Republic of Uganda
English, Swahili, Luganda
Ugandan Shilling (UGX)
For a small country, Uganda has everything an adventurer could wish for. It has everything and more than its neighbouring countries do, including the famous “Big Five” must see animals of Africa. More than that, the country is home to the tallest mountain range and largest lake in Africa. Half the remaining mountain gorillas in the world reside in this country, making wildlife watching a unique experience!
Uganda boasts a tropical climate across most of its surface area, except in the mountainous regions (which can get quite cold and some even receive a bit of snow). Temperatures range from 21-25°C (70-77°F), with the hottest months from December to February. The wet months occur from March to May as well as October and November. The dry season occurs between January and February as well as June to September.
Uganda’s culture is made of up many ethnic groups making it difficult to generalize. For example, Lango and Acholi people dominate the north, while the Iteso and Karamojong people rule in the east. Moreover, Pygmies can be found living in isolated rainforest regions in western Uganda.
At least 40 languages are spoken in Uganda, with Luganda language being the most common despite English being considered the official language. In fact, English is barely spoken. Swahili is also widely used.
Uganda has a conservative Muslim and Christian society. This means that it is often not acceptable to wear clothes displaying too much skin. There are exceptions to this rule such as Kampala, however, it is advised to dress as locals do in order to blend in and be taken seriously outside tourist hotspots. Another important thing worth noting is that you should never criticize religion in presence of a Ugandan, as this is taken seriously and can be of great offense.
Ugandan cuisine has been heavily influenced by English, Arab and Indian dishes. The most common ingredients used are vegetables, potatoes, yams, bananas, chicken, pork, fish, beef, goat and mutton.
Boda-Bodas are motorcycles or scooters, which are a fun and inexpensive way to get around in big cities such as Kampala.
In Uganda, there are two classes of buses “matutus” which are minibuses with fixed routes, and coaches which run less frequently (i.e. they only leave Kampala in the morning). These two options run between major cities. Note that neither of these modes of transport run on fixed schedules and usually depart when they are full up.
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