Uganda ethical travel‘The pearl of Africa’. Ugandans are proud of this description, reputedly first coined by the young Winston Churchill. Straddling the Equator and flanked by Mount Elgon in the west and the Ruwenzori Mountain range in the east, landlocked Uganda is, with the exception of the arid north, one of the most fertile places in Africa. In the south of the country the four kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro, Ankole and Toro have strong surviving political structures; but there are many other ethnic groups and languages.

The common language is English; but Luganda is widely spoken. Some people speak Swahili, although the Baganda people especially prefer not to. A small country by the continent’s standards, Uganda contains great natural diversity: unique plant life on the fabled Mountains of the Moon; big game in the Queen Elizabeth National Park; and mountain gorillas and chimpanzees in the impenetrable forests of Bwindi and Kibale.

Its history has been turbulent: the atrocities of Idi Amin and Milton Obote during the 1970s and 1980s are well known. Many of the 35,000 Ugandan Asians who were expelled by Amin have since regained their property; but they are less visible than they used to be. Uganda has enjoyed stability and growing prosperity since Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1986; but political tensions have increased as Museveni has tried to hang on to power. The long running war in the north against the Lord’s Resistance Army, led by the notorious Joseph Kony, has cost many lives, a great deal of money and traumatized numbers of abducted children.

Uganda has been ravaged by Aids, which has left close to 1 million children orphaned. However, it faced the problem openly and was the first country to seriously reverse the advance of the pandemic. Uganda has a lot to offer the visitor and caters for all pockets, and you will not forget local people’s hospitality and generosity.