Uganda – Country & People

Uganda - Country & People

Uganda is still a very original African country. It is known for its beautiful natural landscapes from tropical rainforest to glaciers, offers a variety of animals and is therefore perfectly suited for a safari. The best known animal is probably the mountain gorilla, of which about half of all animals living in the world still live here. Uganda is considered a safe country for a safari or gorilla tracking.

Bordering Tanzania and Rwanda to the south, Uganda is part of East Africa. Uganda shares Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, with Tanzania and Kenya in the south. Kampala is the capital of the country. It borders Sudan to the north, the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west and Rwanda to the southwest. Because of its hills and mountains it is often called the Switzerland of Africa. Highest mountain with 5110 m is the Margherita peak (also called Mt. Stanley) in the Rwenzori Mountains in the north of the country, while in the east the Mt. Elgon rises 4321 m.

The mountainous country with an average altitude of 1,200 m has relatively cool temperatures. Even the proximity to the equator does not change this. There is a tropical climate, which, as in the rest of East Africa, is not determined by the seasons, but by the rainy and dry seasons. The daytime temperatures vary between 25 and 30 degrees, but can also be lower or higher. The dry and therefore best time to travel is from June – September and December to February. The distinct rainy season in which heavy rainfalls are to be expected is from March – May and October/November. In the north, the rainy season is from April to October.

Animals and plants
Uganda is known for its mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, which live here in the cloud forests. In addition, the Big Five, various species of monkeys, hippos, hyenas as well as many species of antelopes such as the Uganda kob, the eland, the North African hartebeest, the waterbuck, the sitatunga, the impala and many species of birds and reptiles belong to its animal diversity. On a boat trip on the Kazinga Canal between Lake George and Lake Edward the traveler will find a unique animal world on the shores, such as numerous hippos.

People and language
The population is estimated at around 32 million. With an average age of 15 years, Uganda is a country with a very young population. This consists of about 60 ethnic groups, each with their own languages, cultures and customs. Official languages are Swahili and English. Otherwise, numerous Bantu languages like Luganda, Banyoro as well as West and East Nilotic languages are widespread.

Faith and Culture
At around 85 %, the majority of the population is Christian, followed by Muslims and a small proportion of traditional African religions, all of which live peacefully with one another.

The Ugandan school system has its roots in the British colonial era. School uniform is compulsory. Classes are taught all day, and homework is also given. After kindergarten (children aged 3-6 years), elementary school follows for 7 years. The so-called middle school with grades 8 to 11 is followed by the high school with grades 12 and 13. Attending a private school is qualitatively better, but for most Ugandans not to pay. Attending a university costs a lot of money and a job afterwards is uncertain.

Uganda was a colonial power of Great Britain. In bloody dictatorships are long gone. Since 1991 Uganda has had a presidential republic. Parliament consists of 276 members, of whom 214 are elected and 62 are appointed by the president. Since the totalitarian system was abolished in 1986, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been the head of state. The government is characterized by both democratic and totalitarian features.