Facts about Uganda | Facts on Uganda | Uganda Facts
Facts about Uganda or Uganda facts:-Interested in facts and figures about Uganda? you want to know, where is Uganda located? which part of Africa is Uganda? what Uganda is famous for? is it safe in Uganda right now? is Uganda a city or country? how poor is Uganda? what do they eat in Uganda? what is Uganda best known for? what makes Uganda unique? is Uganda rich or poor? what type of nation is Uganda? where is Uganda on the world map? this information was put together for you.
While planning for a safari to Uganda, many travelers want to know more and understand this country before they land in it. This small East African nation (Uganda) is full of fascinating facts and surprises that will wow even the most knowledgeable traveler. If you want to take your knowledge about Uganda to the next level, below are several useful facts about Uganda.
Google Map Showing The Location of Uganda | Where is Uganda located in Africa?
Location of Uganda: Several people, who wish to travel to Uganda commonly, ask themselves: – Where is Uganda in Africa on a map? Where is Uganda on the map of Africa?
Uganda is located in East Africa, about 800 kilometers inland from the Indian Ocean. Deemed ‘The Pearl of Africa’, this beautiful landlocked country is situated in the heart of Africa’s Great Lakes region, and is surrounded by three of them; Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, and Lake Edward.
The country is mainly a plateau with a rim of mountains, situated mostly between latitudes 4°N and 2°S (a small area is north of 4°), and longitudes 29° and 35°E.
|Official name:||Republic of Uganda|
| 85% of Uganda lies between 900 and 1,100m above sea level.|
Lowest point: 612m in Lake Albert Nile basin. Highest point: 5,109m, Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley (Rwenzori mountains)
|2 sets of black, yellow, & red horizontal stripes, with a white circle around a national bird, the Grey Crowned Crane.|
|For God and My Country|
|National Anthem:||Oh Uganda, Land of Beauty|
|Capital and largest city:||Kampala|
|Other cities:||Entebbe, Fort Portal, Mbarara, Jinja, Mbale, & Masaka|
|International Airport: |
|Entebbe International Airport (EBB)|
|Official languages:||English & Swahili|
|Local tribes & Languages |
| Over 56 tribes & 41 local languages|
|Religion (2014 census):|| 84.4% Christianity|
13.1% other Protestant&
|Government:||Unitary dominant-party presidential republic|
President: Yoweri Museveni
Vice-President: Edward Ssekandi
Prime Minister: Ruhakana Rugunda
|From the United Kingdom, 9 October 1962|
|8 October 1995|
| Total: 241,038 km² (93,065 square miles)|
Water: (%) 15.39
|Population|| 2020 estimate: 45.7 million|
2014 census: 34 million
Density: 157.1/ km² (406.9/square miles)
|GDP, PPP-2019 estimate|
| Total: US$ 103 billion|
Per capita: US$ 2,566 Million
|GDP, nominal- 2019 estimate|
| Total: US$ 30.765 billion|
Per capita: US$ 769 million
|Mineral resources: |
|Oil, Copper, Cobalt, Limestone, and Gold|
|Major exports:||Coffee, Tea, Fish, Tobacco, & Tourism|
|Currency:|| Ugandan shilling (sign: USh; Code UGX)|
|ISO 3166 code:|
Uganda shares borders with five other African countries. The countries that border Uganda include;
- Rwanda in the southwest
- Tanzania to the south
- Kenya to the east
- South Sudan to the north
- The Democratic Republic of Congo to the west
Uganda is the world’s 79th largest country. Uganda covers a total surface area of 241,551 square kilometres/93,263 square miles. About 41,028 square kilometer /15841 square miles of Uganda’s surface area is covered by water and swamps
About 200523 square kilometers/ 77422 square miles of Uganda’s surface area are covered by land. Uganda is almost the size of Great Britain or the US state of Oregon in comparison.
