Fun and Serious Facts about Uganda – Things to know before you Visit
The Fun and not so Fun Facts about Uganda – Things you did not know about Uganda
Fun and Serious Facts about Uganda Know Before you Go – Uganda – The Pearl of Africa
Fun and Serious Facts about Uganda. If you’re traveling to Uganda and want to have the most enjoyable time. Here is our suggestion; get to know about Uganda before you arrive.
Become familiar with the Pearl of Africa. Know before you go.
If you have questions about the country, please write to us, and if you like us to help you plan your visit to the Pearl of Africa– we would be delighted to do so.
Uganda is the Pearl of Africa – get to know a few of the facts that make it just that it will enrich your time here before you arrive in the country.
In the meantime, enjoy our ever-growing list of Fun and not so Fun Facts about the Pearl of Africa – we have enjoyed putting it together for you.
Here are the Fun and Serious Facts about Uganda – The Pearl of Africa
The Serious Facts About Uganda
- The official Name: is the Republic of Uganda.
- Official Motto: “For God and my County.“
- President of Uganda – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been the president since 1986. He became President after his National Resistance Army overthrew the then shaky government. President Museveni was involved in rebellions that toppled Ugandan leaders Idi Amin (1971–79) and Milton Obote (1980–85) before he captured power in 1986.
- President Museveni – in January of 2021, won an unprecedented sixth term in office. He has been in power for 31 years. through the ballot box
- The Capital of Uganda – is Kampala since Independence – Under Colonial, the British Protectorate Capital was Entebbe.
- Independence – Uganda gained Independence from Britain in 1962. It was a British Protectorate and not a colony like Kenya. The land was not freely given to British citizens in Uganda as in Kenya.
- National Anthem – “Oh Uganda – Land of Beauty” is the national anthem of the Republic of Uganda. George Wilberforce Kakoma composed the music and authored the lyrics in one day. This was adopted as the national anthem in 1962.
- Uganda the Name: When western explorers made their way to the Buganda Kingdom with the Swahili guides and translator, the word for the kingdom Buganda got lost in translation, and Uganda became Uganda to the chagrin of some in the kingdom today. In KiSwahili, the prefix u- is the equivalent of the Luganda bu-so that the Swahili speakers would have referred to the Ganda kingdom as Uganda.
- The National Bird –The Gray-crowned Crane was chosen as Uganda’s national bird because of its beauty and elegance. In Uganda, it is Commonly called the Crested Crane. It is a bird of national significance to Uganda, occupying a prime position on its national flag and coat of arms.
- The Unofficial National Bird – is the Marabou Stork, also called the Undertaker Bird. It reminds Ugandans of the corruption that they face daily. The government makes efforts to eliminate such practices.
- Uganda is the Pearl of Africa – Uganda is known far and wide as the Pearl of Africa. A slogan popularized by Winston Churchill through his widely read book “My African Journey” in 1908
- Population – Uganda’s 2020 population is estimated at 45,741,007people at mid-year, according to UN data.
- Life Expectancy – The current life expectancy for Uganda in 2021 is 63.73 years, a 0.51% increase from 2020.
- Young Population –Uganda is one of the youngest nations globally, with 77% of its population under the age of 30.
- Uganda Area – Geography- the country’s size is 241,038 Square Kilometers – 93,072 Square Miles, 26% lakes, Rivers, Wetlands.
- Significant Languages – English (Official), Swahili (official), Luganda, and various Bantu and Nilotic languages are spoken in various parts of the country. Though Swahili is an official language, there is resistance to using it. Ugandans have bad memories of its use by the troops and security goons of Idi Amin.
- Best English-Speaking Country – According to the World Linguistic Society, Uganda is the best English-speaking country in all of Africa, a great plus for English-speaking visitors and Tourists.
- Religions – 33% – Roman Catholic – 33% – Protestant – 16% Muslim – 18% – Indigenous Beliefs. Islam was the first outside religion that came to Uganda. English Explorers brought the Protestant Religion, and the French so-called White Fathers brought Catholicism to Uganda. Africa’s only Bahá’í Temple is Uganda. Hindu and Sikh places of worship are also found in Kampala. Uganda is also home to the Abayudaya Jews, the Jews by choice that resides in Eastern Uganda.
