Location Uganda in East Africa 

Location Uganda in East Africa . Uganda is located in eastern Africa, west of Kenya, south of South Sudan, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and north of Rwanda and Tanzania. Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa whose diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria. Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and wildlife such as hippos.

Regions that make up Uganda.

Central, Eastern, western, northern, northeast, west nile.

Districts in Uganda.

Northern regions

Gulu, Amuru, Pader, Kitgum,Arua, Nebbi, Moracha

Eastern region

Kamuli, Jinja, Tororo, Budaka.

Western region

Masindi, Kiryandonggo, Bushenyi, Mitoma

Central region

Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Kayunga, Masaka, Kabarole.

Newly created districts in Uganda.

Madi okollo district,Obongi district

Reasons for creating more districts in Uganda.

  • To create more employment opportunities
  • To promote development of all areas
  • To make administration easy.
  • To extend social services nearer to people

Problems faced by government while creating new districts.

  • Shortage of fund
  • Corruption

Ministry responsible for creating new district

  • It’s under the ministry of local government.

Location of Uganda on the map of East Africa.

Location Uganda in East Africa 

How to locate Uganda using the lines of latitude and longitude.

To locate a place is to find its exact position

The method of locating places on a map using lines of latitude and lines of longitude is called grid reference.

Lines of latitude. These are imaginary lines drawn on a map from East to West.

Latitude. It is the distance of a place North or South of the equator. Lines of longitude is the imaginary line drawn on a map from north to south.

Examples of lines of latitude

  • Equator 0⁰
  • Tropic of cancer      23½⁰N or 23.5⁰N
  • Tropic of capricom   23½ ⁰S or 23.5⁰S
  • Arctic circle             66½⁰N or 66.5N
  • Antarctic circle        66½⁰S or 66.5⁰S

A Hemisphere. Is a half of the globe

The globe is spherical in shape. The equator is called a spherical line of latitude because other lines of latitude are numbered from it. The sun is over head equator on 21st March and 23rd September.

Equninox is the period of the year when the sun is overhead the equator.

Lakes crossed by the equator in Uganda

  • Lake George
  • Lake Victoria

Districts crossed by the equator in Uganda

Kasese, Ibanda, Sembabule, Wakiso, Mpigi

Uses of lines of latitude/latitudes

  • They determine the climate of a given area
  • They locate places on a map

Use of lines of longitude

  • They help to determine time
  • They determine dates using the international dateline.
  • They locate places on the map.

Ways of locating different places

  • Use of latitude and longitudes/ grid reference.
  • Use of a compass direction
  • Use of a land mark
  • Use of position of the sun.
  • Use of neighbors.

Elements of a good map

A map is a drawing/ representation of an object as seen from above.

Types of maps

  • Political maps.  Are maps that show boundaries of districts, villages, countries.
  • Weather maps. Are maps that show weather elements of an area.
  • Relief maps. Are maps which show physical features
  • Climate maps. Are maps which show climate, rain fall of an area.

Uses of maps, They are used

  • For locating places
  • To know the climate of an area 
  • To know the relief of an area.
  • To know the vegetation of an area.
  • To plan for routes to take while on journey.
  • For communication

A map is a representation of an object as seen from the side.

Map elements. Map elements are features found on a map that make map reading easy.

Elements/ qualities of a good map

  • A scale. Is used to calculate the actual ground distance on the map.
  • A title/ heading. It helps to tell what a map is all about.
  • A key. Is used to interpret map symbols
  • A compass direction. Shows the direction of places on a map.
  • A frame. It encloses the map

Symbols used on a map. These are letters, colours or features used to represent the real object

Importance of using symbols on a map instead of real object

  • To ensure neatness of a map
  • To avoid over crowding on the map
  • To make map reading easy.
Colour usedItem represented on a map
Blue Brown and purple Green Red YellowWater bodiesHigh land and mountainsVegetation plantsBoundariesScattered short grasses/ low lands/plateau.

Some symbols used on the map

image 62
image 41
image 42
Water fall
image 43
image 44
image 45
Mountain peak
image 46
image 47
Permanent River
image 48
Rift valley
image 49
Seasonal lake
image 50
image 51
Seasonal River
image 52

Methods used to locate Uganda on a map

  • Compass direction
  • Grid reference
  • Physical features
  • Neighboring places

A compass

A compass is an instrument that is used to show direction of places while a compass rose is a drawn compass.

