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Ugandan Culture – Rich and Diverse – Multi-Cultural with History

Posted by on July 6, 2020

 Ugandan Culture – Rich and Diverse – not to be missed

Be Enriched with the Various Cultures as you visit the Pearl of Africa – Uganda – the People of Uganda

Ugandan Culture - Rich and DiverseUgandan Culture – Rich and Diverse.  Culture, Traditions, handed down from generation to generation, not in books, but underneath the Mango Trees by the Village Elders. The Legends and ways of old shared again in Proverbs, legends, tales, and stories, keeping them alive in the hearts of the young.

Those Legends, Tales, Proverbs passed on to younger generations, to their hearts and minds are still practiced in their various forms and make up the Culture of Uganda, makeup what others call Authentic Africa.

The Ugandan Culture, Rich and Diverse, embedded in the lives of Ugandans.  There is more to Uganda than Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Primates, Wildlife and Scenic Wonders. There is another, which is its People with their Culture, which is an enriching and unforgettable experience in Uganda.

Thousands of visitors per year come each to visit Uganda – most of them miss the rich cultural diversity of the Ugandan people – something to be experienced during your visit to the Pearl of Africa.

Ugandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with HistoryThere is much more to do and see beyond Uganda’s Primates, Wildlife, Birds, National Parks.  There is Uganda’s Culture and the People of Uganda.

We would love to introduce you not only to the Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Wildlife, Scenery of Uganda, but to its people, their Culture and traditions, still being passed on from Generation to Generation in villages throughout Uganda. Not only in hamlets, villages but in towns such as Kampala, where those who live there are still connected to their roots and only one bus ride away from community, clan, family, and friends.

In Ugandan  Cultures, it is all about relationships, and that is the foundation of the various ethnic people groups that make up the Pearl of Africa.

Most Ugandans are Bantu Background in the Central and Western areas of Uganda. In contrast, north of Lake Kyoga, the various ethnic groups of Nilotic background and each group can be broken down. Further, today they are all Ugandans making Uganda one of the most ethnically diverse countries – all with rich cultures and traditions.

Cultural Authenticity:  The 21st Century Tourists look for authentic Cultural Experiences; they do not want stage-managed performances but are looking for Authenticity.  What is Authentic is something left to the imagination of both the one offering a Cultural Encounter and the Tourist. The two do not always meet, and the result is a disappointment.  We will give you our honest input based on our personal experience and those of our Clients.

Experience First-Hand Our Ugandan Culture – Rich and Diverse Throughout History

Ugandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with HistoryReal Africa with a Village Stay

Stay in an Authentic African Village with the Boomu Women’s Group. It is a Cultural Experience in Uganda like no other. You can Africa but never visit Africans – you can visit Uganda but never meet Ugandans while on Safari in Uganda. Here have a clean room, but no running water, no electricity, no flush toilet

You will not be staying in an ordinary lodge, or hotel room but a Banda. It is a traditional African hut. Experience village life, gather in the garden, prepare and cook, learn new skills such as basket weaving and unique ways, and most of all meet Ugandans up close and personal teaching you how they gather, prepare and live, and this is how many rural Ugandans live.

A Village Stay is also an enriching experience if you are on a Family Safari with pre-teens or teens.

Ugandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with HistoryBatwa People – the People of the African Rain Forest

Tourism is assisting the maligned – forgotten – original people are returning to their beloved Forest in Uganda. If you are visiting Uganda – A day with the Batwa Pygmy people is something not to be missed.

The Batwa people were the original people of the rain forests of Uganda – they hunted, foraged, and lived in the forest, leaving a small footprint about their existence there. While in Southwest Uganda – do not miss a cultural – interactive encounter with the Batwa People.

In Rwanda, they are called the Twa People – they have had a bit of a better chance at life through the making and selling of pottery – Hopefully, that will happen in Uganda – Tourism involving the Batwa People is the first step.

The Batwa Trail in Mgahinga Park

Buniga Forest Walk with the Batwa People

Experience Bwindi Forest with the Batwa in Buhoma

Ugandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with HistoryBuhoma Community Village Walk 

Buhoma Community Village Walk – Meet the Community beyond Gorilla Tracking while staying in the Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. (Please Note:  A Village Walk can be included in your Safari if you are staying in the Nkuringo or Rushaga area of the Park.)

This 3 hour Village Walk introduces you to the people and their Culture living near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the Buhoma Area.

On a Village-Walk, you will learn the traditional ways – Locally made crafts – Dances- Traditional cooking-Brewing-Herbal Medicines. The Buhoma Village Walk gives you an insight into the local Culture and people and not to be missed at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  You can also take a Village Walk in the Nkuringo area of Bwindi, which is in the Southern region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Ruboni VillageUgandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with History

Rubonis off of the beaten Tourist Track – it is home to the Bakonzo, the keepers of the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon.