- Monetary Unit – The Ugandan Shilling is the official currency – the Unofficial currency is the US Dollar used in commerce, tourism, and trade. The earliest currencies in Uganda were cowrie shells and the Indian Rupee, later the East African Rupee.
- The Income per person – The income per person is projected to be around 935.00 USD in 2021. It is doubtful that such a projection will be attained due to the impact the COVID-19 has had on the economy. Though the goodness is that Uganda is not in a recession as other African countries.
- Uganda’s Main Exports – Gold, Coffee, Fish, and related fish products, tea, tobacco, cotton, corn, beans, Sesame, Vanilla. Tourism and remittances from the diaspora abroad were the main sources of income by the Ugandan government until the pandemic struck.
- Most Ugandans live in Rural Areas – According to the World Bank, 76% of the population lives in the country’s rural areas.
- Uganda is as large as the State of Oregon – but has a population that is almost ten times larger than the US State.
- Uganda is a landlocked country – but is located by the largest Lake in Africa – Lake Victoria.
- The country borders five other countries – Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Kiira Motors are now making electric Cars, Buses, and Diesel Buses – vehicles originally designed by Makerere University Students. The goal is 5000 vehicles in 2021,
Ugandan Cultural Facts:
- Ethnically Diverse – Uganda is the most ethnically Diverse Country in The World.
- Indigenous Languages – Over 30 different indigenous languages are spoken in Uganda.
- Friendly-Hospitable-Welcoming – Ugandans are some of the most Welcoming and Friendliest People in Africa, according to the African Economist. The concept of African Hospitality is deeply ingrained in the Ugandan Culture.
- Relative Religious Harmony – Christians and Muslims live in relative harmony in Uganda.
- UgLish –is commonly used in Uganda and can be confusing to Visitors, such as “I am going to make a short call.” ( is not a phone call)
- The Cultural Practice of Kneeling – Baganda women, girls, and young boys will kneel when greeting. It is a Cultural Sign of Respect, but it often surprises visitors. It is no different than a girl’s curtsey or a boy bowing slightly in German culture.
- The Concept of Time – In Africa and Uganda, time is relational, being with people. It is not based on punctuality and task. You might call someone and say, “where are you?” They might tell you, “I am on the way, or I am sloping down,” and come three hours later or never show up at all. Tourism is thankfully different if you use a reliable tour operator.
- Ugandan Bureaucracy – Ugandans put importance on titles and Degrees more than western countries – Formality or seeming formality is the order of the day. Uganda is much more formal than the informal countries such as the US. Canada or Australia. What is easy to accomplish in the West is hard in Uganda and what is easy to accomplish in Uganda is tough in the West.
- Men wear pants. Boys wear shorts – Shorts are seen as a part of a boy’s school uniform. But that is slowly changing. Men are learning to have Fun wearing shorts.
- The National Dress for Women – Was designed by a Goan Taylor by Gomes as a school uniform for women. The Gomesi or Busuuti is a colorful floor-length dress. It is the most commonly used costume for women and has become the unofficial national cultural dress.
- The Kanzu for Men – The kanzu is an ankle or floor-length garment. Ugandan men consider it their most important clothing. Kanzu is a Ganda word of Swahili origin, which means “robe” or “tunic”. The kanzu came to Uganda from the Swahili coast and was brought by traders.
- Greetings are lengthy – greetings play an important part in Ugandan culture. Everyone has acknowledged and recognized. Inquiries about health, the family, are made, and pleasantries are exchanged.
- Weddings – Begin with the introduction of the broom, a time which includes the negotiation for the bride’s price. Then at another time is the wedding itself. Large sums of money are spent on both. Fundraising events take place to cover the costs.
- Uganda -Africa’s Banana Republic – it grows more Bananas than any other nation – except India and China – over 50 varieties Matooke-a plantain banana is the main staple in much of the country.
- Uganda has the best pineapple – Pineapples were brought to Uganda from Asia. They did not originate here, but they were perfected in Uganda.
- Uganda is the Tropical Fruit Basket of Africa- Uganda’s weather and rich soil make it a perfect fruit-growing country.
- Uganda is a fertile Country that could provide food for most of Africa.
