Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa with a diverse landscape that encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and the massive Lake Victoria. It has abundant wildlife that includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. The Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is known as a gorilla sanctuary. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Uganda.
1. Right up until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, the people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers.
2. The Buganda Kingdom was the most well-known in Uganas. Today, it’s the biggest traditional kingdom in the country and is bordered in the south by Lake Victoria. The name Uganda also comes from the name of this kingdom.
3. Sir Edward Mutesa, the King of Buganda, was elected as the first president, and Milton Obote was elected as the first prime minister of the country after its independence in 1962.
4. About 300,000 people were killed during the regime of Idi Amin, the former president of Uganda. The majority of these people belonged to the northern part of the country and were received as Milton Obote’s supporters. Amin also forcible expelled Indian businessmen from the country.
5. Sir Winston Churchill called Uganda, “the Pearl of Africa.” He visited the country when it was under British rule.
6. Almost half of the country’s population is under the age of 14, which makes it one of the youngest countries in the world.
7. HIV and AIDS is a major threat to the Ugandan population.
8. Ugandans are well known for their hospitality and style of welcoming guests. If you go to any small village you will have people, especially children, start screaming with joy when they see you.
9. Nearly 1 million tourists from across the world visit Uganda every year.
10. There’s a rule in Uganda that when you cut one tree, you have to plant three trees.
11. As Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world, the economic condition of many people living there isn’t stable. A study has shown that nearly half of the population in the country lives on less than a dollar a day, but the people remain happy and cheerful.
12. Uganda has ranked as one of the biggest alcohol consumers in the world. Despite living in poverty, the people of Uganda seem to consume plenty of alcohol.
13. In Uganda, motorcycles are used as taxis to ferry people from one place to another. However, these types of taxis aren’t recommended for tourists as they’re often dangerous. Locals call them “boda-boda.”
14. Agriculture is an important part of the country’s economy and it employs a third of all Ugandans.
15. Mountain gorillas are a major attraction for tourists from all over the world. It’s estimated that half of their population lives in Uganda.
16. In 2005, presidential term limits were lifted and a 19 year ban on multi-party politics was also lifted.
17. Uganda has one of the world’s highest fertility rates at 5.8 children per woman.
18. In the rural areas, the fertility rates are above the nationwide average of 5.8 due largely to a lack of awareness of contraception and minimal government support for family planning, which leads to an explosive growth in population.
19. Women in Uganda are married at a young age, which also exposes them to various issues related to their reproductive health.
20. Uganda is short on skilled health care workers because of the lack of opportunity for medical professional to have any sort of career in the country. The majority of doctors and nurses have immigrated to other countries to further their careers.
21. There are two types of seasons in Uganda. The first is between December and February and the second is between June and August. The average temperature is about 26 degrees centigrade, with a maximum of 18 to 35 degrees and a minimum of 8 to 23 degrees depending on the part of the country. Rainfall ranges between 500 millimeters to 2,500 millimeters and the relative humidity is 70% to 100%.
22. Pan fried grasshoppers are one of the favorite treats in Uganda.
23. Matooke is a very popular food in Uganda and a favorite food for most people in the country. It’s a plantain type of banana that’s prepared by cooking in banana leaves.
24. In terms of population, Uganda is the second biggest landlocked country in the world. It falls second only to Ethiopia.
25. The women in Uganda traditionally build the homes. They’re responsible for constructing the walls of mud houses, while the men build the roofs.
26. English and Swahili are the country’s official languages though some other languages and dialects can be heard spoken as well. However, English that’s spoken in Uganda is a different type of dialect and sounds very different from what’s spoken in the United States. This language is sometimes referred to as Uglish.
27. There are an estimated 52 tribes residing in Uganda. These tribes still have their own customs that are still practiced to this day.
28. Pointing at a Ugandan with an index finger is considered an insult. When pointing, the whole arm should be used. This is true for many regions in Africa.
29. Ugandan men always wear pants, even in the hotter temperatures. Only boys and foreign man wear shorts.
30. Uganda is the second biggest producer of bananas in the world, falling second only to India. The country produces an estimated 11 million tons of bananas annually.