Ugandan discoveries: gorillas and waterfalls

Ugandan discoveries: gorillas and waterfalls

Uganda, Kampala
Uganda, often referred to as the "Pearl of Africa", is known for its rich national parks, home to mountain gorillas, as well as majestic waterfalls and lakes.

However, behind these famous beauties there is much more hidden. In this blog, we will travel beyond the usual tourist routes to explore the hidden treasures of Uganda, including its cultural heritage, music, traditional crafts and unique culinary flavours. We will meet incredible people, their stories and how they contribute to the diversity and richness of this country.

Introduction to Uganda: An overview of the country, its history, culture and geography

Uganda is a country of rich heritage and diversity located in the east of the African continent. With borders surrounding the vast Lake Victoria and a landscape that ranges from fertile plains to mountain forests, Uganda offers an incredible variety of natural beauty.


Geographically, Uganda is located on a plateau that slopes gently south towards Lake Victoria and embraces part of the East African Rift System, making it home to many unique ecosystems . The country borders Kenya, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania, and has access to the second largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Victoria.


The history of Uganda is rich and varied, ranging from ancient kingdoms such as Buganda, Ankole, and Toro, to the colonial period under the British Empire, which left its mark on the cultural and political landscape of the country. Since gaining independence in 1962, Uganda has gone through periods of turbulence, including Idi Amin's rule and subsequent civil conflicts, but has since strived for stability and development.


Uganda's cultural diversity is one of its greatest assets. The country has over 56 different ethnic groups, each with their own language, traditions, music and dance. This diversity is reflected in a rich culinary tradition, arts, crafts and festivals.

Nature and Wildlife

Uganda is also home to some of the most unique wildlife in the world, including the mountain gorillas that can be found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. In addition, the country is famous for its safaris, where you can see Africa's Big Five, as well as a huge number of birds, making it a paradise for nature lovers.

Secrets of Kampala: Exploring Uganda's Capital

Kampala, the beating heart of Uganda, is the gateway to the wonderful world of Ugandan culture, history and modern life. Situated on seven hills, this city offers travelers a unique blend of urban bustle and traditional charm.

Historic Sites

Kasubi Tombs is a sacred place where the kings of Buganda are buried. Although much of the complex was destroyed by fire in 2010, it still remains an important cultural center and is in the process of restoration. This UNESCO site is key to understanding the rich history and culture of the Baganda.

The Independence Monument is a symbol of Uganda's freedom, marking the end of British colonial rule. Situated in the heart of the city, it is a popular photo spot for tourists and locals.

Cultural venues

The Uganda National Theater is not not only hosts theater productions and concerts, but also serves as a venue for art exhibitions and cultural festivals. Here you can experience local art, music and dance.

Nommo Gallery, founded in 1964, is a national gallery dedicated to the visual arts of Uganda. It exhibits works by both Ugandan and international artists.


Kampala is known for its vibrant nightlife, offering everything from cozy bars to loud nightclubs. Bubbles O'Leary is an Irish pub with a unique atmosphere, while Cayenne Restaurant and Lounge offers fine dining and live music. For dance lovers, there is Club Amnesia, where they play local and international hits.

Culinary delights

Kampala is also a place where you can enjoy Ugandan cuisine. Owino Market, the largest in the city, offers fresh produce and local dishes. The Lawns is a unique game meat restaurant offering guests a true culinary adventure.

A journey through Kampala opens the door to a world where history and modernity coexist side by side. This city is not only the capital of Uganda, but also the cultural heart of the country, offering visitors a rich experience that will be remembered.

Visiting Mountain Gorillas: Uganda National Parks

One of the most exciting adventures you can experience in Uganda is coming face to face with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. This experience not only allows you to see these majestic creatures in the wild, but also provides a deeper understanding of the importance of conservation and species conservation efforts.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, known for its dense tropical forests, is home to more than half the world's mountain gorilla population. Trekking in search of gorillas here is not just an excursion, it is a journey into ancient forests where time seems to stand still. Led by experienced guides, visitors trek through winding trails to meet these noble animals.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, although smaller in size, is no less important for the conservation of mountain gorillas. Situated on the border with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, this park also offers the opportunity to encounter gorillas as well as golden monkeys, making it an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

Encounter gorillas

Meeting the mountain gorillas is an experience that cannot be compared to anything else. After hours of trekking through dense forests, meeting a family of gorillas becomes a revelatory moment. Visitors are often struck by the calmness and humanity in the eyes of gorillas. This interaction not only demonstrates amazing conservation efforts, but also serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting these unique creatures and their habitat.

