10 Reasons Why We Need to Celebrate Uganda’s Independence Now More Than Ever

 Happy Independence Day to you all my readers. As we commemorate Uganda’s 57th birthday since she was declared a free republic from the bondage of colonialism, Uganda has experienced it all ranging from the good, the bad and the ugly.  Let’s put a spotlight on Uganda’s history so that we can appreciate where Uganda has come from in order to have a fair understanding of where we are now as a country and also be in a fairly good position to predict Uganda’s future in the next 50 years to come.

Lets take a step back into the 18th century, during this very century and those before it, there was nothing called Uganda but rather several kingdoms and chiefdoms with traditional rulers. Some of the prominent kingdoms of these eras were Buganda kingdom which was the most advanced of all, Bunyoro Kingdom, Ankole Kingdom and Acholi chiefdom to name but a few. All these kingdoms and chiefdoms had a sweet-sour relationship with each other as they traded with each other in a wide array of goods which ranged from food, to iron ore and military weapons- spears and shields but also fighting with each other due to their expansionist policies. These rulers of the era also carried out international trade of sorts as they carried out slave and ivory trade with the Arabs that came from the coastal area of Kenya and Tanzania.

Uganda’s contact with foreigners

Fast forward to the mid 18th century, precisely in 1862, this motherland received her first European visitor John Speke who had come on a Nile discovery expedition. His arrival to Uganda opened the doors of this nonexistent nation as of now to the outside world like never before. His arrival was shortly followed by that of sir Samuel Baker in 1864 and during which he managed to see the then Lake Nyanza and he named Albert lake after the prince of England who had died shortly before his departure from England to Africa. Other explorers also managed to visit Uganda with sir Henry Burton Stanley being one of them, he named the Ruwenzori mountains as Mountains of the Moon. The missionaries soon followed suit arriving in Buganda in 1877 for the Christian missionaries and white fathers came on  February 17th 1879. The missionaries managed to heat the ground up and running very fast as they spread the gospel to the local population. In doing so they set up churches in various parts of Buganda such as Kisubi catholic church in Kisubi, Lubaga Catholic Church, Namirembe Christian church. They also set up schools to educate people and among the very first ones include Mengo Secondary School which was established in 1895, other schools such as Namilyango College, Gayaza High School and St Mary College Kisubi followed suit. The health sector also realized the impact of the missionaries as they set up numerous hospitals such as Lubaga hospital, sir Albert Cook Namirembe hospital or Mengo hospital.

The birth of colonialism in Uganda

After missionaries, the colonialists came to Buganda and this because the British government had already learnt from the missionaries and the early explorers that Buganda was the most advanced, and most receptive of all the kingdoms and chiefdoms in this area and to top it all up, Buganda had a centralized system of administration similar to that of United Kingdom hence governing Buganda would make it a stepping stone to having the entire area under control easily. In 1894 Uganda was declared a British protectorate with an agreement that was signed by Sir Gerald Portal and Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda. In 1900 the 1900 Buganda agreement was signed between Buganda and the colonial government and this really cemented Uganda’s fate for the next 62 years as it became a British protectorate. This agreement led to the division of Buganda’s resources such as land which was divided into Crown and Mailo land which really didn’t go well with the Baganda. The declaration of Buganda as a British protectorate also led to the annexation of other kingdoms and chiefdoms around Buganda and this finally led to the creation of Uganda as we know it today. However, Uganda boundaries kept on changing by the different agreements signed between the colonial powers in Uganda who were the British, Congo- Belgians Kenya being the British and Tanzania having the Germans controlling it

The road to independence

The Baganda really didn’t know what they had got themselves into but soon after they started realizing that they had really done themselves a disservice by agreeing to the terms of the Buganda agreement of 1900 which had stripped them of their rights to choose what they wanted for the kingdom. This discontentment paved way for the struggle to get their independence back and this wasn’t a rosy road but it was one that had to be undertaken in case if anything was to be salvaged. Political parties were formed to act as an organized force to demand for freedom. By 1953 the situation was so bad that Sir Andrew Cohen the then governor of Uganda was forced to depose and exile Kabaka Mutesa II of Buganda to London who was demanding for independence for his kingdom, this, however, was a bad movie from the colonial administration as it led to widespread protest from the Baganda and this forced Sir Andrew Cohen to return and reinstate the Kabaka in 1955 just 2 years after his exiling.  The return of the Kabaka further fuelled the already burning fire about the desire for independence and now it was only a matter of time before independence would be granted to Uganda and finally an agreement was reached with British in 1962 and Uganda finally received her independence on 09th October 1962 as a federated state with Kabaka Mutesa II being the president and Dr Apollo Milton Obote being the Prime Minister.

The granting of independence to Uganda can only be related to casting a child learning how to swim into the deep end to paddle and learn how to stay afloat on their own. In our next segment, we will look at Uganda’s 57 years of independence with all the trials and tribulation, successes and failures.

