Gulu District is bordered by Lamwo District to the north, Pader District and Omoro District to the east, Oyam District to the south, Nwoya District to the southwest, and Amuru District to the west.
The district headquarters in the city of Gulu are approximately 333 kilometres (207 mi), by road, north of Uganda’s capital city, Kampala.The coordinates of the district are, near the city of Gulu are:02°49’50.0″N, 32°19’13.0″E
As of November 2019, the district was one of the eight districts that constituted the Acholi sub-region, the historical homeland of the Acholi ethnic group. The district is composed of Aswa County and the Gulu Municipal Council. The economic activity of 90 per cent of the population in the district is subsistence agriculture
The district has been the location of much of the fighting between the Ugandan army and the Lord’s Resistance Army. Over 90 percent of the population has returned to their villages after more than two decades of living in what were known as “Internally Displaced People Camps