Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe illness beliefs and diabetes self-care behaviors of Ugandan adults with type 2 diabetes. Methods: A convenience sample of 340 adults with type 2 diabetes was recruited from 2 outpatient settings in Kampala, Uganda. Participants were interviewed by a nurse about diabetes self-care behaviors; had their weight, height, and waist and hip circumference measured; and shared with the interviewer the blood glucose and blood pressure values obtained during their clinic visit. Results: The majority of participants viewed diabetes as a serious, life-long condition that they had a good deal of control over; however, while 88% believed they could tell high blood glucose by the presence of symptoms, only 39% said they could detect low blood glucose by the presence of symptoms. Self-care challenges include limited access to appropriate food, diabetes medications, blood glucose testing equipment, and educational materials. Subjects reported significant negative psychosocial outcomes associated with having diabetes. Using selected indicators for metabolic syndrome, 87% had elevated blood pressure, and 67% had elevated blood glucose; 33.4% were overweight, and 18.7% were obese. Conclusions: Results from this study highlight the challenges of diabetes self-care in resource-poor countries. Improving diabetes care will require systems-level interventions to provide access to basic resources as well as to social support and educational interventions.