10 Reasons  For You to Celebrate Uganda’s Independence

As a person who loves a thrilling Uganda safari adventure, the grant of independence to Uganda came with the birth of quite a number of national gazetted tourists destinations which were aimed at giving you a unique encounter with Uganda’s unique biodiversity. here are some of these destinations. In this segment, I will give you 5 of these destinations and the remaining 5 destination will come in my second segment.

1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Named the home of Mountain Gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to over 400 mountain gorillas out of the 1004 Mountain Gorillas that exist in the entire world. A gorilla safari Uganda to Bwindi gives you an opportunity to meet any of the  17 gorilla families that are found in the 4 sectors of Rushaga, Nkuringo, Ruhija and Buhoma. Besides encountering gorillas on your gorilla trekking Uganda safari, you can also meet a wide range of attractions that you will come across while on a Uganda gorilla tour and these include 120 other mammal species including primates like chimpanzees, monkeys and baboons, 350 bird species of which 23 species are endemic to the Albertine rift, 220 butterflies species, 27 species of lizards, geckos and chameleon, 163 tree species and 104 species of fern. There are also the Batwa people or commonly referred to as pygmies living in communities adjacent to the park. This gorilla safari Uganda is also similar to a Rwanda gorilla safari to Volcanoes National Park since Volcanoes National Park is home to 10 gorilla families and also a Congo gorilla safari to Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo.

2. Murchison Falls National Park

A Uganda wildlife safari to Murchison falls national park is quite a fascinating Uganda safari experience as it also gives you an opportunity to meet all the 5 big Africa game ie African bush elephants, lions, leopards cape buffaloes and the rhinos can now easily be encountered due to the presence of the Ziwa rhino sanctuary that is close to Murchison Falls National Park. For birders, Murchison Falls is the 3rd biggest Uganda birding destination with over 450 bird species including the rare shoebill stork to see on your Uganda birding safari to this spectacular tropical wilderness. While on a safari Uganda in Murchison falls, don’t miss out on the thrilling boat cruise to the bottom of the Murchison Falls and a hike to the top of these falls which will definitely reveal to you why these falls are revered as the world’s most powerful waterfalls.

3. Queen Elizabeth National Park

Famously dubbed as the “medley of wonders”, Queen Elizabeth National Park is a sprawling savannah plains park that is filled with an incredible amount of wildlife biodiversity to feast your eyes while on a safari Uganda to Queen Elizabeth given the numerous attractions ranging from 95 mammal species, which includes the rare tree-climbing lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, hippos, bushbucks, a wide range of antelope family, a variety of monkey species and chimpanzees, 600 bird species and many reptiles like the Nile crocodiles, snakes and lizards and a number of volcanic features like volcanic cones and crater lakes like Lake Katwe and Kikorongo.

4. Kibale National Park

Kibale national park Uganda is the ultimate chimpanzee gate away destination on a Uganda safari. Kibale Forest National Park boasts of being home to over 5000 individual chimpanzees making it the second-largest concentration of chimpanzees on the African continent. Kibale national park isn’t only famous for chimpanzees but it’s a rich ecosystem with a wide biodiversity of wild flora and fauna. On your Uganda tour to Kibale national park, expect to encounter a myriad of wild attractions that range from 12 other primate species which include l’hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys and many others. For any birder out there, Kibale comes with 350 bird species that will definitely get your excited as it has endemic species such as the green breasted pitta, African pitta and the great blue turaco. A botanist will find Kibale as a true haven has it comes with 300 tree species

5. Kidpeo Valley National Park

Ranked as the 14th best African savanna park for a classic game drive, Kidepo Valley National Park gives you an opportunity to meet 4 out of 5 of Africa’s big 5 game which include lions, leopards, cape buffaloes, African bush elephants with the rhinos being the only ones missing, Kidepo valley park has ranked the 14th best African best safari park for a classic wildlife adventure by safari booking a famous international online safari company given its spectacular sceneries and diverse wildlife. If you’re looking for birds, well a Uganda birding safari to Kidepo valley is quite a remarkable birding frenzy as it comes with 475 bird species for you to search for and with several endemic species such as the Karamoja Apalis.  A safari Uganda to Kidepo Valley Park isn’t complete without a Uganda cultural safari encounter with the beautiful Karamajong people who bare a lot of resemblance to the Masai people. However this Uganda safari TO Kidepo Valley National Park is quite similar to a Kenya safari carried out in Kenya wildlife safari destination like Masai  Mara National Reserve, Tsavo east national park and Nairobi national park as well as a Tanzania safari wildlife parks like Serengeti national park, lake Manyara national park, Ngorongoro conservation area and Tarangire National park

All these and more have made a Uganda a favorite destination for Uganda safaris/ Uganda wildlife safari, Uganda wildlife safaris, short Uganda safari/ short Uganda safaris/  long Uganda safari/ long Uganda safaris/ gorilla trekking Uganda /  gorilla trek safari Uganda / Uganda gorilla safari, /Uganda gorilla tour/ gorilla trekking Uganda safari.

Here is a sample of packages in Uganda