Welcome to the fascinating world of Uganda, officially known as the “Pearl of Africa.” Nestled in East Africa, Uganda is a landlocked country bordered by Kenya to the east, the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, Rwanda to the south-west, Tanzania to the south, and South Sudan to the north. Here, we unveil some of the top facts about this captivating nation that will help you understand and appreciate its rich heritage and natural splendors.
As of 2019, Uganda boasts a population of over 44.27 million people, hailing from a tapestry of more than 56 distinct tribes. The people of Uganda are renowned for their warm hospitality and welcoming smiles, making it one of the most hospitable countries in the world.
Uganda achieved its hard-earned independence on the 9th of October 1962 after enduring more than 68 years as a British colony. Upon gaining independence, Kabaka Mutesa II assumed the role of president, and the late Dr. Milton Obote became the prime minister. Uganda currently practices multi-party democracy, a testament to its ongoing journey of self-governance.
Uganda is a sanctuary for wildlife and nature enthusiasts, boasting ten national parks and numerous game reserves. Here, you can embark on thrilling safaris and witness the African Big Five, magnificent gorillas, and playful chimpanzees. The array of safari activities includes gorilla trekking, game drives, mountain hikes, boat cruises, chimpanzee trekking, nature walks, adventure sports like white water rafting and bungee jumping, birdwatching, rhino tracking, and much more. The Uganda National Parks are diligently managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, ensuring the preservation of these precious ecosystems.
Kampala, with a population exceeding 2.5 million people, stands as the vibrant capital city of Uganda. The city’s origins are tied to seven picturesque hills, and its name is derived from the abundant presence of impalas on Old Kampala hill, one of the seven hills.
The official currency of Uganda is the Uganda Shilling. During your stay, you can easily exchange foreign currencies such as Pounds, Dollars, or Euros for the shilling, which is widely accepted. Notably, the US Dollar is also recognized by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and many safari lodges.
Uganda maintains an educational framework structured into four levels: Nursery and Primary, Secondary Education, University, and Tertiary Education. The illustrious Makerere University, ranked as the third-best university in Africa, is nestled in the heart of Kampala, Uganda.
Uganda is adorned with an array of freshwater lakes, including the grand Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga, Lake Bunyonyi, Lake George, and Lake Edward, alongside numerous smaller lakes. Lake Victoria, the largest of them all, holds the distinction of being the source of the mighty River Nile, the world’s second-longest river.
Uganda is home to the Rwenzori Mountains, an extraordinary snow-capped mountain range located in the tropics. Its highest peak, Margherita on Mount Stanley, reaches an awe-inspiring elevation of 5,019 meters above sea level. The presence of glaciers on these equatorial peaks adds a touch of surreal beauty to Uganda’s landscapes.
Uganda proudly safeguards half of the remaining population of mountain gorillas in the world. These endangered creatures can only be tracked in the wild in three countries globally: Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Uganda, this enchanting experience can be undertaken in the lush Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Uganda’s national football team goes by the name Uganda Cranes, while the rugby team is known as the Rugby Cranes, and the netball team as the She Cranes. Uganda also takes pride in several athletic figures who have etched their names in history by shattering records and representing the nation on international stages.
For comprehensive insights into the top facts about Uganda and for information on unforgettable safari holidays in this remarkable country, look no further than Trek Africa Expedtions. Our team is ready to guide you on an extraordinary journey through the Pearl of Africa.