Arua, Uganda

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Arua, Uganda

Region: Arua

Geographic Coordinates: 3.035300, 30.910800
Temperature Range: 18.0°C to 32.0°C (64°F to 90°F)
Climate: Arua, Uganda has a tropical climate with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons.
Population: 250000
Language: Lugbara

Arua is a lively town situated in the northwestern region of Uganda, Approximately 500 kilometers from Kampala, The capital city. It serves as a commercial hub for neighboring towns and villages and is the largest town in West Nile sub-region. The town has a rich cultural heritage dating back to pre-colonial times. The local people are predominantly Madi, Lugbara, Kakwa, And Alur tribes who have unique cultural practices such as dance, Music, Storytelling and traditional healing methods. Visitors can experience these traditions by attending cultural festivals or visiting local communities.

One of Arua’s most popular tourist attractions is the Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement which hosts over 100, 000 refugees from South Sudan. Visitors can interact with refugees to learn about their experiences or volunteer to provide assistance at the camp. Arua also boasts several natural wonders including Murchison Falls National Park which is home to various wildlife species such as elephants, Lions and giraffes among others. The park offers visitors an opportunity to go on game drives or boat safaris along River Nile which flows through it.

For history enthusiasts, Arua has several historical sites such as Idi Amin’s former military barracks where he trained his troops during his reign as Uganda’s president between 1971-1979. Other notable sites include Terego Hills where colonialists fought against local resistance forces during their occupation of Uganda in early 20th century. The town has a bustling market that sells fresh produce including fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers around Arua district. Visitors can sample some of these delicacies at restaurants that serve traditional Ugandan cuisine such as matooke (steamed bananas), Groundnut stew among others.

Arua also has several accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious hotels that cater to different budgets and preferences. The town is easily accessible by road or air with daily flights from Entebbe International Airport to Arua airport. Arua is a fascinating destination that offers visitors a chance to experience Uganda’s rich cultural heritage, Natural wonders, Historical sites and interact with refugees who have fled conflict in neighboring South Sudan. With its warm climate, Friendly people and diverse attractions, Arua is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Uganda.

Important Landmarks

  1. Rhino Camp
  2. Arua Hill
  3. Murchison Falls National Park
  4. Kidepo Valley National Park
  5. Terego Hills Forest Reserve
  6. Arua Central Market
  7. Catholic Cathedral of St Joseph the Worker
  8. Enyau Falls
  9. Nyagak Power Station Dam

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture
    • Maize
    • Beans
    • Cassava
    • Groundnuts
    • Vegetables
  2. Trade
    • Vital trading center
    • Connects Uganda to neighboring countries like South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo
  3. Manufacturing
    • Small-scale manufacturing industries
    • Produce items such as soap, textiles, beverages, and construction materials
  4. Services sector
    • Banking and finance institutions
    • Telecommunications companies
    • Restaurants
    • Hotels
  5. Healthcare
    • Several hospitals including the regional referral hospital
    • Provides medical services not just to residents of Arua but also those from neighboring districts
  6. Education
    • Many schools ranging from primary to tertiary level institutions
    • Offering education services to students within the district as well as those from other regions
  7. Transportation
    • Good road networks connecting it to other parts of Uganda

Noteable History

  1. The establishment of Arua as a town in 1915 by British colonial authorities.
  2. The Battle of Arua in 1917, where the British fought against the local tribes to establish control over the area.
  3. The assassination of Archbishop Janani Luwum in 1977 by Idi Amin’s regime, which took place near Arua town.
  4. The refugee crisis that has affected the region since the early 1990s due to conflicts in neighboring countries such as South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
  5. Notable people from Arua include former Ugandan president Idi Amin, who was born near the town, and musician Geoffrey Oryema who was also born there.
  6. In recent years, Arua has become a hub for trade and commerce due to its strategic location along major transportation routes connecting Uganda with neighboring countries such as South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Arua Hill Cultural Museum
  2. Rhino Camp Memorial Site
  3. Muni University Art Gallery
  4. Arua Central Market
  5. St Joseph’s Cathedral
  6. Terego Cultural Centre
  7. Arua Regional Referral Hospital
  8. Bileafe Tea Factory
  9. Onduparaka Football Club Stadium
  10. Pajulu Hills Forest Reserve

Cultural Events

  1. Arua Cultural Festival is an annual event that celebrates the cultural diversity of the people of Arua. The festival features traditional dances, music, food and art.
  2. Madi Cup is a football tournament that brings together teams from different parts of Arua district to compete for the Madi Cup trophy.
  3. West Nile Agricultural Show showcases agricultural products and innovations from farmers in Arua and other districts in West Nile region.
  4. Independence Day Celebrations: Uganda gained independence from British colonial rule on 9th October 1962. The day is marked with national celebrations including parades, speeches, and cultural performances.
  5. Christmas Celebrations are a major religious holiday celebrated by Christians in Arua and across Uganda with church services, family gatherings, feasting, gift-giving and carol singing.
  6. Eid al-Fitr: Muslims in Arua celebrate Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan which marks the end of fasting month with prayers followed by feasting with family and friends.
  7. International Women’s Day Celebration aims to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history while calling for gender equality.
  8. World AIDS Day observed annually on December 1st raises awareness about HIV/AIDS pandemic.


  1. Luwombo: This is a traditional Ugandan dish made with meat or chicken, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. It is served with steamed rice or matooke (mashed plantains).
  2. Rolex: A popular street food made with a chapati (flatbread) rolled around an omelette filled with vegetables and sometimes meat.
  3. Nyama Choma: Grilled meat, usually goat or beef, served with a side of ugali (maize porridge) or chips.
  4. Matoke: Mashed plantains that are boiled and seasoned with spices like onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger.
  5. Cafe Javas: A restaurant chain that serves international cuisine including breakfast dishes like pancakes and eggs Benedict as well as burgers, sandwiches, pizzas and salads.
  6. The Secret Garden Restaurant & Bar: This restaurant offers outdoor seating in a lush garden setting serving both local Ugandan dishes as well as international cuisine.
  7. The Mango Tree Restaurant & Lounge Bar: A casual dining experience featuring African-inspired dishes such as grilled tilapia fish served alongside chips (fries) or matoke (steamed plantain).

Parks and Recreation

  1. Arua Central Park
  2. Onduparaka FC Stadium
  3. Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement Playground
  4. Ediofe Cathedral Playground
  5. Alokolum Football Pitch
  6. Muni University Sports Grounds
  7. Arua Hill Recreation Center
  8. Adumi Youth Center and Playground
  9. Arua Golf Course
  10. Vurra Dam Fishing and Boating


Enjoy The Journey.

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