A compass direction is a symbol used on a map to show the direction of places. The compass points are divided into the groups ie cardinal, semi cardinal and tertiary points.

Cardinal points of a compass.

These are major four points of a compass ie North, East, West and South.

image 53

Semi cardinal/secondary points of a compass.

These are directions midway of cardinal points They include northwest, southwest, northeast, southeast. They form 45⁰ from cardinal points.

image 54

People who use a compass

  • Pilots
  • Tourists
  • Sailors
  • Captains
  • Mountain climbers
  • Rally drivers

How to use a compass to locate places/ country

What is the direction of Uganda from Kenya? The person finding the direction of Uganda from Kenya should/begin from Kenya

Uganda    <————- Kenya. Uganda  Kenya Uganda is west of Kenya

Scale drawing on the map

A scale is the relationship of the size of map to the actual land size.

Types of scale used on the map.

  1. Linear scale. This type of scale is a line divided into equal parts e.g
image 55

Each division shows 1CM on the map representing 10km on the ground   

If Wanale is 25km a way from masindi town. How far is he on the map if the scale is that shown below.

image 56
  1. Statement scale. It is given inform of words or statements.

1cm on the map represents 500m on ground

If one was travelling a distance of 20cm on the map. It means that you will be travelling (20cmx500m)

  • Representative/ fractional scale. It may be shown as a mathematical fraction e.g  1/200,000 

Island districts in Uganda

These are districts found in lake Victoria in Uganda i.e kalangala- Buvuma

Economic importance of kalangala district

  • These are various tourist attractions e.g Ngamba island sanctuary for chimpanzees.
  • There is commercial fishing
  • There is fertile soil which has favoured the growing of oil palm.

Problems facing people in kalangala district

  • Poor transport
  • Shortage of hydro- electricity
  • Poor infrastructures
  • Poor medical facilities.

Solutions to the problems facing people in kalangala

  • Providing better means of water transport
  • Building more schools, hospital, police stations. 
  • Providing ready market for products

Uganda as a land locked country

A land locked country is a country without a coastline or it’s own seaport.

Since Uganda is  land locked, she uses the seaport of Mombasa in Kenya and port dares salaam of Tanzania to handle her overseas imports and exports.

Some neighboring countries of Uganda are also land locked ie Rwanda and south sudan.

Problems faced by Uganda as a land locked country

  • High transportation costs
  • Lack of privacy  on goods
  • Delayment of goods in transit
  • Paying many taxes on overseas imports and exports.

Those transport problems could be reduced through

  • modernizing agriculture to produce adequate food and raw materials.
  • Promoting air transport to speed up the movement of goods
  • Expanding industrialization to produce adequate goods.
  • Cooperating with her neighboring countries to allow easy movement of goods.

Uganda needs to cooperate with her neighbours in order

  • To promote foreign trade
  • To promote peace and security
  • To get goods she needs
  • To promote free movement of people and goods
  • To get market for her goods

Importance of Uganda to her neighbours

  • She provides market for their goods
  • She supplies them with hydro- electricity
  • She provides both skilled and unskilled labour to them

Uganda also benefits from her neighbours in many ways for example

  • She gets market for her goods
  • She gets goods needed

She gets exports in many fields, etc

Physical features of Uganda

Physical features are land forms of the earth surface. They include plateau, hills, mountains, valley, plains, inselbergs, lakes, rivers, lowlands.

The plateau covers the largest part of Uganda

Types of physical features

  • Relief features
  • Drainage features

Relief features. Relief features are high land low lands of an area.

Examples of relief features

Hills, mountains, valley, plateau, rift valley.

Drainage features. These are land forms that have water in them.

Examples of drainage features

Lakes, rivers, streams, hot springs

Map of Uganda showing physical features

image 57


image 58

Plateau. This is a raised flat topped piece of land. The plateau covers the largest part of Uganda.

Lake Kyoga is the major lake found on the central plateau of Uganda.

Economic activities carried out on the plateau of Uganda. Fishing, farming, tourism, trade, lumbering, industrialization.

Importance of the plateau in Uganda

  • It provides pastures for livestock farming
  • It provides land for crop growing
  • It promotes lumbering in forests
  • It promotes fishing  in lakes
  • It promotes tourism
  • It provides place for settlement
  • It provides suitable place for industrialization

Problems faced by human beings on uganda’s plateau

  • Pests and diseases
  • Soil erosion
  • Floods
  • Drought

Ways of reducing the problems

  • Spraying using insecticides
  • Conserving swamps, cleaning canals and planting trees
  1. Draw a map symbol for a plateau……………….

