Welcome to the second edition of the 10 reasons why need to celebrate Uganda’s independence. In our previous edition, we ended with Uganda receiving her independence on the 9th of October 1962 with Kabaka Edward Mutesa II being named as the president of the new Federate Republic of Uganda and Dr Apollo Milton Obote being his premier. Independence marked the dawn of a new era in the politics of the land as now Ugandans were fully in control of their own destiny and this was something they had wanted since 1900. However, little did they know that independence came with a monumental amount of responsibilities which they had to undertake to ensure that the country’s future was bright and on a clear trajectory.

Things fall apart

It wasn’t so long into the new independent era of Uganda that cracks started to become visible in the newly elected government of Uganda and we can refer to the date of on 15th April 1966 when Dr Milton Obote decided to abolish the constitution of Uganda as he ousted Sir Edward Muteesa from the position of President and declared himself the president of Uganda and also abolish all cultural monarchs in Uganda. This was a bitter pill to swallow to the proud Baganda people who saw this as an act of anarchy on their Kingdom by the central government. This fuelled protests in Buganda especially in places near Kampala. In a bid to quell these protests, the Dr Apollo decided to send troops led by Idi Amin to the Lubiri Mengo with an order to capture or kill Sir Edward Muteesa, Muteesa was lucky enough to have escaped with his life into exile in London passing via Burundi.  This wasn’t the end of contention in the new Uganda and it was only a matter of time when another round of political chaos erupted on Uganda’s political scene.

A new twist in Uganda’s politics

Before Obote could get his firm grip on Uganda’s political arena, he was ousted out of power in a bloodless coup that was staged by one of his senior army officials led by Idi Amin- the very one he had shaped Apollo Milton’s rise to power as he led the mission to was aimed to capture sir Edward Muteesa II dead or alive. This coup was staged on the 25th of January 1971 when Apollo Milton Obote had gone to attend a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Singapore. What is highly remembered by many people about this regime is the this opened doors of dictatorship in Uganda’s political landscape as the new president ruled this pearl of Africa with an iron feast. However, 2  things will forever remain imprinted in the hearts and memories of so many Ugandans and the whole world at large and these are

Amin’s expulsion of Asians or Indians

By 1972, Uganda’s economy was largely influenced Asians who owned many shops in Kampala and other major towns around Uganda and agro-processing industries that were numerous in the various parts of Uganda. From this background, Amin decided to return the fate of Uganda’s economy to Ugandans hence gave Asians who owned dual citizenship passports an ultimatum to vacate Uganda in 3 months. This led to the repatriation of over 80000 Asians who had two different passports.

The other thing that highlights this regime is the operation Entebbe / operation thunderbolt. Operation thunderbolt was a rescue mission that was staged by the Israel forces in order to rescue 106 Israeli citizens that had been hijacked on an Air France flight destined for Paris by Palestinian rebels and brought to Uganda on the orders of President Amin. This carefully coordinated and executed operation involved 100 Israel special forces commandos. During this operation that only lasted 90 minutes, out of the 106 hostages, 102 were rescued and 4 died during the battle, 5 Israel commandoes were wounded and 1 of them died and the one who died was called Yonatan Netanyahu, an elder brother to the current Prime minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.

President Idi Amin’s leadership didn’t last long as he was ousted by a war between Uganda and Tanzania. This Tanzania- Uganda began in late 1978 to 1979 when the Tanzanian soldiers marched on Kampala. Amin’s regime finally collapsed on the 11th April 1979 when the Uganda national Liberation forces together with the Tanzanian Forces declared victory in Kampala.

The era between 1979 to 1986 can be referred to as an era of uncertainty in Uganda’s political space as it was one that saw many leaders come to power only to be deposed a few months or years into their leadership. During this short span of time, Uganda was ruled by five presidents and these include Yusuf Lule who ruled from April 1979 to June 20th 1979, Godfrey Binaisa who ruled from 20th June 1979 to 12th May 1980, Paul Muwanga who ruled from 12th May to 22nd May 1980. Dr, Apollo Milton Obote ruled again from 17th December 1980 to July 27th 1985, general Bazilio Olara Okello ruled for 2 days from July 27th to July 29th 1985 and General Tito Okello ruled from 29th July to 26th January 1986 when the current President of the republic General Museveni Kaguta took over power under his National Liberation Army and he has ruled this country up until now.

Finally peace and certainty reign

From the very first day as an independent nation, our political social and cultural life has greatly been shaped by the political turmoil that had taken centre stage of our struggle to govern ourselves after the departure of our colonial masters. Uganda as a country was less productive since many of the natives were always on the run in a bid to safeguard their lives. However all these ended with the coming of the national resistance army into power in 1986 as they have managed to keep the country largely peaceful with a few hiccups in a few areas where there are rebels fighting to take control of the nation such as the Rwenzori region and the northern region which was mired in a devastating civil war between the government forces and the lords resistance army which was under the leadership of Joseph Kony for a period of about 20 years. However, this has been dealt with and the entire country is largely peaceful.

With the reigning peace in the pearl of Africa coupled with a wide variety of spectacular wildlife, beautiful landscape, culture and food, Uganda has realized a growing increase in the number of tourists who are flocking this country for an epic Uganda safari experience. On addition on the 5 Uganda wildlife safari destinations that I have already highlighted during our previous edition, here are the remaining 5 safaris Uganda destinations that have Uganda a hot cake for many Africa wildlife safari-goers.

