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Northern Uganda is a region of 7.2 million people in the north of the country.


Map of Northern Uganda
  • 1 Arua - the north-western corner of the country, reached by daily flights from Entebbe Airport.
  • 2 Gulu - centrally located, the main city of the north.
  • 3 Lira
  • 4 Pakwach - on the west bank of the Albert Nile on the road to Arua and the end of the former British rail line from Mombasa.

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Ajai Game Reserve — boasts a deluxe safari camp under construction just outside its borders. A small reserve of 16,600 hectares, on the east bank of the Albert Nile.
  • Aswa-Lolim - A former game reserve that has been turned into farmland, but with a wildlife management programme to manage the wild life that still passes through the area.

Get in[edit]

  • 2 Kidepo Valley National Park - in the extreme NE corner of Uganda on the Sudan border. Incredible birds and wildlife including elephant, zebra, ostrich and massive buffalo herds.
  • 3 Murchison Falls National Park - offers a very nice boat trip getting surrounded by crocodiles and hippos. The nearby waterfall is dramatic and beautiful, as the entire Nile River plunges down 45 m (150 ft) and through a 7 m (23 ft) wide crevice. It is possible to do safaris - Murchison is full of a variety of wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, hartbeast, buffalo, and a few lions and leopards. It is still a little bit difficult to get as independent traveller. Take an early bus to Masindi and then try to arrange for transport to bring you to the park. With some luck, you could get a free ride with the rangers.


Get in[edit]

Gulu airport (ULU IATA)

Get around[edit]


Air travel is possible to a few destinations, including Arua, Pader and Gulu. Only Eagle Air has scheduled flights, and has been reducing its service. A chartered plane from Kajjansi or Entebbe can take you to many more destinations.


Most places can be reached by bus, but this is an "experience" of its own, with borderline reckless drivers, worn-out and overcrowded vehicles, and long waits.

Rental car[edit]

The roads in the north are generally rough. In the rainy season sections may become muddy and bridges may flood or collapse. Inspect any rental vehicle before taking it into the bush. Ensure that the tires -- including the spare -- are not too worn. Two spares are better than one, and a jack and wheel spanner are easily forgotten. Four-wheel drive is mandatory, and if you anticipate any mud, insist on a vehicle with a locking differential. Stick with diesel engines, because petrol (gasoline) is more difficult to find.

Many Kampala-based drivers are unfamiliar with the north. Although they allow you to rest while traveling and may be helpful in the event of a breakdown, they are likely to be no more knowledgeable about directions than you.

Any driver's license from your home country will be accepted here.


A rail line once reached from Mombasa to Arua. Remnants are still visible, and East African Community is considering a plan to rebuild it.




Posho (aka ugali, white maize/corn mush) and beans are the local staple. Travelers looking for a change should find at least mediocre Indian, western and/or Ethiopian food in most cities.


Even the most remote villages will have warm bottled beer and sodas.

Stay safe[edit]

Africa's biggest killer, the malaria-bearing mosquito, is more prevalent in the north. Mosquito nets are mandatory, and for short-term visitors, prophylaxes are advisable.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Northern Uganda is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!