Introducing Uganda

Attractions: Selected as the Number One Tourist Destination of 2012 by Lonely Planet™, the world’s largest travel guide book, Uganda’s charm lies in the remarkable diversity of its attractions. With more than half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas, over 1,000 bird species, all the Big 5 game species, the continent’s largest fresh water lake, snow-capped mountain peaks near the equator, the source of the world’s longest river, and about 50 distinct cultural groups, Uganda offers unparalleled opportunities for an authentic adventure.

Climate: The majority of the country enjoys an ideal tropical climate which varies according to altitude between 16-29 degrees Celsius. During the year, the hottest months are from December to February while the rainy seasons are from April to May and October to November. As the weather is pleasant all year round, guests are guaranteed a memorable stay whenever they choose to visit.

Landscape: Uganda boasts a varied scenery with the fabled Nile river, a source of wonder and inspiration for thousands of years, cutting a verdant south to north path throughout most the country. The Nile flows from Lake Victoria into Lake Kyoga as the Victoria Nile, after which it cuts a raucous passage west across Karuma Falls and through the narrow pillars of Murchison Falls towards Lake Albert. Finally, as the Albert Nile, it meanders along a slow, wide corridor into Southern Sudan where, as the White Nile, it continues on its 4,000 mile journey towards the Mediterranean Sea. To the far west of the country, the snow capped Mountains of the Moon rise into almost permanent equatorial mists with slopes that possess their own mystical worlds of vegetation, each with its own characteristic flora. In the extreme south-west, a chain of imposing volcanoes rise out of the lava plains of the Albertine Rift Valley, while the lush tropical rainforests of western Uganda offering primate viewing opportunities found nowhere else on earth, and the sprawling savannah plains teeming with fauna fill up the rest of this mosaic of natural splendour.

History: Uganda experienced two great waves of migration, the first of which brought the Bantu-speaking peoples from the Niger River delta in West Africa, and the second, the Nilotic people from Sudan and Ethiopia. These broad families are still geographically split today, with the Bantu inhabiting the central and southern lake shores of the country while the Nilotic peoples inhabit the north. Owing to its fertile lands and surplus harvests, trading links with the great Indian Ocean ports were established in the mid-19th century, which opened up the country to contact with Arab traders and early European explorers and laid the groundwork for future conquest by the British.

Language & Culture: The country is composed of a variety of different cultural groups with unique histories, languages and traditions. Many traditional kingdoms still exist today, although only in a cultural sense. The largest cultural group is the Baganda people, whose kingdom has always been most influential in Ugandan affairs. There are at least fifty additional ethnic groups including those that inhabit the Kingdoms of Toro, Bunyoro, Busoga and Ankole, and the chiefdoms of Acholi and Lango. As a former British colony, English is the country’s official language, while Luganda and Swahili are the main local languages spoken.