Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa whose diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria. Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and wildlife such as hipposPpulation of: 41.49 million (2016)
The country takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country, including the capital Kampala. The people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country. Beginning in 1894, the area was ruled as a protectorate by the British, who established administrative law across the territory. Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962. The period since then has been marked by intermittent conflicts, including a lengthy civil war against the Lord's Resistance Army in the Northern Region, which has caused hundreds of thousands of casualties.
The official languages are English and Swahili, although "any other language may be used as a medium of instruction in schools or other educational institutions or for legislative, administrative or judicial purposes as may be prescribed by law."Luganda, a central language, is widely spoken across the country, and several other languages are also spoken including Runyoro, Runyankole, Rukiga, and Luo.
The president of Uganda is Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who came to power in January 1986 after a protracted six-year guerrilla war. Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962 with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and Queen of Uganda. In October 1963, Uganda became a republic but maintained its membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. The first post-independence election, held in 1962, was won by an alliance between the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yekka(KY). UPC and KY formed the first post-independence government with Milton Obote as executive prime minister, with the Buganda Kabaka (King) Edward Muteesa II holding the largely ceremonial position of president.
Location The country is located on the East African Plateau, lying mostly between latitudes 4°N and 2°S (a small area is north of 4°), and longitudes 29°and 35°E. It averages about 1,100 metres (3,609 ft) above sea level, sloping very steadily downwards to the Sudanese Plain to the north.
Lakes & Rivers
Much of the south of the country is heavily influenced by one of the world's biggest lakes, Lake Victoria, which contains many islands. Most important cities are located in the south, near this lake, including the capital Kampala and the nearby airport in Entebbe.
Lake Kyoga is in the centre of the country and is surrounded by extensive marshy areas. Although landlocked, Uganda contains many large lakes. Besides Lakes Victoria and Kyoga, there are Lake Albert, Lake Edward, and the smaller Lake George. Uganda lies almost completely within the Nile basin. The Victoria Nile drains from Lake Victoria into Lake Kyoga and thence into Lake Albert on the Congolese border. It then runs northwards into South Sudan. An area in eastern Uganda is drained by the Suam River, part of the internal drainage basin of Lake Turkana. The extreme north-eastern part of Uganda drains into the Lotikipi Basin, which is primarily in Kenya.
Forests Forest and woodland cover in Uganda today stands at 49,000 km² or 24% of the total land area. Of these 9,242.08 km² is tropical rainforest, 350.60 km² are forest plantations and 39,741.02 km² is woodland. 30% of these areas are protected as national parks, wildlife reserves or central forest reserves Uganda.. Other important products included leaves for fodder and fertilizer, medicinal herbs, fruits, and fibers, and a variety of grasses used in weaving and household applications. Production of most materials increased as much as 100 percent between 1980 and 1988. The output of timber for construction declined from 1980 to 1985, before increasing slightly to 433 million units in 1987 and continuing to increase in 1988. Paper production also increased substantially in 1988. Nationwide forest resources were being planted rapidly. Deforestation was especially severe in poverty-stricken areas, where many people placed short-term survival needs ahead of the long-term goal of maintaining the nation's economical sector. Agricultural encroachment, logging, charcoal making, and harvesting for firewood consumed more wooded area each year. An additional toll on forest reserves resulted from wildfires, often the result of illegal moonshine-making activity in reserves. Neither natural regrowth nor tree-planting projects could keep pace with the demand for forest products. In 1988 the Ministry of Environmental Protection was responsible for implementing forest policy and management. Ministry officials warned that the loss of productive woodlands would eventually lead to land erosion, environmental degradation, energy shortages, food shortages, and rural poverty in general, and they hoped to change traditional attitudes toward forests and other natural resources
Culture The culture of Uganda is made up of a diverse range of ethnic groups. Lake Kyoga forms the northern boundary for the Bantu-speaking people, who dominate much of East, Central, and Southern Africa. In Uganda, they include the Baganda and several other tribes In the north, the Lango and the Acholi peoples predominate, who speak Nilotic languages. To the east are the Iteso and Karamojong, who speak a Nilotic language, whereas the Gishu are part of the Bantu and live mainly on the slopes of Mt. Elgon. They speak Lumasaba, which is closely related to the Luhya of Kenya. A few Pygmies live isolated in the rainforests of western Uganda. Religion... Christians make up 85.2 percent of Uganda's population. There were sizeable numbers of Sikhs and Hindus in the country until Asians were expelled in 1972 by Idi Amin, following an alleged dream, although many are now returning following an invitation from President Yoweri Museveni.Muslims make up 12 percent of Uganda's population.
