Uganda cultural safaris
Uganda cultural safaris – Uganda is a jewel of Africa’s tourism which is why it is referred to as the pearl of Africa, Uganda is famous for nature and wildlife but it is also a great safari destination for cultural tours. Uganda has fascinating cultural heritage which is not yet discovered by many, Uganda is a home to diverse tribal groups counted to be about 56 by 2005.
These tribal groups have fascinating cultures, norms, traditions including dressing code, music, dance and drama, customary marriage systems, foods, history and many more. Uganda comprises of many kingdoms/monarchies with 5 of them which are more prominent and these include Buganda, Bunyoro, Busonga, Tooro and Ankole which are a centre of Uganda’s cultures, norms and traditions, there are many numerous cultural centers such as national theatre, Uganda museum and galleries portraying the diversity culture of Uganda
Uganda cultural safaris are an opportunity to learn, observe and be entertained by various unique cultural practices, norms and traditions. Some of the highlights to encounter on Uganda cultural safaris include
- The Baganda
The Baganda people and the Buganda kingdom are one of the prominent tribes in Uganda and a must visit tribal community on Uganda cultural safari, Buganda kingdom and its people are very instrumental people in the history, colonization and development of Uganda and according to the history King Mutesa 1 was visited by explorers namely John Hanning Speke, James Augustus Grant and Henry Morton Stanely and as a result of this visit he invited the church missionary church to Buganda.
The Buganda people are found in the central region of Uganda stretching to the shores of Lake Victoria, the Buganda people have incredible cultural activities, traditions and norms
The history, traditions and customs of Buganda is learnt by visiting numerous cultural Buganda sites such as Royal Kasubi tombs, Mengo Kabaka’s place, Wamala tombs, Naggalabi among others.
- Royal Kasubi tombs
Royal Kasubi tombs are one of the 3 UNESCO Heritage Sites in Uganda recognized one of the world’s heritage sites in the world, the tombs were built in an African architecture and it is a burial site for the kings of Buganda. Royal Kasubi tombs are situated in Kasubi a few meters from Kampala the capital city of Uganda.
- Mengo Kabaka’s palace
Mengo Kabaka’s Palace is a sacred site to the Buganda kingdom and its people, the palace is situated in Mengo one of the hills making up Kampala city. Mengo Kabaka’s palace was the grounds for the power struggle between Mutesa II and Militon Obote for power in 1966 which led to the exil of Mutesa II the then king of Buganda and president of the republic of Uganda.
Naggalabi is a coronation ground for the kings of Buganda situated in Buddo.
- Ndere troupe centre
Ndere troupe centre is situated a few meters from the city centre and in this centre African music, dance and drama performances are organized every evening on the weekend.
Uganda cultural tour in Buganda kingdom offers an opportunity to be entertained by traditional dances and songs, taste traditional foods such as luwombo and be impressed by the cultural clothing attires.
The batwa people are hunter-gatherers and forest dwellers depending on the forests for life, these pygmy people are the early inhabitants of the forests of Bwindi. During the gazetting of Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park , these pygmy people were evicted from the forests and they settled in the areas/communities around the forests of Bwindi impenetrable and Mgahinga national park.
Cultural activities, norms and traditions of the batwa pygmy people is experienced on what is referred to as the batwa trail experience offered in both Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park . on the Batwa trail experience you will experience various ways how the batwa people survive in the forests such as
- Demonstration of excellent hunting skills
- Building of houses using local materials such as grass, wood and fibers
- Picking of fruits and roots for food
- Visiting the local herbalists and collecting of herbal
- Be entertained by local songs and drama among others
The Karamojong people are nomadic pastoralists depending on rearing livestock as a way of life, these people are found in the remote north eastern region of Uganda and they are perfectly visited while on a Uganda safari in Kidepo valley national park. The Karamojong’s culture and lifestyle is similar to the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania and they possess the unique culture, norms and traditions witnessed on earth which are not yet destroyed by modernity and technology.
The Karamojong’s nomadic lifestyle involves moving from one place to another looking for green pastures and water to feed their livestock, these people live in communities made of circular houses “the Bomas” built using local materials such as mud, wood, stones and they are grass thatched.
Some of the unique cultural aspects of the Karamojong you witness as you visit them on Uganda cultural safaris include
- milking of the cows and other livestock
- collecting of blood from live cows which is feed on by the karamojong as food
- grazing of the livestock in the fields
- traditional dances and songs
- interacting in the elders
- witness making of unique and beautiful handmade crafts among others
The Gishu people are very entertaining local people to visit on a Uganda cultural safaris, the Gishu people are found in the eastern Uganda on the slopes of Mountain Elgon. These people are famed for theory circumcision ceremonies which occur biannually during leap years, this ritual is locally termed as “embalu” and it is a very superstitious ceremony to the Gishu people.
The circumcision ceremony is a way of initiating a boy to manhood, it is believed in the bagishu culture that once a boy is circumcised he becomes a true migisu and a mature person. The whole ceremony is very entertaining as it involves dancing, singing and reciting of praises to the Gishu gods.
The Sabin people are also found in the Eastern Uganda on the slopes of mountain Elgon, the largest caldera in the world, visiting the Sabin people is combined with your safari to the Sipi falls. The sabin people are famed for the circumcision of females in what is referred to Female mutilation, though this practice was banned by the government of Uganda you can still visit the sabin community and learn more about their history and cultural way of life.
Visiting fort portal
Fort portal is another fascinating region in Uganda to visit for Uganda cultural safaris and tours, Fort Portal is inhabited by the batoro people and comprises many amazing culture centres where you get to experience the life of the batoro and banyoro people. These centres include
- the royal palace of toro
- ancient Nakayima tree which connected to the Chwezi people the demigods
- Karambi tombs
- Amaabere ga Nyinamwiru among others .
Apart from the above mentioned communities and regions, there are endless cultural centers and communities you can possibly visit to enjoy Uganda cultural tours