Uganda is officially known as the Republic of Uganda, but commonly known as ‘The Pearl of Africa’. The country of Uganda takes its name from the Buganda Kingdom which covers a substantial part of the south of the country, including the capital, Kampala.
Uganda was a British protectorate and it was named Uganda by the British colonialists. The Uganda British protectorate came to be known by this name because the British had their initial contact with Buganda through Swahili-speaking guides and translators.
The Swahili prefix ‘u’ is the equivalent of the Luganda prefix ‘bu’. So the Swahili speakers may have referred to the Buganda Kingdom as Uganda. A person from Uganda or a citizen of Uganda is called Ugandan.
Flag of Uganda
The Uganda flag known in Luganda local language as Bendera ya Uganda comprises six horizontal bands of black (top), yellow, red, black, yellow, and red (bottom). There is a white central circle around Uganda’s National Bird, the Grey-crowned crane.
- The black bands on the Uganda National Flag signify the Native ethnic groups of Africa
- The yellow bands represent Africa’s sunshine and
- The red bands stand for the African brotherhood (red being the color of blood, through which all Africans are connected).
- The grey crowned crane is famed for its gentle nature and was also the military badge of Ugandan soldiers during British rule.
- The raised leg of the crowned crane symbolizes the forward movement of Uganda.
Kampala is the capital city of Uganda. This largest city of Uganda (covering about 200 km²) is the economic and social hub of the country.
It is located on 22 hills in Central Uganda on the shores of Lake Victoria (the world’s largest tropical freshwater lake).
Kampala lies about 40 km north of Entebbe International Airport. It has a population of about 1.51 million people and it is considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.
Kampala features several entertainment centers, lively nightlife, excellent luxury shopping, international standard hotels, and some fantastic restaurants. Even if you are here on business you will probably be based in Kampala.
History of Kampala: Originally, Kampala applied only to the present-day Old Kampala hill, on whose summit Fort Lugard, the initial headquarters of the British colonialists was established in 1890.
The hill was a hunting ground of the Kabaka (King) of Buganda prior to the British construction and occupation of Fort Lugard.
The hill was home to many antelope species, in particular the Impalas. Consequently, when the then Kabaka of Buganda allocated this hill to British colonial forces, they referred to it as “The Hill of the Impalas” The Baganda, on the territory on which this British settlement was located, then translated “Hill of the Impala” as “Akasozi ke’Empala”.
It was later simplified to K’empala and eventually Kampala. “Kasozi” means “hill”, “ke” “of”, and “empala” the plural of “impala”.
Thus the name “Kampala” came to refer to this initial British colonial settlement which later spread out from the occupied Old Kampala hill near the pre-existing Kibuga (capital) of the Buganda Kingdom.
English and Swahili are the two official languages of Uganda, despite the country having about 41 spoken local languages.
- English: After Uganda was proclaimed a British protectorate in 1894, English was commonly used in the government, education, and the media. Since Uganda gained its independence in 1962, English remained the official language and became synonymous with higher social status. Though English dominates several levels of Ugandan society today, tribal languages are mostly used in primary schools.
- Swahili/Kiswahili: During the rule of Dictator Idi Amin Dada (1971-1979), Kiswahili was declared Uganda’s National Language. Its official use was later replaced with English again at the end of his regime. In 2005, Swahili was chosen as another official language in Uganda to facilitate regional integration. However, Ugandans’ command of Swahili falls substantially below that of Tanzania, Kenya, and the even the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Today, you can see Swahili on Ugandan shilling notes.
The current Uganda population is estimated at around 45 million people. Its annual growth rate is about 4%, one of the world’s highest. Besides Ethiopia, Uganda is world’s most populous landlocked country.
The last 2014 census showed that;
- Uganda has a population of about 35 million people,
- Uganda has a population density of 157.1/ km² (406.9/Square miles),
- The percentage of females in the population was 51%,
- The percentage of Male in the population was 49%,
- The population of Kampala city was 1.51 million,
- Life Expectancy at birth was 64.2 years for females and for males was 62.2 years.
