Learn More about the Geography of Uganda

Uganda Location, Position and Size

Uganda Location and Position

Uganda is one of the 13 nations making Eastern African Region and part of the Great Lakes countries that sits between the Eastern and Western branches of the Great Rift Valley. Eastern Africa Region stretches from Red Sea, through Gulf of Eden’s Horn of Africa all the way south to the Ruvuma River that marks Tanzania and Mozambique border, to middle of Lake Tangayika in southwest and along the Albertine Rift Valley and to the Sudan and Egypt border in the north.  The region is also inclusive Indian Ocean Islands Mayote; a French Territory, Comoros and Seychelles as well as Eritrea’s Red Sea 350 Islands in the Dahlak Archipelago. (Insert a map of Eastern Africa Region) Uganda is a landlocked country and its closest port is Mombasa about 700 kilometers to its east on the Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast.

Uganda is one of the worlds’ 48 landlocked states, one of 16 in Africa and one of the five Eastern Africa landlocked countries. Uganda is located between latitude 4 degrees, 15 minutes and 1 degree, 20 minutes south of the equator respectively. The equator passes cutting off its southern part.  Uganda is between 29 degrees, 45 minutes and 35 degrees east of the Prime Meridian. (Insert a map).

Uganda has 5 neighbors and they share boundaries totaling to 2,719 kilometers or— miles in length. South Sudan sits to its north sharing a boundary measuring 435 kilometers or — miles. Kenya is its eastern neighbor with the longest boundary that measures 933 kilometers or —- miles, while Tanzania and Rwanda are its south and southwest neighbors with boundary measuring 418 kilometers or— miles and 169 kilometers or —miles respectively. Central Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo is its western neighbor and the two shares a boundary measuring 764.4 kilometers or — miles. See the table below.

Uganda Neighbors
CountryRegionDirectionLength in KilometersLength in miles
South SudanEastern AfricaNorth435 
KenyaEastern AfricaEast933 
TanzaniaEastern AfricaSouth418 
RwandaEastern AfricaSouth West169 
Democratic Republic of CongoCentral AfricaWest764.4 
Total International Boundary 2,719.4 
CoastlineUganda has no coastline; its landlocked
Uganda Size

Uganda has an area of 242,038 square kilometers or —- square miles, its world’s  largest country, Africa’s  33rd largest and 7th Eastern Africa’s  largest after Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan and Kenya in that order, with Sudan being the largest in the region. Sudan was Africa’s largest before the succession of South Sudan, this left Algeria as the continents largest and while Sudan became Africa’s 3rd largest.

Comparatively Uganda can fit to world largest country; Russia 67.7 times, whiles the world smallest country Vatican City can fit into Uganda 551,000 times. Uganda can fit into Africa largest country; Algeria 9.8 times, while Africa smallest country; Seychelles can fit into Uganda 532 times. Uganda can fit into Eastern Africa’s largest country; Sudan 7.7 times and it’s almost the same size as its former colonizer; Britain.

As mentioned earlier, Uganda is almost the same size as United Kingdom, it’s smaller than Norway or either Sweden or Finland. However, Denmark is 5.6 times smaller than this Eastern Africa’s 7th largest nation. It’s slightly larger than Rumania and over 2 times bigger than Portugal.

In Oceania, Uganda can fit into Australia 32 times and into Papua New Guinea, almost two.  Uganda is slightly smaller New Zealand but 13 times bigger than either Fiji or Solomon Islands.

In Asia, Uganda can fit into China, 40 times and into the sub-continent India 13.6 times. Uganda is smaller than Japan and would fit into this Asia’s highly industrialized island nation 1.6 times. Uganda is smaller than Iraq, over twice the size of South Korea, half the size of Thailand and slightly larger than Laos.

In South America, Uganda would fit in Brazil, 35.2 times, Argentina, 11.5 and Columbia 4.7 times. Uganda is larger than Guyana or Uruguay, but smaller than Ecuador. Uganda would fit into Chile 3.1 times.

As for North America, Uganda would fit into Canada 41.3 times and into the USA about 40 times. Uganda is 8 times smaller than Mexico but Uganda is larger than two Cubas or ten Belizes.

Uganda is slightly bigger than twice the size of Pennsylvania and but slightly smaller than Oregon.  Uganda can fit into USA largest state; Alaska 6.32 times, Texas, 2.86 times and California, 1.7 times.  If Uganda was one of the USA states it would the 11th largest, slightly smaller than Oregon but slightly larger than Utah

RankNameArea in square kmArea in square Miles
1stAlaska                 1,530,700                            591,004
2ndTexas                     691,030                            266,807
3rdCalifornia                     411,049                            158,706
4thMontana                     380,848                            147,646
5thNew Mexico                     314,295                            121,593
6thArizona                     295,260                            114,000
7thNevada                     286,352                            110,561
8thColorado                     269,595                            104,091
9thWyoming                     253,326                               97,809
10thOregon                     251,419                               97,073
11thUganda          242,038 
12thUtah                     219,889                               84,899

Uganda landforms and relief

Uganda lies on high eastern Africa Plateau which occupies Kenya on its east, Tanzania and Rwanda, on its south as well as Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti. Uganda has no coastal plains, much of its land is hilly with isolated mountains and lowlands are found around Lake Victoria. Uganda drier lands are on its northern and northeastern side. Uganda is lower on its north western, western and south western sides. The highest point of the country is along its western border with Democratic republic of Congo; the Mount Ruwenzori’s Margherita peak at 5110 meters or — feet above sea level, while on north of the “Mountains of the Moon” is Lake Albert on the floor of the Great Rift Valley Western branch which is Uganda’s lowest point at 621 meters or – feet above sea level. 

Towards its eastern side, heading to Kenya, Uganda has several notable hills and mountains which include Mount Elgon that is shared with Kenya and stands at an altitude of 4,321 meters or — feet above sea level. North of Mount Elgon is the slightly shorter; Mt Kadam at an altitude of 3,068 meters or –feet high. Mount Elgon and Kadam are separated by a valley into which river Kelim flows forming Lake Bisima. North of Mount Kadam are Napak at 2,537 meters and the 3,084 meters high Mount Moroto near the Kenyan border. Kenya Uganda border which runs from north to south on the eastern side of Uganda is formed by series of highlands and near the north eastern at the border with South Sudan lies the 2750 meters high mount Morungele and to its east is the Nangeya Mountains whose peak; Rom stands at a height of 2381 meters above sea level.

Ogili in Kitgum administrative division is a 1992 meters high highland that is the source of a smaller river; Agago which joins River Achwa eventually becoming one of the tributaries of the Albertine Nile; While Nile. South of Ogili are the Labwor Hills, while to its west are the Lilak at 1378 meters above sea level. Towards the north is the Imatong Mountain Range shared with its northern neighbor; South Sudan. Besides, the Imatong, Didinga Hills also forms the two countries boundary. Jabal Lotuke and Mount Kinyeti are the highest of this Uganda’s northern highlands but are on the South Sudan side.

Central Uganda is devoid of prominent mountains except for the Maruzi and Mubende at 1,384 and 1,573 meters above sea level respectively.

Further south towards the Tanzania border is Chitanda at 1647, while still south but along the Rwanda border are the Burunga or Vurunga ranges with the Muhabura peak at 4127 meters sitting inside at the confluence of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda border. North of Chitanda is the 2172 meters high Singiro.

Hydrology and drainage of Uganda

Uganda is well-drained with many lakes and rivers. It has a huge chunk of Lake Victoria, consequently, it the country’s largest lake. Additionally, it shares two lakes; Albert and Edward with the Demographic Republic of Congo.