Sports Football is the national sport in Uganda. The Uganda national football team, nicknamed "The Cranes" is controlled by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations. They have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals. Their best finish in the African Cup of Nations was second in 1978. Cricket is one of the major sports in Uganda, where the country qualified for the Cricket World Cup in 1975 as part of the East African cricket team. There is also a national basketball league played by college students and a few high school students.Uganda hosted a regional tournament in 2006, which its national team, nicknamed The Silverbacks, won. Rugby union is also a growing sport in Uganda, and the Uganda national rugby union team has been growing stronger as evidenced by more frequent victories and close games against African powerhouses like Namibia and Morocco.
Nature & Wildlife
Gorillas are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Sub-Saharan Africa. The genus Gorilla is divided into two species: the eastern gorillas and the western gorillas (both critically endangered), and either four or five subspecies. They are the largest living primates. The DNA of gorillas is highly similar to that of humans, from 95–99% depending on what is counted, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the chimpanzees and bonobos.
Gorillas' natural habitats cover tropical or subtropical forests in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although their range covers a small percentage of Africa, gorillas cover a wide range of elevations. The mountain gorilla inhabits the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests of the Virunga Volcanoes, ranging in altitude from 2,200–4,300 metres (7,200–14,100 ft). Lowland gorillas live in dense forests and lowland swamps and marshes as low as sea level, with western lowland gorillas living in Central West African countries and eastern lowland gorillas living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo near its border with Rwanda.
Mountain gorillas… The mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) is one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are two populations. One is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, within four National Parks: Mgahinga and Bwindi in south-west Uganda; Volcanoes, in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. The other is found in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Some primatologists speculate the Bwindi population in Uganda is a separate subspecies, though no description has been finalized. As of September 2016, only an estimated 880 mountain gorillas remain.
Mountain gorilla diet and behaviers. In Uganda, there are two places where Mountain Gorillas are found, one is Mgahinga Gorilla Park. A beautiful park and a part of the Virunga chain of volcanoes that stretches into the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest contains the largest Mountain Gorilla Population. It is a primeval forest that is also called “Place of Darkness.” The canopy of the trees making it dark within the forest. The altitudes of the forest are between 1,160 to 2,607 meters above sea level. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park each have different characteristics and similarities. Bwindi Forest is not an extinct or dormant volcanic area while Mgahinga Gorilla Park is. Mgahinga Gorilla Park has higher altitudes and Mountain Gorillas will venture up and partake of some afro-montane vegetation. Mostly the Mountain Gorillas will eat large quantities of leaves, fruit, bamboo shoots in the season, roots, flowers. Adults will eat up to 75 pounds a day.
A Mountain Gorilla Day is from 6 am to 6 pm with a nap around a lunchtime. Light comes in Uganda just past 6 pm and darkness comes around 7 pm.
They move daily (a short distance) to a different location to spend the night making nests from twigs and leaves. Some human has found them quite comfortable, even enough to fall asleep in.