- The populous ethnic group was the Bantu speaking Baganda, which accounted for 16.5% of the population.
- Other numerically significant ethnic groups included;
- Banyankole: 9.8%
- Basoga: 8.8%
- Bakiga: 7.1%
- Iteso: 7%
- Langi: 6.3%
- Bagisu: 4.9%
- Acholi: 4.4%
- Lugbara: 3.3%
- Other: 32.1%
- Religion plays a great role in the daily life of Ugandans with only 0.2% claiming to have no religious affiliation (atheist).
- Freedom of religion is a constitutional right, although the activities of certain groups classified as cults are restricted.
- Christianity is the most widely professed religion in Uganda with about 85% of the people being Christians.
- The Roman Catholic Church has the largest number of followers in Uganda; about 42%.
- While the Church of Uganda (an offshoot of the Church of England) accounts for about 36% and 7% are Jehovah’s Witnesses or belong to a Pentecostal church.
- Partly as a legacy of the Arab trader with Buganda in the 19th Century, about 12% of Ugandans are Muslim.
- In many rural areas of Uganda, these non-indigenous faiths have not entirely displaced traditional beliefs.
- So, an estimated 25% of the Christian and Muslim population might still partake in traditional religious practices such as making a sacrifice to clan ancestors and other spirits.
- Other minority religion includes Hindu, Baháʼí, and a unique variant of Judaism practiced by Abayudaya of Mbale in Eastern Uganda.
- The main center of animism is the northeast where the Karamajongs herdsmen largely shun any outside faith in favor of their traditional belief. To them, Akuj is still the god of their faith.
- The free-market economy of Uganda has experienced a steady growth rate of about 5% over the last 30 years.
- Uganda’s continuous economic growth is largely due to the atmosphere of political stability fostered by the National Resistance Movement and economic reforms implemented by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in the early years of his rule.
- As a result, the national GDP (nominal) has soared from USD 7 billion in 1986 to around USD 30 billion today, and it is likely to remain one of the world’s fastest-growing economies in the coming decades.
- An important catalyst for this growth has been the expansion of the service and industrial sectors since Yoweri Museveni took power in 1986.
- Since then, Uganda’s agricultural sector accounted for about 60% of the national GDP and over 90% of people in Uganda were subsistence farmers or employed in agricultural-related fields.
- However today, the industrial sector and service sectors contribute about 27% and 50% of the GDP, while the Agricultural sector’s input has dropped to 23%, though still, it employs about 80% of the workforce of around17 a million.
- Fertile soils and high rainfalls have ensured that Uganda has been self-sufficient in terms of food since independence (1962).
- In fact, Uganda has about 49% of all arable land in East Africa. Thus the country has a great potential to be the food basket of the region.
- The major export crops are coffee, tea, cut flowers, tobacco, and cotton. Uganda is the leading coffee exporter in Africa.
- Notable industries include sugar refinement, textile, cement, and steel production.
- Tourism is another major driver of employment, investment, and foreign exchange in Uganda. The sector accounted for 7.3% of GDP, foreign exchange earnings worth USD1.45 billion, and more than 600,000 jobs in 2017.
- Uganda’s tourism destinations include 10 national parks, 12 game reserves, various geographical features, several cultural and historical sites, and numerous natural tropical forests.
- Tourist attractions in Uganda include mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, birds, Big Five gems, the source of the Nile River, Lake Victoria, Rwenzori mountains, weather, and many others
- In 2012, the World Bank listed Uganda on the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries list.
- Economic growth has not always led to poverty reduction.
- It is also estimated that about 50% of Uganda’s population survives on less than one dollar a day.
- While about 700,000 young people reach working age every year in Uganda, only 75,000 jobs are created each year.
- Poverty remains deep-rooted in the country’s rural areas, which are home to about 84% of people in Uganda.
