Districts in Uganda

Uganda currently has a total of 111 districts, all spreading out in the four administrative regions of Western, Central, Eastern and Northern.  The districts are administered by the Local Government; subdivided by counties and named after their main commercial, and administrative towns. The Counties are further sub-divided into Sub-counties, Parishes and Villages. The districts are home to about 34.6million people (2015 Census), with a total of six traditional Kingdoms which belong to the Bantu Ethnic group. The Kingdoms include Toro, Ankole, Bunyoro, Rwenzururu in the Western Region; Buganda in the Central region; and Busoga in the Eastern Region. The Northern Region does not have any Kingdom, and is separated from the Bantu ethnic group territory,with Lake Kyoga acting as the boundary. The Central region administrative district is Kampala, which is literally the Capital of Uganda. Other administrative districts in the rest of the regions include Jinja District, Eastern region; Gulu , Northern Region; and Mbarara district ,Western region.

The declaration of districts in Uganda dates back as early as 1962, when the nation gained its Independence, on the 9th October. Upon independence, the British colonialists followed a systematic and logic procedure in the distribution of the districts.Uganda inherited an administrative structure of 18 districts, which were evenly distributed in the four major regions of North, Central, Western and Eastern. Five districts were declared in the Nothern region; which included Acholi, Lango, Karamoja, Madi and West Nile. Apart from the first four which were named after the tribes in the areas, West Nile generalized the tribes of Lugbara, Jonam, Alur, Kakwa and others. Similar to the Northern Region, the Eastern region was also assigned five districts of Teso, Bugisu, Sebei, Busoga and Bukedi; named after the tribes in the area. However, Bukedi generalized tribes of Bagwere, Samia, Banyoliand others. The western region was also administered 5 districts which included Ankole, Bunyoro, Toro and Kigezi; named after the tribes in the areas respectively. The central region was an exceptional area, given a special status since it was where the Colonialists Camped and had had a close relationship with the King of Buganda, Kabaka Mutesa 1. It was administered 4 districts which included East Mengo, Masaka, Mubende and West Mengo. The four districts were indirectly administered by the Kabaka’s Lukiiko (local government). The central region was the center of Uganda’s administration and all British Colonial operations. By 1962, it had had infrastructural development, with construction of turmac roads, schools, hospitals and many others.

However, with time, Uganda has seen the introduction of new districts currently totaling to 111, a move done by the government with reasons of easy administrative management. Some of the districts include




Lamwo, Gulu, Pader, Kitgum, Nwoya, Otuke, Agago, Apac, Dokolo, Lira, Amuria, Kole, Oyam, Abim, Alertong, Amolarata, Apac, Kaberamaido,Amudat,

North West (West Nile)

Koboko, Moyo, Maracha, Arua, Zombo, Nebbi, Adjumani, Amuru, Yumbe

North East

Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto, Napak, Nakapiripirit, Amudat


Kween, Manafwa, Tororo, Bugiri, Jinja, Iganga, Mutumba, Bugiri, Busia, Mayugwe, Soroti, Palisa, Bududa, Mbale, Butaleja, Kaliro, Buyende, Serere, Sironko, Kapchorwa, Kamuli, Luuka,


Kampala, Luwero, Masaka, Mpigi, Mukono, Mubende, Mityana, Wakiso, Kiboga, Nakaseke, Kayunga, Gomba, Lwengo, Nakasongola, Rakai, Bukomansimbi, Ssembabule, Buikwe, Buvuma, Kalangala, Kalungu, Luweero


Kibale, Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, Kasese, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Kyengwa, Hoima, Masindi, Kiryandongo, Kyankwanzi, Lyantonde, Kiruhura, Fort Portal, Mbarara, Buhweju, Kyegegwa.

South West

Kisoro, Kanungu, Ntungamo, Kabale, Isingiro, Ntungamo, Sheema, Rukungiri,

The districts are home to the 10 national Parks of Uganda and other Uganda safari destination such as forest reserves, cultural sites, religious centers and many more. Uganda National parks include Mt.Elgon National Park, shared by Districts of Mbale and Kapchorwa in the eastern region; Kidepo Valley National Park, in Kaabong District, North Eastern region; Murchison Falls National Park, shared by Districts of Masindi and Nwoya, North Western region; Mgahinga National Park in Kisoro District, South western region; Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park, Kanungu District, Southwestern region. The western region has National parks such as Mt.Rwenzori National Park in Kasese District; Kibale Forest National Park in Kabarole District; Semuliki National Park in Bundibugyo District; Queen Elizabeth National Park, shared by districts of Bushenyi, Kasese and Rukungiri; Lake Mburo National Park in Kiruhura district.


