Uganda is a land-locked African country of about 236,000 square miles (about the size of Oregon) that lies across the equator at the northwest shores of Lake Victoria. There are about 30 million people living in Uganda, and the population is growing each year. Its neighbors are Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. Most of the work of WGM Uganda is in typically tropical climates.
Uganda is best known for the wildlife in its national parks. Tourist facilities are widely available at Murchison Falls and in other game parks and reserves. Uganda is also home to the Rift Valley, Lake Victoria, the Rwenzori Mountains and the rare mountain gorillas. The country’s economic system is based on agriculture and tourism.
The coolest months of the year are March-May. During these months, the temperature can fall to the sixties at night, and it rises into the eighties during the day. During the warmer months of December, January and February, temperatures reach the nineties with high humidity.
Uganda has two rainy seasons. The longer rainy season begins in March and lasts into May or longer and the short rainy season lasts from October through November. Come prepared with clothes for both rain and sun. The days may be hot, but the nights may get cool. (In February it is rarely cool, at night or in the daytime.) Bring sunscreen because at higher altitudes the equatorial sun is very strong, and you will get sunburned quickly. Don’t be fooled by your normal reactions to the sun in the United States or the United Kingdom.
Uganda is eight hours ahead of New York (Eastern Standard Time). When it's 8:00 a.m. in Uganda, it's midnight in New York. The sun rises year round between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. and sets between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m.
The unit of currency is the Uganda shilling, abbreviated USh. Currency is circulated in one thousand, two thousand, five thousand, ten thousand, twenty thousand, and fifty thousand shilling notes. Coins are found in 50, 100, 200, and 500 shilling pieces. The rate of exchange has been about USH 2,000 for one U.S. dollar in recent times. However, the exchange rate varies from day to day and month to month according to the dollars available in Uganda and the world money markets.
The official languages of Uganda are English, Luganda and Swahili. There are also about 45 other tribal languages used. As English is the language of secondary and university education, many educated Ugandans speak English. Missionaries and nationals can help you learn common phrases and greetings that may be used daily in Luganda, Swahili and/or tribal languages in the area where you are living.
Uganda has copper, cobalt, hydropower, limestone, salt and arable land. Petroleum is in the early stages of production, as well, in the north and west of the country.
Drainage of wetlands for agricultural use, deforestation, overgrazing, soil erosion, water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria, and poaching are widespread.
Uganda is a landlocked, fertile, well-watered country with many lakes and rivers.