- Ugandans in rural areas of Uganda mainly depend on farming as the main source of income and 90% of all rural women work in the agricultural sector.
- In addition to agricultural work, rural women are responsible for the caretaking of their families.
- The average Ugandan woman spends 9 hours a day on domestic tasks, such as preparing food and clothing, fetching water and firewood, and caring for the elderly, the sick as well as orphans.
- As such, women on average work longer hours than men, between 12 and 18 hours per day, with a mean of 15 hours, as compared to men, who work between 8 and 10 hours a day.
- To supplement their income, rural women may engage in small-scale entrepreneurial activities such as rearing and selling local breeds of animals.
- Nonetheless, because of their heavy workload, they have little time for these income-generating activities.
- COVID19 has worsened the effects of poverty in Uganda and World Bank estimates show that up to three million people could fall into poverty, particularly in urban areas.
Uganda’s currency structure consists of banknotes and coins. The Uganda shilling is the official currency for Uganda (sign: USh; Code UGX). It cannot be purchased outside the country.
It is a free-floating currency. US dollars are the most useful hard currency, especially in small towns, though euros and pounds sterling are also widely accepted. You can exchange your foreign currency for the local currency at the Entebbe International Airport or in Kampala through their foreign exchange bureaus. Read More
Who is the president of Uganda? Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is the current president of the Republic of Uganda. The president of Uganda acts as both the Head of Government and the Head of State. The President leads the Executive Branch of the Government of Uganda and is the commander-in-chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF).
President Museveni of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) the current ruling party came to power on 29 January 1986 after a protracted 6-year guerrilla war. He ended the 15-year era of despotic rule and civil war initiated by a coup led by Idi Amin in 1971.
Museveni is the country’s longest-serving leader, having won his fifth presidential election in 2016. The post of prime minister, abolished in Uganda in 1966 under Milton Obote, and reinstated in 1980, has been held by 6 NRM members since 1986.
The incumbent since 2014 is Ruhakana Rugunda, a Museveni loyalist who has held several cabinet posts since 1986, as well as served as permanent representative to the United Nations from 2009 to 2011.
The current cabinet is comprised of another 30 cabinet ministers and 49 ministers of states and is dominated by NRM members.
- Parliament of Uganda
- The Uganda parliament is the Legislative Branch of the Government. The Uganda parliament currently consists of 426 elected members of whom 293 belong to the NRM and 36 to the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), the biggest opposition party. The Speaker is the political head of the institution of Parliament.
- The Uganda parliament was established in 1962 after the country got its independence from Britain. The Parliamentary Building is located in the administrative center of Kampala City. The foundation stone for the Parliamentary Building was laid on December 18th, 1956, by the then Governor of Uganda Sir Andrew Cohen.
- Construction of the main building commenced in 1958. On October 5th, 1962 the then Prime Minister Apollo Milton Obote laid the foundation stone for the independence Arch, at the entrance to the Parliamentary Building.
- Democracy in Uganda
- Uganda is a democratic country and it has held elections every 5 years since 1996. However, the ‘no party’ system once espoused by the NRM, ostensibly to reduce sectarian violence, put a curb on the multi-party activity until 2005, when a ban was canceled by a constitutional referendum.
- Uganda Judiciary
- The Judicial Branch of Government is independent of the executive and legislative branches. Uganda High Court is the third-highest judicial organ in Uganda, behind the Supreme Court of Uganda and the Court of Appeal of Uganda. The Lord Chief Justice deputized by a Lord Deputy Chief Justice heads the Judiciary.
- Judges for the High Court are appointed by the president; Judges for the Court of Appeal are appointed by the president and approved by the legislature.
Uganda Standard Time is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3) or Universal Time Coordinated (UTC +3). Uganda is in East Africa Time Zone (EAT). Information about the time zone of Uganda/ time zone in Uganda can help you plan your arrival and departure flights. Uganda does have Daylight-Saving Time because sunrise and sunset times do not vary enough to justify it.