Here you can take a Village Walk and visit a traditional healer, a village elder who will give you a background of his people.

Visit the local blacksmith who uses the methods of old to produce the tools that people need. Visit a local home and be part of cooking a meal, take dancing and or drumming lessons, and more.

You can stay overnight at the Ruboni Community Camp or the upmarket Equator Snow Lodge – on the second day. You can take hikes of various kinds and even learn how to fish with your hands or plant a tree from the Ruboni Community Nursery.

Visiting a Karamojong Manyatta near Kidepo Valley ParkUgandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with History

Visiting the Proud Karimojong Warrior Pastoralists and their Families in a Manyatta A Karamojong Village (Manyatta).

Visit a Karamojong Manyatta near or on the way to or from Kidepo Valley National Park in Northeastern Uganda.

The Karamojong. a fierce and proud people are living as semi-nomadic herders in the remote and unvisited Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda. Cattle raids by the Turkanas from Kenya and vice versa, to name just one other tribe.

They are along with some of the other tribal groups in the area the least visited People Groups in Uganda.

Authenticity Rating for this Experience- 5 -this area is not overwhelmed with Tourists.

Visiting the remote Ik Tribe – The Mountain PeopleUgandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with History

Climbing Mount Morungole to visit the Ik People is an experience in itself. – the Mountain People of Uganda are  located in North Eastern Uganda just beyond Kidepo Valley National Park high up in Morungole Mountains (about 11,000 people)

You will be visiting one of the most remote Tribes in East Africa. The Ik People who practiced their ancient ways and were the original people in the area, just like the Batwa People in the Southwest of Uganda.

They lived in the area before the Karamojong arrived and moved into the mountains for safety and security.

The small Ik Tribe now has its first representative in the Ugandan Parliament, and the hopes among the People is that they will see some benefits.

There is no overnight stay here, and hopefully, there will not be one soon. It is off of the beaten track and one of the most authentic Cultural Experiences in Uganda.

Lake Katwe Salt Works:Ugandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with History

This unusual Lake is far too salty to support a lot of wildlife. – though, since the 16th Century, it has ensured the survival of the Katwe villagers, who spend their days under the equatorial sun, walking the network of paths that criss-cross the lake and harvesting salt from its milky waters.
The work here is dangerous since the saline waters do much damage to the body of those who spend all day in the lake harvesting the salt which at one time was like gold and brought wealth to the area, however today the salt from Katwe does not bring wealth since times have changed. Salt is readily available from various sources. Katwe Salt Lake Tour gives a unique insight into the fascinating yet stringent process of salt mining, Afterward, take a village tour of Katwe.  This Lake is next to Queen Elizabeth Park.

Ssezibwa Falls – a place of Culture and legendUgandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with History

Close to Kampala just about 40 minutes – this is still an essential place for the Baganda People to whom the ways of old have meaning.  Even the present Kabaka Ronald Mutesi has placed a tree here.

Many hundreds of years ago, there was a woman by the name of Nakangu who was from the Fox clan, She was about to give birth to twins, but what was birthed from her were two rivers – two streams.

Today at times, you can come across people with sacrifices of local brew beer, barkcloth, chickens, and goats.  There is a fertility shrine in an indention in the rocks by the falls.

There is a resort with restaurants above where you can have lunch.  You can also take Nature and Birding Walks here.  The Anglican Church of Uganda owns the site.

Nakayima Witch’s Tree:Ugandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with History

This tree where traditional cultural practices still take place is 3 hours from Kampala on the Way to Kibale Forest and Fort Portal.

You learn the ancient ways practiced under a tree over 500 years old. A guide will tell you of the oral traditions of this spot, the first Nakayima, and how the spirit world the lives of Ugandans still intertwined in the present. Be sure to hear the legend of old.

Visitors that come here find the legends and tales most fascinating, the scenery from this plateau is beautiful.

President Museveni and his wife have visited here in recent times. He even took a nature walk here on the plateau.

A great couple of hours to stretch your legs on a long journey.

Traditional Belief still has its influence on many Ugandans, and when everything else does not seem to work, there is a return to it.

The Bagisu Male Public Circumcision Ceremonies:Ugandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with History

The Bagisu of Eastern Uganda around Mbale, Sipi Falls perform during even years a public Imbalu Circumcision Ceremony when boys turn into men.

Thousands gather from Uganda and nearby Kenya.  More and more visitors to Uganda also attend this critical time of change in the lives of young boys.

The ceremonies take place starting in August and now to as long as December of the even year.

This rite of passage is an essential time for the Bagisu People and Tourists have seen it as a time of cultural learning while visiting diverse Uganda – the pearl of Africa.

