Uganda is a land-locked country and lies astride the Equator, right in the heart of Africa. It is bordered by Kenya in the East, Tanzania in the South, Rwanda in the South West, Congo in the west and Sudan in the North.
Uganda is roughly the size of United Kingdom,covering a total area of 236,040 sq kms, with a population of about 25-million. Main languages spoken are English (official), Luganda, Bantu and Nilotic languages, as well as Swahili. Industries include sugar factories, cotton, tobacco, cement, coffee, while minerals mined include copper, cobalt and limestone. The unit of currency is the Uganda shilling and the US dollar is traditionally the hard currency of preference. Euro and Pound Sterling are also widely accepted.
Uganda is a unique safari destination basically because of its large, forested area with Lowland rain forest. The Afro-montane forest, found especially on Mount Elgon, as well as its accessibility, gives a spectacular view of the forest creatures like chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, butterflies and birds. Going through the country�s game reserves, one is likely to encounter safari favourites like lions, buffalo, elephant, leopard, giraffe and other several species of animals not found anywhere else in Africa.
The country has 10 gazetted National Parks, with several wildlife and forest reserves. These protect Savannah, plain animals, forest environment and the associated animals. However, the ones with tourist facilities include Semliki, Queen Elizabeth, Budongo, Kanyiyo and Pabidi forest reserves and Murchison Falls National Park, amongst others.
Uganda is naturally endowed with lakes - Lake Victoria, Kyoga, Albert, Edward and several crater-lakes, especially around the Rwenzori foothills. The existence of such water bodies facilitates a relatively moist climate, with the countryside greener and more fertile compared to the semi-desert northern side. Around these water bodies are different bird species not easily found anywhere in Africa, especially the papyrus gonolek and the shoebill.
The country is mostly covered with a plateau at altitudes of 1,000-1200m and, by the effect of warping and rifting, the East African landscape was moulded, giving way to the Western Rift Valley of Uganda and the most attractive mountains like Rwenzori Mountains bordering Congo, with Margherita Peak at 5,110m as the third-highest point in Africa. Other major mountains include Moroto (3, 084m), Elgon (4,321m), Virungas on Rwanda border with Muhabura as the highest of Ugandan peaks at 4,127m and several others. Most of these mountains are homes to forest habitats and have high grasslands.
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