Uganda Travel Information

Photo Uganda achieved independence from the UK in 1962. The dictatorial regime of Idi AMIN (1971-79) was responsible for the deaths of some 300,000 opponents; guerrilla war and human rights abuses under Milton OBOTE (1980-85) claimed at least another 100,000 lives. During the 1990s, the government promulgated non-party presidential and legislative elections.


Africans of three main ethnic groups--Bantu, Nilotic, and Nilo-Hamitic--constitute most of the population. The Bantu are the most numerous and include the Baganda, which, with 18% of the population, constitute the largest single ethnic group.

The people of the southwest comprise 30% of the population, divided into five major ethnic groups: the Banyankole and Bahima,10%; the Bakiga, 8%; the Banyarwanda, 6%; the Bunyoro, 3%; and the Batoro, 3%. Residents of the north, largely Nilotic, are the next largest group, including the Langi, 6%, and the Acholi, 4%. In the northwest are the Lugbara, 4%. The Karamojong, 2%, occupy the considerably drier, largely pastoral territory in the northeast. Europeans, Asians, and Arabs make up about 1% of the population with other groups accounting for the remainder.


Uganda's economy has great potential. Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development at independence. However, chronic political instability and erratic economic management produced a record of persistent economic decline that left Uganda among the world's poorest and least-developed countries.


Although U.S.-Ugandan relations were strained during the rule of Idi Amin in the 1970s, relations improved after Amin's fall. In mid-1979, the United States reopened its embassy in Kampala. Relations with successor governments were cordial, although Obote and his administration rejected strong U.S. criticism of Uganda's human rights situation.

Important: Travel to Uganda may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Uganda visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Republic of Uganda
Capital city: Kampala
Area: 241,038 sq km
Population: 33,640,833
Ethnic groups: Baganda 16.9%, Banyakole 9.5%, Basoga 8.4%, Bakiga 6.9%, Iteso 6.4%, Langi 6.1%, Acholi 4.7%, Bagisu 4.6%, Lugbara 4.2%, Bunyoro 2.7%, other 29.6%
Languages: English
Religions: Roman Catholic 41.9%, Protestant 42%
Government: republic
Chief of State: President Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI
Head of Government: President Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI
GDP: 47.78 billion
GDP per captia: 1,400
Annual growth rate: 5.1%
Inflation: 18.7%
Agriculture: coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, cassava
Major industries: sugar, brewing, tobacco, cotton textiles
Natural resources: copper, cobalt, hydropower, limestone, salt, arable land, gold
Location: East-Central Africa, west of Kenya, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Trade Partners - exports: Kenya 11.6%, Rwanda 9.7%, UAE 9%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 8.8%, Netherlands 7%, Germany 6.7%, Belgium 4.6%, Italy 4.3%
Trade Partners - imports: Kenya 14.9%, UAE 14%, India 11.1%, China 9.3%, South Africa 5.6%, Japan 4.4%