An actual stadium is being built to facilitate the event.

The Abayudaya Jews of Uganda:Ugandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with History

The Abayudaya Jews of Uganda are not Jews by heritage but by choice, and they suffered a lot under the times, Idi Amin.

Today they are a small, thriving, religious community that has a clinic and a dental clinic, plants coffee along with Muslims and Jews, and they as a faith community contribute to the community at large.

Visitors are welcome, but we have to make an appointment for your time here with the Jews of Uganda.

Today, the Chief Rabbi is a member of parliament elected by all the people of the area and not just the Abayudaya.

There is a guesthouse that is available to those wanting to stay overnight.

A visit here is the most exciting experience, like no other community in Uganda.

The Amabeere Ga Nyina Mwiru CavesUgandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with History

A place of legends and natural wonder close to Fort Portal and Kibale – you can easily access the cave on the way to Queen Elizabeth Park.

You can also make it a day-trip – take a packed lunch and take a guided nature walk visiting three crater Lakes.

Legends tell us that a King cut off the breasts of his daughter as a punishment for her ill behavior. The water dripping made to look milky by the calcium carbonate is called “breast milk” by the local people who live near the Amabeere Caves.

The scientific explanation that they are in reality stalactites and are made up of calcium carbonate when blended with water drip down and form the stalactites that you will find here.

Visitors often have a different expectation of what they see; in reality, it is more of an overhang than a cave.

Nyero Rock PaintingsUgandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with History

Near the town of Kumi in the Kumi District- just by the little village of Nyero, you will discover 3 Rock Cave Shelters where you can view some of the oldest rock paintings in Uganda dating back to the Iron Age.

If you have an interest in archeology, then the Nyero Rock Paintings are a site to be visited if you are driving by to or from Kidepo Valley Park, and we include the Nyero Rock Paintings Shelters Caves on some of our Safari Itineraries.

These three caves can be accessed on your journey to Kidepo Valley, from Sipi Falls and or the town of  Mbale.

Some guides can guide you through the caves – there is only speculation as to who drew them during the Iron Age, but there is substantial evidence.

There are other Rock paintings in the Eastern area of Uganda. The Nyero Rock Paintings are the most famous.

Ugandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with HistoryThe Royal Drum Makers

Mpambire cradle of Drum Making in Uganda The Drum Makers of Mpambire  carry on the ancient tradition of Drum Making – They area not only drum makers they are the Royal Drum Makers for the Kabaka (King) of the Buganda kingdom

If you are heading for Western Uganda and to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Queen Elizabeth Park, you will pass Mpambire, and if you are not looking up, you could easily miss it. Still, we will stop for you to visit the Royal Drum Makers of Mpambire.

Take home a drum and drive your neighbors crazy with sounds from Uganda’s Royal Drum Makers.

Please note:  The Ugandan drums made here are authentic; however, due to popularity, West African Drums are also made here and sold. The size of the drums can be a problem taking home on a plane.

There are West African Drums sold here due to their popularity, ask for genuine Ugandan drums.

Igongo Cultural Center and MuseumUgandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with History

Preserving the Natural & Cultural Heritage of South-Western Uganda Cultural Center – Museum – Restaurant –Village Visits – Accommodations coming soon.

If you are traveling to or from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Lake Mburo Park, you will pass by Igongo Cultural Center and c6/Museum we would love to include a stop here in your Safari with us.

The Igongo Cultural Center is the perfect stop-over on your route to or from your destination in Western Uganda. Lunch can be easily be had here, and you can enjoy the local Culture and history.

Overnight stays and cultural home visits can be arranged.

Locally this is hailed as the best museum, a collection of items from the local surrounding area.

The Martyrs of Uganda – Namugongo Ugandan Culture - Rich and Diverse - Multi-Cultural with History

June 3 is Martyr’s Day where the Catholic Church and the Church of Uganda honor the Martyrs that gave their lives for their Faith 22 Catholics, and 23 Church of Uganda (Anglican) were executed for their faith and refusal to renounce it be Kabaka Mwanga – many on June 3, 1886.rine-Museum

You can visit the Martyr’s Shrine at any time throughout the year.

We also offer for Catholics a Pilgrimage Safari that takes in a visit to “Our Lady of Kibeho on May 27 the e+ach year and Namugongo on June 3 each year with Gorilla Tracking added and a visit to Lake Mburo.”

Pope Francis visited the Shrine, the Museum, and exhibits in November of 2015 – he was the third pope to come to Uganda.

The Museum that is there is very informative and one of the best in Uganda.  It gives you insight into the history of the Buganda Kingdom which is still functioning and its Kabaka – revered.

Ugandan Culture – Rich and Diverse “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)

If you would like to visit any of the cultural sites while on Safari with us – Please let us know.