Uganda is known because of its well-developed tourism and eco-tourism. Because of the country’s undiscovered wildlife and beautiful landscape, Uganda is considered to be a must-see destination for travelers. The country is very rich in natural views and large bodies of water. It is the home of Lake Kyoga and Lake Victoria. The small lake, Lake George, can also be seen in the country. Aside from the diverse culture, flora and fauna, the weather in Uganda is also comfortable all year-round. Of course, do not forget the must-see Uganda safaris.Combine the beautiful scenery and the comfortable weather, Uganda is indeed a spectacular country to visit.
Important and Interesting Facts about Uganda
- Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. It is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the southwest by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania.
- Uganda is the world’s second most populous landlocked country after Ethiopia
- The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania, situating the country in the African Great Lakes region. Uganda also lies within the Nile basin, and has a varied but generally equatorial climate.
- Uganda’s struggle to achieve their economic status was primarily due to decades of wars and corruption resulting in the nation being considered one of the poorest countries in the world.
- Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, and sizeable mineral deposits of copper and cobalt. The country has largely untapped reserves of both crude oil and natural gas.
- Uganda has gained a popular reputation as an exceptional worldwide destination for “bird watching” activities. Although the size of Uganda is not particularly big, it hosts over 1000 species of birds (whereas in Europe there are 700 species) owing to the diversity of its territory (from the Lake Victoria, to Rwenzori mountains, to the desert land of Karamoja.
- The legendary Source of the river Nile from Lake Victoria is located in Uganda, close to Jinja town. This is the starting point for the white water rafting route, which is widely regarded to be as exhilarating as the more famous Zambesi Gorge below Victoria Falls.
- Rwenzori is the biggest mountain range in Africa, running for over 120 kms along the border of Uganda with Congo. Originating from the geological phenomena along the Albertine Rift Valley, It does not have a volcanic origin unlike many other African mountains.
- Sport fishing is done on Lake Victoria and Murchison Falls National Park. The main catch of the Lake is the Nile Perch, which is the largest fresh water game fish in the whole world; the method of fishing is by use of trolling lures. The most common fish of the lake is tilapia. At Murchison Falls, fish are often caught using live bait. Fishing is generally done over a few days, requiring some level of fitness and experience.
- The Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda’s most spectacular parks. It is 1,442 square kilometres and harbor scenery unsurpassed in any other park in East Africa. Kidepo Valley National Park offers breathtaking Savannah landscapes, which end in rugged horizon. The vegetation can most excellent be described as open tree Savannah which varies much in structure and composition.
- The Kasubi Tombs is a place where the Kabaka and others in Buganda’s complex cultural hierarchy frequently carry out important centuries-old Ganda rituals. It is built in 1882 and converted into the royal burial ground in 1884. Four royal tombs now lie within the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, the main building, which is circular and surmounted by a dome.
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park an incredible preserve home to some of Africa’s most endangered animals. It is a haven for gorilla tracking. It is known for its exceptional biodiversity, with more than 160 species of trees and over 100 species of ferns.
Cool and Funny Facts about Uganda
- A Ugandan president is called Museveni, no matter the outcome of the elections.
- It is “illegal” to have electricity 7 days in a row.
- If you tell a “Ugandan-if not “Africans “in general” to meet you at 1.00pm, don’t actually expect to see them until at least 1:30. This theory has been tested and proven and is known as African time
- Ugandan ladies never call. They only beep if they want to tell you something. This theory is also scientifically proven and tested.
- Around 50% of Uganda’s population survives on less than one dollar a day.
- Uganda is one of the top countries in the world when it comes to alcohol consumption.
- Ugandans love meat stews, but the “meat” is not just the meat – it’s also the animal’s liver, stomach, intestines, tongue, etc. The Ugandan cook wastes nothing.
- In Uganda, “skimpy” is defined as “not reaching your ankles.”
- Uganda is the Youngest Country in the World with half of its population under the age of 14 year. The life expectancy for the average Ugandan is only early 50s.
- When you ask where the toilet is they ask you if it is for a long-call or short-call, basically do you need to go #1 or #2
- Uganda has the worlds best bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and avocados.
- Uganda is home to the endangered mountain gorillas, which are almost extinct. There are only 750 left in the world, and they can only be found between Bwindi National Park in Uganda, Parc de volcanoes National park in Rwanda, and Virunga in Congo.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Uganda
- Paleolithic evidence of human activity in Uganda goes back to at least 50,000 years, and perhaps as far as 100,000 years, as shown by the Acheulean stone tools recovered from the former environs of Lake Victoria, which were exposed along the Kagera River valley, chiefly around Nsonezi.
- About 500 B.C. Bantu-speaking peoples migrated to the area now called Uganda. By the 14th century, three kingdoms dominated, Buganda (meaning “state of the Gandas”), Bunyoro, and Ankole.
- Uganda was first explored by Europeans as well as Arab traders in 1844. An Anglo-German agreement of 1890 declared it to be in the British sphere of influence in Africa, and the Imperial British East Africa Company was chartered to develop the area. The company did not prosper financially, and in 1894 a British protectorate was proclaimed. Few Europeans permanently settled in Uganda, but it attracted many Indians, who became important players in Ugandan commerce.
- Uganda became independent on Oct. 9, 1962. Sir Edward Mutesa, the king of Buganda (Mutesa II), was elected the first president, and Milton Obote the first prime minister, of the newly independent country. With the help of a young army officer, Col. Idi Amin, Prime Minister Obote seized control of the government from President Mutesa four years later.
- On Jan. 25, 1971, Colonel Amin deposed President Obote. Obote went into exile in Tanzania. Amin expelled Asian residents and launched a reign of terror against Ugandan opponents, torturing and killing tens of thousands. In 1976, he had himself proclaimed “President for Life.” In 1977, Amnesty International estimated that 300,000 may have died under his rule, including church leaders and recalcitrant cabinet ministers.
- Cooking usually is done on an open wood fire. Popular dishes include matoke (a staple made from bananas), millet bread, cassava (tapioca or manioc), sweet potatoes, chicken and beef stews, and freshwater fish. Other foods include white potatoes, yams, corn, cabbage, pumpkin, tomatoes, millet, peas, sorghum, beans, groundnuts (peanuts), goat meat, and milk. Oranges, papayas, lemons, and pineapples also are grown and consumed. The national drink is waragi , a banana gin. Restaurants in large population centers, such as Kampala (the capital), serve local foods
- Uganda exports various foodstuffs, including fish and fish products, corn, coffee, and tea. The environment provides good grazing land for cattle, sheep, and goats. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80 percent of the workforce.
- Shaking hands is the normal form of greeting. Casual dress is considered appropriate in the daytime and evening. It is customary to give waiters and taxi drivers a 10 percent tip. Etiquette is important at family meals. When a meal is ready, all the members of the household wash their hands and sit on floor mats. Visitors and neighbors who drop in are expected to join the family at a meal. Normally a short prayer is said before the family starts eating.
- In Bantu-speaking societies, many local religions include a belief in a creator God. Most local religions involve beliefs in ancestral and other spirits, and people offer prayers and sacrifices to symbolize respect for the dead and maintain proper relationships among the living. Mbandwa mediators act on behalf of other believers, using trance or hypnosis and offering sacrifice and prayer to beseech the spirit world on behalf of the living.
- Death is sometimes interpreted in the idiom of witchcraft. A disease or other cause of death may not be considered the true cause. At a burial, if the relatives suspect someone of having caused the deceased person’s death, a spirit medium may call up the spirit of the deceased and ask who really killed him or her.