Reasons to visit Arua, Uganda: What this West Nile town is know for?

If you have never visited Arua, Uganda we want to show you some of the reasons why this West Nile town is a leading destination in Northern Uganda and why you should consider visiting this locale.

Arua, Uganda the home of president Idi Amin was once sold to King Leopold II, the brutal Beligian king who had established the Congo Free State in Africa.

If you visit Northern Uganda and stop at Murchison falls then you miss the most captivating life experience this region has to offer.

Northern Uganda produced two of the major Uganda’s presidents who continue to dominate Uganda’s history up to-date. President Idi Amin Dada was born in Koboko District in West Nile sub region and President Milton Obote was born in Apac District, Lango sub region. Idi Amin became president of Uganda and ruled for 8 years (1971-1979) after overthrowing Obote, Uganda’s first Prime Minister who had ruled Uganda two times for about 12 years between (1966-1971) and (1980 – 1985).

Where is Arua?

Arua is located in the subregion of West Nile in the Northern Uganda region. It is 75kn from Southern Sudan and 520km from Kampala, the capital of Uganda. There is an airfield in Arua that gives you access to air transport.

The city was elevated from a town board to a municipality in 1974 by President Idi Amin. Arua became a city in 2022 by President Yoweri Museveni.

Arua city is majorly a trade and tourism city due to its strategic location on major trade routes from the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Southern Sudan. It is also a home of Uganda’s major historic events and national heritage. You can’t miss the mighty Murchison Falls national park when you visit Arua.

Uganda’s History traced in Arua.

Have you ever heard of Idi Amin? If yes, then you have a slight knowledge about Arua and the West Nile subregion.

President Idi Amin Dada (Internet Photo).

President Idi Amin is one of Uganda’s longest serving presidents (1971-1979) who ruled Uganda for 8 years. Remember him for chasing Asians from Uganda, Hosting the Airline hostages at Entebbe International Airport who were held hostage by the Palestinian terrorists. Besides knowing him as the world’s great dictator, there is alot to be discovered about this great man when you visit the West Nile subregion.

Do you want to know where Idi Amin was born? Where Idi Amin’s ancestral home is and where he would have been burried? To know all the secret life of Idi Amin including his parents, siblings, grandchildren and many more you must visit West Nile.

You may also want to read about Entebbe, Uganda.

How did Arua become part of Uganda after being sold to the Congo Free State?

Arua City, Uganda traces its origins right to the beginnings of West Nile as a region. The region had been part of King Leopold II’s Congo Free State. It had been leased to him by the British in 1894 and passed back to Anglo-Egyptian Sudan after his death in December 1909.

Chauncy Stigand, a British Colonial Official of the Equatoria Province advised that West Nile, the southern part of the enclave, be handed over to the administration of the Uganda Protectorate. And thus, the protectorate government set up their administrative center in Arua.

What is Arua Known for?

There are many reasons to visit Arua, Uganda. We are highlighting some of them here for you.

1. Trade:

Since Arua, Uganda is located in major International trade routes between Uganda and other neighboring countries like The Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it has attracts many traders in the sub region every day. This is a region why the city has a unique night life. Locally, the sub region is known for producing the best Shea butter and Honey. It is so a hub of African designed fabrics commonly known as Bitenge. Most of the high quality Bitenges in Uganda are got from Arua. The city has a good banking system so you don’t have to worry about money. Most of the banks in Arua now accept Visa Card.

A night view of Arua City (WESTNILE WEB PHOTO)

2. Education.

Besides Muni University which is a state owned University established in Arua, the city has over 10 universities. This is attracting scholars, students looking for internship opportunities, researchers and investors in the region. The most famous universities include; Uganda Christian University, Bugema University, Makerere University Business School, The Islamic University in Uganda among others.

3. Tourism.

Arua, Uganda is Uganda’s history house. It is home of President Idi Amin, historic settlement of the British colonial rulers and missionaries, home of the Lugbara and all the West Nile tribes. The region is loved for it’s highly hospitable people.You will be welcomed by the Karuma Falls and it’s residents -the Chimpanzees. If you have time, you can vist the Murchison falls on your way to or from Arua city.

Other tourism features in the sub region include;

1. Abairo – Yia Calu Water Falls East of Arua City.

2. Miriadua Water Falls.

3. Bidibidi, once the world’s largest refugee settlement and still one of the largest.

A woman dressed in a Kitenge dress, an African designed fabric. (INTERNET PHOTO)

What is the language spoken in Arua?

Although Lugbara or Lugbarati is the language spoken by the locals in Arua. Most of the people in Arua understand English and some do speak French. Learning Lugbara is therefore not a requirement to visit Arua.

Lugbara or Lugbarati is the language spoken by the locals in Arua. Most of the people in Arua understand English and some do speak French. Learning Lugbara is therefore not a requirement to visit Arua.

What type of Accommodation is available in Arua?

Arua has a grown network of Hotel services. You can now find all ranges of hotels in Arua from luxury, midrange and budget hotels in Arua, Uganda.

We are collecting the best low cost hotels and Guesthouses in Arua to help you find accommodation easily. The hunt for the best Low cost hotels, Guesthouses, Apartments and Homestay in Arua is still on. If you know one of them that we can add on our list, please invite the owner to add it using this link.

We would also like to know your experience about Arua. What was your most captivating experience in Arua? How did you find the people? What would like to buy from the locals when you visit again? Add it in the comment section below to help other people discover Arua, Uganda.

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