- Kampala; 1,246,000
- 241,139 square kilometers (93,104 square miles)
- English, Ganda or Luganda, many local languages
- Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous beliefs, Muslim
- Ugandan shilling
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $1,200
- Literacy Percent:
Uganda Facts Flag
Uganda, a landlocked country in East Africa, consists of savanna plateau with mountains and lakes. "The pearl of Africa," wrote Winston Churchill of this former British protectorate that embraces Lake Victoria, source of the White Nile, and the misty Ruwenzori Mountains—a home of the endangered mountain gorilla.
Prosperous at independence in 1962, the country was brutalized under the chaotic regimes of Milton Obote and Idi Amin, when as many as 800,000 Ugandans were murdered. In 1986 Yoweri Museveni, leader of the National Resistance Army, came to power and, despite continued military and economic challenges, restored stability to a large extent. Museveni was elected president in May 1996 in the first popular election for president since independence—and reelected in 2001.
In 1998 Uganda sent troops into the Democratic Republic of the Congo's civil war. It withdrew the last of its forces in 2003—and thousands of Congolese crossed into Uganda to seek asylum. An insurgent militia, known as the Lord's Resistance Army, continues to terrorize northern Uganda—abducting some 20,000 children over the years and making them soldiers. Fertile soil keeps farms and coffee plantations flourishing, but AIDS—epidemic in some areas—may now be Uganda's greatest enemy.
- Industry: Sugar, brewing, tobacco, cotton textiles, cement
- Agriculture: Coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco; beef
- Exports: Coffee, fish and fish products, tea, gold, cotton
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
From Uganda to Quito, Raja Ampat to Memphis, 20 wildly diverse places make our wanderlust list for the new year.
It's time to start planning your adventures for 2012. Here are Traveler magazine's 20 best places in the world to visit, including Virunga Volcanoes.
Travel Photos From Your Shot
View scenes of Canada's city life and countryside—all taken by our Nat Geo photo community.