Elephants The largest living land mammal, the African elephant, is a sight to behold on Uganda’s sprawling savannah. Their massive black forms can be seen from far away marching across the grasslands in search of the incredible amounts of vegetation they need to eat each day, along with around 30-50 gallons of water. This constant grazing is essential to the ecosystem, as it prevents the savannah and shrubland from turning into impenetrable forest. The elephant’s trunk is by far its most useful feature - it is used with absolute precision to dig, signal, gather food, spray water and dust, siphon water into the elephant’s mouth - and even as an extra foot! They are also sociable, affectionate animals, and have been observed caressing companions with their trunks, and greeting other family members when they meet. They will care for weaker individuals, adopt orphaned calves and even display grieving behavior over dead companions.
The African Elephant(Loxodonta africana) is a very large herbivore having thick, almost hairless skin, a long, flexible, prehensile trunk, upper incisors forming long curved tusks of ivory, and large, fan-shaped ears. The two distinct species of African elephant are: African Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) and the Africa bush Elephant(Loxodonta africana). Elephants are difficult to hunt because, despite their large size, they are able to hide in tall grass and are more likely to charge than the other species.
LionsThe lion is one of the most sought-after safari species, and one of the most impressive to observe. Living in prides of around 15 individuals, lions adhere to strict social structures. Groups consist of related females and their cubs, who are often born around the same time and raised communally. New mothers, however, will live in dens with their cubs for the first few weeks, moving them one by one to a new den every few days to avoid building up a scent which would attract predators. A new male taking over a pride will often kill all cubs, and mate with each of the females. The male’s distinctive mane plays a role in making it look much larger and more intimidating to other lions and spotted hyenas - the lion’s main rivals. It is the lionesses, however, who are responsible for around 90% of the hunting, doing so in coordinated groups which can allow them to pursue larger species such as buffalo and giraffes as well as smaller antelope. The kill is not shared evenly, however, and only the larger prey is brought back to the pride, making survival difficult for cubs during times of hardship.
OstrichesOstrich is unique in its appearance, with a long neck and legs, and can run at up to about 70 km/h s19 m/s the remarkable land speed of any other bird. Ostriches can live without water for a long period. As a result, they will absorb water from the food they eat. The dark male ostrich often sits on its eggs at night and his paler female mate during the day. Ostrich do not bury its head in the sands like what many people believe. It only appears so especially when it cannot run away from potential danger, it always flops to the ground and lay still. The color of its heads camouflages with the sand. An ostrich egg can weigh approximately 3 pounds. That is equal to two dozen of chicken eggs. Ostriches have the largest eyes in the entire animal kingdom. They have three sets of eyelids. Their eyes are larger than their brain. Since they lack teeth, ostriches swallow gravels to grind their food, and an adult ostrich carries nearly one kilogram of stones in its stomach. Ostriches are the fastest of all birds or any other two-legged animal, and they can sprint at more than 70 kilometers per hour, covering up to 5 meters in one single. Black Rhinoceros Scientific name Diceros bicornis.The black Rhinoceros is a large, thick-skinned herbivore having one or two upright horns on the nasal Rhinoceros may refer to either black or black or white. Among big five game hunters, the black rhinoceros is preferred, although it is now critically endangered. Golden MonkeysScientific name Cercopithecus mitis kandti. Approximately 48 to 67 centimeters (males) and 46 to 53 centimeters (females). Approximately 4.5 to 7 kilograms up to 12, kilograms (males), 3.5 to 4.5 kilograms (females).have lifespan of up to approximately 19 years.Habitat is Afromontane and bamboo forests in Virunga Volcanoes (DRC, Rwanda and Uganda) and the afromontane forests of Gishwati Forest Reserveand Nyungwe National Park Rwanda.They are Omnivorous Have estation of 5 months (140 days).Their predators are mainly humans, dogs, crowned eagles HipposHippopotamuses love water, which is why the Greeks named them the “river horse.” Hippos spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes to keep their massive bodies cool under the hot African sun. Hippos are graceful in water, good swimmers, and can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes. However, they are often large enough to simply walk or stand on the lake floor, or lay in the