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Preface Last Updated: 3/25/2004 5:18 AM

Uganda, roughly the size of Oregon, lies across the Equator and is located in the center of the African Continent. The country is divided into three principal geographic areas—a fertile plateau, lowland swamps, and a semi-desert region. Lake Victoria forms part of the southern border. The capital of the Republic of Uganda is Kampala.

Uganda has an estimated population of 25 million. Africans of four ethnic and linguistic groups—Bantu, Nilotic, NiloHamitic, and Sudanic, constitute most of the populace. Christianity is the main religion (British missionaries first arrived in 1877), and English is the official language.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Government came to power in 1986 after many years of political instability. Government and private businesses, with foreign assistance, are making progress rebuilding the industrial sector. Currently, agriculture represents almost 100% of all exports.

Uganda’s tourist industry, once an important source of foreign exchange earnings, is slowly rebuilding, and hotels and lodges are being renovated. Uganda has seven national parks that are rich in flora and fauna including the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, containing slightly more than half of the world’s gorilla population. Uganda is an equatorial country of astonishing contrasts, diversity of habitats and one of Africa’s richest birding destinations. In fact, Queen Elizabeth National Park is thought to have more than 500 different species of birds, more than in all of North America.

The Host Country

Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:13 AM

Uganda is located on a fertile plateau in the center of Africa at an average altitude of 4,000 feet. The plateau is bordered on the east by the Kenya Highlands and Mount Elgon (14,178 feet) and on the west by the Rwenzori Mountains (16,791 feet). It is crossed diagonally from southeast to northwest by the Nile River, which begins its journey to the Mediterranean near the town of Jinja on Lake Victoria, about 50 miles from the capital, Kampala. With an area of 91,000 square miles, Uganda is roughly the size of Oregon or about the size of Great Britain.

Kampala has over a million residents and lies near the shores of Lake Victoria about 20 miles north of the Equator. Its altitude ranges from 3,622 to 4,500 feet. Built on a number of low-lying hills, the city is surrounded by green rolling countryside dotted with small farms. These farms grow mostly matooke bananas, cassava, and maize, the main staple foods of Uganda.

The average temperature in Kampala ranges from a high of 85 degrees F at noon to a low of 60 at night. The temperature changes more during the course of each day than it does from season to season. The hottest weather occurs from October through March.

Kampala has an annual rainfall of about 63 inches. During the rainy seasons—March to April and September to October—the weather is cooler. Frequent, heavy thunderstorms last from 30 minutes to 1 hour. It seldom rains an entire day, even during the so-called rainy seasons. Wind gusts that accompany downpours are sometimes strong enough to knock down tree limbs and even an occasional tree. Red murram dust, which can be a particular problem during dry periods, effects Kampala dwellers when venturing beyond the main asphalt roads. Computer and other electronic equipment can suffer if not protected from the dust and power fluctuations.

Population Last Updated: 3/25/2004 5:21 AM

Before Europeans arrived, much of Uganda was divided into four kingdoms. Bunyoro Kingdom, in western Uganda, was ruled by the “Omukama.” The son of the Omukama broke away and formed his own kingdom, which was known as the Kingdom of Toro. Its ruler was also known as the Omukama. The Omukama also rule the Ankole Kingdom, situated in the southwest. When Europeans first came to Uganda in 1862, they found the northern shores of Lake Victoria controlled by the Baganda, a people who had developed a complex agricultural society ruled by an absolute monarch called the “Kabaka.”

Responding to an appeal by the explorer Henry Stanley, who visited Uganda in 1875, missionaries began working there in 1877. Today, 80% of the population is Christian, including Protestants and Catholics. The rest of the population is Moslem (15%) and animist (5%). British hegemony was established in this area in 1893 through a series of protective treaties with the Kabaka and other local rulers.

The decision by the early British administrators to govern the country indirectly through African chiefs and rulers resulted in the country's original development as an African territory. Land ownership was reserved for African chiefs at an early date so that almost no European or Asian rural settlements existed.

The population is estimated at 23 million. Africans of four ethnic and linguistic groups—Bantu, Nilotic, NiloHamitic, and Sudanic—constitute most of the populace. The Bantu, the most numerous of the four groups, includes the more than 3.5 million members of the Baganda, the largest single ethnic group. Ugandan society includes more than 30 individual ethnic groups. Uganda's population is predominantly rural, and its density is the highest in the Southern regions. Until 1972, Asians constituted the largest non-indigenous ethnic group. In that year, Idi Amin expelled over 50,000 Asians who had been engaged in trade, industry and various professions. Since taking power, President Museveni has invited the Asians back to Uganda. About 3,000 Arabs and a small number of Asians now live in Kampala. Most Europeans also fled during Amin's rule and after the Liberation War. Currently, the expatriate community numbers in the thousands.

Almost the entire European community, most of the Asian community, and all of the educated Africans in Kampala speak English, the official language. The other major languages are Luganda and Swahili, though the latter isn't spoken much east of Kampala or in the capital. Most members of the Baganda tribe prefer to speak their own language, Luganda, which at least 4 million people speak or understand.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 2/2/2004 1:35 AM

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Government came to power on January 26, 1986, when troops of the National Resistance Army (NRA) gained control of Kampala. The political organization of Uganda having been a no-party democracy voted on a multi-party system in 2000. Government ministries headed by ministers conduct day-to-day government business. The NRM Government renamed the movement and is now headed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who has appointed a broad-based cabinet.

The Constitution provides for an executive president, to be elected every 5 years, but with significant requirements for parliamentary approval of presidential actions. Uganda’s parliament was established by the 1995 Constitution. Its members are directly and special indirectly elected representatives, as are local councils at the district, sub-district, parish, and village level. Uganda's independent judiciary, like the whole legal system, is based on the British model: magistrate courts, High Court, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court.

A number of philanthropic and non-governmental organizations thrive here. The YMCA, YWCA, Salvation Army, Lions, and Rotary Clubs are very active and play an important role in charity affairs. Other active groups are the Human Rights Activists and the Uganda Red Cross, which has ties to International Red Cross groups. Both the National Council of Sports and the school system organize youth programs. Other NGOs represented in Kampala are Action Aid, World Vision International, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, InterAid International, Quaker Service Norway, World Learning Inc., Lutheran World Federation, Save the Children Fund, African Medical and Research Foundation, OXFAM, Irish Aid, CARE, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Foundation for Human Rights Initiatives, Foundation for African Development, SNV/NOVIB, Redd Barna, Red Barnet, Plan International, Concern International, Global 2000, and Mission Aviation Fellowship.

Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 3/25/2004 6:56 AM

The National Theater is flourishing; drama groups from all over Uganda come to Kampala to give performances in dance and music throughout the year. Several popular music groups entertain regularly. Although radio and TV have some technical problems, they do a commendable job presenting news and interviews. BBC World Service broadcasts on the FM band. Satellite and cable TV subscription services are available in addition to the local news channels. The Uganda Museum can provide some insight to the area's history. The Nommo Gallery and several other small galleries display a variety of art forms. There are many artists in the country.

There are a large number of public and secondary schools throughout Uganda, but as many as half of all school-age children do not attend school regularly. In an attempt to change this situation, the government has initiated a primary education reform program with the goal of universal primary education by 2004.

