UGANDA INTRODUCTION

When Britain's prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill visited Uganda, he was marveled at this beauty and diversity that he could not help but call it the pearl of Africa. Uganda was ranked by Lonely Planet as the world's most preferred tourism destination for the year 2012. Considering the country's variance in the tourism products, it is little wonder that it was ranked the world's most preferred. 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, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the newly discovered home of early man in Karamoja.

Tourism

Tourism is still being re-established, there simply aren't the crowds found elsewhere. Take your pick from the highest mountain range in Africa, the Rwenzori Mountains;one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world, Murchison Falls; or perhaps the highest primate density in the world, in kabale forest National park - Uganda has all this and more. It's a beautiful country with a great deal to offer, and sooner or later the tourist hordes will 'discover' its delights - make sure you get there before they do.

Geography

Situated in eastern Africa, Uganda is mostly a plateau, a compact country occupying an area of 236,580 square kilometers, roughly the size of Great Britain or the state of Oregon in the United States. It lies astride the Equator and has a fine mild climate with copious rainfall that is experienced three times a year and sunny months.

History

Nothing much about Uganda's pre-colonial history is well documented but at least a few oral tales date back to the 1600s when a number of people living around Lake Victoria and along River Nile eked a living off the land and kept cattle. The northern region is a different story of tall people armed with a spear or bow and arrow in hand, hunting and fishing for a living.

Tribes, people and their culture

Today in Uganda there are 17 tribes belonging to the Bantu and Nilotic groups. Uganda is a country of many cultural contrasts. English is the official language. Many people outside the office also commonly speak it. Luganda is easily the more spoken language in most towns where business is transacted.

The weather

The country is known for its fine sunny and rainy weather which often does not require the wearing of warm clothing except on some chilly nights in the mountainous areas in western and eastern Uganda. Uganda is on the sunny side most of the year, especially in the central region. Rainfall comes in torrents when delayed, especially when the expected patterns are delayed for some months.

Where to watch game in Uganda

Uganda may not boast of huge and well-developed national parks like neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania, but after years of misrule, there is a turnaround in numbers of animals especially elephants and antelopes, which were butchered by, undisciplined soldiers and poachers during the reign of Idi Amin.

When to visit

Uganda is situated astride the Equator, so the country enjoys a tropical climate with very little temperature variation throughout the year. The main factor that determines your visit will be the rainfall patterns. In the southern part of the country, April is the rainiest month. The rains stretch up to May, with another wet season in October to November. And although the dry months are good for birding don't forget the fact that the wet months are more productive since breeding takes place during those months.

Food culture

Uganda on a plate: yummy banana dishes, stews, pastes and juicy fruits and drinks Uganda's culture weaves a thread of variety not only through the manner of dress, language and other characteristics but also in its variety of dishes. Nearly every tribe or region has a delicacy or specialty and when you get to Uganda try out the local restaurants or the homes of residents who should be able to prepare or treat you to some of the relishes and foods made from the numerous vegetables, yams, potatoes, bananas and fruits.