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Uganda - Enviornment

Uganda Environment

Uganda occupies a chunk of eastern Africa about the size of the United Kingdom. It's bordered by Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, Lake Victoria, Tanzania and Rwanda to the south, and Congo (formerly Zaïre) to the west.

With its relatively low population density and scarcity of wildlife (the latter courtesy of the decimation that occurred during the bad old days), Uganda lacks many of the environmental pressures faced by other countries in East Africa. The national parks and wilderness areas are generally in good shape, and conditions are ideal for the native animals to re-establish themselves. The highest density of primates in the world live in Kibale National Park, while Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the last remaining habitats of the mountain gorillas.

About 25% of Uganda's land is fertile and arable, making the country quite capable of producing a food surplus. Lake Victoria and the Victoria Nile, which flows through much of the country, create one of the best irrigated areas of Africa. However, the growing problem of water hyacinth threatens the ecology of Lake Victoria and the livelihood of the people who live by its shores. This aquatic weed floats in large 'islands' on the lake surface and grows so prolifically that it chokes waterways and stops light from penetrating the lake surface, making it impossible for fish to live beneath it.

The land varies from the lush and fertile shores of Lake Victoria in the southeast, to semi-desert in the northeast. Uganda is fairly flat, with mountains only in the extreme east (Mt Elgon), far west (Rwenzori Mountains) and the beautiful southwest, close to the Rwandan border. Though flat, the country is high, with an average altitude of over 1000m (3280ft).

The bulk of the country enjoys a tropical climate tempered by altitude. The hottest months are from December to February, when it gets up to 29°C (84°F). The rainy seasons in the south are from April to May and October to November, the wettest month being April. In the north the wet season is from April to October.

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