The Lincoln International School is accredited in both the U.S. and Europe. Over 340 students are enrolled in pre-kindergarten through grade 10 and come from 43 countries. Kabira International School, a British-oriented school, offers an alternative curriculum and was accredited by the Council of International Schools in 2004. There are a number of good neighborhood preschools available.

Makerere University, once the premier institution of higher learning in East Africa, is on the rise again but faces many difficulties due to lack of sufficient funding. The senior faculty is at half-strength, and shortages range from lack of residence housing for faculty and students to insufficient textbooks, scientific journals, and laboratory equipment. Despite these problems, Makerere University continues to strive to educate a student body of over 15,000 in various disciplines. A number of organizations have begun to assist the university, including the U.S. Government, private American universities, and other NGOs.

Other institutions of higher learning in the country are the Mbarara University of Science and Technology, the Institute of Teacher Education, Kyambogo (ITEK), the Uganda Polytechnic Institute, Uganda Martyrs University, Makerere University Business School, and Uganda Management House.

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 3/25/2004 8:58 AM

Uganda’s economy has great potential. Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it appeared poised for rapid development at independence. Unfortunately chronic political instability and erratic economic management produced a record of persistent economic decline that left Uganda among the world's poorest and least-developed countries under the Amin and Obote regimes. This has turned around however, and the small landlocked country has sustained a 6% economic growth rate through 2002, a success story unmatched in most of sub-Saharan Africa.

Agricultural products supply nearly all of Uganda’s foreign exchange earnings, with coffee alone (of which Uganda is Africa's leading producer) accounting for about 65% of the country's exports. Exports of hides, skins, vegetables, spices, cut flowers, and fish are growing, and cotton, tea, and coffee continue to be mainstays.

Domestic manufacturing industries, based on the processing of agricultural raw materials, include refined sugar, soap, textiles, processed foods, beer and soft drinks. The industrial sector is being rehabilitated to resume production of buildings and construction materials, such as cement, reinforcing rods, corrugated roofing sheets, and paint. Civil strife and lack of foreign exchange over the last 20 years seriously disrupted commerce and industry. Government and private businesses, with foreign assistance, are making progress rebuilding the industrial sector.

The tourist industry, an important source of foreign exchange earnings in the 1960s, is slowly being rejuvenated. Hotels, lodges and access roads are being built, new facilities are opening and game parks show a variety of returning wildlife.


Automobiles Last Updated: 3/25/2004 9:00 AM

Ship or purchase locally a privately owned vehicle, as there is no acceptable public transportation in Kampala, and while the Embassy provides shuttle service to and from work, it does not provide transportation for personal use. Rental cars are available from reputable local dealers, but at a price similar to those in the U.S.

Kampala is a widely spread out city, with as much as six miles between some residences. The Chancery, GSO (General Services Office), USAID, and Peace Corps buildings are all in different locations. Getting to work, visiting, and shopping require dependable private transport. Although road conditions have improved substantially within and outside of Kampala, many streets and roads remain full of potholes. Post recommends shipment or purchase of a four-wheel-drive or high clearance vehicle for use both in and out of town.

There is still no unleaded gasoline available in Uganda; all stations have leaded and diesel. The Embassy has negotiated an agreement with several gas stations to provide duty-free gasoline.

Local reputable dealers sell new vehicles duty free. In addition, many dealers sell lightly used cars exported from Japan in excellent condition. Both these options are more expensive than buying a new or used car duty free and shipping it into Kampala; for example a four-year-old 4x4 just in from Japan ranges from $15,000-$20,000. Buying a used vehicle within the diplomatic community is usually possible, as is buying a used vehicle on the local market. Although traffic moves on the left in Uganda, many people drive left-hand-drive vehicles. Most people are comfortable with either model and the law permits both, but the Embassy recommends right-hand-drive vehicles for your own safety and protection.

It is a good idea to have your automobile equipped with a reliable car alarm or ignition lock. Of late, vehicle thefts are on the rise, with new and expensive models being the main targets.

It is difficult to find firms in Kampala that can repair American cars. Repair facilities exist for the following makes: Toyota, Nissan, Fiat, Mazda, Mercedes, Peugeot, Mitsubishi, VW, Landrover, and European-make Fords. Be aware that vehicle parts made for the American market are often unique to that market. Spare parts cannot be found in East Africa for a Toyota made for the American market. Bring U.S. spares if possible. In general, original quality spare parts are hard to find.

Local Transportation Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:17 AM

Public transportation consists of 10 to 15 passenger minibus taxis called “matatus” that are cheap, filled beyond capacity, rather unreliable and driven at unsafe speeds. They are usually poorly maintained and do not travel through the main diplomatic residential area. Special hire taxis can be found in the main locations around town, particularly from bigger hotels and shopping malls. Most fares can be negotiated and agreed before the journey. The local population uses “boda boda’s” (motorcycle taxis) or bicycle taxis, to get around.

Mission personnel are strongly discouraged from using public transportation in Uganda for safety reasons. The Embassy provides home to office and orientation transportation to personnel awaiting delivery of a personal vehicle, as long as the agency has signed up for ICASS Motorpool service. Personnel will be directly billed for this service at the Uganda standard rate, currently 54 cents per mile.

Regional Transportation Last Updated: 3/25/2004 8:59 AM

Kenya Airways has daily flights between Entebbe and Nairobi. Several weekly flights serving Uganda are available on SN Brussels and British Airways. Many people take the daily KLM Nairobi-Amsterdam flight. Weekly flights are available on Air Tanzania to Dar Es Salaam, Ethiopian Air to Addis Ababa and Dubai, South African Air to Johannesburg, Egypt Air to Cairo. Africa One, formally DAS Airfreight, flies to Dar es Salaam and Dubai weekly. Buses travel to the Kenya border where bus connections are made to Kisumu and Nairobi.


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 3/25/2004 9:00 AM

Local cell phone service is provided by three companies in Uganda and coverage and reception are excellent. All Embassy officers are given an official cellular phone upon arrival and also have a landline in their residences. Rates are high (approximately $1/minute to the U.S.). Outages on landlines do occur periodically, but the Embassy has been able to get repairs made within several days. Reception is generally good due to a satellite station in Kenya, but there is no AT&T, MCI, or Sprint connection. Overseas telegraph and FAX facilities are available and are usually reliable. Several internet companies exist that provide fairly reliable, if slow, service.

Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:17 AM

APO facilities are not available in Kampala. Air pouches arrive by plane via London twice a week and are immediately dispatched. Transit time between the U.S. and Uganda for pouch mail is approximately 2 weeks.

Because of security precautions for the Department’s main pouch facility at Dulles Airport, it is imperative that the pouch address below not mention the Department of State or any government office. The pouch address for personal mail is as follows:

(Name) 2190 Kampala Place Dulles, Virginia 20189-2190

For sending packages through the pouch use the above address with ZIP Code. Packages should be no larger than 17 x 18 x 30 inches. Maximum weight is 50 pounds.

International airmail from the U.S. should be addressed as follows:

(Name) American Embassy P. O. Box 7007 Kampala, Uganda

International airmail to and from the U.S. takes 10-15 days, and delivery is reliable for letters. Do not send checks. Mission personnel do not generally send or receive packages through the local post office. Express Mail should be addressed as follows:

American Ambassador c/o (Name) American Embassy Ggaba Road Kampala, Uganda

The Embassy receives a large amount of express mail and considers the international service very reliable.

