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UGANDA Quick FACTS

Uganda is Located in East Africa and is landlocked by Kenya, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Size - 236,040 square kilometers, slightly smaller than the state of Oregon in USA.

Uganda is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion ofLake Victoria, which is also shared by Kenya and Tanzania.

Uganda takes its name from theBuganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country including the capitalKampala.

UGANDA – The Pearl of Africa
Uganda is the Pearl of Africa, a country with fantastic natural scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures. Travelling through Uganda you will be captivated by its beauty, overwhelmed by the friendliness of its people and intrigued by all that Uganda has to offer.

Was Ranked one of the Best Destination 2012 by Lonely Planet

Uganda was ranked by Lonely Planet as the world’s most preferred tourism destination for the year 2012. Lonely Planet is the world’s largest Travel Guide Book and Digital Media Publisher. Uganda emerged number one out of 10 other countries surveyed, followed by Myanmar (Burma), Ukraine, Denmark, Bhutan, Cuba, New Caledonia, Taiwan and Switzerland.

Considering the country’s variance in the tourism products, it is little wonder that it was ranked the world’s most preferred. The ranking comes at a time when Uganda is focused on intensifying marketing and promotion of the country both domestically and internationally.

Lonely Planet singles out Uganda as the place where Savannah meets the vast East African lakes and where snow-capped mountains bear down on sprawling jungles, but there is more to this Pearl of Africa. Apart from being home to half to the world’s surviving mountain gorillas, Uganda is also blessed with half of Africa’s bird species, waterfalls, hot springs, forests, national parks and unique climate among others.

Uganda’s history is very rich with UNESCO world heritage sites including Nyero rock paintings, Kasubi tombs (currently being reconstructed after the 2010 inferno), Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the newly discovered home of early man in Karamoja.

Brief history

The earliest human inhabitants in Uganda were hunter-gathers. Remnants of these people are today to be found among the pygmies in western Uganda. Approximately 2000 to 1500 years ago, Bantu speaking populations from central and western Africa migrated and occupied most of the southern parts of the country.

The migrants brought with them agriculture, ironworking skills and new ideas of social and political organization, that by the 15th - 16th century resulted in the development of centralized kingdoms, including the kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro-Kitara and Ankole.

Uganda -The People and Culture:
Set at the equator, Uganda is made up of four regions(Central, Eastern, Northern and Western) on an area of 236, 580 sq km, with its capital at Kampala. The country is fortunate to harbour Lake Victoria, the second largest lake in the world forming the source of the Nile, the second largest river in the world.

The Population is approximately 31,367, 972 (2008 est) with a 3.6 percent population growth. Uganda has long been a cultural melting pot, as evidenced by the existence of more than 30 different indigenous languages belonging to five distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and handicrafts.

The people of Uganda werehunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, whenBantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country. Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962. The official languages are English andSwahili, although multiple other languages are spoken in the country.

Situated at the geographical heart of the African continent, Uganda has long been a cultural melting pot, as evidenced by the existence of 30-plus different indigenous languages belonging to five distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and handicrafts.

The country’s most ancient inhabitants, confined to the hilly southwest, are the Batwa and Bambuti Pygmies, relics of the hunter-gatherer cultures that once occupied much of East Africa to leave behind a rich legacy of rock paintings, such as at the Nyero Rock Shelter near Kumi.

Uganda Ecology:
Ecologically, Uganda is where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle. Where else but in this uniquely lush destination can one observe lions prowling the open plains in the morning and track chimpanzees through the rainforest undergrowth the same afternoon, then the next day navigate tropical channels teeming with hippos and crocodiles before setting off into the misty mountains to visit the majestic mountain gorillas?

Uganda is the only safari destination whose range of forest primates is as impressive as its selection of plain antelopes. Besides the wide biodiversity, Uganda is also blessed with a vast bird population of more than 1,000 species.

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