The beauty of its natural landscapes, the abundance of its fauna and its cultural melting pot give Uganda its nickname of “Pearl of Africa”. From discovering its exceptional historic sites to adventuring in its stunning natural sites, Uganda has a lot to offer.
Straddling the equator, Uganda is at the heart of Africa’s Great Lakes bordered by three of them: Lake Edward, Lake Albert and the famous Lake Victoria. A large part of the territory is covered with water, rivers, and lakes. In the center of the country, its capital Kampala takes its name from a kind of antelope called Impala present in the region. Modern city, Kampala offers many historical and touristic attractions: the tombs of kings (Kasubi Tombs), the Uganda Museum, traditional markets with their African art…
15 km east from Kampala you will find the Basilica of the Uganda Martyrs (Namugongo) where more than 30 Catholics and Protestants were burned alive in 1886 by the king. The church was built in the form of a traditional Buganda hut. The Buganda tribe represents more than 20% of Uganda’s population and is represented by a king and a parliament where the chiefs meet and discuss the problems occurring in their every day’s life. Busuga, Bunyoro, Toro are others tribes of the country which has at least 33 tribes. Tribal membership is very important in Uganda. Lake Victoria remains one of the main attractions of the country thanks to the Ssese Islands. There are 84 of them and they are of unequal sizes. On Bugala Island, the largest island, there is a wide variety of hotels, beautiful beaches and many activities such as fishing, bird watching and water sports. The second island is Bukasa where you can witness the real life of local fishermen. The western part of the country has great national parks and nature reserves: Queen Elisabeth National Park where you can see buffaloes and elephants; the impenetrable forest of Bwindi, refuge of silver-backed gorillas; the snowy peaks of the Ruwenzori Mountains, nicknamed the “mountains of the moon” and more…..
A trip to the east of the country will take you to the sources of the Nile. The legendary African River flows into Lake Victoria near the city of Jinja. In the north of the country, located 50 km upstream from the mouth of Victoria Nile, the Murchinson Falls are very impressive. The best time to visit Uganda is the dry season, from December to March and from June to September. The rainy season, from October to November and from April to May, does not really affect Uganda’s tourism conditions as roads remain in good condition and temperatures are stable throughout the year. The various national parks dispersed throughout the Ugandan territory abound with abundant and varied wildlife. The lush vegetation, the lakes, the plains are particularly preserved. Uganda remains largely true to its roots and nature. Uganda is the country where East African savannahs meet with West African jungles.
In this country, you will be able to see lions patrolling their vast domains in the morning and watch chimpanzees in forests in the afternoon; the next day, sail on tropical waters full of hippopotamus and crocodiles before going to meet the gorillas in the mountain mist. Uganda is also home to more than 1,000 bird species, some of them endemic. For those who would like to rent a car in Uganda: you have to pay attention to muddy ruts and the presence of wild animals on the road. In addition, the driving is on the left, but the priority is on the right. There is no speed limit and no signage.
Art and culture in Uganda
Uganda has a wide range of handicrafts, ranging from basketry, carpets, ceramics and pottery, beads, textiles and hand-woven products, jewelry, bags, leather goods, batik and wood products. These items are made with local raw materials and tribal ornaments based on culture, history and traditions. The most beautiful material used for Ugandan handicrafts is the bark cloth (vegetal fiber with a large selection of natural and different colors)
What to visit in Uganda
The first motivation for a trip to Uganda is the extraordinary abundance of its wildlife. In its forests, hide more than half of the gorillas of the planet. Many parks offer adventures: Queen Elizabeth Park, Murchison Falls Park … For bird enthusiasts, George Park and the Ssese Islands will be a must. Many hiking excursions are made possible thanks to the presence of Mount Elgon, one of the highest volcanoes in the world. The landscapes of gorges and waterfalls will enchant you! Finally, you will not be able to miss the famous Lake Victoria, where a boat ride will amaze you thanks to the beauty of lush vegetation and thousands of endemic birds.
Ugandan cuisine is a traditional and modern cuisine that is influenced by English, Arabic, Asian and more specifically Indian cuisine.Like in most countries, Ugandan cuisine varies in complexity, from the most basic dish with a bean or meat sauce to multi-course meals, served in upper class homes and restaurants.
Most ethnic groups have their own specialties. Food in Uganda includes various vegetables, potatoes, yams, bananas and other tropical fruits. Chicken, pork, fish (usually fresh but also dried and reconstituted to make stew). Beef, goat and sheep are commonly eaten, although in poor rural areas, these meats are less eaten: bush meat is preferred. The main dishes are Ugali (made from corn flour) , matooke (boiled green bananas served in mashed potatoes), posho or kawunga (made of millet). Cassava, yams and sweet potatoes are also part of Ugandan gastronomy. The rich people include white potatoes (often called “Irish”) and rice in their diet. Chapati, a flat bread of Indian origin, is also part of Ugandan cuisine.