The districtis the capital of Uganda, and is primarily the largest urban center in Uganda (central region) with a population of over 1 million people. It isin encircled by Wakiso district, and covers a total area of about 200Km². Historically, the city is known as ‘city of seven hills’, which include Lubaga, Old Kampala, Namirembe, Kololo, Makerere, Mulago and Kibuli. However, there are other hills that surround the district. Kampala district is divided into 5 administrative divisions. They include Central, Kawempe, Nakawa, Makindye and Rubaga. The divisions are residential areas for the population of the district; with a percentage of 26.30%  residents living in Rubaga; 17.90% in Kawempe; 23.50% in Central; 18.90% in Nakawa; and 23.50% in Makindye.

Kawempe Division is in the Northwestern part of the district and has cities such as Kawempe, Kanyanya, Kazo, Komamboga, Makerere, Mulago, Wandegeya, Mpererw, Kisaasi and others; Nakawa division is in the Eastern part of the district and has cities such as Bukoto, Bugolobi, Kyambogo, Naguru, Ntinda and others; Makindye is in the Southeastern part of the district with cities such as Luwafu, Konge, Kibuye and others.

The existence of Kampala dates back as early as 1891, when the Kabaka (king) of Bugandahad his executive center on two hills of Rubaga and Mengo. In 1890, Captain Fredrick Lord Lugard, a British explorer and Military person, arrived in Buganda Kingdom. He was sent to Uganda by the British East Africa Company on grounds of securing British predominance and putting a Stop on the civil wars within the Buganda Kingdom. He was made the Military administrator of Uganda and set up a camp on one of the Hills near the Kabaka’s executive areas of Rubaga and Mengo. The Valley which was between the hills where the Kabaka had his Executive area and that where Lugard set up his camp was known as the ‘Kasozike’mpala’.The word ‘Kasozi’ means hill, ‘ke’ means  of; ‘mpala’ was got from Impala, a type of Antelope.Lugard, while referring to the hill where his camp was set up, he called it Hill of Impala. The Baganda however couldn’t pronounce the words properly, coming up with the words ‘Kasozikempala’. The hills and their valley’s became popular all over the Kingdom territories and with time, traders erected shops at the base of the hill. In 1900, when other British administrators settled in the Kingdom, it was decided that the colonial offices be moved to Nakasero hill, because the area around the ‘kasozikempala’ had become too small for administrative rule due to the increasing population in the area. The shops and other commercial premises increased in the area when the colonial offices were moved to Nakasero hill. This saw the beginning of the expansion of Kampala as a town. By the time Uganda gained its Independence on the 9th October 1962, Kampala had spread further to the hills of Lubaga, Old Kampala, Namirembe, Kololo, Makerere, Mulago and Kibuli. It was declared the Capital city of the Republic of Uganda on the day of Independence and served as the central administrative city of the Country. The city has continued to grow and currently covers over 23 hills, spanning at a total area of about 200Km².Being the most urbanized city in Uganda, the Cost of living in Kampala is high compared to other districts. The district is supplied with food stuffs by other districts, since it barely involves it’s self in Agricultural activities.


It is the largest urban city and administrative center of the Western region of Uganda. The district is neighbored by districts of Isingiro and Ntungamo to the south; Kiruhura to the east; Ibanda to the North; and Sheema to the West. The district is located about 290Km²  southwest of Kampala capital, on coordinates of (00 36S) (30 36E). Mbarara district has a magnificent landscape with a maximum elevation of about 1,800m altitude. Due to its high elevation, the district is characterized with temperatures as low as 17 to 30°C; and has annual rainfall of about 1,200m. The rainy season runs from the month of March to May, and August to December. Mbarara district covers a total area of about 1,778Km² and is divided into 2 counties and  16 sub-counties. The Sub-counties include Kagongi, Rubindi, Kashari, Bukiro, Rwanyamahembe in the north; Rubaya, Kakoba, Kamukuzi, Nyamitanga and Kakiika in the east; Bubaare in the center; Rugando, Nyakayojo, Mwizi, Bugamba and Ndajja in the south.

