The Pearl of Africa – Uganda
When many people think of Africa, they think of hunger, diseases, poverty, civil wars, which have been defining characters. Uganda however is known as “The pearl of Africa”. The diversity of the landscape, people, wildlife, bird and plant life, the topography is all mind-blowing.
- Uganda’s landscape
The unique landscape diversity in Uganda suits safari, offering good tourist impressions ranging from glaciers to tropical landscapes. Uganda is located on the central African plateau and the country’s interior is cut through by the equator. Uganda borders Kenya on the east, Tanzania(south), Sudan (north), DR Congo (west), and Rwanda (southwest).
Uganda claims one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world (L Victoria) and the land encompasses the snowcapped Rwenzori mountains in the west of the country best known for the best hiking adventures in the world, mount Elgon in the east, and these mountains are well known for their unique wildlife in the cloud forests and steeps worldwide.
Deep valleys offer great excursion destinations for the safari due to the lakes like Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, Lake George, and Lake Edward. A boat trip on the Kazinga channel is a must-do trip without forgetting the great unique wildlife on the shores of these mighty lakes. The mighty Bwindi impenetrable national park a renowned endangered mountain gorilla sanctuary.
Murchison falls national park in the northwest known for its 43m tall waterfall and its unique wildlife.
- Uganda’s history – The Pearl of Africa (Uganda)
Uganda became a British protectorate in 1894, and in 1962 gained her independence Kampala being the capital city. Where did the name Uganda come from? It’s named after the Buganda kingdom which owns a large portion south of the country including the capital city Kampala. Ugandan people were hunters until 1700 to 2300 years ago when the Bantu-speaking population migrated to the southern parts of the country.
Who discovered Uganda? John Hanning Speke the explorer through Buganda in 1862 who claimed to have discovered the source of the river Nile. Both Speke and Stanley on their stay in Uganda wrote books that praised the Baganda for their organizational skills and willingness to modernize.
What are Ugandans known for? Almost Uganda’s GDP comes from agriculture. The country produces tea, tobacco and cotton, and coffee.
- Uganda’s culture
Ugandans have been rich in their culture from ancient times. Cultural diversity due to a number of ethnic groups each with its own language, distinctive customs, and norms. Over 50 languages are spoken in Uganda, Luganda being the most commonly spoken, English, Swahili, and Bantu are also spoken in Uganda.
Christians make up 85.2% of Uganda’s population, 12% are Muslims, and a certain amount for Sikhs and Hindus. Men in Uganda wear a Kanzu which is a white-colored robe and women wear an address called Gomes with a sash tied around their waists.
Dancing. Ugandans love to dance. cultural dances from the unique nomadic Karamojong tribe in the north, Ndere Cultural Centre, Kanyange cultural Centre both located in the capital city Kampala with wonderful dancing presentations will leave you with stunning memories. It’s this diversity that offers visitors an enjoyable experience.
Kasubi tombs a burial place for Buganda kings and the place also holds various historical treasures and tools for the Buganda kingdom is one of the places you don’t need to miss visiting. Namugongo shrine is also one of the recognized cultural sites in Uganda. It’s where the 22 catholic converts (Uganda martyrs) brutally lost their lives and am sure you don’t have to miss visiting this historical place.
- Why you should visit – The Pearl of Africa Uganda
Uganda has got everything to offer in the travel world.
- Enjoying fabulous unique wildlife
The country claims some beautiful National parks that are home to a variety of plants, birds, and animals. 10 National parks will make you fall in love with Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National park located in the west of Uganda, Rwenzori Mountains National Park located in the Rwenzori mountains, lake Mbulo National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Semliki National park famous for Sempaya hot springs, Murchison falls National park, Kidepo Valley National park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Mount Elgon National park.
Uganda’s animals are quite impressive to travelers. Uganda is a home of lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, buffalos (big 5), great apes (chimpanzees which are playful human cousins, and mountain gorillas).
Other primates like vervet monkeys, De Brazza’s monkeys, black and white colobuses, Baboons, Blue monkeys, L’hoest’s monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, patas monkeys, gray-cheeked mangabeys, golden monkeys. Other animals include; impalas, wild pigs, beautiful zebras in lake Mburo national park and Kidepo valley national park, wild scavengers, and many more.
Reptiles such a Niles crocodiles, pythons, and snakes.
No matter where you visit in Uganda, you will never be far from a reserve or a national park where you can go birding. Some of the most popular birding places are Mgahinga Gorilla National park, Nyamuriro swamp, Bwindi-impenetrable national park, Kibale Forest National Park, Queen Elizabeth National park, Kyambula Wildlife Reserve, and Semliki Reserves.
Over 1000 birds are recorded on Uganda’s checklist from different birding sites, birds like Crested cranes which is a national bird, shoebill stock, Shelley’s crimson, Great Blue Turaco, Marabou storks, African Green Broadbill, saddle-billed stock, African spoonbills, yellow-billed ox-peckers, long-crested eagles, black bee-eaters, kingfishers among others.
The mighty Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national parks, known in the whole world for the gentle mountain gorillas. It is every traveler’s dream to visit Uganda’s national parks and experience Uganda’s wildlife.
- Receiving a warm welcome
The people of Uganda are the friendliest you can ever find on earth. Very hospitable with warm smiles to foreigners not forgetting unique beautiful welcoming dances of which visitors must take part. This will be unforgettable moments you will ever have on the land of Africa.
Uganda’s food. Uganda’s staple food is matooke (mashed boiled bananas) as it is the second leading country after India to grow bananas. Also, the street food the most notable being Rolex, eggs rolled with chapatti, onions, vegetables, and tomatoes which can be eaten at any time of the day.
Enjoying the African sun all year. Uganda’s weather is amazing. Ugandans enjoy the twilight displays every morning and Uganda’s sun blazes all year around.
Exploring a fabulous nature. The snowcapped mountain Rwenzori known for the best hikes in the whole world, the mighty river Nile the longest river in the world, rivers, and lakes with abundant beautiful islands, Murchison falls national park which should be a must on your visiting list for the activities like boat cruises, water sports on the Nile river and wildlife view. The Bigodi wetlands, forests, Aruu falls, Sipi falls are wonderful places to adventure on a visit to Uganda.
Equator line. Uganda happens to be one of the few lucky countries to have the equator line. It’s an imaginary line that divides the north and south hemispheres. From Kampala, be rest assured to meet the equator line 75km south where you will watch equator water experiments and have good photo experiences.
In general, Uganda is a wonderful travel destination. It offers unique wildlife, beautiful scenery, which can hardly be found elsewhere in Africa.