28 mind-blowing facts about Uganda!

kampala city
Evening view of Kampala city (credits: Joel Nsadha Isababi)

Uganda is commonly referred to as the Pearl of Africa which is not far from the truth considering her natural resources combined with a very hospitable population. Here are some crazy facts about her;

  1. Caesarian sections were being performed in Uganda way before 1879 when R.W. Felkin observed his first successful operation by indigenous healers in Kahura. (reference: Notes on Labour in Central Africa” published in the Edinburgh Medical Journal, volume 20, April 1884, pages 922-930.)
  1. There are about 880 mountain gorrillas in the whole world and half of them are found in Uganda.
  1. Ranked as the world’s most entrepreneurial country with a rate of 28.1%. This means that 28.1% of Uganda’s population own or co-own a business that has paid salaries for more than 3 months but less than 42.
  1. Lakes and rivers cover 26% of Uganda which is 91,136 mi² (241,038 km²) making her the 81st largest country in the world by area. You could say Uganda and Oregon are roughly the same size.
  1. The preservation of the umbilical chord and the jawbone among the Ganda and Nyoro ethnicities is similar to the customs of the ancient Egyptian kings.
  1. Mountain Rwenzori (Margherita peak) is the 4th highest in Africa and reaches 5109m (16, 761ft). Interesting to note is it’s covered by snow throughout the year!
  1. Uganda is among the top ten coffee growers/ producers in the world as well as world’s 4th largest exporter of Robusta coffee (2015).
  1. Grasshoppers are an important and popular seasonal delicacy!

    grasshoppers
    Pan fried grasshoppers (credits: pininterest)
  1. Ranked as the world’s most ethnically diverse country (2013), in other words if you randomly picked any two people from any part of Uganda, they would be of different ethnicities.
  1. Uganda is among the top 16 holiday destinations for 2016 by CNN. Also ranked as top tourist destination for 2012 by lonely planet.
  1. Unbelievably true is the fact that Ugandans enjoy their alcohol (2013 study). Uganda ranks as number 1 in Africa and number 8 in the world.
  1. Lake Nalubaale (a.k.a Lake Victoria) found in Uganda is the source of the Nile and is the largest tropical lake in the world. The lake is also considered the second largest fresh water lake.
  1. The British christened Uganda its name, which is a Swahili word meaning land of the Ganda. (1900 Buganda agreement.)
  1. The Batwa, one of the endangered ethnicities, is believed to have lived for close to 60,000 years in the forests of southwest Uganda.
  1. Uganda is UNESCO’s sole representative of Bark cloth. It used to be common in Indonesia, Africa, Asia and the pacific. Important to note is, Uganda’s one of the countries that have preserved the custom of bark cloth making.
  1. Is home to rare earth minerals (REE- aluminous clays, yttrium, gallium & scandium) valued to be as much as 300 million tonnage. These minerals can be used in the manufacture of cars, aeroplane parts and electronics. Other deposits can be found in China and Canada.
  1. The Luzira head that was discovered at the prisons in Luzira dates back to AD 1000. It is one of the oldest Sub-saharan sculptures yet discovered in Africa. It has been part of the British Museum’s ethnographic collection since 1931.

    luzira head
    The Luzira head (credits: britishmuseum.org)
  1. Mutesa II, the first president of independent Uganda, was instrumental in funding the Mau-Mau rebellion against the British rule in Kenya.
  1. The story of the Uganda martyrs and their shrine built at Namugongo is a fascinating one. Thousands of people from East and Central Africa flock the shrine on 3rd June every year to honour the martyrs.
  1. Uganda is known as Africa’s premier birding destination. There are over 1000 bird species recorded in Uganda. It is even believed that some of the birds living in Uganda’s forests may not be classified as yet.
  1. The Kasubi tombs, in the central region, are a classic site of 13th century architecture in Africa.

    kasubi tombs
    Kasubi tombs (credits: http://www.buganda.com)
  1. There are about 150,000 chimpazees in Africa and a third of them are found in Uganda. In fact a significant number chimpazees across Africa are found in only 4 countries.
  1. The Nile perch is not indigenous to Lake Naluubale (a.k.a Lake Victoria)and was introduced into the lake  round about the 1950’s.
  1. Uganda has huge deposits of over 50 precious minerals and most of them have not even been mined or refined.
  1. Uganda is one of the few countries in Africa to design her own car, the Kiira that was unveiled in 2011. The prototype was first designed by students at Makerere University and has since then undergone a couple of improvements and modifications.

    kiira ev
    The Kiira (credits: evbud.com)
  1. Misaki Wayengera, a Ugandan, developed a 5-minute Ebola test kit. This fantastic breakthrough is expected to reduce the Ebola death rate through quicker diagnosis.
  2. Uganda is the second youngest country in the world with about 70% of the population below the age of 25.
  3. Bazilio Olara Okello was Uganda’s president (de facto head of state) for two days from 27th July to 29th July 1985.
Flag 3d map of Uganda, physical outside.
Flag 3d map of Uganda, physical outside. (credits: maphill)
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78 thoughts on “28 mind-blowing facts about Uganda!