Radio and TV Last Updated: 3/25/2004 9:03 AM

Television is not a large factor in the 90% of Uganda outside the electrical grid, but almost everyone owns a radio. There are more than 70 commercial radio stations in the country. Literally all of them are FM stations, apart from Radio Uganda (State owned) which has medium as well as short-wave operations and covers almost all of the country by satellite relays. Major radio stations are based in Kampala and broadcast in English and a host of over 40 different local languages. Most of these stations hook up to BBC, VOA and Deutsche Welle at specific times for international news. Voice of Toro and Radio Sanyu are VOA affiliates and are therefore free to relay programs like “Daybreak Africa” and VOA broadcasts.

There are five television stations, Uganda Television (UTV), WBS TV, Top TV, Lighthouse Television and Channel TV. Uganda Television is government owned and can be viewed in almost 70 % of Uganda. UTV broadcasts a mixture of foreign and locally produced programs. Most programming is in English, except for several vernacular news programs early in the evening. Lighthouse TV and Top TV are Evangelical Christian undertakings that broadcast mainly religious programs. Lighthouse and WBS TV also occasionally switch to CNN for international news, while UTV uses Deutsche Welle as its international news link. WBS, which is a VOA affiliate, carries a varied mix of soap operas, sitcoms, cartoons and sports. Most programming is in English. Every week it replays popular VOA programs like "Straight Talk Africa" and "Africa Journal."

DSTV, a South Africa-based subscription satellite television service, has over 35 channels, including six movie channels, five sports channels, four news channels as well as channels in Hindi, Spanish and French. Those interested in accessing this service need to buy a dish and decoder (approx. $500) and pay a monthly subscription fee (approx. $70/month).

The residences of all direct hire American personnel are now supplied with AFN decoders, with which they receive American programmming, sports and news.

Post recommends bringing a multi-system TV and VCR to post. TV sets in the PAL system or multi system can be purchased in Kampala.

There are a number of video and DVD rental shops in Kampala with stock for use on the PAL and NTSC (American) systems. The Video Club at the American Recreation Association (ARA) has a growing collection of commercial video tapes with the VHS format on the NTSC system, and has started stocking DVDs.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 3/25/2004 9:04 AM

Uganda has a free press that has given rise to several daily and weekly newspapers in both English and Luganda. For the most part, these newspapers concentrate on locally important political issues with some international news items. The New Vision, Monitor and the Luganda daily, Bukedde are some of the major editions. An average of 10 newspapers are circulated in any given week, including the local language editions.

Sidewalk vendors sell two major Kenyan dailies — The Nation and East African Standard. International editions of Time, Newsweek and The Economist together with European editions of the Herald Tribune, USA Today, and some British newspapers are circulated by Monitor Publications Limited and are readily available at major stores around Kampala. Subscriptions to U.S. newspapers received through the pouch are a good choice; expect them to arrive 2-3 weeks late. One can also order Stars and Stripes or the international edition of USA Today and have them sent through the international mail to the box number at the Embassy. They usually arrive within 10 days. The weekly edition of the Washington Post is quite useful in lieu of daily newspapers.

Bookstores carry a fair selection of academic books and fiction. Although most of the books are written in English, a number are written in Luganda. Currently there is one major booksotre in Uganda. Aristoc Booklex has an impressive range of major academic and literary titles. However, it is advisable that you bring a supply of your favorite types of books or develop an ongoing source in the U.S. There are no public lending libraries in Uganda.

Public Diplomacy maintains a small library that is open to the public. It includes over 2,500 volumes of reference works, over 70 periodicals, and it receives the International Herald Tribune on a daily basis. It also maintains a collection of guides to higher education in the U.S. including many college catalogs. PAS receives the ABC Weekly News Highlights and screens it for the public. The Community Liaison Office (CLO) maintains a lending (mostly paperback) library through numerous donations.

Most book clubs (Book of the Month, Literary Guild, Doubleday, Mystery Guild, etc.) have an “on-order” system if requested by someone living overseas. This means they will not send books unless you specifically order them. This has proven to be quite satisfactory for those who wish to join book clubs. Columbia Video Club also offers this option, calling it “preferred member.” Many clubs also offer on-line ordering so you don't need to wait for the mail.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 2/2/2004 5:28 AM

The U.S. Embassy in Kampala maintains a Health Unit staffed with an FS Medical Provider (a nurse practitioner or physician assistant), a U.S./U.K. or equivalent licensed registered nurse, a laboratory technician and a secretary. Office hours are scheduled Monday through Friday with a medical duty officer on call after hours and during weekends. A regional medical officer from Nairobi visits post between two to four times a year. The Health Unit is an outpatient primary care facility with a sophisticated laboratory. The Health Unit maintains a walking blood bank for Mission personnel and their families.

U.S. Mission employees whose agencies have agreements with the U.S. Department of State regarding health care may use this facility for themselves and their eligible family members. Other groups and individuals may have access to the Health Unit with Chief of Mission authorization and by specific contract with the U.S. Government.

The Embassy Health Unit has a small pharmacy for treatment of common acute illness or conditions. If you take chronic medication, bring enough to cover your tour or arrange with a pharmacy in the U.S. to provide refills via the pouch. This includes birth control pills, vitamins, blood pressure medication and thyroid or estrogen hormones. Local pharmacies carry a range of products of variable quality, availability and cost.

Local medical facilities are very limited. Elective hospitalization is not recommended in Kampala. Anyone with a medical condition requiring hospitalization is evacuated to the nearest city with the required resources. Nairobi and Pretoria are the general medical evacuation sites for Kampala but other sites may be authorized depending on the medical condition or services needed. (i.e. London or the U.S.). The Health Unit recommends that babies be delivered in the U.S.

Dental care, such as cleaning and repairs of dental cavities, can be done in Kampala. However, all personnel and their eligible family members should attend to their dental needs prior to arrival at post. Although medical travel can be authorized for management of serious dental problems, the limitation of per diem payments and the fact that follow-up trips cannot be authorized can make dental care expensive.

There are ophthalmologists and optometrists in Kampala and lens work is available but the quality varies. It is recommended that you bring an extra pair of glasses with you.

Community Health Last Updated: 2/2/2004 5:29 AM

Community sanitation and public health programs are inadequate throughout Uganda and subject to frequent breakdown. Almost all of the maladies of the developing world are represented here. Residents are subject to water and food-borne illnesses such as typhoid, hepatitis, cholera, worms, amoebiasis, giardia and bacterial dysentery. Malaria is epidemic in Kampala and throughout Uganda. Malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended for all U.S. Mission personnel and their family members. All Mission houses are screened and bed nets are available from GSO.

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:25 AM

Everyone covered under the Department of State's medical program must have an updated medical clearance prior to assignment to Uganda. Individuals with limited medical clearance for medical conditions requiring medical follow up should have post approval from MED prior to assignment to Kampala.

Recommended immunizations for children include all the standard pediatric immunizations of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hemophilus B, hepatitis B, pneumococcal as well as hepatitis A, typhoid and preexposure rabies for toddlers and above. Adults should be current on all the recommended immunizations. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended.

Additionally, clothes that cover the body and insect repellant for older children and adults are important to decrease exposure to the malaria carrying mosquitoes.

