Equator Experience in Uganda

Uganda is one of the 14 countries crossed by the Equator line. The Equator is an imaginary line running from East to West that divides the world into two equal hemispheres i.e., Northern and Southern hemispheres. At the Equator, one is considered to be at the centre of the world and thus visiting Equator crossing is a fulfilling venture altogether for anyone who has dreamt of being at the world’s centre. The Equator crosses Uganda through many districts but the major crossing points are demarcated at Kayabwe in Mpigi, Kikorongo in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Victoria.

The most iconic and popular among tourists is at Kayabwe town along the Kampala – Masaka highway as it is easily accessible by tourists heading to the popular tourist sites in western Uganda like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable, Lake Mburo National Park, etc. This site is located at about 72 km from Kampala and it takes about 2 hours to get there.

The Equator crossing is a top tourist attraction in Uganda and the Equator points are marked by circular monuments with the Equator crossing point marked. At Kayabwe, there are two monuments on either side of the road and these serve as a great photography venue. Another site is on the northern part of Lake Victoria, on which it crosses through various islands. Tourists can get to the site on Lake Victoria through Entebbe by a boat ride into the lake, but this is sometimes visited while on a trip to Ngamba island and chimpanzee sanctuary, famous for the orphaned chimpanzees. The site in Queen Elizabeth National Park is usually visited by tourists visiting the national park.
While at these sites, tourists get to take great pictures with one leg in the northern hemisphere and another in the southern hemisphere, which in itself is fulfilling. At this line, one tends to weigh less by 3% since there is no gravitational force. Weighing yourself here shows this, but away from the line your weight reading is normal.

Many other unique phenomena occur at this line; the compass direction has no dip but rather remains horizontal at the point of this line. Also at the equator, the sun rises and falls at a shorter interval than other places, the night and day always have equal number of hours which is not the case elsewhere. Visitors can also get to experience beautiful sunsets or sunrises for those that are in time, especially at the site on Lake Victoria.Visitors also get to take part in the famous water experiment performed on the equator and at the two hemispheres.

Water is left to drain through a funnel and the direction it takes while draining is observed using the direction of rotation of the flower put on the water surface. In the northern hemisphere, the water is seen to drain moving in the clockwise direction and in the southern hemisphere, it drains in the anti-clockwise direction.

At the equator however, the water remains still and just drains straight down. One also gets to enjoy the warm temperatures at the Equator since the temperature is constantly warm throughout the year here. One is required to pay only ten thousand Ugandan shillings to access this site and many other services offered. There are some great restaurants serving great meals and incredible coffee that can be explored here.

Many craft shops selling crafts and souvenirs can be explored for some shopping especially the much well-organized child gallery and tribal art and craft shop. One could also buy paintings, African print shirts and customized equator crossing shirts for memory purposes. Proceeds from these shops always go to a good cause and mostly to support underprivileged children. While in Uganda, one should not miss the opportunity to visit these sites to get a feel of the greatly fulfilling once in a lifetime Equator experience and take beautiful photos to show people back home.

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