Mountains in Uganda

A mountain is a large raised piece of land higher than 2000m.

Examples of mountains in Uganda

  • Mountain Moroto
  • Mountain Elgon
  • Mountain Rwenzori
  • Napak
  • Kadom
  • Mufumbiro

A map of Uganda showing mountains

image 59

Types of mountain in Uganda

  • Block (host) mountain such as rwenzori
  • Volcanic mountain such as Elgon, moroto and mufumbiro

 Block mountain

  • They are also called horst mountains
  • They were formed by faulting
  • Rwenzori is snowcapped because the peak crosses the snowline.
  • Faulting is the breaking of rocks due to the pressure created inside them.
  • Faults are deep crakes formed on the earth’s surface
  • Forces of tension and compression led to the formation of block mountain

Features formed by faulting

block mountains

Rift valley

Rift valley lakes


Volcanic mountains

They were formed by volcanicity or volcanic eruption.

Volcanicity is the process by which hot molten rock called magma is forced on the earth surface.

Types of volcanic mountains

Active volcano. It is the type of volcano that shows signs of eruption and can erupt at any time such as mountain mufumbiro.

Dormant volcano. Is the type of volcano that does not show sign of eruption but can erupt e.g mountain moroto

Extinct or dead volcano. Is a type of volcano that stopped erupting and can not erupt such as mountain elgon.

Features formed by volcanicity

  • Volcano
  • Crater
  • Crater lakes
  • Calderas
  • Volcanic plugs
  • Hot springs

Formation of volcanic mountain

image 60

Magma. Is the hot molten rock below the earth’s surface.

Crater is a depression found on top of a volcano

Crater lake. Is a lake formed on top of erupt volcano

Vent. Is a hole through which magma passes to the surface of the earth.

Importance of mountains

  • They have fertile soil for crop growth
  • They receive reliable rainfall that supports farming.
  • They act as the sources of rivers
  • They have cool temperature to support human settlement

Problems faced by people living on mountain slopes

  • Soil erosion
  • Land slides
  • Poor transport network
  • Shortage of land due to over population
  • Volcanic eruptions

Solutions to problems faced by people in mountainous areas

  •  Soil erosion
  • Poor transport
  • Land slides

Economic activities carried out in mountainous areas

  • Crop growing
  • Dairy farming
  • Lumbering
  • Tourism
  • Stone quarrying
  • Mining

Rift valley

Is a long depression found on the earth surface.

It was formed by faulting

It was due to the forces of tension and compression that accelerated faulting to occur.

It has two arms such as the eastern and western arms.

Western arms runs through Uganda

It has lakes like Albert and lake Edward.

Map showing the rift valley in Uganda

image 61

Economic activities carried out within the rift valley.

  • Fishing
  • Tourism
  • Animal rearing
  • Cultivation
  • Mining

Problems people in the rift valley face

  • Soil erosion
  • High temperature
  • Land slides
  • Poor transport network


Most rivers in Uganda originate from high land areas because of the reliable rainfall received through out the year.

Types of rivers in Uganda

  • Permanent rivers. Are rivers that flow through out the year e.g river Nile, achwa.
  • Seasonal rivers. Are rivers that dry up in the dry season e.g river agago

Examples of major rivers in Uganda

River Nile. The longest river in Africa

River kagera. Forms a boundary between Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.

River semliki. Forms a boundary between Uganda and DRC

River achwa. It is a tributary of river Nile in northern Uganda.

River katonga. Joins Lake George to Lake Victoria

River kafu

River nkusi

River mpologoma

Stages of a river

  • Upper course/ youthful stage
  • Middle course/ mature stage
  • Lower course/ old stage/ semile stage

Common terms under river

Delta. Is a point where a river divides into several streams at its mouth.

Estuary. Is an open mouth of a river.

Source of a river. Is a point where a river starts flowing from.

Mouth of a river. Is a point where river ends.

Tributary. Is a small river that joins main

Distributary. Is a small river branching off a main river.

Confluence. Is a point where two or more rivers meet.

Water shed. Is a stretch of high lands separating different rivers.

River load. Materials carried by the river

Gorge. Is a narrow deepened  valley formed by a river at its youthful stage

River semiliki and Nile form deltas at their mouth.

