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Uganda - village people

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Practicals

Transport

Boat accidents are common on Lake Albert because of non-compliance with safety regulations and rapidly changing weather conditions. In December 2020, at least 22 people died when a boat has capsized near the DR Congo border. 

Uganda - Masindi - boda-boda - bycicle taxis - v.g. photo

Uganda - Kampala - traffic - v.g. photo

Uganda - Lake Bunyonyi - traditional wooden boat - v.g. photo

Shopping

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Uganda - Fort Portal - market - v.g. photo

Public safety

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Uganda - national park rangers

Uganda - army men

Background

Uganda - national flag - that bird you see in the middle is a crane - Uganda' national bird

Uganda - banana woman

Destination in brief

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. Neighbors: South Sudan (north), Kenya (east), Tanzania, Rwanda (south), DR Congo (west)

Uganda was a British colony until it gained independence in 1962.

Size: 241,037 km²  (93,065 mi²)

Capital city: Kampala- this is practically the only big city of the country

Population (in 2020): 45.7 million-  The population had increased from about 10 million people in 1973 to this almost 46 million in 2020, making Uganda one of the most densely populated countries on the planet
Ugandan population growth rate is one of the highest in the world

Languages:  English is the official language, spoken mostly by the educated people -  The three major native language gropus are: Bantu, Central Sudanic, and Nilotic. Many people speak Swahili and Luganda.

Religions: 45% Protestant, 39% Roman Catholic, 12,2 % Muslim

Form of government: presidential republic, multi-party system

Uganda's heavily monopolized economy (where coffee is the major export item) did not provide the local population with enough jobs

Today Uganda's economic prospects are undermined by the corruption in all levels of government, an absence of long-term investments as well as by the above-mentioned unprecedented population growth.

Currency: Ugandan shilling (UGX)

Average net monthly salary (in 2020): 170 USD

Most common surname: Akello

Uganda is a safe tourist destination.

Two of Uganda's natural parks are UNESCO World Heritage sites: Bwindi NP and the Ruwenzori mountains NP.

Top tourist attraction is the visit of the mountain gorillas.most of the foreing tourists come for the gorilla safaris.

Winston Churchill called Uganda as the ,,Pearl of Africa".



Geography

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Uganda - Murchison Falls, also known as Kabalega Falls

Uganda - Crater Lakes - colobus monkey - v.g. photo

Uganda - Uhuru Falls is adjacent to Murchison Falls on the Victoria Nile - v.g. photo

Uganda - Murchison Falls in the northwestern part of the country - v.g. photo

Uganda - Lake Bunyonyi - v.g. photo

Nowadays

“It's a 12-hour bus ride from Kampala, Uganda's capital, to Kotido, the northern region of the country. I've been in Africa for two months now to write about tribes, cultures, animal protection, and anything else that's unique or interesting. I'm rattling along the dusty road to Kotido to visit one of Uganda's most peculiar groups, the Karamojong, who are famous not only for their warrior men but also for the unusual tattoos of their daughters.

I stare out of the cracked window. As I head northward there are fewer and fewer built-up settlements, and after we leave the last town, Soroti, I don't meet any tourists anywhere, only scattered villages spread out everywhere. It slowly gets completely dark, and since most of the houses do not have electricity, let alone street lighting, I arrive in complete darkness in a town of barely 20,000 people, where my local leader, Lokwamer Narino, a respected member of the tribe, is already waiting for me.

The next morning, we leave early to walk to the village, which is about an hour's walk from the town and consists of six thatched cottages, where one of the eight-member families of the Karamojong tribe lives. A girl herding donkey with her baby strapped to her back looks suspiciously at us from afar, and finally nods a welcome to us.