Contribution to Conservation

A portion of the proceeds from gorilla trekking licenses goes towards protecting mountain gorillas and supporting local communities. This ensures sustainable development and helps ensure that future generations will also be able to encounter these majestic animals.

Travel to the most picturesque waterfalls and lakes in Uganda

Uganda, known for its stunning natural beauty, is home to some of the most impressive waterfalls and lakes in Africa. These natural wonders offer solitude, beauty and opportunity for reflection, far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Murchison Falls

Murchison Falls, located in Murchison Falls National Park, are the largest in Uganda and one of the largest in the world. The Nile River here breaks through a narrow canyon and falls from a height of 43 meters, creating a stunning spectacle. Boat tours offer an up-close look at the falls and the opportunity to see the park's rich flora and fauna.

Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi, surrounded by hills, offers a tranquil retreat and stunning scenery. It is believed to have been formed by volcanic activity and is known for its deep, clear waters and numerous small islands. Traveling by canoe or boat on the lake allows you to explore its hidden corners and enjoy the natural world.

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world, is a huge water resource shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. It is not only the source of the Nile, but also home to unique species of fish and birds. A visit to islands on the lake, such as Sesse, offers opportunities for recreation, fishing and educational excursions into local culture and nature.

Sipi Falls

Located on the slopes of Mount Elgon, Sipi Falls consists of three separate cascades, each offering a unique and picturesque spectacle. The site is ideal for walking and trekking, allowing visitors to explore local flora and meet local communities. Activities such as rock climbing and mountaineering are also available.

Introduction to Ugandan music and traditional dances

Music and dance play a central role in Ugandan culture, reflecting the history, traditions and spirit of the people of this country. Immersion in the music scene and traditional dances of Uganda opens up new horizons of understanding and interaction with its rich cultural heritage.

Traditional Music and Dance

Traditional Ugandan music is based on rhythm and movement, closely associated with rituals and celebrations. Instruments such as drums (engoma), string instruments (adungu), flutes and horns create a hypnotic sound that accompanies dance performances. Each ethnic group in Uganda has its own unique dance and musical styles, reflecting the histories, beliefs and social structures of their societies.

The dances of the Buganda Kingdom, for example, are elaborate and full of symbolism, often accompanied by ceremonies and formal events. The Amagunju dance expresses joy and celebration, while the Baakisimba is slower and more graceful, demonstrating sophistication and grace.

Modern music scene

Modern Ugandan music is a mixture of traditional sounds and modern genres such as Afrobeat, reggae, hip-hop and R&B. Artists such as Eddy Kenzo, Jose Chameleone and Bebe Cool have gained international recognition by blending local languages ​​and rhythms with global music trends.

Festivals and concerts

Uganda hosts many music festivals and concerts that feature both traditional and contemporary music. Nyege Nyege Festival, held on the banks of the Nile River, attracts performers and visitors from around the world, offering a unique immersion experience in the musical and cultural diversity of Africa. Bayimba International Festival of the Arts also provides a platform for the discovery of new music, dance and art.

Traditional dance training

For For tourists interested in a deeper dive into Ugandan culture, there are workshops and courses where you can learn how to play traditional instruments and the basics of Ugandan dance.

Discovering the unique flavors of Ugandan cuisine

Ugandan cuisine is a joyful celebration of local ingredients, traditional cooking methods and the influences of the diverse cultures that have shaped the country. From lush banana plantations to fresh lake fish, Uganda offers culinary discoveries that will satisfy any gourmet.


Matoke is boiled and crushed green bananas and is a staple in Ugandan cuisine. Typically served with vegetable or meat sauce, matoke has a unique flavor and texture and is an important part of the Ugandan dinner table.


Do not confuse it with a watch! Ugandan Rolex is a delicious and nutritious dish consisting of a fried egg placed inside a chapati (local flatbread). Rolex can be found on almost every street corner in Kampala and other cities and has become a symbol of Ugandan street food.


Luvombo is a traditional dish in which meat or fish is stewed in banana leaves with the addition of aromatic spices. This dish is famous for its rich aroma and delicate taste, and is usually served on special occasions and holidays.

Visiting local markets

For a truly immersive Ugandan culinary experience, visit local markets such as the famous Owino Market in Kampala. Here you will find a wide range of fresh produce, from tropical fruits and vegetables to local delicacies. The markets also offer the opportunity to try local snacks and drinks, such as malinga (malt drink) or bushera (traditional kvass).

Cooking classes

For those who want to delve deeper into Ugandan cooking, many local restaurants and cooking schools offer workshops on preparing traditional dishes. This is a great opportunity to learn how to cook matoke, rolex or luvombo under the guidance of experienced chefs.

