Uganda is a landlocked East African country a littler smaller than the United Kingdom; it is situated between 4°N and 1°S.
It includes within its borders about half of Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, about half of Lake Albert, and the whole of the smaller Lake Kioga. These lakes form part of the source region of the White Nile, fed by the equatorial rains of Uganda and adjacent countries.
The country is bordered on the north by the Sudan, east by Kenya, south by Tanzania and Rwanda, and west by the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda shares with Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo the same features of equatorial climate; this is modified by the elevation of the country, most of which is a plateau 1,000-1,400 m/3,500-4,500 ft above sea level.
In the west and southwest there are high mountains, including the Ruwenzori Range, which rise well over 3,000 m/10,000 ft.
The sequence of weather and climate around the year is similar to that described for Kenya. Much of Uganda, however, is rather wetter than Kenya. This is because of the influence of Lake Victoria, an important local source of atmospheric moisture, and thunderstorms; in addition, the west of the country is often influenced by moist southwesterly winds bringing rains from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The wettest areas are along the shores of Lake Victoria and the western mountain districts; these receive over 1,500 mm/60 in of rain per year. Parts of central and northeast Uganda receive less than 1,000 mm/40 in of rain per year; this is often much less since rainfall is unreliable from year to year.
Most of Uganda has the typical double rainy season found in the Kenya Highlands, but towards the north these two rainy seasons tend to merge into a single long wet period with a single dry period. Over most of Uganda the weather is pleasant and not uncomfortable for much of the year.
There is much sunny weather with daily hours of sunshine averaging from six to eight and only much less than this in the wetter mountain districts. Temperatures are never excessively high and humidity does not reach the consistently high levels found in equatorial lowlands.
Wet spells lasting a day or two are not unusual but much of the rain comes in heavy thundery showers. There is no real cool season but the daily range of temperature is enough to make the nights cool rather than chilly.
The table for Entebbe shows the influence of Lake Victoria on rainfall and humidity as compared with that for Kampala, which is a few miles from the lakeshore. These are representative of much of Uganda except the drier north and centre.
The table for Kabale, which is situated in the hillier southwest and is sheltered from heavy rains on the mountains, shows the greater reduction of temperature during all months as a result of higher altitude.
© Copyright RM, 2007. All rights reserved. Helicon Publishing is a division of RM.