Uganda lies between the two arms of the Great Rift Valley in East Africa . It is crossed by the Equator. It is roughly the same size as Great Britain having an area of 241,139 sq. km. Of this 17% sq km is made up of swamps and open fresh water bodies, 12% forest reserves and game parks. It is bordered by Kenya to the East, Sudan to the North, DRC to the West and Tanzania and Rwanda to the south.
The country has an average elevation of 1200m above sea level. Mountain areas are the Rwenzori mountains (5000m) with permanent snow cover and Mount Elgon (4300m).
Uganda’ s climate is equatorial but this is tempered by its elevated altitude and average daytime temperatures range between 20C and 27C. Average annual rainfall is in the region of 1000mm. There are two rainy seasons – March to early May and September to December.
Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and second largest in the world. It is also the source of the River Nile. Lakes Edward and Albert lie to the west of the country.
The landscape and vegetation have exceptional diversity. Uganda lies at the overlap between tropical East African savannah and the West African rainforest zones. The south of the country is mostly covered by forest and sub-tropical cultivation (plantains, coffee and tea). There are woodland and open savannah grassland areas. The north is drier than the rest of the country. It is covered in semi-desert and dry acacia woodland, which lacks the heavy intertwining canopy found in tropical forests.
The many wonders of nature have found a home in Uganda , one of East Africa’ s premier tourist destinations. With landscapes that range from snow capped mountain peaks and rainforests in the west through broad savannah to arid semi-desert in the north east, as well as wetlands of international importance, Uganda is one of the best traveler destinations for safari holidays.
With the western arm of the Great Rift Valley occupying most of its west and giving it a unique landscape, Uganda has both flora and fauna species of both East and West Africa in addition to having a wide variety of its very own indigenous species. In western Uganda , the mountain ranges of the Rwenzoris and Virungas extend into the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire . On the eastern border lies Mount Elgon , an ancient, extinct volcano that borders Kenya .
A third of Uganda is covered by water. The many lakes and rivers include Lake Victoria , the largest lake in Africa , and the River Nile from its legendary source. In contrast, northern Uganda is arid, giving rise to special types of plant and animal life not found elsewhere. The wildlife to be seen in Uganda is sensational and include the rare mountain gorilla at Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks .
Gorilla trekking is an activity that has brought many visitors to Uganda . The only remaining populations of mountain gorillas live in the area that covers the southeast corner of Uganda , Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.