Uganda is a traveler’s heaven which welcomes all to experience its rich wildlife and addictive safaris with an open hand. The pearl of Africa owns a treasure of seductive hiking trails which excite an individual to go on a Ugandan adventure. Here are 20 entrancing facts about Uganda you must know:
1. Breathtaking Wildlife
Over 364 species of mammals and 1062 species of birds live in the beautiful nature of Uganda. Half of 880 Gorillas in the whole world are found in the Ugandan land, De Brazza’s monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, Chimpanzees, Big Cats. Sitatunga Antelope and Oribi are some of the specials. Go on a safari in Uganda to feast your eyes.
2. Spine-Tingling Adventures
Nature walks in the Rainforests, Chimp Trekking in Kibale National Park, Safaris in Murchison Falls National Park, Hot Air Balloon Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, hiking up the Rwenzori mountains that also lie in the Republic of Congo make a Ugandan adventure the best memory you can add to your bag.
3. A Glimpse of History
Uganda’s history dates back over 50,000 years ago. Ugandans were foreigners until the Bantu people migrated here and brought more developed skills. At the same time, the Bunyoro Kingdom took over the northern portion of what is now western Uganda, while Buganda dominated central Uganda.
4. Authentic Culture
The Ugandans hold their unique cultures with pride. The Bantu-speaking people influence most of Uganda’s culture. In northern Uganda, the Lango and the Acholi tribes are prominent, while in eastern Uganda the Iteso and Karamojong tribes can be seen. The rainforests in western Uganda are still inhabited by the Pygmies.
5. Sweet Home
Known for their hospitality, Ugandans welcome guests with Joyous style, warm hugs and handshakes. A survey by the African Economist placed Ugandans among the friendliest people in all of Africa. You are not far from home when in Uganda!
6. A delight to the Taste Buds
Uganda is the fruit basket of Africa containing the best bananas, pineapples, and Avocados. Ugandans even prepare wine from bananas. The Rolex, Matooke and the Nsenene Grasshoppers are the favorite dishes of the local folk.
7. The Youth Power
Uganda is the world’s youngest country with half of its population below the age of 14. The average age of Ugandans is just 50 to 60 years. 34.8% of Uganda’s 34.6 million population are adolescents with a similar sex distribution. Uganda’s annual population growth is 3%, meaning 1,200,000 Ugandans are born every year.
8. Ugandan Women – An Inspiration
The women are the civil engineers and contractors in Uganda. They build the house and the men install the roof. Uganda has had over 130 female leaders in the political sphere since 1962, most of them occupying ministerial positions. In the current Parliament, there are 386 members, of which 135 (34.97%) are women.
9. Uganda’s Going Green
Uganda is a synonym for Nature. Endowed with abundant Flora and Fauna, Uganda proudly shines with its beautiful landscapes, soul-pleasing waterfalls, thick green valleys, and plantations. Ugandans for the love of mother nature, follow a rule by choice! The rule is, if you cut a tree, you will need to plant three more trees.
10. Boda Boda
Boda Bodas also called as Pikis Pikis are motorcycles in Uganda which are used to transport people across the no man’s land (A patch of land between the Kenya/Uganda Border posts). Buses are the most used means of transportation. Cycling is also common. Boats and ferries sail on the rivers, lakes, and channels.
11. Every Tourist’s Destination
According to a survey, Uganda is visited by millions of tourists every year. Uganda was chosen as the top tourist destination for 2012 world rankings published by ‘Lonely planet’. The website shows the list of the ‘top TEN countries’ with Uganda emerging ahead of both Myanmar and Turkey.
12. Entrepreneurs World
28.1% of Ugandan people own or co-own a business that has paid salaries for more than 3 months. 64% of the young persons aged 15-29 years in Uganda are in some form of employment. 15% of youth in school are also engaged in employment.
13. Birding Time
Being Africa’s Best Destination for birding, Uganda is recorded to have 1000 species of birds!which can be found across a range of habitats from forests, swamps and agricultural lands, to lakes and savannahs. It is believed that some birds in Uganda are not yet classified. Shoebill, Green-breasted Pitta, Great Turaco, Short Tailed Warbler and Shelley’s Crimsonwing are to look out for!
14. Ugandans – With the Shield or Upon it
The shrine at Namugongo was built to pay tribute to the Martyrs of Uganda. Thousands of folk gather in Uganda on 3rd June every year to honor the brave men. Uganda’s National Resistance Army, presently known as Uganda People’s Defence Force is the armed forces of Uganda. It has a total strength of 40,000 to 45,000 and consists of land forces and an air wing.
15. Soccer – Favourite Sport of Uganda
Uganda has embraced a number of sports such as baseball, cricket, tennis, golf, swimming, cycling and boxing. But soccer rules the heart of Ugandans! In the game of soccer, Uganda ranks number 16 in Africa and 73 in the world. The National Sports team keeps on improving, making Uganda a force to reckon with in Africa.
16. Happiness is Wealth
Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world. Ugandans have very low expectations from the government when their reaction to unfavorable economic conditions is considered. 50% of Ugandans survive on less than one dollar every day but that doesn’t stop them from being happy and cheerful!
17. The Party Lovers
Ugandans are the party animals of Africa. Ugandans enjoy themselves and have fun to the core. They celebrate life vigorously and never lose an opportunity to light up the dance floor and rule it with their carefree moves! Uganda is one of the biggest alcohol consuming nation in the world.
18. Topping the Tech World
Uganda is among the top three countries in Africa with advanced technological and innovation capabilities. 10 million Ugandans have mobile phones. Education in Uganda consists of 7 years of primary education. On successful completion of the primary school cycle, one can either join lower secondary school or take up a course in a technical school.
19. Snow Capped Mountains
The Rwenzori mountains also called the “Mountains of the Moon” are permanently snow-capped. The Rwenzori Mountains are known for their vegetation ranging from tropical evergreen forests to Alpine Meadows. Most of the range is now a world heritage site and is covered by Rwenzori Mountains National Park in South Western Uganda.
20. Source of the Great Nile
River Nile, the longest river in the world, takes its birth from Uganda. The Nile has a major contribution to the modernization of Uganda. It is held down by the Owen Falls Dam, the source of hydroelectricity for Ugandans. River rafting, Bungee Jumping, Boat rides, Kayaking, and fishing are the other exciting activities done on the Nile.