The Embassy provides and maintains water distillers in each home. Bottled water is provided in offices. Factory bottled soft drinks and juices are generally safe. Milk is sold in sealed containers and is generally safe. Standard recommendations for preparing fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats apply here. Washing, soaking and peeling and/or thoroughly cooking are mandatory to minimize bacterial and parasitic contamination. Meat and fish bought from recommended vendors are considered safe.

Car accidents are the primary causes of severe injury to foreigners living in Uganda. Defensive driving and use of seatbelts are strongly encouraged. Use of motorcycles is strongly discouraged.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 2/2/2004 5:32 AM

Employment on the local economy is not practical, but spouses can sometimes find jobs teaching at Makerere University or other educational institutions such as the Lincoln International School and Kabira International School. Although finding employment with private organizations is difficult, the increasing number of development assistance projects, international NGOs, and research projects, have resulted in some jobs for people with skills in nursing, social work, project management, and evaluation. The Embassy has quite a few jobs for EFMs. In addition, all FSN jobs are now open to EFMs under PSA Plus. Request information on specific employment opportunities before arriving at post.

Artists will find a good market for business here though one must bring all necessary supplies and materials.

American Embassy - Kampala

Post City Last Updated: 2/2/2004 5:32 AM

Kampala, a city built on seven hills, began as a settlement near the Kabaka's palace at Mengo. In the 20th century, it has developed into the largest city in Uganda, dominating the country's political and economic life. The current population in the capital is around a million inhabitants. Kampala was granted the status of a city during Uganda's independence celebrations in October 1962. Before that the capital was Entebbe.

Except for the city center itself, the seven hills on which Kampala lies are covered with shady trees and subsistence crops, giving it the appearance of an extended village. One of Kampala's attractive features is its tropical lushness. Kampala has everything a busy capital could offer — congested streets, heaps of shops, immense Hindu temples, churches, mosques, embassies, street markets and stalls, the high court and government buildings — and modern and old style are chaotically mixed together.

The American Embassy building is located a few miles away from the city center, in the Nsambya district.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 2/2/2004 5:34 AM

The Mission is spread over six different buildings, the Chancery, USAID Mission, USAID Executive Office/Warehouse, GSO/Warehouse, Peace Corps and CDC. The American Embassy is located on 1577 Ggaba Road (tel.: 256-41-259791, FAX 256-41-259794). The Chancery is a new building, officially opened in 2001. In the Chancery are DAO and State Executive, Political, Economic, IPC, Admin, Human Resources, Budget, CLO, Health Unit, Mailroom, Public Diplomacy, Consular, and RSO Sections. Travel agency and bank representatives also provide services within the Chancery. The Ambassador is the Chief of Mission.

GSO and USAID executive offices are immediately adjacent to each other in the Industrial Area. The GSO/Warehouse is located at 63/67 Spring Road. The warehouse and offices were renovated in 2002. The USAID Executive Section/Warehouse is located at 6 Spring Road and features a suite of newly constructed offices and two warehouse areas.

The USAID Mission is located at 42 Nakasero Road, (tel: 235879/ 241521/ 242896; FAX 233417). The USAID Administrative Unit is located at 6 Spring Road (tel.: 243317/ 242402; FAX 233308). The Mission Director is the head of USAID.

The Peace Corps offices are located at Plot 6 McKinnon Road, Nakasero (tel.: 256-41-348-506). The Country Director is the head of Peace Corps.

CDC is located at Plot 53-59, Nakiwogo Rd.,Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe (tel.: 256-41-320776). The Country Director is the head of CDC Uganda.

The Embassy and USAID follow a 4 and a half-day work week, working 7:30-4:45 Monday-Thursday with a half-hour lunch and 7:30-12:30 on Friday. CDC and Peace Corps follow the traditional 5-day week.

Most Americans enter Uganda by air, connecting through Europe and/or Nairobi. Entebbe Airport is 22 miles southwest of Kampala over a good asphalt road. Limited public or private transportation is available from the airport to Kampala. Due to the distance, it is important that all personnel notify the Embassy of their exact travel plans so that they may be met and assisted at the airport.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 2/2/2004 5:35 AM

Employees usually move directly into their quarters upon arrival. If housing is not ready, new employees are assigned temporary housing. GSO issues a Welcome Kit that provides basic needs such as towels, bedding, tableware, cooking items, and supplies to meet immediate cleaning needs until household effects (HHE) arrive.

Permanent Housing Last Updated: 3/25/2004 9:05 AM

Housing is pre-assigned to incoming employees by the Interagency Housing Board. Employees may not find or choose their own housing, though they may appeal their assignment after arrival at post. Housing appeals will be considered by the Housing Board using criteria listed in the Post Housing Handbook.

All employees are provided with fully furnished houses, including lawns and gardens. Given Kampala’s climate, gardens grow all year. The Embassy supplies basic lawn and garden tools, but employees must maintain their lawn, garden, and shrubbery. For the gardening enthusiast, this is one of the best opportunities in the Foreign Service to have a beautiful garden. Houses approach American standards; most have a living room, dining room, kitchen, sufficient bedrooms and baths, storage space, garage, and servants' quarters. Many also have patios and porches. Houses are currently provided 24-hour guard service.

The Ambassador’s home and DCM’s residence have swimming pools that are open to the official Embassy community. There are tennis courts and a community pool at the American Recreation Association.

Furnishings Last Updated: 2/2/2004 5:36 AM

Houses are furnished with carpeting and draperies in addition to the regular complement of sofas, tables, chairs, etc. Master bedrooms have queen-size beds, and all other bedrooms are furnished with twin beds. The Embassy provides some garden furniture.

Employees must supply their own table linens, bedding, cooking utensils, small kitchen appliances, towels and other bathroom items, tableware, wall decorations, and lightweight bed linens.

Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 2/2/2004 5:37 AM

The Embassy supplies every house with an American-model refrigerator, freezer, electric stove, washer, dryer, vacuum cleaner, microwave, water distiller, water heaters, and some stepdown transformers. Air-conditioners are provided in all master bedrooms. The Embassy is presently expanding the number of air conditioning units it places in each home. Many of the bedrooms have ceiling fans. Every house has a generator capable of powering the entire property. Each house is provided a telephone. Most houses have both bathtubs and showers.

The electrical current in Kampala is officially 240v, 50 cycles. The voltage can fluctuate wildly, from 100v to 400v for prolonged periods. Most homes are equipped with large voltage stabilizers, which boost electricity when the power is low, and provide limited protection against power surges. However, many surges and blackouts are beyond the capacity of the stabilizers and can burn out electrical equipment.

Stereo systems must be capable of adapting to 50 cycles. Parts and services in Kampala are expensive so any modification should be undertaken prior to shipment. It would be wise to invest in protective voltage regulators or cutout switches for any valuable electrical items such as stereo components and computers. These can be bought locally. Because of impurities in the water, water-use equipment has a short lifespan.

