Uganda! The Pearl of Africa, The Land of remarkable beauty, where the evergreen West African jungle meets with the golden savannas of East Africa, characterized by the forest and savanna species, ranging from the Great Apes to the Big Five.
Uganda is a land locked country, located in the Eastern part of Africa sharing boarders with Kenya in the East, Democratic Republic of Congo in the West, Sudan in the North, Tanzania in the South and Rwanda in the Southwest. It is a country with troubled past and now bragging as one of the safest places to be and stay deep in the heart of Africa, characterized by hospitable people.
Key Facts about Uganda
Population Estimate: 41.49M as of 2016- World Bank
Languages: English (official), Swahili and Luganda (common)
Major Religion: Christianity and Islam
Currency: Uganda shillings (UGX) with other common foreign being; USD, GBP and EUR
Dialing and country code: +256
Time Zone: +3GMT
Climate: Tropical with March to May and September to November being rainy season and the rest dry seasons. Mean annual temperatures range from 610F in the southwestern Highlands to 770F in the northwest. The northeast is usually hot with temperatures exceeding 860F.
Major Highlights in Uganda’s history
1894: Uganda (Buganda) was declared a British protectorate during the reign of Kabaka Mwanga II following the 29th May, 1893 treaty between the Kabaka and British special Commissioner to East Africa; Gerald Herbert Portal.
1962: Uganda obtained her independence from Britain on the 9th of October. A federalist constitution was put in place with Sir William Fredrick Edward Muteesa II Kabaka of Buganda being President but with ceremonial status and Milton Obote being the Executive Prime Minister.
1966: On the night of 24th May, the Palace of Mengo was attacked by troops led by Idi Amin on the orders of the Prime Minister Milton Obote, this saw the Kabaka Muteesa II fleeing into exile and this marked the beginning of Buganda crisis.
1967: M. Obote takes over power after imposing a new Republican Constitution that made him the President and Kingdom systems were abolished.
1971: The army commander Idi Amin took over after seizing power.
1986: The bush war that lasted 5years comes to an end and the National Resistance Army [NRA] rebels claim power led by Yoweri Museveni who is the current president of the Republic of Uganda.
Diversity and Tourism
Uganda is a paramount and all-year round tourism destination on the African continent. It is diverse with a wealth of tourism resources and attractions both natural and cultural hence celebrated as the “Pearl of Africa”. Its plains are punctuated by some of the world’s famous streams such as the mighty River Nile flowing all the way from Jinja to the Mediterranean making it the world’s longest, and lake Victoria the world’s second largest fresh water lake. The western and south western forests are known for sheltering the world’s Great Apes while the Northwestern and northern savannas are known for the Great game including the African Big Five, with mount Rwenzori in the west and Elgon in the east offering mysterious challenge to adventure enthusiasts. Uganda is simply dazzling.
Culture and Tourism
Uganda is a highly diverse country in terms of culture and ethnicity at both the African and Global level. It has more than 40 indigenous ethnic groups with each having its own traditions, values, beliefs and customs. Culture is a strong and very important phenomenon in shaping humanity characterized by tangible and intangible aspects that either differentiate or relate each group from or with the other.
Uganda is a hotspot for cultural tourism a factor attributed to its vibrant cultural heritage. Spread across different corners of the country, these groups feature a variety of customs and traditions that combine to form a rich cultural tourism product and creating remarkable experiences to cultural tourism enthusiasts. There are lots of cultural aspects both tangible and intangible that have become a center of travel such as museums, residential places (palaces) of cultural leaders, sites, events and performances like Imbalu among the Gishu, dances, dress style, crafts work, cuisines and many others are a major aspect of cultural tourism.
The country is still home to monarchial Kingdoms that is; Tooro, Busoga, Bunyoro, Ankole and Buganda.
Sites of interest: Kasubi Royal Tombs a UNESCO world heritage site, Mengo Palace, Buganda Lukiiko (parliament)- in Buganda Kingdom, Mparo tombs of Bunyoro, Omukama Oyo’s Palace and Amaberer Ga’nyinamwiru Caves in Tooro Kingdom, Batwa trail in Mgahinga and Semliki national parks, Igongo cultural museum of Ankole, Ndere Cultural centre, Karambi Royal tombs among others.
Nature and Tourism
Uganda is a country gifted by nature, a reason early visitors referred to it as the “Pearl of Africa”. The country’s natural resource base is one of the richest, forming a rich product for eco-based and nature tourism in Africa like; Nature walks, Safari game drives, Adventure safaris including Mountaineering, Bungee jumping and rafting, Birding tours, and Primate tracking among others.
It is a confluence of the West African jungle and the East African savannas, the biodiversity sprawls across from the Eastern to the Western, Northern to the Southern and Central part of the country. The striking golden savannas, idyllic water bodies and rolling tropical forests are crammed with variety of wildlife including ancient species; there are over 345+ mammal species and over 1060+bird species distributed over a smaller area than her neighbors.
The country is a complete safari destination and a gem in the heart of Africa, leave alone being home to the source of the world’s longest river; the mighty Nile, it is known for being a haven to more than half of the world’s sought after Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks. It brags about the huge concentration of primates with more than 13species including the; Chimpanzees, endangered Golden Monkeys, Olive Baboons, Vervet Monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, and others. Visit Uganda for your upcoming African holiday and Avens is your travel companion.