Meeting with masters of traditional Ugandan crafts

Uganda is rich in traditional crafts and arts, reflecting the unique cultural heritage and creative spirit of its people. A journey through the world of Ugandan crafts and art opens up new horizons of understanding the rich history and cultural traditions of the country.


Weaving in Uganda is an art passed down from generation to generation, especially among women. Traditional Ugandan textiles such as barktot (wood bark cloth) are a unique heritage that have survived to this day. These fabrics are used to create clothing, accessories and decorative items. A visit to the workshops where these fabrics are created offers the opportunity to learn about traditional methods of making them.


Uganda pottery is distinguished not only by its functionality, but also by its artistic value. Local craftsmen use rare clays and unique firing techniques to create dishes, jewelry and household items. A visit to pottery workshops allows you not only to observe the process of creating products, but also to try yourself in this ancient art.

Wood carving

Wood carving in Uganda is a highly respected craft through which craftsmen express their perceptions of the world, history and culture. Carvings often include figurines, masks, jewelry, and practical objects such as cutlery and furniture. Meeting woodcarvers provides an opportunity to learn about their inspiration and techniques.


Traditional Ugandan jewelry involves working with beads, metals and other natural materials to create extraordinary pieces that are both aesthetically pleasing and symbolic. Jewelry can reveal a lot about the social status, ethnicity and personal beliefs of its owner.

Modern art

Contemporary Ugandan artists and artisans are finding ways to combine traditional techniques with modern ideas and materials, creating works that reflect both the heritage and contemporary life of Uganda.

Immersion in traditions, holidays and ceremonies

Uganda, a country with rich cultural diversity, offers immersion in local festivals and traditions that are an important part of the life of its people. Participation in these events provides a deeper understanding of the cultural heritage and values ​​of the Ugandans.

Imbalu – Circumcision Ceremony

One of the most significant cultural events in Uganda is the Imbalu ceremony performed by the Bagisu people. It is a coming of age ritual in which young men are circumcised, symbolizing the transition from youth to manhood. The ceremony is accompanied by traditional music, dancing and celebrations, attracting participants and spectators from all over the country.

Buganda Royal Ceremonies

The Kingdom of Buganda, one of the oldest monarchies in Africa, has a rich tradition and holds various ceremonies and holidays. One such event is the coronation of the Kabaka (King of Buganda), where you can witness luxurious traditional dresses, rituals and ceremonial processions.

Ngabe - Cow Festival

The Ngabe or cow festival of the Ankole people is a celebration celebrating the cultural importance of livestock in their society. At this festival, the best breeds of cows are demonstrated, dances and songs dedicated to livestock are held, and fashion shows are held.

Martyr Day of Uganda

Martyr Day of Uganda is an important religious holiday when pilgrims from all over the country and beyond make a pilgrimage to the shrine of the Martyrs of Uganda in Namugongo. This day commemorates the Christian martyrs executed in the late 19th century by order of the King of Buganda. Events include prayer services and wreath laying.

Cultural Festivals

In addition to traditional celebrations, Uganda hosts many cultural festivals that reflect its diversity. Festivals such as the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts and the Kampala City Festival offer music, dance, theater and art exhibitions, showcasing the country's creativity and cultural richness.

The journey and its impact on understanding the culture and beauty of Uganda

Every aspect of travel in Uganda leaves a lasting impression and deepens your understanding of the cultural and natural diversity of this country.

Deepened cultural understanding

Through participation in local celebrations and traditions, visiting national parks and interacting with local people, travelers gain a rare opportunity to see the true heart of Uganda. This allows you to not only observe, but also feel the essence of the Ugandan spirit, its hospitality and the richness of the culture that overcomes language and cultural barriers.

Natural splendor

The natural beauty of Uganda reminds us of the need to conserve and respect the environment. Coming face to face with mountain gorillas or walking through ancient forests and along crystal clear lakes deepens awareness of the importance of natural resources and their vulnerability in the face of global environmental challenges.

Interaction and exchange

Every meeting and every exchange of experience with locals or other travelers contributes to mutual understanding and cultural enrichment. These moments of dialogue and exchange of ideas help build bridges between different cultures and peoples.

Reflection and Gratitude

Upon returning home, memories of traveling in Uganda continue to inspire and remind us of the wonderful moments spent in this amazing country. Gratitude for the hospitality of the Ugandans, the beauty of nature and the richness of cultural traditions becomes an integral part of the traveler, enriching his inner world and views.

Traveling in Uganda is a path to discovering both the outside world and the depths of your own soul , where every impression, every smile and every sunset leaves its colorful mark, reminding us of the splendor of the world in which we all live together.

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