Food Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:28 AM

Fresh fruits and vegetables abound in the markets in and around Kampala. Fresh vegetables such as green beans, peppers, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and cucumbers are always in stock. White button mushrooms are imported from South Africa and can usually be found, as can locally grown oyster mushrooms. Most tropical fruits (passion fruit, pineapple, bananas, papaya, and mangoes) are also plentiful, as are avocados. Lemons, limes, and juice oranges are available. Grapes and apples are available in selected shops. Pears, peaches, kiwi, and other exotic fruits are sometimes available in Shoprite, a large supermarket near the Embassy. Fresh beef, pork, poultry, mutton, goat, and eggs are plentiful. Good quality freshwater fish (tilapia and Nile perch) is available. Lamb, pork- sausages, bacon, ham, and frozen and smoked fish can usually be found in butcher shops. Seafood (shrimp, lobster, calamari) is expensive and available frozen only.

Milk and milk products are readily available in Uganda. Many are imported and many are processed in Uganda. Among these are: pasteurized milk (fresh, long life, evaporated or dried), ice cream, cheese (cheddar, yellow/ jack, mozzarella, cream), butter (fresh, canned), margarine (canned), and baby formula. Shoprite imports good quality South African ice cream, cheese, and yogurt at reasonable prices. Uchumi, a large Kenyan chain near the residential area of Kololo, carries low cost, good quality local and Kenyan dairy products.

Good quality Ugandan and Kenyan coffee and tea are in plentiful supply. Also available are flour, salt, sugar, cooking oil, spices, pasta, rice and a variety of Asian foods and condiments. In fact, almost all foods are now available in local shops — from pitted olives to rice wine vinegar to Heinz ketchup. Good quality South African wines are readily available, as is local and imported beer. Some specialty markets and delicatessens import fruits (grapes, nectarines), cheeses (Brie, blue, Parmesan, ricotta), and cold cuts (salami, paté, pancetta) that are not regularly available in Kampala. The prices are usually a bit high but quality is good. Several bakeries bake bread but quality is low in all but one shop (Vasili’s in downtown Kampala). Brown bread is available but not usually whole grain or any specialty breads. A bread machine and bread mixes should be brought if anyone in the family has a fondness for specialty bread. Imported cereals are available but choice is limited. Many at post purchase food from Netgrocer and other on-line vendors, but mainly go for specifically American products such as chocolate chips, brownie mix, frosting, and favorite snack foods. Consumable shipments could include gourmet items such as artichoke hearts, Mexican foods, American canned soups, pancake and maple syrup, American peanut butter, artificial sweeteners, pet food and diet sodas (diet soda is very expensive in Uganda).

Frozen foods — pizza, fish, french fries and frozen vegetables - can be found at both Shoprite and Uchumi, as well as at other smaller markets.

A small commissary at the American Recreation Association currently stocks spirits, wines, snack food, and a small selection of frozen, packaged and canned goods. The selection is limited as so much is now available on the local market.

The Embassy has a full-service cafeteria in the Chancery serving breakfast, lunch and snacks. It is available to all Mission Personnel. USAID operates a canteen at both buildings.

Clothing Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:30 AM

Lightweight summer apparel is suitable dress for Kampala. Clothing and shoes for the entire family sometimes can be bought in local shops, but the selection and size range are spotty. Bring a complete wardrobe. Local shops carry an assortment of cloth such as Kitenge designs and beautiful cotton prints. Local markets carry an abundance of second hand American and European clothes. A sewing machine with accessories and patterns would be a good item to bring. Some women have had success with local seamstresses.

Weather in Nairobi and South Africa is much cooler than in Kampala, especially during the winter when it can get quite cold. Most Embassy staff make a few trips to Nairobi or South Africa, so bring warm clothing if you are planning a side trip during that season.

Men Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:30 AM

Men usually wear suits and ties to work and to semi-formal occasions. Most evening activities require only smart casual dress. A light jacket is suitable for evening wear. Bring comfortable natural fiber clothing for general wear.

Women Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:31 AM

In general, women wear suits or other business appropriate attire to work. Most events in Kampala require nice casual clothes. Bring slacks, jeans, cotton skirts, and blouses for day wear; cocktail dresses and a few dresses for evening wear; and raincoats and umbrellas for rainy days. A sweater, shawl, or light jacket is sometimes needed for cool evenings and rainy days. Shorts are usually not worn in the city, although they are becoming more common in the neighborhoods where expats live. Local culture also appreciates the wearing of a skirt or dress in outlying villages.

Children Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:31 AM

Children at schools dress casually (with exception of Kabira, which requires a school uniform). Both boys and girls wear T-shirts and shorts; teenagers prefer jeans and slacks. It is useful to bring light jackets for rainy days and a good supply of sports shoes and socks in increasing sizes. Swimsuits tend to get a lot of wear. Darker colored clothing might be more practical for active children as the red soil is difficult to wash out. Bring hats to protect children from sunburn. Plan to bring all necessary baby items (clothing, shoes, hats, diapers, etc.).

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:34 AM

Ship a large supply of toilet articles to post. All medicines and toiletries are available, but specific brands or makeup colors may be impossible to find. Bring an ample supply of whatever over-the-counter medicines you may need, such as antihistamines, nose drops, or contact lens solutions, or arrange for a pharmacist to send them to you through the pouch. Remember that it is not possible to ship glass or liquid through the pouch so it is best to ship these types of items in your consumables shipment. Locally produced cleaning supplies are available but many find these less desirable than American-made items. Good quality laundry detergent is not available, nor is Woolite. Local diapers are expensive and not as high quality as in the U.S., and the cost of local babywipes is astronomical. The local toilet paper is rough and single-ply. Bring toys for children, computer games, books, greeting cards, playing cards, and ample supplies for entertaining such as party favors, paper napkins and towels, and paper plates. It is possible to buy party supplies in local shops but they are more expensive than in the U.S. Local wrapping supplies (cling wrap, waxed paper) are not high quality. Sporting equipment is difficult to find and expensive. Bring or plan to order golf and tennis balls, gloves, etc. Binoculars are extremely useful when going on safaris or simply birdwatching in the neighborhood.

Basic Services Last Updated: 3/26/2004 5:38 AM

Public drycleaning services are open at the Uchumi supermarket and at the Sheraton Hotel. Several others are located downtown. Prices are similar to drycleaning in the U.S. Quality has been fairly good, though some mishaps have been reported. A few reputable hair salons in Kampala serve both men and women.

Special order through a U.S. electronics dealer a repair manual (or schematic diagram) for your video equipment. These run about $35 to $40 each. A number of technicians can repair TVs and VCRs but they are not familiar with American equipment or replacement parts. Repair is better, and replacement parts are easier to order if you can provide a schematic diagram with parts numbers.

Many nurseries in town sell seedlings and young trees. Among the many tropical plants available are bougainvillea, frangipani, dahlias, gardenias, canna lilies, and garden flowers, such as marigolds, geraniums, and impatiens. However, for an enthusiastic gardener, the selection is limited. For a better selection of seeds for garden flowers or vegetables make a trip to a local nursery in the U.S. or just pack a large selection from your local Walmart. The pouch authorities often stop orders from the seed catalogs as it is an agricultural product so it is best to ship seeds with your HHE. Most bulbs also grow well in Uganda. Do not attempt asparagus as the weather is not cold enough, but most vegetables and herbs grow voraciously.

Computers and other electronic equipment are often damaged due to power surges. To prevent a complete loss of equipment it is wise to use a voltage stabilizer and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for each item. Sometimes several items can be put on one power strip, depending on the voltage requirements of the equipment and output of the stabilizer and UPS. American and Ugandan electrical cycles differ so be careful not to purchase a UPS that is sensitive to cycle changes. Several computer repair and supply facilities service IBM, Apple, and others. Most facilities have a limited stock of diskettes and ink cartridges. Other supplies and repair parts can be ordered from Nairobi, Dubai, or the U.S.

