Our reputation as Africa’s friendliest springs from the warm reception to strangers in the East African country. According to international research, Uganda tops the list as the friendliest destination for expat families. The Pearl of Africa is home to many tribes and languages, conjectured as the highest in the world, and each tribe has its own musical history.

–Edonga dance Karamoja

Songs are passed down from generation to generation. At gatherings the people often sing and dance. Whether the people are in a somber or jovial mood, there is always a need a need for music.

Entogoli (lyres), Ndingidi, Amadinda (Xylophone), Ngoma (drum), Lukeme (thumb piano), Engalabi (Long drum) are the commonly played instruments. The cultural dances are something else altogether. In Uganda, rhythm is the key and there is no doubt Ugandans are gifted at that!

Pay the Gishu a visit in the Eastern end of Uganda and express admiration for the circumcision dance known as Kadodi which is a blend of very sophiscated drum-work, and heavy continual gyration of all parts of the body from head, shoulder, knees and toes.

In his book My African Journey (1908), Sir Winston Churchill one of the greatest statesmen of the 20th century wrote “The Kingdom of Uganda is a fairy tale. The scenery is different, the climate is different and most of all, the people are different from anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole range of Africa…what message I bring back…concentrate upon Uganda.”

Uganda is an incredibly breathtaking host of treasured people comprising of a range of ethnic groups. The Bantu speaking people dominate most of the East, Central and Southern Uganda. In the Greater North live the Luo and Langi, to the Northeast are the Itesot and Karimojong who speak a Nilotc language. A few pygmies known as the Batwa live isolated in the rain forests of Western Uganda. Luganda is the commonest language; Swahili is trade language in the East African region and English the official language.

Uganda cuisine comprises of traditional cooking. It varies in complexity, from the most basic starchy filler with a sauce of beans or meat to several courses meals served in upper-class homes and high-end restaurants. Main dishes are usually centred on a sauce or stew of ground nuts, beans and meat.

The starch traditionally comes from Ugaali (maize meal) or matooke (boiled or mashed green banana). Cassava, yam, rice, Irish and African sweet potato are also eaten. Chicken, fresh fish, beef , chevon (goats meat) are eaten . In rural areas, there would have to be a particularly good reason for slaughtering a large animal such as goat or cow so that Nyama (local word for meat) can be eaten everyday! Various leafy greens are grown in Uganda.

These may be boiled in stews, or served as side dishes in fancier homes. Amaranthus (Doodo), Nakati, Buuga and Bor are examples of regional greens. Ugaali (‘another must eat’) is cooked into a thick porridge for breakfast. For main meals, white flour is added to the saucepans and stirred into Ugaali until the consistency is firm. It is then turned out onto a serving plate and cut into individual pieces.

On your safari, you will sight men and women in uniform selling Muchomo, which is wooden meat skewers. Do not hesitate to ask for a Rolex! It is not the luxury Swiss watch, but combination of a chapati, onions, peppers and egg, and very tasty! This delicacy is sold on Ugandan streets. You can alternatively order for “Titanic” which is   two or more chapatis used together in rolling the portion or “Kikomando” a composition of sliced chapati mixed with beans.

When the plane lands at Entebbe Airport, just hop out the emergency exit and breathe some fresh air. Uganda enjoys the nice tropical climate and can be visited at any time of the year.

Temperatures averaging about 26°C during the day and 16°C at night. The hottest months are from December to February. The gifted landlocked destination has a climate heavily shaped by its own topography and that of surrounding regions.

High mountains like Ruwenzori and Elgon along some of its margins, an elevated plateau and plentiful lakes — including Victoria, second biggest in the world and biggest in Africa — all exert a real influence. Travelers here can go from steamy lowland of truly tropical feel to the snowpack of lofty crags.

The Night is fun…fun….and more fun! Friends catching up with each other, visiting the hang out places. These include restaurants, coffee houses, night clubs, bars, and Movie Cinemas. Nobody can blame for Ugandans for being high spirited and true to themselves, and after all, there is hardly a country that is not represented very effectively when it comes to drinking.

Ask for Uganda’s Nile Special brewed from the source of the Nile or a bottle of Uganda Waragi, a local gin whose recipe was passed down from generation to generation. Waragi is a collective name for domestic distilled spirits in Uganda.

We can go on and on. The people are wonderful; the food is palatable, nutritious too. The weather is out of this world and our women is a story for another day.