Living in Uganda

Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits,Uganda is a wonderful country interspersed with amazing natural beauty and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures. However, you may consider living in Uganda for different reasons than the soothing environment.

Uganda is called as the ‘Pearl of Africa’, and is situated at the heart of the African continent. Agriculture is the mainstay of the Ugandan economy. Its official languages are Swahili and English. Known as a cultural melting pot, living in Uganda will expose you to a wealth of diverse music, food, social life, arts and crafts.

In Uganda, you’ll discover the country is made up of four main regions: Central, Eastern, Northern and Western, each with their own unique charms. The entire population is currently at around 38.8 million people. Uganda is also home to 30 different indigenous languages.

There are plenty of things to see and do in Uganda, from sampling local cuisine to taking part in exciting activities such as bungee jumping and rafting. You can also go horseback riding and experience traditional music and dance.

Kampala is the capital and largest city of Uganda. Kampala was named the 13th fastest growing city on the planet, with an annual population growth rate of 4.03 percent, by City Mayors. Kampala has been ranked the best city to live in East Africa ahead of Nairobi and Kigali by Mercer, a global development consulting agency based in New York City.

The Climate in Uganda

You might be pleased to hear that Uganda is home to a very tropical climate, with long spells of rain most common during the months of March to May, and October to November (light rain season). In-between these two periods are Uganda’s dry seasons.

Throughout most of the year, Uganda is warm and sunny, with temperatures at an average of 26°C – very rarely reaching above 29°C. Because of the temperature, we recommend expats opt for lightweight clothing and a warm cover-up to wear in the evenings. A good pair of walking shoes or boots is also wise, along with long-sleeved tops to help prevent mosquito bites.

Although it’s situated on the equator, Uganda is still more temperate than some of its surrounding areas, mainly thanks to its altitude. Most of the country is situated on a plateau, with a mountainous rim, making it more suited to agriculture. This also makes it less prone to tropical diseases than other nations close by.

Healthcare in Uganda

The country’s health system aims to provide the Uganda National Minimum Health Care Package (UNMHCP). It includes services offered by both traditional health clinics, along with local healers, private practitioners and community-based healthcare. This is what’s known as a decentralized healthcare system, comprised of both district and national levels.

Transportation in Uganda

Expats traveling around Uganda have access to a wealth of transport opportunities, with traffic in the country having increased significantly over the past few years. In particular, you should quickly become familiar with mini bus taxis (also known as matatus), which are particularly popular with backpackers as they provide swift transport to major urban parts of the country.

There are several different kinds of buses available for transport between different areas of the country, including international and domestic public buses, Uganda post buses, and pick-up trucks (for more rural areas, when the roads are just a bit too tricky for matatus). Motorbike taxis (or boda-boda) are another popular form of transport you can find just about anywhere, although in some smaller towns, such as Mbale and Kabale, you can still find them in bicycle form.

Expatriates living in Uganda may also choose to rent their own car complete with an experienced driver, or hire what’s known as a ‘special taxi’ – just be sure to practice your negotiation skills first as prices can be expensive!

For safety reasons, you should not travel between towns after dark, unless traveling between Kampala and Entebbe.