Unfortunately, Kampala does not have a huge range of shops selling crafts and other items of interest, but nevertheless, it can offer some wonderful finds. There are a few art galleries that occasionally sell excellent local artist's painting and sculptures. Artwork can also be bought from the artists directly or at the openings of exhibitions. Craft items are mostly brought from Kenya and sold at the craft market at the National Theatre. You can purchase batiks, baskets, carvings, folk art and jewelry. A lot of African "antiques" can be bought right in the driveway of your residence as the Congolose traders bring their wares to the house. They sell a variety of high-quality and fairly expensive items such as wooden dance masks, various ceremonial carvings of wood and hippo bone, and textiles from Congo and West Africa. In addition, the schools and ARA host bazaars where many local vendors sell their wares.

Parking at post is convenient and at no charge. Around town, parking on the street is available for a small charge. All restaurants have protected and free parking.

Domestic Help Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:41 AM

Household help is readily available and cheap by U.S. standards. Most households employ staff as dust accumulates quickly and food preparation is time consuming. Most Embassy personnel pick up domestic staff from other officers leaving post. Finding suitable help is generally not a problem as these jobs are highly sought after. Mission employees seem to pay their employees more than the minimum wage prescribed by the Ugandan Government. Individual allowances concerning transportation fees, housing, health benefits, etc., are open to negotiation.

Domestic help should be supervised to ensure work meets standards. Some elementary instruction and oftentimes repeated detailed explanations may be necessary, even to supposedly experienced staff. Some china and glassware breakage is to be expected, and food may disappear. Punctuality tends to be poor. Both male and female Ugandans will cook and clean house. Although cooking abilities are very basic, most household staff are eager to learn and willing to improve their skills. A few housemaids have been trained to be real cooks and are able to prepare a variety of western and eastern dishes. Gardeners are also readily available for general lawn and yard maintenance.

Ugandans are generally polite and tolerant; speaking softly is a sign of respect. Most have elementary level education and complicated tasks — for example, the proper handling of electrical appliances - have to be explained calmly in great detail.

The average household employs a combination cook-housekeeper, a gardener, and a nanny if small children are present. As the local flora overgrows in a matter of a week, employing a gardener is a necessity. Most household help live in semi-detached or detached "servants’ quarters." The Embassy provides day- and night-guards for all homes.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 2/2/2004 5:55 AM

Many religions are represented in Kampala: Baha’i, Islam, Hindu, Christian, and animist. The Christian churches include Anglican, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist, the Church of God, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and International Christian Fellowship. English services are scheduled at specific times during the days of worship.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:46 AM The Lincoln International School of Uganda (LISU), a private co-educational institution assisted by the Department of State's Overseas Schools Program, provides a good academic program for children. The schoolyear runs from mid-August to mid-June. It is accredited from kindergarten through grade 12 and is open both to Ugandan and expatriate children. The school's instruction is similar to that of U.S. public schools, but also provides instruction toward an International Baccalaureate degree. All basic subjects are taught following an international curriculum. In addition, physical education, French, art, computers, and local music and culture are offered. A total of 28 full-time qualified teachers serve the needs of the almost 300 children. The school is in a lovely new compound about 15 minutes outside of Kampala on Entebbe Road, with a well-stocked library, science laboratories, an Olympic-sized pool, indoor football field and outdoor track. There are a number of after-school activities available, as well as leagues for baseball and soccer. Parents are expected to participate in coaching if their child is on a team. The school provides a school bus service and a late bus service for students with after-school activities. Lincoln is able to provide services for students with mild learning disabilities. It also offers English as a Second Language.

The Kabira International School opened in August 1993 and follows a British curriculum. Kabira currently offers classes from pre-kindergarten through grade 8, and was accredited by the Council of International Schools in 2004. The facilities at school include a library, swimming pool, grassed and shaded playing areas, a school farm and a computer lab. An extensive range of after-school activities is offered, such as swimming, drama, cricket, football, horseback riding, batik and other crafts.

The Acorns School is an English day care facility for children aged 12 months to 6 years. Kissifur Pre-Kindergarten has places for children from 1 to 6 years. Ambrosoli International School (also known as the Italian School) takes children from 2 to 13 years. All of the above-mentioned schools are located in the main diplomatic residential areas and are primarily used for preschool-aged children. Some schools have summer play camps, usually in July and August. There is also a French School, run by the French Embassy. Several Mission children attend a Christian school called Heritage, not far from the downtown area. Parents have been pleased with the education there.

Although outside of school there are not too many activities available, most children enjoy spending the majority of their time playing outside or going to friends' houses, most of whom have spacious yards. Kampala Kids League is open for children aged 5-14 interested in soccer, baseball and basketball. The International Boy Scouts has weekly meetings for boys between 7 and 10, and offers frequent excursions and camping. An expatriate tutor offers ballet lessons. Horseback riding and sailing lessons are also popular hobbies among kids. Some children enjoy art and drawing lessons given by local artists.

Away From Post Last Updated: 5/31/2003 6:00 PM Parents are generally happy about the education and activities at post for grades K-8. Many have been equally satisfied with the education and activities for older children, but some parents have chosen to send their children to boarding schools in the U.S., Europe and Kenya for both scholastic and social reasons.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 2/26/2004 6:48 AM

Uganda is a good post for a sports lover and an outdoors person. Several sports clubs welcome Americans as members. The American Recreation Association has gym, sauna, tennis and swimming facilities as well as squash and darts. A small commissary, video library, restaurant with catering capabilities and weekend manicure and pedicure services are conveniently located at the ARA. The ARA sponsors several tennis tournaments each year as well as bridge tourneys and monthly special functions. Joining fees for Embassy officers are $1 and annual dues are $100. The Kabira Club, next to Kabira School, is close to the residential neighborhood of Kololo. It has a large and modern gym, pool, tennis courts, and a restaurant. Annual fees range from $800-$1,250.

Golf is popular in Uganda. The Uganda Golf Club has an 18-hole golf course and dart facilities with an outdoor snack bar. Collared shirts, socks, trousers or regulation length shorts are required. The process of joining may seem daunting but in reality has been successfully negotiated by families in the Embassy. Many Mission staff play golf at an 18-hole course in Entebbe. Rules are not as strict there, the pace is relaxed for novice players and there are only infrequent competitions which often preclude social golf at the Uganda Golf Club. Memberships in sports clubs in Kampala are relatively inexpensive. Bring golf clubs, rackets, balls, swimming gear, and other sports equipment needed.

The Embassy has a 21-foot fiberglass powerboat moored on Lake Victoria. All Mission personnel are welcome to use this boat on the basis of availability by submitting a request to GSO. Users pay the boat captain's overtime (he is a motorpool driver) and gasoline expenses. Employees may also go fishing on Lake Victoria in Gaba and Jinja, approximately 8 and 50 miles respectively, from Kampala. Two sailing clubs, whose members are primarily British, offer sailing and boating activities on Lake Victoria. Entebbe Sailing Club is a private members club with recreational sailing, racing, fishing and swimming pool. Victoria Nyanza Sailing Club, located in a picturesquely secluded part of the lakeside, offers recreational sailing, racing and instructional courses several times a year. The club has lasers and dinghies for hire. Camping is also available there. Sailboats are sometimes offered for sale at the two sailing clubs. A recent popular attraction, clay pigeon shooting, is available at a range not far from Kampala.

