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Uganda was made up of four kingdoms and many tribes before it was ceded to Britain, in 1890.
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Bunyoro was the first of the great Ugandan kingdoms around the 15th century.
During disharmony in the late 18th century, the governor of Buganda declared his independence from Bunyoro, and the new kingdom soon became the major lake state.
Two smaller kingdoms, Ankole and Toro, also seceded from Bunyoro.
Located in the south-central region of the country known today as Uganda, Mmengo (Kampala) was the seat of government of The Kingdom of Buganda.
On December 19, 1997 the government of Uganda handed back the Mmengo Palace (Lubiri), main palace of Buganda's kings since the time of Mwanga II.
The first Europeans to visit Uganda were British explorers searching for the source of the River Nile.
Protestant and Roman Catholic missionaries soon followed, and the factions they created caused a civil war in Buganda.
The British ended the disturbances, and used Bugandan forces to help conquer the other kingdoms and tribes.
The name Uganda was adopted in 1896. The British protectorate gained independence on October 6, 1962.
Sir Winston Churchill called Uganda, The Pearl of Africa.
Source of The Nile
Uganda is a landlocked republic in eastern Africa, although almost 20 per cent of its area is water.
In December 1856 John Hanning Speke accepted an invitation from Richard Burton to join an expedition to search for the reported great lakes in east central Africa and, particularly, to try and find Lake Nyassa, said to be the origin of the Nile.
The official language of Uganda is English, although Swahili is the popular tongue.
If you want to drive around Uganda, you need to show an international drivers license to hire a vehicle.
Rental Cars in Uganda are available in Entebbe and Kampala. Roads radiate from Kampala and are of varying quality.
In the north of the country the security situation is still doubtful and so are the roads. Its is a good idea, if you are on self-drive, to get local advice about the condition of the roads you intend to use.
These lakes and most of Uganda's rivers form parts of the basin of the upper River Nile; feeding the White Nile that flows through Sudan.
Uganda's highest peak is Mount Margherita (5,119 m); in the snowy Ruwenzori range, on the south-west border with Zaire.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority has 10 national parks and 12 wildlife reserves under its jurisdiction.
The best times to visit Uganda are December-March and June-September; avoiding the two rainy seasons: April to May and October to November, with April being the wettest month.
Safaris in Uganda:
Although applying for a Bwindi Forest gorilla permit may be a pain, safari travellers in Uganda are generally a rare breed.
There are international standard hotels in Uganda, especially in the main towns of Entebbe, Jinja and Kampala.
The quality is variable in the smaller towns and rated accommodation is scarce.
All of the major national parks offer accommodation in game lodges and tented camps.
During the high tourist season (July-August) it is advisable to book in advance as the best hotels in Uganda usually fill up fast.
The capital of Uganda is in the south of the country, near Lake Victoria.
Old Kampala Hill was where the British first established a fort in 1890. The tombs of the kings, or kabakas, of Buganda are on Kasaubi Hill.
Kampala was capital of the British protectorate, from 1900 to 1905, and succeeded nearby Entebbe as capital; when the country became independent, in 1962.
Mengo, to the south-west, was the traditional capital of the kingdom of Buganda.
Kampala Serena Hotel: Kintu Road, Kampala, Uganda.
Serena's Uganda flagship, hotel is an inspirational blend of five5-star polish, pan-African panache, social style and business reliability.
Guests at the Kampala Serena Hotel loved the comfortable rooms, the stunning pool, and the internationally themed and locally inspired cuisine.
Entebbe, on the north-west shore of Lake Victoria, is primarily a residential centre for government staff in the nearby capital.
It was the British colonial administrative centre of Uganda from 1893 to 1958. The city has fine botanical gardens.
Entebbe Airport - the scene of an Israeli commando raid that freed more than 100 hostages, from an airliner hijacked by pro-Palestinian guerrillas, in 1976 - is one of the largest in East Africa.
The national carrier is Uganda Airlines.
Tourism is on the increase in Uganda, due in part to the privatisation initiatives implemented by the government and the increased security situation; especially in the national parks.
Explore the undeniable natural beauty of the Pearl.
In the west, the Rwenzori peaks reach towards the sky - a perfect challenge for bold explorers - and all across the nation, parks are home to some of the world's most exotic animals and Africa’s big five.
Winding roads lead to places of grand beauty and unique cultures for those who dare to explore.
There's a story at every turn, especially from the Ugandan people, who are renowned for their warmth and charm.
Uganda Tourism Board:
Plot 42 Lugogo Bypass
P.O. Box 7211 Kampala, Uganda.
The Association of Uganda Tour Operators is Uganda's leading tourism trade association, representing the interests of the country’s leading and experienced professional tour operators.
Read the latest news from Uganda at The Monitor.
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