Yes. Uganda is one of the 11 countries in the world where the Equator, an imaginary line that divides the earth into two halves (the Northern and the southern hemispheres) passes. Uganda is located at 0°0′N 29°43′E.
The Uganda Equator Line crosses into Uganda at a point (Kayabwe town) situated 75km south of Kampala along the Kampala – Masaka road in Central Uganda.
Many travelers visiting various national parks in western Uganda have a stopover at the equator when heading towards or returning from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park.
Having a foot on each side of the Earth is perhaps one of the best selfie opportunities you will ever get while on your safari in Uganda. It is indeed a great experience to be on different sides of the earth at the same time.
If you stand with legs on different sides will feel lighter but it does not mean you have lost weight. This is because at the equator the gravitational force of the Earth is significantly less than at the poles.
- Situated along Lake Victoria, Uganda is also crossed by several rivers and many other lakes. Uganda is also straddling the equator and this creates a very unique warm tropical climate which adds just another great reason among many for you to visit.
- It is a place where you can enjoy summer like weather mixed with rain year round. Due to its warm tropical climate, Uganda barely ever gets cold except for the south western part of Uganda and the highland areas of Kapchorwa in Eastern Uganda. Read More
Uganda has several mountains that offer, wildlife safaris in Uganda and Uganda mountain climbing safari opportunities to travelers on adventure safaris in Uganda.
Other major mountains in Uganda include;
Uganda is situated with the great lakes region of Africa. The landscape of Uganda is dotted with about 165 lakes including freshwater lakes, crater lakes and others. Below are some of the major lakes of Uganda:
- Lake Victoria in Central Uganda
- Lake Kyoga in Central Uganda
- Lake Edward in Western Uganda
- Lake George in Western Uganda
Are you looking for African safari animals in Uganda? Uganda offers some of the best animal encounters in the world. Animals of Uganda include; over 342 mammal species, 1076 bird species (51% of all birds in Africa), 142 reptile species, 86 amphibian species, 501 fish species, and 1,242 species of butterflies.
Mammals in Uganda: Uganda’s official mammal checklist consists of 342 Uganda mammal species including 132 and 210 species of small mammals. Read More
How many national parks are in Uganda? Uganda has 10 national parks. National Parks in Uganda are located in different regions of the country. The country offers a wonderful mix of savannah, forests, and mountain parks. In terms of size;
- Murchison Falls National Park with 3,840 km² is the largest National Park in Uganda
- Lake Mburo National Park with 370 km² is the smallest savannah game park in Uganda.
There are 12 gazetted wildlife game reserves in Uganda and most of them adjoin the National Parks. Below is a list of game reserves in Uganda;
- Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
- Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
- Katonga Wildlife Reserve
- Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
Uganda is also endowed with about 506 forest reserves. Below is a list of the most popular forest reserves in Uganda;
- Budongo Forest Reserve
- Kaniyo Pabidi forest reserve
- Kalinzu Forest Reserve
- Mabira Forest Reserve
- Mpanga Forest Reserve
- Bugoma Forest Reserve
About 1075 species of Uganda birds have been recorded in Uganda; more than 58% of all species of birds in Africa. Uganda is one of the best Uganda birdwatching sites/spots/destinations not just in Africa, but in the world.
The country’s incredible diversity of birds in Uganda is attributed to its location between the East African savannah, West African rainforests, and semi-desert of the north.
- Uganda’s early history comprises the history of Uganda before the area which is now Uganda was turned into a British protectorate at the end of the 19th century.
- The Batwa pygmies were hunter-gatherer people and original inhabitants of Uganda.
- They lived in the forests around the Virunga Mountains and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the home of Moutain gorillas in southwestern Uganda for thousands of years.