  1. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda is a famous destination for a Uganda gorilla trekking safari as its home to the Nyakengezi gorilla family that has been habituated for gorilla trekking. Other attractions in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda include the golden monkeys, Batwa people, the Virunga ranges of Muhabura, Sabinyo and Gahinga. In addition to a great gorilla trekking safari in Uganda in Mgahinga National Park, you can engage in various tourist activities in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and these include in mountain hiking, birding, Uganda cultural safari encounters with the Batwa. on your Uganda safari to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, you can choose to stay in any of the Uganda safari accommodations in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park such as Mount Gahinga Lodge, Lake Chahafi Resort, Mucha Hotel, Travellers Rest Hotel And Kisoro Tourist Hotel. Getting to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can be done by road using the Kampala- Mbarara- Kabale –Kisoro road which covers a distance of about 434km or a 10-hour drive from Kampala. You can also get to  Mgahinga from Kigali city in Rwanda following the Kigali to Kisoro road via Cyanika border post. From Kigali to Cyanika border is 205 km and from Cyanika to Kisoro is 11 km

7. Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park is one of the best birding destinations in Uganda as it comes with 441 bird species which include Spot-breasted Ibis, Hartlaubs’s Duck, Chestnut-flanked Goshawk, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Long-tailed Hawk, Forest Francolin, Nkulengu Rail, Western Bronze-napped Pigeon, other tourist attractions in Semuliki National Park include the Bambuti, Sempaya hot springs  .With all these attractions at your disposal while on your Uganda wildlife safari to Semuliki expect to have an exciting Uganda safari adventure as there are numerous Uganda safari activities in Semuliki national park besides birding. Some of these other tourist activities in Semuliki include Uganda cultural safari encounters with the Bakonzo and nature walks. In order for you to maximize your Uganda safaris tours experience in Semuliki national you need to make an overnight stay in any of the numerous Uganda safari lodges in Semuliki national park. Some of these Uganda hotels in Semuliki include luxury lodges like Semuliki safari lodge, Ntoroko game lodge, Kyaniga safari lodge which is located near Semuliki. Mid-range lodges that can be used while on a safari in Uganda to Semuliki national park include Kirumia guest house, Bumuga camp site. If you are interested in a safaris Uganda to Semuliki National Park there are various tour companies in Uganda that offer Uganda safaris tours companies to Semuliki for birding experience and these include Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd and Wild Gorilla Safaris

  1. Lake Mburo National Park

 Lake Mburo National Park is regarded as the true whisperers of the wild, Lake Mburo National Park Uganda is home to a wide biodiversity of wildlife within its domain. Some of the attractions in Lake Mburo National Park Uganda that will definitely allure your attention are the numerous Burchels zebras that roam the vast savanna plains Lake Mburo, you can easily spot some of the big cats here like the leopards and lions. Other Uganda safari attractions in Lake Mburo National Park include giraffes, hippos, nile water crocodiles, 350 bird species, cape buffaloes and many more. While on Uganda safaris here you got a myriad of Uganda safari activities in Lake Mburo National Park to engage in such as game drives, boat cruise over the Lake Mburo, birding, horse riding biking and many more. On your safari in Uganda to Lake Mburo you can chose to stay in a variety of Uganda safari accommodations in Lake Mburo National Park such As Mihingo Lodge, Mburo Acardia Cottages, Eagle Nest Camp. How to get to Lake Mburo National Park? Getting to Lake Mburo National park shouldn’t a worry to you as it lies only 250km or 3 hours journey from Kampala city Uganda’s capital.

  1. Jinja source of the Nile

Next time you get to a chance to visit Uganda, visit  Jinja source of the Nile and enjoy a 1 day Jinja tour in Uganda or Jinja source of the Nile tours to see various attractions in Jinja source of the Nile which include the source of the Nile, Itanda falls, birds, Lake Victoria. Engage in various safari activities in Jinja source of the Nile which include bungee jumping, white water rafting, horse riding, quad biking and kayaking. If you decide to have an overnight stay in Jinja, the town has various accommodations in Jinja source of the Nile you can choose from and these include Explorers River Camp, Nile River Camp, Jinja Nile Resort, Samuka Island Retreat, Source of The Smile Hotel and Guesthouse. Prime safaris has distinguished itself as one of the best companies that offer Jinja day trips/ 1 day Jinja source of the Nile tours/ 1 day Jinja tour in Uganda.

10. Mountain Rwenzori National Park

Enjoy a mystical challenge that gives you a unique opportunity to hike Africa’s third highest peak Margherita. A Uganda safari to Mountain Rwenzori National Park puts you in a position to traverse this rich ecology with a wide range of Uganda safari attractions in Mountain Rwenzori National Park and these include over 217 bird species, 70 mammal species and over 100 plant species. Uganda safari activities in Mountain Rwenzori  National Park include mountain hiking, birding, cultural safaris as well as nature walks. Getting to Mountain Rwenzori National Park can be done by both air and road transport. Anyone who intends to fly to Mountain Rwenzori National Park Uganda will fly from Entebbe international airport and land at Kasese airstrip while a road cruise to Rwenzori Mountains National Park Uganda takes you on a 6-hour journey or covering about 400km using the Kampala- Fort portal – Kasese road. On your safari to Mountain Rwenzori National Park, spend an overnight stay in any of the accommodations in Mountain Rwenzori National Park such as Equator Snow Lodge, Mihunga Safari Lodge, Sandton Hotel Kasese, Springs International Hotel Kasese, Ruboni Community Camp, Rwenzori Turaco View Campsite, Tours Holiday Inn, Uhura 50 Hotel and Snow View Hotel