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Country Info

Useful facts, information and hints and tips about life in Uganda.

Permits

Read about all the different permit options for immigration to Uganda.

Services

Read about our services, how we assist with all Uganda permits and visas as well as relocation issues.

Foreign Exchange

Exchanging money can be a daunting experience. Our well-informed experts can save you avoidable charges.

Travel Visas

Learn here about obtaining your travel visa for Uganda, special passes and the entry requirements.

Uganda – information for expat workers

Below are some interesting facts about Uganda and life in Uganda. We offer a full relocation support service for those expatriate workers who require settling in assistance as well as a work visa or permit.

Geography

Uganda is officially known as the Republic of Uganda. To the east it borders Kenya, on the North South Sudan, to the west the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo  on the South West Rwanda and the South by Tanzania, resulting in Uganda being a landlocked country. To the south Uganda includes a large portion of Lake Victoria which is shared with Kenya and Tanzania.

Regions

There are 4 regions in Uganda known as Central, Western, Eastern, and Northern. These four regions are in turn divided into districts. There are currently 111 districts.

Capital

The capital of Uganda is Kampala. It has a current population of approximately 2.5 million making it by far the largest city in Uganda.

It occupies a series of hills at height of about 3,900 feet (1,190 metres) and is situated in the southern part of the country, just north of Lake Victoria.

Population

Approx 34,758,809 of which nearly half are under the age of 15. The population is fairly evenly spread through the regions of Uganda with the central region housing most at 27% and the northern region the least at 22%.

Language

The national official language is English and this is often taught in schools and used in law courts and by many newspapers and radio stations. The other official language is Swahili. Local languages include Ganda or Luganda which you may see in local language newspapers and in some schools.

Climate

Because Uganda is located around the equator the climate is quite pleasant the whole year through with temperatures averaging between 22 and 28 Celsius.

Economy

Uganda is best known for its large amount of natural resources. These include:

  • Fertile soils and  regular rainfall with agriculture as the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the work force with coffee accounting for the majority  of export revenues.
  • Deposits of copper, gold, and other minerals, and recently discovered oil.
  • It is expected oil revenues and taxes will become an increasingly larger source of government funding as oil becomes more prevalent in the next few years.  Sources are reported as saying Uganda’s government can expect to earn $50b on behalf of its 35 million strong population from reserves already discovered over the lifetime of the fields.

Money matters

Currency – The Ugandan currency is the Ugandan Shilling and the foreign currency code for Shilling is UGX. It comes in the form of notes and coins.

Cash – Small items should in general be paid for with in Ugandan shillings. It is possible to change dollars, pounds and euros everywhere in Uganda, but the best exchange rates are found in Kampala.

ATMs – There are ATM machines in most of the big trading centres or cities. In smaller towns there may be only  or 2 ATM machines and these will sometimes be out of money so make sure you have enough cash with you to cover 3 -4 days.

Travellers cheques – Not that common with few banks accepting them and may produce a bad exchange rate.

Credit Card – Some places will accept credit cards but careful of extra charges.

Getting to Uganda

The only international airport in Uganda is found in Entebbe, approx 1 hour by road from Kampala. As well as being host to the international airport it also is the official residence of the Ugandan President and a large number of government offices.

Getting around

There are three methods of public transportation: boda bodas, matatu, and special hires.

 Transport in Uganda

Getting around on a Boda Boda in Kampala, Uganda

  1. Boda Bodas are motorbikes where you sit on the back of them – often with no helmet and maybe feeling a little unsafe. They are however cheap and readily available.
  2. Matatus are mini buses that follow quite structured routes all over the city and further afield. Each Matatu will have a driver and a conductor and simply asking for your destination will elicit a yes or no response. Conditions may be crowded although they are limited to 14 passengers – packing in a few more is common.
  3. Taxis (or special hires) – these offer a little more comfort for the discerning traveller but many will not have meters so be sure to agree a price before heading off.

For those driving themselves be aware an international driving licence is required. In Kampala, many expatriate employees own or rent private vehicles.

Schooling

Uganda has seen a large increase in the number of private schools including a number of international schools.  These include:

  • Acorns International Pre-School
  • Aga Khan High School
  • Ambrosoli International High School
  • Ecole Francaise de Kampala
  • The International School of Uganda
  • Kabira International School
  • Rainbow International School

Housing

The more favoured expat housing of an upmarket variety is in and around Kampala and costs $1,200+ per month although accommodation can be found from $300 dollars upwards in other areas. Be aware large deposits of 3 -6 months are common and you should negotiate.

Shopping

Kampala obviously houses the main shopping facilities and the Garden City Shopping Mall has several floors of shops, including a supermarket, bookshop and department store, plus a cinema, bowling alley and food court.

In Lugogo there is a large shopping complex that includes a Barclays Bank, a large Shoprite supermarket and Game, a huge DIY and household shop from South Africa.

The largest shopping chain in East Africa is Nakumatt Oasis and this 24 hour supermarket is in every major suburb of Kampala with offerings that include all food items, hardware, cosmetics, furniture and bedding, and electronics are also available.

Uchumi is another major supermarket with branches throughout Uganda. It offers imported and local wines, kitchen appliances, furniture and other household items as well as food items.

Night-life

Said by some expats to be impressive. Uganda offers a variety of entertainment venues that include include bars, nightclubs, casinos, golf courses, a Cineplex, a theatre, and amusement Centre.

Some of the most popular nightclubs are Ange Noir, Rouge, and Club Silk. Al’s Bar, Sabrina’s Pub, Fat Boyz, Just Kicking, Iguana and Casablanca. They open 7 nights per week and are a favourite destination for expatriates and young professionals.

Relocation services to Uganda

Whether it is a simple airport pick up through to schooling, housing or settling in services Intergate and its representatives offer a full relocation service which can tailored to your individual needs or that of your employees. Simply e-mail us here or telephone us + 27 (0) 21 424 2460.

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