While planning their safaris to Uganda, people asked several questions Uganda culture, for example, what is the culture of Uganda? How many cultures are there in Uganda? What are the traditions in Uganda? Below are the facts about Uganda culture safaris; Read More
Ugandan food is one of those jewels that deepen your appreciation of this beautiful little country.
The food in Uganda tastes different. While the same food can be found elsewhere, it won’t always taste as sumptuous as it does in Uganda. This is all due to the great weather conditions and fertile soils of Uganda that make the country tick.
Beverages and drinks in Uganda include Tea (chai) and coffee (kawa); sodas such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Fanta; Western beers and wines; locally fermented beers and wines such as tonto; imported and locally made spirits. Below are some of the popular traditional drinks in Uganda:
- Tea (Chai)
Chai or tea is one of the favorite Uganda drinks commonly served in the mornings and evenings. Because people in Uganda love their tea, they take it in two forms; with and without milk.
Tea with milk is called “African tea.” and tea without milk is known as “black tea” or “chai mukalu” in Luganda.
So when you’re offered African tea in a restaurant, and you agree only to find yourself staring down at milky tea, don’t worry. Your order was not lost in the kitchen as the waiter made his rounds. You were served just as you ordered.
Chai can also be spiced with ginger and lemongrass. And, like African tea, its best served very hot with “accompaniments” like chapatti.
- Coffee (Kawa)
Coffee is the biggest export of Uganda. Uganda coffee is subdivided into Arabica Coffee which contributes about 20% of the annual national coffee produce and Robusta Coffee which contributes about 80% of the Coffee produced in the country annually.
Though Uganda is the biggest coffee exporter in Africa, Ugandans are not big coffee drinkers only consuming about 4% of all the coffee they produce. This is because they are busy drinking tea!
But anyone can agree that Uganda has the most delicious coffee. Don’t miss trying out the Arabica coffee from the mountain regions of Elgon and Kigezi.
What is porridge? Uganda white porridge is mainly prepared for breakfast in Uganda. It is made by mixing maize flour/corn flour with cold water, then added to boiling water and mingled to thin-thick perfection. It’s hot, and it’s better taken in slurps of sensation.
Taken slowly, it helps quieten a riotous appetite with healthy amounts of sugar added. You may also add some milk to the porridge.
You could call it light brown porridge because of the way it looks but it is distinctly different from porridge. Uganda bushera is a beverage made from sorghum flour, fermented sorghum or millet grains, and water.
Bushera is traditionally produced and consumed in western Uganda, where sorghum and millet, cereal grains, are majorly cultivated.
But in recent years, Bushera has become more popular among Kampala residents, who claim that it is healthy because of its natural ingredients and low sugar content, as well as a rich source of energy.
Bushera is a perfect choice for breakfast and is very easy to digest. To make it, mix hot water with sorghum or millet flour which is a source of vitamins, iron, zinc, and protein.
- Fresh Fruit Juice
If you enjoy Freshly Pressed Juice, then you’ve come to the right country, Uganda. You are often welcomed with a refreshing juice as you arrive at a lodge. You will also find it on the Table for Breakfast.
Orange juice, Watermelon juice, Passion fruit, Banana juice, Lemon juice, Mango juice, or mixed fruit juices or whatever Ugandan fruit may be in season.
Frankly, juice in Uganda is as prevalent as the weather in the way it reigns as a digestif in every meal.
Tonto is a traditional Ugandan fermented beverage made from bananas. It is also referred to as mwenge bigere. Mwenge means alcohol and bigere feet.
It is traditionally made by ripening green bananas in a pit for several days. The juice is then extracted in a pit using feet, filtered, and diluted before being mixed with grinded and roasted sorghum.
This mixture is fermented for two to four days. Tonto has an alcohol content ranging from six to eleven percent by volume.
Also known as Enguli, Waragi is the generic term for domestically distilled gin.
Originally known as ‘war gin’, Waragi prepared many Ugandan soldiers to overcome what was ranged against them in order to reach new horizons of accomplishment. Waragi has become more than a drink, it’s a cultural digest.