  1. Thanks for sharing. De facto head of state is what he was to quote:

    “General Olara-Okello led a coup d’état which overthrew the President Obote and his government. In 1985 Olara-Okello was given the presidency. In the event of a vacancy the Vice President served as Acting President.”

    About the luzira head, you can check out Britishmuseum.org, university college of London, journals.cambridge. Com…. There are other sources you can discover too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Proudly Uganda, thanks for the information though you forgot the beautiful virunga volcanoes , source of the world’s longest river

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  4. Has Uganda done anything to retrieve any historical artifacts taken my the British like the Luzira head. These are historical treasures that should be brought back to our country.

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    1. Hey… I might not be in the best position to answer that question, but I do hope my passion to share the knowledge that I have will inspire someone to take up the mantle and go after some of these artefacts.

      You can follow this link to read some more… http://www.elginism.com/similar-cases/where-are-ugandas-artefacts/20041020/66/

      http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=593988&partId=1%20&searchText=buganda&page=1

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  5. Wow, I am ashamed to say didnt know this much about my country. With all these natural resources all that Uganda needs is strong and proper leadership to propel it to achieve and grow to its full potential.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for the 28 informative points on Uganda
    The term ‘Pearl of Africa’ reminded me of a genealogy journey I took five years back.

    Uganda or Buganda (do you note how “BU” is a tongue-tier among some caucasians?) was referred to as simply the ‘Pearl’ by long distance/caravan traders. The name ‘Pearl of Africa’ was popularised through story and writings by Henry Morton Stanley, Hannington Speke, the Arabs, Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway. Use of that name was also a strategy to attract tourists as well convince British Parliament to release more funds for what was otherwise a ‘lunatic line’ or white elephant project-Uganda Railway!

    The tourists were never disappointed, the Pearl was what it was billed to be in the tabloids. Uganda stood to gain a shipping line, hotels, ports and a railway line that reached as far as Kasese then. We are talking 1906-1930.
    Thanks

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  7. Well this is really appreciated info,i was born in uganda,and had to leave my motherland,as my mother was born in mitayana,i love my motherland and i still vist ever so often,we left in 1972 ,Idi Amin time,but this info is great to share with a lot of people,thank u indid, god bless u,

    Like

  8. Inspired by your commitment to inform and educate on a subject dear to many of us. I am however distressed by the surprise in many of your readers that these facts are mostly revelations. Brings me to wonder where the OBVIOUS missing link is…. Could it be an education system gone to the dogs?
    I say that because I assume many of your followers are fellow countrymen.
    Otherwise thank God for people like you.

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    1. Thank you for appreciating and for taking time to read. The truth is that there is an obvious imbalance in the education system… There isn’t enough celebration or focus on Uganda or even Africa.
      I’m trying my best to create as much awareness of Uganda and Africa in the eyes of an African.
      *I once walked through a bookshop in Ugandan and many of the colorful well printed books about Kampala/Uganda were by non-ugandans*

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on Spinster's Compass and commented:
    I volunteered in Uganda a while ago for 6 weeks. It’s one of my favorite countries, and I’m well overdue for a trip back there. If you’ve never been there before, consider adding it to your travel (and/or bucket) list.

    Like

  10. In your 23rd fact you said “The Nile perch is not indigenous to Uganda and was introduced into Lake Naluubale (a.k.a Lake Victoria) round about the 1950’s.” In fact it is indigenous according to fossils found on islands. The lake dried out more than once in its history which is probably why it did not survive as other species did. It thrived in Lake Albert and the Nile of course. The Murchison Falls barrier prevented it’s eastward movement and so the Uganda fisheries department stocked Nile Perch in the Nile above the falls in order to improve the Lake Kyoga fishery. Thence it travelled south-east up the Nile to the Owen Falls Dam and thence into Lake Victoria when the turbines were stopped for maintenance it’ is believed SABC TV showed a documentary which remarked “some nitwit stocked Lake Victoria”! Not so! The introduction was a scientific accident as I am sure the fisheries officials at the time would confirm. They were Don Rhodes, Alec Anderson and John Stonemen to name three. Interesting?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for this fun article! I had no idea Uganda has its own designed vehicle, a Kiira! Uganda is a gift to us all! There is so much to explore! We are isla-serve.org We recriuit Interns to work in Uganda in Kasese and Rukungiri.

    Like

  12. Great for my country Uganda however what happened to the Kiira car invention ?

    secondary I have read we have material out of which car and plane building materials can be obtained. What has government done to have these exploited to the benefits of countrymen?

    Liked by 1 person

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