Uganda(map)Uganda, about the size of Oregon, is located in East Africa. The country, which lies across the equator, is divided into three main areas—swampy lowlands, a fertile plateau with wooded hills, and a desert region. Although landlocked, Uganda has access to several large water bodies, including Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, Lake Kyoga and Lake Edward. The country is located on the East African plateau, averaging about 2,950 ft. above sea level. Although generally tropical in nature, the climate differs between parts of the country. Uganda includes several offshore islands in Lake Victoria. Most important cities are located in the south, near Lake Victoria, including the capital, Kampala, and the nearby city of Entebbe. Uganda also has several rivers, the most important of which is the White Nile, one of the world’s longest rivers, whose source is Lake Victoria and whose waters pour into the Mediterranean Sea.


The colonial boundaries created by Britain to delimit Uganda grouped together a wide range of ethnic groups with different political systems andcultures. These differences prevented the establishment of a working political community after independence was achieved in 1962. The dictatorial regime of Idi Amin (1971-79) was responsible for the deaths of some 300,000 opponents and the expulsion of 50,000 Indians, the country’s largest non-indigenous ethnic group. The departure of the Indians, who had been engaged in trade, industry, and various professions, decimated the economy. Guerilla war and human rights abuses under Milton Obote (1980-85) claimed at least another 100,000 lives. The rule of Yoweri Museveni since 1986 has brought relative stability and economic growth to Uganda, efforts to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by war and neglect, and the return of the exiled Indian-Ugandan entrepreneurs. However, continued human rights violations, mass poverty, and the pace of progress toward the establishment of genuine political pluralism continue to be sources of concern.


Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2006, per capita income was about US$300. Poverty declined rapidly from 1991 (56%) to 2006 (31%) as a result of high and broad-based economic growth, however, poverty remains indisputably high in rural areas and Northern and Eastern Uganda. Life expectancy at birth is around 49 years and population growth at 3.3 percent remains one of the highest in the world. HIV/AIDS adult prevalence declined significantly over the last decade from about 18 percent in the early 1990s to 6.4 percent in 2005.Uganda(boyslaying)

Uganda(gorilla)Bwindi, also know as the Impenetrable Forest, is one of Uganda’s most recently created national parks. It encompasses one of the last remaining habitats of the mountain gorilla, and is where almost half – an estimated 330 individuals – of the surviving mountain gorillas in the world live. A major conservation effort has been going on here for a number of years to protect the gorillas’ habitat. Gorillas are not the only animals to have benefited from this project. The park contains about 20 forest elephants, at least 10 species of primate (including chimpanzees, colobus monkeys and baboons), duikers, bushbucks and the rare giant forest hog, as well as a host of bird and insect species. It is one of the richest areas in Africa for flora and fauna.


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