These two forms of waragi in Uganda; ‘Kasese’, original distilled in the district of Kasese in Western Uganda and sold all over the country, and ‘Lira’ which is from Lira district in northern Uganda.
The two waragi brands taste and smell differently but still have the same sharp tang.
Waragi can drop you like a punch from a heavyweight boxing champ, so it is wise to take it in even small doses.
Today, there are many brands of Waragi in Uganda but Uganda waragi is the most famous. It is said to contain the “spirit of Uganda” in the way that takes you to heights worthy of your sweetest escape.
Major Beers in Uganda include Nile special, Bell Lager, Club Beer, Enguli, Tusker Malt, Castle Lager, Guinness, Nile Special, Eagle, and Senator.
Nile Special, Bell Lager, Club Beer, and Tusker Malt are the four most popular beers in the country. Ugandans, on any given evening, might be found at their favorite bar with a clutch of these beers while bobbing their heads to the background music playing in a bar.
Uganda is often referred to as Africa’s tropical fruit basket thanks to its fertile soils, abundant rainfall, and sunshine blazing a trail to the many different kinds of tasty fruits like pineapples, papaya, mango, avocado, bananas, and plantains, among others.
Most of the major fruits of Uganda were all introduced from elsewhere, but a few like tamarinds are indigenous to the area. In fact, you can never visit Uganda and leave without trying out some of the country’s sweet fruits. As you tour Uganda, we recommend that you try the following tasty fruits.
- Yellow bananas
Is banana a fruit? A banana is a fruit because it naturally contains seeds. Uganda has famously known Africa’s banana republic. In Uganda, bananas are as common as potatoes in Ireland or blessings in Heaven.
They are the most important fruits in Uganda. It is estimated that in Uganda alone there are over 50 different varieties of banana. Uganda banana varieties are divided into four broad categories based on their primary use, these include;
- Matooke for cooking
- Gonja for roasting
- Mbidde for distillation into banana beer (Mwenge) or wine (Mubisi) and
- The familiar yellow sweet banana called Menvu, eaten raw for a snack or dessert.
And at first-time visitors to Uganda must take note of the above names when they shop for bananas in the market-or sooner or later you will bite into what looks to be a large juicy sweet banana, but is in fact a foul and floury uncooked matoke or Gonja!.
Uganda country has those yellow bananas that are so eye-catchy, looking fresh and sweet.
Bogoya is the common yellow banana in Uganda that is eaten raw when ripe. It can be found in most markets across Uganda. These long curved fruits have soft pulpy flesh which makes them easy to eat.
Ndiizi is another sweet banana that is eaten raw. It is a short curved banana and sweeter than the bogoya. Nidiizi is also used to pancakes which are locally known as Kabalagala.
Yellow bananas are reached sources of potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamin C. Bananas also help in digestion. In bananas, the soluble fiber helps combat heartburn, constipation, and stomach ulcers. Bananas also help the body produce collagen which is good for your skin.
People in Uganda enjoy Jackfruits a lot and see them as a treat. Locally known as Fene, the Jackfruit is the largest fruit of all trees in the world.
It is capable of reaching as much as 55 kilograms, 90 centimetres in length, and 50 centimeters in diameter.
Though in other parts of the world, Jack fruit is enjoyed in many forms, in Uganda, it is exclusively eaten raw after it has ripened on the tree.
To tell a ripe jackfruit before harvesting, you tap the fruit with your palm and listen for a deep sound. This strong-smelling fruit is also a nutritional bonanza, very rich in:
- Vitamin C
As you prepare to taste it, you are advised to watch out for sticky latex that oozes out when the fruit is cut open! Soap and water won’t wash it off your hands, but you can apply a considerable amount of edible oil to your hands and remove it.
Like many others, the avocado fruit is not native to Uganda, but one could say it has been perfected in Uganda because of its favourable climate and fertile soil.