Mbarara is part of the Ankole Kingdom which comprises of 10 districts, and is also known as ‘The land of Milk’ due to its high concentration of Cows. The people of Mbarara, also known as Banyankole; speaking theRunyakole language, and also well known for being cattle keepers; total to about 500,300 individuals (2015 Census).Cattleisan essential household necessity, which determines wealth of an individual or family. The More cows one has, the wealthier he is regarded by the community. It is the main item used as bride price among the Banyankole people. Mbarara district is one of Uganda’s fast developing urban centers, with developed infrastructure which has highly favored economic and tourism activities. The total population of about 500,300 individuals constitutes around 51% females and 49% males; with a life expectancy of about 44 years for males and 50 years for females. About 60% of the total population is ages 18yrs and below.

The Land of Mbarara favours economic activities such as cultivating; which is the main activity due to the lands fertility. Some of the crops cultivated include Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Irish Potatoes, Millet, Tomatoes, Pineapples, Passion fruits, Mangoes, Matooke (main cash crop) and many others. Livestock keeping includes Goats, sheep, Chicken, Rabbits, Pigs, Ankole cattle and other. Cultivating of a number of crops and livestock keeping makes the cost of living of the district low due to the abundant crop produce and livestock keeping.


It is the administrative district of the Eastern region; bordered by districts such as Kamuli to the North; Luuka to the east; Buvuma to the South; Buikwe to the West; Kayunga to the Northwest; and Mayuge to the South west. Situated on coordinates (00 30N) (33 12E), Jinja covers a total area of about 673Km² ; with a total population of about 491,000 people. The population growth of the district has a growth rate of 2.7%, increasing from 289,500 in 1991 to about 491,000 in 2015. Jinja is home to the Lusoga language speakers, the Basoga, belonging to the Busoga Kingdom. Thw word ‘Jinja’ is derived from a Bantu ethnic languages which means stone. It was named Jinja due to the high concentration of riverine stones along the source of the Nile.The kingdom covers 8 districts, which include Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Mayuge, Jinja, Luuka, Kaliro and Busiki. However, the Kingdom’s headquarters are situated at Bugembe in Jinja district.

Jinja is the prime destination for adventurous Uganda Safaris, due to its geographical location. It is located about 84Km² east of the Kampala capital, along the shores of Lake Victoria. Lake Victoria is the largest fresh water lake in the world covering a total surface area of about 68,800Km² with a depth of about 83m. Uganda is in possession of about 31,000Km² (45%). Lake Victoria is primarily the source of the Longest River in the world, River Nile. The river flows 6,853Km² northwards through a number of African countries and empties its waters in the Mediterranean Sea. The Source of the Nile is found in Jinja district and supports a number of tourist activities such as bungee jumping, kayaking, fishing, swimming, rafting, camping and many other activities. Historically, Jinja is well known for being an industrialized center. The high concentration of industries in the district during the early days was as a result of the construction of the ‘Owen falls Damn’ in 1954. The Damn was constructed off the Ripon falls on the Nile river to generate hydroelectric power.


It is the administrative center for the Northern Region and covers a total area of about 3,452Km². Gulu is surrounded by districts of Pader to the East; Amuru to the west; Lamwo to the North; Oyam to the South; and Nwoya to the Southwest. The word ‘Gulu’ is of the Acholi language and means a pot. This is because of its geographical location; situated in a depression at coordinates (02 45N)  (32 00E); about 335Km² north of Kampala capital.Gulu has a total population of about421,500 individuals, living in the counties of Aswa, Omoro and Gulu municipal council. The district has an annual population growth rate of 2.9%, increasing from 211,800 in 1991 to about 468,500 individuals in 2015. Out of the total population, about 52% are female and 48 % are male. It is part of one of the oldest districts in Uganda, formerly known as Acholi district, declared in 1962; and split into Gulu and kitgum later in 1980. Gulu district has a total of about 220 primary schools, 217 being Government owned; over 26 secondary schools, 14 owned by the government; 3 teachers colleges; and one University, Gulu University of Agriculture and Environment Sciences.The existence of schools has greatly reduced the rate of illiteracy in the region.