The Hash House Harriers run every Monday evening. Soccer, rugby and cricket are played locally and welcome spectators and participants. A Scottish country dance group meets weekly and welcomes newcomers. Horseback riding at Speke Equestrian Center (about 10 minutes from the Embassy) is also available. World class whitewater rafting on the Nile with its legendary class 5 rapids is a worthwhile and unforgettable experience even for a seasoned rafter. Boogie boarding on the Nile is reserved for the bravest of the brave. The rafting companies organize longer trips involving camping by arrangement.

Major hotels offer gym and health club memberships either on a daily or yearly basis. Though walking or jogging on Kampala streets is not encouraged, there are tracks and parks that allow safer running.

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 3/25/2004 9:07 AM

The Kenya Highlands to the east and the Mountains of the Moon in southwestern Uganda provide a change from Kampala's weather. Cold weather gear for an extended trek to the higher altitudes may be useful. An 8 to 10 hour drive takes you to either place. Accommodations in Uganda are basic but improving.

Uganda has seven national parks rich in flora and fauna. Members of the Embassy community frequently organize visits to these parks. All are accessible by high clearance 4x4 wheel drive vehicles. Numerous tour companies in Kampala can also put trips together both within Uganda and to neighboring countries.

Lake Mburo National Park is 3-1/2 hours south of Kampala on an excellent tarmac road and offers views of impala, zebra, topi, hippo, and buffalo. Further south is Queen Elizabeth National Park, located on the western edge of the Great Rift Valley. It has large mammals such as lion, elephant, hippo, buffalo, Uganda kob, topi, and is also well known for its profusion of bird life. Accommodation is excellent, if expensive, at a safari lodge in the park.

Northwest of the Queen Elizabeth Park, and sometimes visible on a clear day, are the Rwenzori Mountains or, as they are better known internationally, the Mountains of the Moon. The Rwenzori National Park is one of the few places on the planet where glaciers can be found on the equator. Trained guides and porters are available to take hikers on 3- to 10-day climbs into the mountains. Unfortunately, from time to time this area is prohibited to Embassy staff due to insurgency movements.

The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park south of Queen Elizabeth National Park is the richest forest in Uganda in terms of plant, mammal, bird, and butterfly species. It has about 320 mountain gorillas or slightly more than half of the world's gorilla population. Guides are trained to lead gorilla tour hikes. Accommodations in the park is excellent.

Further south, on the Uganda/Zaire/Rwanda border is the Mgahinga National Park. It comprises the northern slopes of three of the Virunga volcanoes. It is quite scenic and is an important sanctuary for the mountain gorilla and the golden monkey. To the northwest lies Murchison Falls National Park, with its renowned waterfall. The big game population there is returning, and elephant, hippo, lion, giraffe, and water buck are seen in increasing numbers. Murchison Falls NP boasts unique habitats and superb bird viewing (including the elusive shoebill). Top quality accommodation facilities exist.

Kidepo National Park to the northeast can be reached by air and features some of the most scenic views in Uganda. Unfortunately, from time to time security in these lovely areas is unpredictable or poor.

Of the 9,000 bird species in Africa 1,000 are found in Uganda, making it a bird-watchers paradise. Even those not previously drawn to this activity find themselves interested by the profusion of the marvelous birds in all these locales, including your own backyard.

Mombasa and Malindi, on the Indian Ocean in Kenya, are 2 days away by car or several hours by air. There are many pleasant beach accommodations and tourist attractions. Kenya and Tanzania offer many fine game parks, the closest being Masai Mara, approximately a 10-hour drive from Kampala. The islands of Madagascar, Lamu, Zanzibar, Mauritius, and the Seychelles are also pleasant places to visit. Frequent air service from Nairobi reaches the coastal resorts, as well as most East African capitals and larger towns. Trips to South Africa are a welcome change of environment for many Mission employees, and an opportunity to shop and eat in world-class restaurants. There are daily flights to Johannesburg from Entebbe.

The designated R&R point for Kampala is London, or any point in the U.S. if you are to spend more than 50% of your leave in the U.S.

Entertainment Last Updated: 3/25/2004 9:09 AM

There are currently two cinemas in Kampala showing first-run movies, one at the recently built Garden City mall and one downtown. The Marines also show a recent movie once a week and the ARA also shows films. The National Theater offers performances in drama, dance, and songs in both English and the vernacular every weekend. The Alliance Francaise shows French films with English subtitles on Fridays, and the German Cultural Center sponsors events from time to time. Public soccer games are held almost every day from January through May at Nakivubo Stadium. Golf, tennis, fishing, and sailing are common entertainments for American and European diplomatic personnel as well as for many Ugandans. There is a bowling alley in the Garden City mall which is very popular.

The Uganda Society has monthly lectures, and other social groups also meet regularly, with interests varying from food and drink, to architectural preservation, hiking, and wildlife. The Friends of the National Museum is a group dedicated to partnership activities with the museum and also has been offering a valuable orientation class and other events throughout the year. KADS, the Kampala Amateur Dramatic Society, puts on a Christmas Pantomime and various play readings and smaller productions throughout the year. KADS is open to anyone interested in acting, directing, or helping with productions in other ways. Bridge as well as mahjongg are played by various groups of expatriates. In addition to a growing number of restaurants offering cuisine from almost anywhere you wish (Belgian, Chinese, Ethiopian, Thai, Italian, Greek, and an assortment of excellent Indian restaurants), there are a number of sports bars which are frequented by the younger and single set. A few nightclubs in Kampala provide a different kind of atmosphere and late-night excitement. The local expatriate community is always dreaming up events, from costume balls, goat races, Irish dancing, dog shows and more. There is some type of event almost every weekend.

Social Activities Last Updated: 2/26/2004 7:07 AM

Professional and personal relationships with Ugandans as well as the growing expatriate community offer many possibilities for social contacts. Dinner parties, art exhibits (in homes and galleries), cocktail parties as well as numerous opportunities to dine out are all present. The ARA hosts occasional special events nights, such as a Mexican night or a Murder Mystery Dinner. Social activities among official Americans often take the form of buffet dinner parties or barbecues at private homes, or dining out at various restaurants. Because the temperature is so regularly pleasant in the evenings, all functions and most restaurant seating tend to be outside.

In addition to the Marine Corps Ball and the July Fourth celebrations, there are also opportunities to celebrate other national events, with St. Andrew’s, St. George’s and St. Patrick’s balls among them. Lincoln and Kabira Schools host May Balls for parents and guests. One of the highlights of the social calendar is the Royal Ascot Goat Races, held every June.

The International Womens’ Club now numbers about 150 women from over 40 different nationalities and provides the opportunity to meet both Ugandan and other expatriate women. The Club holds regular monthly meetings, usually with a speaker, and other activities such as craft group, mahjongg, cooking group, book club, a bazaar and other fund-raising events. It is extremely active and a good place to become involved in the community and charity work. Membership in the Uganda Society and the International Wildlife Society also offer a wide range of activities and international contacts. The Uganda Society for the Protection of Animals has a strong and dedicated membership. There are also other international service clubs including Lions, Rotary, Freemasons, etc., offering additional opportunities to associate with a variety of people.

