Uganda, sometimes referred to as the Pearl of Africa is a country which is gifted by nature and is a landlocked African country. It occupies about 236,000 square miles which almost the size of Oregon in the United States of America. The Pearl of Africa lies across the equator and by the northwest shores of Lake Victoria. Our neighbors are Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
Uganda National Parks
The country is best known for its unique wildlife in national parks and interesting tourism facilities that have continuously attracted thousands of travelers who take adventurous safaris in Uganda– exploring different regions. There are ten national parks in Uganda that protect a wide range of flora and fauna. From the big five animals to rare animals such as mountain gorillas, there are lots of wildlife within the park.
As you get close to the heart of the cattle in the country, Lake Mburo National park is found. It provides a habitat for diversity of browsing animals including the Zebra, Buffalo, and gazelle. In the west of the park, grasses give way to forests as the land rises up the escarpment of the rift valley. Intersecting the cliff; it is a rapid descent to the valley floor below, Uganda’s lowest point in elevation. The Rift Valley’s dry, hot grasslands contain Uganda’s largest populations of lions and elephants. Just east of the Ruwenzori Mountains is Kibale National Park, a forest with Africa’s greatest diversity of primates.
In the North East of the country, there is Murchison falls national park sometimes referred to as Kabalega National park. It the largest protected in Uganda covering about 3840 square kilometers. The name was given to the point which the world’s longest river, the Nile is channeled through a narrow gorge. In the park, you will find all the big five animals including Buffalos, elephants, leopards, Lions and the Rhinos in the Northern part of the park above the Nile river.
The most fascinating and curious attraction in Uganda are the endangered Mountain gorillas found in Bwindi impenetrable park and Mgahinga gorilla national park.
The pearl of Africa is a home of the Rift western rift valley with unique and interesting features. These include Mount Ruwenzori, Kyambura George amongst which are found in Uganda’s biggest savannah national park.
In the far East of the country, sits mount which is an extinct volcano. This gigantic milestone starts the border with neighboring Kenya. It is protected within a national park popular with mountain climbers. Just outside the park, some of the world’s finest coffee is grown.
The River Nile
In the South Western part of Mountain Elgon in Jinja, there are head waters Southwest of Mount Elgon and near the town of Jinja there are headwaters of River Nile. The river originates from Lake Victoria which is Africa’s largest lake. It lies within the proximity of Central region where Uganda’s capital –Kampala is found. The river cuts the pearl of Africa in two flows. One is towards Sudan and the other towards Egypt and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea. Along this mighty river, water sports like white water rafting is carried on. As the Nile River gains speed from the source, it discharges over the mighty Murchison falls, which is protected in a national park of the same name.
Moving towards the west, away from Kampala city-Uganda’s capital, the land gradually rises from Lake Victoria’s basin. As you move this side, papyrus swamps tend to turn into Savannah grasslands. The Lake Victoria offers thrilling adventures to tourists. There are lots of beaches within Kampala, Entebbe and Jinja where you can enjoy a weekend fun-filled holiday.
Inside the Lake Victoria also lies three notable islands; the Ssesse Island, a wonderful place to enjoy a holiday and Ngamba Island, an island set aside to chimpanzee conservation. Go chimpanzee viewing on the island and interact with our “little cousins”!
The pearl of Africa is a home of a number of ethnic groups. The country has a very rich and cultural diversity. Cultural practices and Ethnicity accompany the life style of every ethnic group and act as unique tourism attractions. There has been a history of ethnically- based discrimination promoted by the governments that divert resources to the resolution of the problems.
The population of Uganda is composed of diverse ethnic varying groups with varying customs and norms. They have played a major role in shaping the behaviors and ways of life of the people of Uganda. In most parts of the country, traditional values have changed due to integration of the people as a result of migration and intermarriages. The outstanding cultural groupings in the country include the Baganda, Basoga, Batoro and Itesot. These are predominantly headed by traditional kings and are not politically elected. A number of languages are spoken though the official language is English and Swahili.