Uganda is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa. It is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south-west by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region. Uganda also lies within the Nile basin, and has a varied but generally a modified equatorial climate.
Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country, including the capital Kampala. The people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country.
The official languages are English and Swahili, although "any other language may be used as a medium of instruction in schools or other educational institutions or for legislative, administrative or judicial purposes as may be prescribed by law." Luganda, a central language, is widely spoken across the country, and several other languages are also spoken, including Acholi, Runyoro, Runyankole, Rukiga, Luo and Lusoga.
The country is located on the East African Plateau, lying mostly between latitudes 4°N and 2°S (a small area is north of 4°), and longitudes 29° and 35°E. It averages about 1,100 metres (3,609 ft) above sea level, sloping very steadily downwards to the Sudanese Plain to the north. Some international trade organisations categorize Kenya as part of the Greater Horn of Africa.
Uganda's population grew from 9.5 million people in 1969 to 34.9 million in 2014. With respect to the last inter-censal period (September 2002), the population increased by 10.6 million people in the past 12 years. Uganda's median age of 15 years is the lowest in the world. Uganda has the fifth highest total fertility rate in the world, at 5.97 children born per woman (2014 estimates).
Uganda has ten national parks and thirteen wildlife reserves and sanctuaries, and in these areas, the protection of nature takes precedence over human development. When they were set up, many of these protected areas were selected examples of habitat types in the country, but with the increase in the human population, and the requirement of these people for land for agriculture, timber extraction, mining and other purposes, the preserved areas have often become the only remaining natural habitats.
Uganda has 60 protected areas, including ten national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Kibale National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Mount Elgon National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Semuliki National Park.
The wildlife of Uganda is composed of its flora and fauna. Uganda has a wide variety of different habitats, including mountains, hills, tropical rainforest, woodland, freshwater lakes, swamps and savanna with scattered clumps of trees. The country has a biodiverse flora and fauna reflecting this range of habitats and is known for its primates, including gorillas and chimpanzees. There are ten national parks and thirteen wildlife reserves; some 345 species of mammal and 1020 species of bird have been recorded in the country.
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