shallows. Their eyes and nostrils are located high on their heads, which allows them to see and breathe while mostly submerged. GiraffesGiraffes are the tallest mammals on Earth. Their legs alone are taller than many humans about 6 feet. They can run as fast as 35 miles an hour over short distances, or cruise at 10 mph over longer distances. A giraffe's neck is too short to reach the ground. As a result, it has to awkwardly spread its front legs or kneel to reach the ground for a drink of water Giraffes only need to drink once every few days. Most of their water comes from all the plants they eat. Giraffes spend most of their lives standing up; they even sleep and give birth standing up. BuffalloesScientific name syncerus caffer.Adult males are black or charcoal grey while the females have slight tinge color. The hair is short and course. They have large heads and thick necks on their massive bodies with short limbs. The horns grow from the thick bosses on the forehead. The horns flare sideways and downwards and then curve upwards to the tip. Buffaloes prefer open and wooded savanna with suitable grass cover. They seek out good grazing in the early morning and late afternoon hours. They need water every day. They are best seen during the African summer when grazing is rich. At these times breeding herds are usually a few thousand strong. As they African sun starts burning towards noon they disappear into thick cover. LeopardScientific name Panthera pardus.The Leopard is a large, carnivorous feline having either tawny fur with dark rosette-like markings or black fur.. The leopard is considered the most difficult of the big five to spot because of their nocturnal and secretive nature. They are wary of humans and will take flight in the face of danger. The leopard is solitary by nature, and is most active between sunset and sunrise, although it may hunt during the day in some areas. Leopards can be found in the savanna grasslands, brush land and forested areas in Africa. The male leopard is less than half the size of a male lion. The leopard is the smallest of the big cats, and rarely exceeds91 kg. X11,Rwenzori Turaco… (Ruwenzorornis johnstoni) is a species of bird in the Musophagidae family that is endemic to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), Uganda, Rwanda and Burund. Within its distribution, the Ruwenzori inhabits woodlands from 2000 to 3600m. In Uganda they are in the Albert region. In Bwindi Mgahinga conservation area. These turacos occur in pairs or small family groups, with many individuals remaining paired and aggressively defending territories throughout the year. Particularly favors the bamboo zones and areas dominated with epiphytes and lianas.This turaco is of averages 43-46 cm beak to tail, and weighs around 232–247g. ChimpanzeesThe average weight of an adult well grown male chimpanzee is between 35 and 70 kilograms, with a height of approximately 3 meters whereas tan adult female chimpanzee weighs between 26 and 50 kilograms and a height between 2 and 4 feet. A chimpanzee’s life expectancy is at 40 years whereas that for those living in captivity can extend up to 60 years. In Uganda today, Efforts to actually conserve the chimpanzees are extensively acknowledged and well supported. Actually The Jane Goodall Foundation has played a major role in the overall conservation of not only these Chimpanzees but the Gorillas as well found in Uganda. Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to humans sharing about 98% of their DNA composition with humans. They are Sociable, intelligent as well as communicative and among their very fascinating traits is the ability to utilize tools like rocks for crushing nuts, empty pods for hollowing out water plus sticks for capturing termites from their holes. These skills are for long been passed on from generation to another and researchers say that different troops have specialist tasks, basing on their habitat as well as diet. ZebrasThere are three species of zebra: Grevy’s, mountain and plains, the latter of which is by far the most common. The plains zebra is divided into six subspecies; the mountain into two. Speed demons. Zebras are very fast-moving animals, and can reach speeds of up to 65kmph when galloping across the plains. This is just fast enough to outpace predators such as lions. Foals can run with the herd within a few hours of birth. Keeping cool. A zebra’s stripy coat is thought to disperse more than 70 per cent of incoming heat, preventing the animal from overheating in the African sun. Stripe force. It's thought that a zebra's stripes serve to help camouflage the animal in long grass, and distract predators. Recent research also shows that a zebra's stripes may have evolved to keep biting insects at bay - the monochrome pattern seems to throw off the visual systems of flies. Unique animals. A zebra's stripes act like fingerprints - each individual’s pattern is unique. Foals recognise their mothers by the pattern of their stripes, as well as by scent and call.