What You Need to Know When You’re Moving to Kampala

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  • Peter Okello

    I did a lot of research before moving to Kampala, but InterNations provided me with the most relevant connects among all sites.

Relocating to Kampala

About the City

Kampala is the capital city of Uganda, and though it is the largest city, it is still relatively compact and is not completely saturated with people and traffic like many African capitals are. With about 2.5 million inhabitants, the city is both peaceful and exciting, with varying landscapes throughout. Located on the edge of Lake Victoria, there is plenty to see in the city, and there is also a well-established and thriving expatriate community. In the past three decades, the city has transformed from a landscape devastated by conflict to a modern and vibrant capital. Kampala has something for everyone, and varies wildly depending on where you are. The surrounding Wakiso District, along with the city of Kampala, is expanding at a rapid rate, such as other capital cities in the countries surrounding Uganda. The population of Kampala is made up of several ethnic groups, but the largest ethnic group is the Baganda, which makes up over half of the population.

The Climate in Kampala

Kampala enjoys a tropical rainforest climate with two rainy seasons. The longest rainy season runs from August through to December, and then the shorter rainy season runs from March to May, with slightly more precipitation during this period. Humidity is also at its highest during the rainy seasons. Temperatures remain high all year round, but are slightly hotter from December to March. The temperatures tend to remain at around 30°C during the hottest months, but can get as high as 35°C. Though the city benefits from a breeze coming off Lake Victoria, the temperatures can be challenging for people who aren’t used to the heat, so staying hydrated is important, along with wearing light clothing and sunscreen.

Visas for Uganda

Citizens from 33 countries across Africa, Europe and Asia can enter Uganda without a visa for up to three months, but all other nationalities will need to obtain a visa in order to enter the country. There is a universal requirement to have six months validity left on your passport, but other requirements vary, particularly regarding vaccinations which may be required if you are entering from certain countries.

Tourist visas can usually be extended for a significant amount of time, but if you want to reside in Uganda you will need to obtain a work permit, which your employer must provide certain documents for. Once you have lived in Uganda for a considerable period, or if you have been married to a Ugandan citizen for at least three years, you are eligible for a Certificate of Residence. If you are an expat looking to invest in the country, then residence permits can be granted for this too, after around 10–15 years of living and working in Uganda.

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  • Peter Okello

    I did a lot of research before moving to Kampala, but InterNations provided me with the most relevant connects among all sites.

  • Heather Allard

    I connected with several other expats here in Uganda. Some of them did not only become good friends, but also customers of my own business.

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