Uganda-The Emerald Pearl of Africa
Irresistible Uganda – there is no other African Country like it
Uganda – Africa – Condensed into a small Country the size of the state of Oregon, Uganda is – Africa Raw and unadulterated – if you want to experience the real Africa – you visit Uganda and you will be most amazed by the Pearl of Africa, its beauty, its wonders, its wildlife, gorillas, chimpanzees and most of all – some of the friendliest people in Africa.
Uganda is part of what is referred to as the Great Lake Region – Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan. Uganda is a landlocked country but shares a large part of the second largest lake in the world – Lake Victoria.
Though landlocked we have our own Mini-Zanzibar Islands called the Ssese Islands which are among the best hidden islands in the World – an archipelago of 84 islands including the sun-kissed Bulago Island a few minutes south of the Equator.
A large portion of Uganda straddles the Equator and yet the climate is pleasant due to the elevation of the country.
Getting to this landlocked country in the heart of Africa has become a lot easier as tourism has increased and more and more airlines have included Uganda as one of their African Destinations.
One of the things that makes Uganda unique is its topography – Uganda is made up of what can be called a plateau and that plateau is dotted with highlands which includes the tallest Mountain Range – the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon-the Virunga Volcanoes in the Southwest and in the East, Mount Elgon, what was once Africa’s tallest mountain until it blew its top off.
The Western – Albertine Rift runs through much of Western Uganda and you can see the evidence of it such as atMurchison Falls National Park where the Nile drops it 44 meters and flows into Lake Albert, other evidence of it can be seen in the Kabwoya Widlife Reserve , Semliki Valley and Queen Elizabeth Park including the Kyambura Gorge.
Western Uganda is dotted with scenic Explosion Crater Lakes and in Queen Elizabeth Park you can take the most scenic Explosion Crater Drive which is the highest point of the park and you can look down the Albertine Rift and see the vast Savannah of Queen Elizabeth Park.
The bio-diversity of Uganda is simply amazing and can only be experienced when you visit the Pearl of Africa.
There are over 60 ethnic people groups that make up Uganda – in the Central – South and Southwest they are mostly of Bantu origin – Luganda is a common language – and the languages are Bantu in origin.
in the North the people are mostly of Nilotic origin and so are their (often variations of Luo) languages – there are over 70 different dialects.
Some tribal groups such as Baganda have a traditional cultural leader and in their case he is called a Kabaka – King – he is the best known cultural leader in Uganda.
You can visit some of the Buganda Kingdom Heritage site in Kampala and other nearby locations. English is the official language throughout Uganda – Swahili has also been declared an official language but is not commonly spoken in much of Uganda except the North.
Tribal Groups and Villages you can visit in Uganda for a better cultural understanding – North East Uganda near Kidepo Valley Park – the Ik People living in the Morungole Mountains – the Karimanjong Warrior-Nomads near Kidep Valley Park the Bwatwa people near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Village Visits can also be done in Buhoma – outside of Bwindi Impenetrable Foest – Ruboni in the Rwenzori Mountain Foothills, Boomu near Murchison Falls and Bigodi Village near Kibale Forest to name just a few,
The Church of Uganda (Anglican) make up a large segment of society and in the case of Uganda it is evangelical in nature. Catholics make up the largest portion of Christians in Uganda, the Born Again Churches (Pentecostal for the most part) have made great inroads and their churches are filled with vibrant and dedicated worshipers.
On Fridays you can see many Muslims on their way to their Mosque – there is a sizable Muslim population in Uganda (12%) – however the various groups live in a state of peaceful co-existence. Kampala is also home to the only Baha’i Temple in Africa – though there are only a small number of Ugandans that are Baha’i.
Orthodox Christian Churches can also be found here. For the Indian population there are both Sikh and Hindu Temples found both in Kampala and Jinja.
Tradtional Beliefs are still practiced often alongside Christian and Muslim Beliefs.
Uganda the Republic:
Uganda gained independence on October 9th, 1962 from Great Britain under which it had been a protectorate unlike Kenya which had been a colony and gained a lot of settlers from UK – Uganda did not.
Uganda gained Independence in 1962 and the early years had a lot of ups and downs including the rule of Idi Amin.
Today the National Resistance Movement has been in power since 1986 and President Museveni was in 2011 elected to another five years by an overwhelming margin – during the next election where he is running again he will have been president of Uganda for 30 years.
Technically Uganda is a multi-party state – in reality it works out a bit difference. At times people may criticize the Ugandan system – however Uganda has enjoyed stability and peace and that is more important to many Ugandans who are raising families than the chaos that might be the alternative. Democracy is worked out the African way in a cultural context and it is often different than what you might be used to – however in Uganda we have peace, stability and security.
There are over 37 million people living in this small country – however over half of the population are children – Uganda is the youngest nation in the world and when you visit here – you will readily see that – children are everywhere.
Uganda is people now over 35 million – some claim 37 million – the size of the State of Oregon but six times as many people as Oregon has. The size of the Ugandan population has its benefits, however on the other side is the need for land. Renting is not how Ugandans want to live out their lives. They want their own land property and that often leads to land-grabbing moving into protected areas and presents and will present a real challenge of the Government of Uganda.