It is originally from South America but the seeds found their way to Uganda from Singapore in 1911.
These fruits grow on trees and you can find it readily sold in open markets and at vegetable and fruit stands almost everywhere in Uganda.
Avocados are eaten fresh and supplement the diet of many Ugandans. They also a good source of;
- Vitamins B, E, and C,
- Fiber and
The watermelon has no local name in Uganda, everyone call it watermelon.
As its name suggests, it is 91% water and 6% sugar.
These big green fruits are grown across the country and are found here all year long. They are very rich in vitamin C.
Watermelon is readily available in the local markets. The red inners of this fruit can be eaten at any time of the day or blended into a juice. Indeed there is nothing as refreshing as a cold slice of watermelon on a hot tropical afternoon, it’s pure ambrosia in your mouth.
Locally, known as Enanansi, Uganda’s pineapple is the sweetest biggest fruits. It is exceedingly juicy, succulent, and has lower acidity than pineapple found elsewhere.
You can eat it as the main fruit alone, as a salad, or blended into a juice. Pineapples are often served at hotels, lodges, and camps for breakfast or at other meal times. The pineapple is;
- 86% water
- 13% carbohydrates
- 5% protein
- It is also a rich source of manganese and vitamin C.
Uganda has different varieties of mangoes but one common feature of them all is their juicy sweetness when ripe. In the markets, you will find bigger varieties, hybrids grown for their desirable traits.
You can eat the whole mongo without first peeling it or in slices after peeling them with a knife. In fact, most Ugandans eat mangoes without cutting them like we would eat an
Mangoes can also be pureed to make mango juice, which is a regular fixture on menus of most restaurants when mangoes are in season.
Mangoes are very rich source of Vitamin C.
- Passion Fruit
The people of Uganda have a great passion for a fruit known as passion fruit. Ugandans can take passion fruit juice with every meal under the cuisine-friendly sun. Passion fruit juice can be bought in supermarkets, almost every in Uganda.
They are mainly purple outside when ripe. Passion fruits are;
- 73% water
- 22% carbohydrates and
- 2% protein
- They are rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and iron.
Papayas fruits are green when still young are yellowish and soft when ripe. Because of Uganda’s fertile soil and conducive climate, papaws sometimes grow without being planted.
They can be eaten after peeling them or to make juice and they have several nutritional value values for example;
- They are 88% water
- 11% carbohydrates
- Very significant sources of vitamin C
Those on vegetarian or vegan diets would find them very tasty.
- Citrus fruits
The citrus family has a lot of fruits and the most common in Uganda include;
- Lemons, locally known as Niimu
- Oranges, locally known as emicungwa
- Tangerines, locally known as mangada
Oranges and tangerines are sometimes used in hotels and restaurants in Uganda to make orange juice.
The actual flavour of the citrus fruits here is very tasty, although they look different from what you’re familiar with.
Be a little adventurous and try something you may not be used to, particularly lemons with wart-like bumps.
10 Sour Sop
Over the years, this pointy fruit has garnered a lot of local praise due to its purported cancer-fighting benefits. You will often find it sold by street vendors, especially during a traffic jam. It is green on the outside but white and creamy on the inside.
The interior is also dotted with black seeds that resemble large watermelon seeds. You can eat it as it is but most people use it to make juice or milkshakes. Be careful not to eat the black seeds as they contain a toxin that can accumulate in the body.
When in season, guavas are found across the country. Guavas are tropical fruit trees originating in Central America. Their fruits are oval in shape with a light green or yellow thin skin and contain numerous edible seeds.
Though guavas don’t qualify for dessert, they are great for making jellies and juices. What’s more, guava leaves are used as an herbal tea and the leaf extract as a supplement.
Guava fruits are amazingly rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. This remarkable nutrient content gives them many health benefits. Especially tasty, you can almost hear the soft tearing crunch when biting into it and tasting its sweet flesh when ripe.