Rivers are politically important because they act as natural boundaries between countries.


Lakes are large volumes of water that collect in depressions on the surface of the earth

Formation of lakes

Lakes are formed through the following processes such as

  • Faulting
  • Down warping
  • Volcanicity
  • Man’s activities
  • River deposition and meanders

Types of lakes in Uganda

  • Depression/basin/down warped lake
  • Rift valley lakes
  • Volcanic lakes
  • Ox-bow lakes

Depression lakes

They are also called basin or down warped lakes

They are formed by the process called down warping

They are characterized by having fresh water and swampy surroundings.

Examples of depression lakes in Uganda in Uganda

  • Lake Victoria
  • Lake kyoga
  • Lake kwania
  • Lake wamala
  • Lake opeta
  • Lake bisina

Note: lake Victoria is the largest in east Africa. It is the source of river Nile

It has in land ports like port bell and port Bukakato in Uganda.

It has fresh water.

Lake Kyoga is the most swampy lake because it is shallow.

Lake Kyoga is shallow because it experiences high rate of silting/siltation.

Rift valley lakes

  • They are found within the rift valley
  • They were formed by faulting

Examples of rift valley lakes

  • Some are salty
  • They are long
  • They are narrow
  • They have no major outlets
  • They have deep water
  • They have escarpments/steep sides

Lake Albert is the lake where crude oil was discovered.

It has inland ports like port Butiaba and port Ntoroko.

 It has fresh waters because it has inlets and outlet.

Crude oil is found in albertine region.

Districts where crude oil has been discovered

  • Hoima, Bulisa, Kibale and Ntoroko.

Lake Edward is joined to Lake George by Kazinga channel.

Most rift valley lakes have salty water because of the following.

  • They lack major outlets
  • They have salty rocks underneath.

Man made lakes

These are lakes formed as result of man’s activities for example by blocking the flow of a river and digging.

Kabaka’s lake is an example of a man made lake in Uganda.

Volcanic lakes.

These are lakes formed as a result of volcanicity

Examples of volcanic lakes

Crater lakes for example lake Nyakasuru, Nyamunuka, Katule and Muhavura.

Lava dammed lakes for example lake Bunyonyi and Mutunda.

These were formed when lava blocked the flow of the river.

Lake Bunyonyo is the deepest lake in Uganda.

Ox-bow lakes.

These are lakes formed as result of river deposition and meandering.

Economic activities carried out around lakes and rivers

  • Fishing
  • Transport
  • Tourism
  • Farming
  • Trading

Problems created by lakes and rivers

  • People may drown in them
  • They act as breeding places for vectors
  • They make road and railway construction difficult.
  • They harbor dangerous aquatic animals that may attack and kill people.

Uses of lakes and rivers to man

  • They act as fishing grounds
  • They are sources of water for irrigation
  • They help in rain formation
  • They are used for water transport
  • They have fertile soils for crop growth
  • Some lakes act as sources of minerals e.g Lake Katwe.

Problems faced by lakes and rivers

  • Dumping of wastes (pollution)
  • Prolonged drought
  • Silting
  • Use of poor fishing methods
  • Over use of swamp

Effects of physical features on climate

  • Lakes and rivers help in rain formation
  • Mountains and highlands help in rain formation
  • The higher one climbs a mountain, the cooler it becomes.

Effects of physical features on human activities

  • Mountains have fertile soils for crop growth.
  • Mountains receive reliable rainfall that allows crop growth.
  • Lakes and rivers act as fishing ground
  • Lakes and rivers act as tourist attractions
  • Plateau has fertile soil for growing crops.

Influence of physical features on each of the following

  1. Vegetation
  2. The top of mountain is too cold to support vegetation growth
  3. The wind ward side of mountains receive reliable rainfall that support the growth of vegetation
  4. Mountains have thick vegetation due to the presence of fertile soil.
  5. Lake shores and banks of rivers have fertile soil and receive plenty of rainfall that supports the growth of vegetation.
  6. Animals and birds

Around lakes and rivers, there are many birds due to the availability of water.

  • Plateau has plenty of animals due to the abundant pastures for them to feed on.
  • Human beings
  • Mountain slopes have fertile soils that allow farming by human beings.
  • Lakes and rivers act as fishing grounds to human being.
  • Steep slopes of mountains do not favour human settlement due to poor transport net work.