Apac District is located approximately 250 km north of Kampala in Northern Uganda. It lies between longitudes 32° E and 34° E and latitudes 2° N and 3° N and is therefore very equatorial in climate and environment.
The topography of Apac is characterised by low plains and rolling hills along the river Nile at 900 m above sea level, rising to a series of hills and peaks in the eastern and north eastern parts of the district. Apac lies at an average altitude of 1,150 m above sea level.
The vegetation of Apac is predominantly of the dry savannah type. The district covers 3,908km2 of which swamps and water constitute 29 per cent. The wetlands comprise both permanent and seasonal wetlands (294 km2 and 853 km2 respectively) mainly of the type papyrus swamp, which have been found to have high biological diversity. Forest covers 15 per cent of the district. Isolated riverine forest type vegetation is found along the Nile which runs along the southern border of the district in Lake Kyoga and Lake Kwania. The soil of Apac is a reddish-brown layer of clay loam which covers almost all cultivable land (90 per cent) and is very suitable for rain-fed agriculture.
Apac has dry and wet seasons. The wet season extends from April to November with a total annual rainfall of 1,330 mm. On average, the maximum temperature is 29° and the minimum is 17°. The climatic conditions in Apac are generally favourable although there are some drought prone areas in the southern and south western part of the district. Climatic variations are associated with air currents, both on the surface and in the atmosphere, although the lakes appear to produce significant variations within their immediate environments.
The 2002 population census found a population of 415,578 people in Apac. With a population growth rate of 3.5 per cent, the report projects a population of 490,688 people in 2007. The population density is 106 persons per km2 which is relatively high for Africa, although the national average is higher, at 123 persons per km2. In fact Uganda is the ninth most densely populated country in Africa (click for map) which is of course one of the least populated continents in the world.
Apac has 1,144 villages. These are organised into 83 parishes, which are administered in 14 rural sub-counties and one town council. Apac is overwhelmingly rural with only 2.4 per cent of people being urban-based. In fact, of the 10,000 or so people of Apac town council, more than half are living in village settings within the boundary of the council: they live in grass-thatched huts without electricity and cultivate land around and outside town. This means that even the district headquarters are very green and could appropriately be termed a ‘rural town’. There are other pockets of urban living in the larger trading centres such as Ibuje and Aduku.