 27.7 °C 27.4 °C  28 °C
Avg Min 17.9 °C 18.3 °C 18.2 °C 18.1 °C 17.9 °C 17.7 °C 17.2 °C 17 °C 17.2 °C 17.5 °C 17.5 °C 17.8 °C
Rainfall 71 mm  54 mm 119 mm 174 mm 124 mm 66 mm 56 mm 91 mm 106 mm 126 mm 152 mm 86 mm
Rain Days 7 8 12 16 13 8 7 9 11 15 14 10

Uganda is a home to many tribes and languages. Uganda has over 56 tribes and about nine indigenous communities that formally came to be recognized in the constitution amendment of 2005 in the 1995 constitution. English is the official language of Uganda for international relations and according to statistics from Uganda Bureau of Statistics we see that 75% and above of the total population of Uganda falls under the 10–65yrs cohort but at least two thirds or 66% of Ugandans will reply or be able to help you if you approached them with English. However, all the 56 tribes have their own local languages with Luganda as the dominant language widely spoken in most parts of the country. Most of the languages spoken in Uganda are very similar reason being they have same origin and ethnic group like Bantu group with tribes such as the Baganda, Basoga, Banyankole, Bagishu etc., The Nilotics with tribes such as  Acholi, Alur etc, The Nilo-Hamites tribes such as Iteso, Karimojongs, Sabin etc. These are the major ethnic groups occupying vast areas of the country. Each tribe has a given language however the asset of some languages is similar for example Muganda can easily understand about 80% of what a Musoga says in comparison to about 60% of what a Mugisu says.

Brief History

The long ago population of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago. Bantu-speaking populations, who were probably from central and western Africa, migrated to the southern parts of the country. Arab traders moved inland from the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa in the 1830s. They were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile. Protestant missionaries entered the country in 1877, followed by Catholic missionaries in 1879. The United Kingdom placed the area under the charter of the British East Africa Company in 1888, and ruled it is colony from 1894.

The process for Uganda to gain her independence on October 9th 1962 was dissimilar to that of other colonial territories were people used to form political parties to force self-rule or independence from an unwilling colonial government. For Uganda there were some demands for greater autonomy, but these used to be mostly presented by the indigenous patriotic peacefully until independence was attained from the British. Since 1894 Uganda was a British protectorate that was put together from some very organized kingdoms and chieftaincies that inhabited the lake regions of central Africa. At independence, Dr. Milton Apollo Obote, also leader of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) became the first Prime Minister and head of the government.


How many regions and districts do we have in Uganda?

The regions of Uganda are Central, Western, Eastern, and Northern. These four regions are also divided into districts. There were 56 districts in 2002, which expanded into 111 districts plus one city (Kampala) by 2010 but as per now they are 121 districts.

What is Uganda most famous for?

Uganda proudly known as the “Pearl of Africa”, courtesy of William Churchill, before she was the East African smallest country but after the additional of Rwanda, and Burundi she became the 3rd smallest in East Africa is known for its scenery, also famous for her Mountain gorilla populations, the largest in Africa, birdlife and for its national parks and other natural attractions.

Getting Here and Away

Uganda has become a very accessible destination which can be reached by air or land.


Several airlines fly to Uganda, including Air Uganda, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Egypt Air, Emirates, Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM, Precision Air, Qatar Airways, Rwandair, South African Airways and Turkish Airlines. International flights generally arrive into the modern Entebbe International Airport (EBB) located one hour from the capital of Kampala.

By Road

There are safe, easy but lengthy bus routes into Kampala from Kenya (Nairobi), Tanzania (Bukoba, Dar es Salaam), Rwanda (Kigali) and Burundi (Bujumbura). The borders with South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are more risky – be sure to research the current travel situation as well as visa requirements before attempting travel to or from these countries.