- Uganda’s favorite Fast-Food is Rolex– not the watch but a chapati filled with fried scrambled eggs and anything else from vegetables to sausage.
- Ugandans like their Nsenene Grasshoppers – one of their favorite snacks – White Ants are another preferred tasty insect in Uganda’s Central area.
- Lake Bunyonyi is home to the Louisiana Crayfish imported and thrived here – creating new menus at Tourist Restaurants. Crayfish were brought in from Lake Nakuru in Kenya during Idi Amin’s time.
- Peanuts in Uganda – are referred to as Ground Nuts or G-Nuts – similar to the German name for peanuts, which is Erdnuesse – meaning earth nuts.
- Bee Fences keep Elephants out of farms and result in excellent wild honey.
- Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream get their vanilla from Uganda. Vanilla is priceless, and it is guarded while it grows on plantations by armed guards.
- Coffee – the Robusta Variety is indigenous to Uganda – Coffee was born in Africa. Robusta was raised in Uganda though most Ugandans drink Tea – today, Uganda produces some of Africa’s best coffees.
- Uganda is a Steak Lover’s Paradise – Ankole Beef is the lowest cholesterol beef on the planet but no toughness.
- Ugandans consume more pork per capita than any other African Nation.
- Tilapia and Nile Perch are the fish of Choice – Mukene is dried Silverfish.
- Waragi is the Alcoholic Drink of Choice – the term comes from War Gin. It is a preferred drink in Uganda.
- Ugandans are the party animals of East Africa, consuming more alcohol per Person than all other African Nations except Nigeria. Moonshine, called Waragi, is a significant contributor. Also, Banana Beer.
- Tea-African Tea with milk, sugar, tea leaves, Ginger is a favorite here.
- Irish is what Potatoes are called in Uganda.
For Tourists & Visitors – Serious and Fun Facts for Visitor about the Pearl of Africa:
- Uganda is one of Africa’s Safest–Stable and Secure Countries in Africa.
- The largest lake in Africa is Lake Victoria, and Uganda lays claim to much of it.
- The Ssese Islands is a hidden Tropical Island Chain on Lake Victoria with sandy beaches.
- Uganda – Home of the Lake Victoria Source of Nileone of the seven natural wonders of Africa
- Murchison Fall is the most powerful waterfall in the world.
- It is home to the tallest Mountain Range in Africa – The Rwenzori Mountains, also referred to as the Mountains of the Moon.
- Uganda is Africa condensed into a small Country.
- Uganda has pleasant year-round Weather due to its elevation and location.
- Uganda is for the birds – it has 11% of the birds found globally – over 1060 recorded species of birds, including the ancient Shoebill Stork – making it the number one country in Africa for Birders.
- Uganda is home to over half of all Mountain Gorillas –with 480 -– 19 habituated gorilla groups to be visited.
- Uganda has more Chimpanzees than any other East African County (5000)
- Uganda has more Butterflies of every color than other East African countries.
- Uganda is the most bio-diverse country in East Africa, one of the most biodiverse in the world.
- Uganda is where the West African Jungle meets East Africa.
Some Surprising Facts that might surprise you
- Boda – Boda Motorcycles – are the fastest and most dangerous form of people Transport in Uganda. The majority of emergency cases in Uganda are because of Boda-Boda accidents.
- Mobile Money – is a form of banking for many Ugandans. It is also how most Ugandans send money to family, pay bills, buy airtime and data. You can even use it in some stores and restaurants.
- Beeping – is the practice of trying to get hold of a person when you have little airtime. It is said in Uganda that everyone has a phone but few have airtime.
- Westerners – are referred to Bazungu (plural) or singular Muzungu..
- A Taxi is a minibus – is commonly used for public transport. A For-Hire is a name for a Taxi in Uganda.
- For-Hire – is a Taxi like service, most without a meter. You negotiate the price. Suggestion, allow a Ugandan to negotiate the price for you.
Fun and Serious Facts about Uganda. We will be adding more Fun and not so Fun Facts about Uganda – the Pearl, so check back from time to time – we love to see you again visiting our Kabiza Wilderness Safaris site where we like to tell you about the Pearl of Africa.
We will update Our Fun and Serious Facts about Uganda regularly.