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Uganda; Getting to Know The Local Customs

Uganda is an African country in the eastern part of the African continent. The country has a reputation for political instability which has been a blow to the tourism sector. After its independence in 1962 from the United Kingdom, there were politically inspired violence, a civil war, and several governments and presidents were overthrown. But after a period of unrest, the future for Uganda is looking bright. According to the World Travel Guide, Uganda is a country with a rich natural diversity, friendly people, and a burgeoning cultural scene. Kampala, the capital, is the most popular, but the World Travel Guide notes that Kabalagala is also worth visiting. Uganda is also known for their hospitality towards refugees. Uganda hosts a lot of refugees from their neighboring country, South Sudan. But Uganda has natural spots like Lake Victoria, and many local towns and cities have a lot to offer. Below you will find the most important things you need to know when traveling to Uganda.

Geography

Uganda shares its border with many other African countries — Kenya in the east, South Sudan in the north, Tanzania and Rwanda in the south, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the west. Southeast Uganda borders Lake Victoria which is the largest lake on the African continent. Uganda has a tropical forest, a desert, and extensive plains in the northeastern part of the country.

Demography

The population of Uganda in 2017 was about 41.5 million. The population density is 153.9 people per square kilometer. The official language is English. There is a diversity of ethnic groups in Uganda such as Baganda, Ankole, Basoga, Bakiga, and Langi. The life expectancy for men is 43 years and for women 45 years.

Climate

The climate of Uganda is tropical and temperatures, apart from the mountains, range from 2C to 25C. The warmest months are from December to February, but even then the evenings can be chilly. Apart from the dry area in the north, Uganda has an abundant, annual rainfall. There is heavy rain between March and May, and also between October and November. During these periods, traveling over land can be difficult because of muddy roads.

Travel

When traveling to Uganda, bring lightweight clothes and a sweater or coat for the chilly evenings. Bring a good pair of boots or walking shoes, and cover your arms against mosquitos. When traveling in the mountains, it is advised to wear warm clothes. Do not bring white clothes because they won’t stay white long; Uganda has many red, dusty roads. You can also buy clothes, even second-hand clothes, in the capital Kampala. They stock all sorts of clothing including trousers and boots.

When traveling to Uganda, it would be wise to bring a first aid kit and medication for preventing diarrhea. A lighter and flashlight in the first aid kit would also be helpful in certain circumstances when there is no electricity. Travelers should also bring medicines, and it is advised to have comprehensive health insurance that covers air repatriation in case of an emergency. You should only drink water after it is boiled, and the same goes for milk. Malaria is the most common risk in Uganda, so make sure you have the necessary vaccinations.

Uganda is the most welcome country for refugees who have fled from countries that are torn by war or where several tribes have conflicts. Although the country has problems, it is often a safe haven for refugees. Uganda gives refugees all the tools and help they need to build up a new future.

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