Uganda is also the youngest nation in the world – over half of its population is under the age of 16 years. Life expectancy is between 53 and 55 years – you will not find many in their 80’s.
The city that started out on 7 hills and now has spread to many others – there are over 2.2 million residents in Kampala – Kampala being the capital and commercial center of Uganda. It is 1400 meters above sea level – it is a buzzing city and filled with vehicles and the corresponding traffic.
Over the years it has modernized and many modern up-market hotels can be found here, also banks, commercial buildings are all found here – a most amazing city that never sleeps or seems not to sleep.
Kampala has many attractions near and in Kampala itself. You will love the hustle and bustle of Kampala – simply amazing
Other towns include Arua, Entebbe, Jinja, Kasese, Masaka, Mbale, Mbarara, Soroti, Gulu.
The Mountain Gorillas of Uganda found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park, The Chimpanzees of of Kibale Rainforest Jungle, Kyambura Gorge, Budongo Forest and Semliki Forest.
The Golden Monkeys of Mgahinga Gorilla Park, the Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha, the 1040 plus species of birds including the most sought after bird in Africa – the elusive Shoebill Stork, mountain climbing in the Rwenzori Mountains of Moon, or simply hike the foothills, Volcano, Climbing the three Volcanoes at Mgahinga Gorilla Park or Mount Elgon in the East of the Country.
There is the historic and ancient River Nile – Lake Victoria Source of it in Jinja which is the Adventure Capital of East Africa with White Water Rafting, Kayaking, Jet Boating, ATV Safaris and more. Uganda one of the most bio-diverse countries in Africa awaits you.
There are many choices in Uganda from the Bargain Hotels of Kampala to the plus Boutique Emin Pasha Hotel with countless of choices in between such as the 5 Star Serena – the Kampala Sheraton, the Grand Imperial Hotel, Speke Resort at Munyonyo, Kakira Country Club and one could go on.
There are also some excellent Boutique Hotels both in Kampala and Entebbe
In the National Parks- delightful choices await you including the new 5 Star Chobe Safari Lodge on the Nile in Murchison Falls Park – endless choices from Tented Camps to fantastic lodges – even weekend getaways from Kampala give you the best of Uganda’s accommodations.
Lodging can go as low as 7 usd for shoestring accommodations to as high as 1,190 usd per night for two – the latter is full board with 24 hour butler – the choice is yours.
There are many choices of airlines to fly to Uganda landing at Entebbe International Airport – airlines flying here include British Airways, Brussels Airlines, KLM, Egypt Air, Air Emirates, South African Airways, Air Tanzania, Rwandair, Air Uganda, Quatar Airlines, Turkish Airline, Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways.
If you are coming overland from Rwanda you enter Uganda at Katuna, or Mirama, from Kenya at Busia or Malaba, from the Democratic Republic of Congo at Mpondwe or Goli, and from Sudan at Orabo.
Getting here by plane has become easier with more flights available and more carriers making the journey to Uganda.
Flying inside of Uganda and in between African countries can run considerably higher than for similar distances in Europe, Asia, North America.
The easiest manner in which to get your tourism visa for your visit is Kampala is at the point of entry into Uganda, for most that turns out be Entebbe. If your airplane arrives at 3:30 am – it does not matter, immigration officials will be on hand to issue you a visa.
Obtaining a visa at the point of entry is also the least expensive way to pay for visa since you do not have to send your passport to the Ugandan embassy in your country and purchase extra pictures, overnight mail and the passport is not out of your hands at any times.
There is now also an East African Visa which gives you access to three countrieds – Kenya, Uganda- Rwanda – that costs 100 usd. If you are visiting only Uganda and Rwanda – here is a hint that might save you 50 usd – see if you need a Rwanda Visa – many countries do not. If you do not need a Rwandan visa then simply purchase a 50 usd Ugandan Visa at point of Entry.
Our Safaris – choose from our Better Budget Safaris to an up-market one – Look at the various Safaris we offer and allow us to design one just for you.
We have many safaris available to the visitor of both Uganda and Rwanda – Safaris that take in Gorilla and Chimpanzee Tracking, Wildlife, Cultural Experiences, hiking, Volcano Climbing, chilling out along scenic lakes, mountain biking, family safaris and safaris for seniors to name just a few of the safari tour services we offer.
Kabiza Wilderness Safaris brings years of experience to the process of creating a safari that is just right for you. Our Guides are not mere drivers but knowledgeable guides that will introduce you to the best that Africa has to offer.
Enjoy Uganda and Rwanda with us.
Uganda – the Pearl of Africa awaits you – Uganda – Africa Condensed into a small country is filled with adventures beyond your imagination – Uganda – – Africa as you imagined it to be, only better is one your best choices for an African country to visit – Welcome to Uganda…
“The Kingdom of Uganda is a fairy tale. The scenery is different, the climate is different and most of all, the people are different from anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole range of Africa….what message I bring back….concentrate upon Uganda – The Pearl of Africa.” Winston Churchill (My African Journey – 1908)
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