Official Functions Last Updated: 2/2/2004 6:09 AM

The Chief of Mission and the DCM are routinely invited to other embassies for national day festivities. Officers of second secretary rank and above are usually invited to various Embassy functions primarily for social purposes.

Special Information Last Updated: 2/2/2004 6:09 AM

Post Orientation Program

The CLO coordinates the post orientation program for new arrivals. Each person has a sponsor and receives a Welcome Packet containing information about places of interest, restaurants, churches, common health hazards, precautions to take while in Uganda, a map of Kampala, and brief background notes about Uganda. In addition, all new employees take a tour to learn about all the agencies within the Mission. The CLO also sponsors orientation shopping trips around town.

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 2/2/2004 6:10 AM

SN Brussels Air (previously Sabena) operates three direct flights each week from Brussels and has additional flights via Nairobi and Bujumbura. British Airways has three direct flights a week from London. Currently, no American carrier connects from Europe to Entebbe. Daily flights to and from Nairobi are available on Kenya Airways.

UAB should be addressed per instructions in the TMTWO. HHE and vehicles should be shipped via the European Logistical Support Office (ELSO) Antwerp. HHE will be sent by airfreight to Entebbe; expect some delay as airplanes fill up quickly and large shipments get bumped. If transportation opts for a direct shipment to Kampala, use air shipment for HHE. Vehicles will be shipped to Mombasa, Kenya (in containers only), then trucked to Kampala. Expect vehicle shipment to take 2 months minimum.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 2/2/2004 6:11 AM

All direct-hire employees assigned to the Embassy, or USAID direct hires, are entitled to full, duty-free privileges before arrival and for the duration of their tour. Since the duty-free privileges do not extend to members of the family, all items must be consigned to the employee.

Passage Last Updated: 2/26/2004 7:12 AM

Persons assigned to Kampala with diplomatic passports do not need a visa. Those with official or personal passports can get an airport visa for $40. Incoming travelers must possess valid yellow fever immunization certificates on the World Health Organization's standard form. If you pass through Nairobi and leave the airport, you must also have a valid visa for Kenya. These may be purchased in the Nairobi Airport. The Embassy will handle all necessary paperwork upon arrival in Kampala.

All incoming employees will be met at Entebbe Airport if they have cabled their itinerary to the Embassy. If you are not met at the airport, contact the Embassy for transportation or get onto the Instant Services airport shuttle and asked to be dropped at the Embassy. This service is operated by the Embassy travel agency. A Marine Security Guard is on duty 24 hours daily at the Embassy.

Pets Last Updated: 3/25/2004 9:11 AM

Housing assignments are not made to accommodate pets, although most homes have sufficient space for them. Employees are reminded that they are financially responsible for all pet damage and are also responsible for ensuring that their animals do not become a neighborhood nuisance.

Dogs or cats brought to post require no quarantine if documents are in order and presented upon arrival. Up-to-date rabies vaccination certificates and a veterinary certificate of health issued not more than 30 days before arrival are required at the port of entry. Please notify GSO well in advance if pets will travel as accompanied or unaccompanied baggage. At the moment there are several veterinarians used by the community who can perform basic check-ups, health maintenance and sterilization. Medicines are generally available, but some supplies such as flea collars must be brought from the U.S. Filaria is endemic to Uganda, so bring a two-year supply of heartworm pills. These are obtainable only through a veterinarian. They cannot be ordered from a pet-supply store and are not available locally. A word of caution to owners of elderly or sickly dogs — several dogs in the last several years have found the local conditions too harsh.

Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 2/2/2004 6:12 AM

Post discourages the importation of any personally owned weapons. However, any employee who wishes to import a firearm must submit a written request to the Ambassador through the Regional Security Office. This request must be submitted and approved before the shipment of any firearms to post. Each request will be reviewed on the basis of an employee's need for a firearm, training in handling and safety with the firearm, and the employee’s ability to secure the firearm while at post. Should you require further information concerning the importation of personally owned firearms, please contact the Regional Security Office.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 2/26/2004 7:15 AM

Uganda uses a decimal currency of shillings. The largest denomination note is USH 50,000. Coins are used, the smallest being 10 USH. The current official rate is about $1=USH 1890. Foreign Exchange (FOREX) rates are readily available at all banks and exchange offices around town. Uganda uses the metric system of weights and measures.

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 3/25/2004 9:11 AM

Uganda uses a value-added tax (VAT) which all personnel must pay but can re-claim through the Uganda Revenue Authority. Post has arranged duty-free gasoline purchase at selected gas stations. All personal goods and consumables for both those on and not on the diplomatic list may enter Uganda exempt from duties and taxes. Employees may have two duty-free vehicles in Uganda.

All official disbursements for the Embassy, except petty cash, are made by the U.S. disbursing officer at the Charleston Financial Service Center (CFSC) in Charleston, South Carolina. Petty cash is handled by the Embassy cashier. Checks for personal funds can be cashed by a bank representative in the Embassy. Travelers checks may be purchased at any of the local banks.

Personnel may sell personal property only during their last 90 days at post and only after the Management Officer approves an application for the sale. The exchange accommodation of proceeds from goods sold in Ugandan shillings and approved by the Management Officer will be processed through FSC Charelston up to the maximum limit established by post policy.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 2/26/2004 7:17 AM

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

Apter, David E. The Political Kingdom in Uganda. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1961.

Avrirgan, Tony and Martha Honey. War in Uganda. The Legacy of Idi Amin. Lawrence Hill & Co. Inc. Westport, 1981.

Byrnes, Rita M. Ed., Uganda; A Country Study, 2nd Ed., Washington, D.C. Library of Congress, 1992.

Gersony, Robert. The Anguish of Northern Uganda, Kampala; USAID 1997.

H.B. Hansen and M. Twaddle, eds. Changing Uganda. Ohio University Press: Athens, 1991.

Ingham, Kenneth. The Making of Modern Uganda. Allen and Unwin: London, 1958.

Ingham, Kenneth. Developing Uganda. Ohio U. Press; Athens, OH, 1999.

Jorgensen, Jan Jelmet. Uganda: A Modern History. St. Martin's Press: New York, 1981.

Mazrui, Ali. Soldiers and Kinsmen in Uganda. Sage: Beverly Hills, 1975.

Moorehead, Alan. The White Nile. Harper & Row: New York, 1960.

Museveni, Yoweri. Sowing the Mustard Seed: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Uganda. London, MacMillan, 1997.

Ofcansky, Thomas P. Uganda, Tarnished Pearl of Africa. Boulder, Westview Press, 1996.

Omara-Otunnu, Amii. Politics and the Military in Uganda—1890-1985. New York, St. Martin's Press 1987.

World Bank, Uganda: The Challenge of Growth and Poverty Reduction, Wash. D.C., World Bank, 1996.

Local Holidays Last Updated: 5/31/2003 6:00 PM

The following local holidays are observed:

New Year's Day Jan 1 Idd-el-Fitr Variable Liberation Day Jan 26 Idd-Adhuha Variable Good Friday Variable Easter Monday Variable Labor Day May 1 Martyr's Day June 3* Independence Day Oct 9 Christmas Day Dec 25 Boxing Day Dec 26

*Subject to change/announcement.

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
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