In the spotlessly clean yard are tiny circular earthen huts, with their roofs still not fastened down, making it appear as though a playful spirit had put pointed straw hats on top of them. If a big windstorm comes it will sweep the roofs off or tilt them askew without any problems. The inhabitants of the hut are apparently not bothered by this at all. If it happens, they simply make another hat for the house from the twigs, twine, and straw that they have collected and piled up in advance. Four years ago, it would have been unthinkable not only to walk into this or any Karamojong settlement without invitation but even to walk through the streets of Kotido without being attacked by armed men.” (2016)


Uganda - community of Kilembe - row house - v.g. photo

Uganda - the community of Kilembe - v.g. photo

Uganda - Fort Portal - working in the tea plantation - v.g. photo

Uganda - Masindi village - v.g. photo

Uganda - the community of Kilembe - v.g. photo

People

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Uganda - village man

Uganda - a Karamoja man

Uganda - kids with bunches of bananas - v.g. photo

Uganda - locals in a harvested banana plantation - v.g. photo

Attractions

Gorilla trek

“You can find mountain gorillas in the forests of three countries: Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda just recently raised the entrance fee to the national park to $1,500 per person, and DR Congo is so democratic that nothing guarantees you'll get out alive, so that leaves only Uganda with its $600 park entrance fees.
While Lake Bunyonyi is only 8km away on a red, dusty dirt road, it is 26 km to Bwindi National Park. You really feel like you are at the end of the world until you see the village right in the middle of the national park. Since each group is allowed to spend only one hour with the gorillas, the job of these people is probably to introduce tourists who may be bored by the afternoon to the authentic tribal natives and to operate the gift shops.

The accommodation, on the other hand, is very satisfactory, though, of course, you pay top dollar for it. We stayed in an eco-hotel where they use rainwater and don't even turn on the electricity until six in the evening. Apart from the absence of cold drinks, I didn’t miss it during the day.

The tours start in the morning. The gorillas can only be approached on foot if you want to meet them up close. People with reduced mobility and the elderly are taken in a sort of ‘litter’ for a very steep price, and there is the option of helicopter viewing, but 99% walk into the jungle in the hopes that the trekkers have done a good job and that the gorilla family will soon be there.

Two of us from our group of four were very lucky, spending 40 minutes in the company of ten well-fed and quite active gorillas. The other two colleagues walked for hours on the steep slopes before they found four gorillas who were practically asleep. Otherwise, the whole thing was very well thought out and generally well organized. Armed guards accompany you because of wild animals and forest elephants, and each group is accompanied by one or two rangers. These guys can run uphill without needing to stop for breathe. The same cannot be said about the guests at all. We asked to be put in a group that would see as many gorillas as possible, regardless of how far we had to walk. For this, they put us together with some 60+-year-old Australians. They heroically kept the pace, and afterward, we hung out together in the ‘canteen’.” (2017)


Uganda - gorilla - j.h. photo

Uganda - gorilla - j.h. photo

Kampala



“After the green countryside, we spent our last day in the equally green capital city of Kampala. Perhaps I have never seen a capital with such lush vegetation anywhere. It is built on several hills and even its downtown area is pure green, with a huge park dotted with golf courses in the very center.

In their National Museum, a surprisingly honest and professional exhibition deals with AIDS, which still affects 7-8% of the country's population. The country became independent in 1962, and several public buildings date from this decade, including the aforementioned museum, the National Theater, and the Parliament. I just wanted to photograph the latter from inside the fence, but thanks to the kindness of the guards, we were even allowed into the main debating chamber.

I read that this is one of the most livable cities not only in East Africa but on the entire continent. The British traditions of the colonial past and the huge development of recent years have made Kampala an exciting, livable city that satisfies even European tastes.” (K.I., 2018)



Uganda - Kampala - the crowd - v.g. photo

Uganda - Kampala - Uganda National Mosque - v.g. photo

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Uganda - Rwenzori Mountains National Park - v.g. photo

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Uganda - Queen Elizabeth National park - Ugandan kobs (antelopes) - v.g. photo

Uganda - Queen Elizabeth National Park - Nile crocodile - v.g. photo

Uganda - Queen Elizabeth National Park - chameleon - n.g. photo

Crater Lakes

Uganda - Crater Lakes - v.g. photo

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