Volunteer in Uganda


Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa whose diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria. Its abundant wildlife includes endangered gorillas and chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a famous mountain gorilla sanctuary, while Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and wildlife, such as hippos.

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Climate

Uganda is sunny most of the year with temperatures rarely rising above 29 degrees (84 degrees Fahrenheit). The average annual temperature is about 26 degrees Celsius (78° Fahrenheit). There are two rainy seasons.  One is from March until May and the second is from October until November. A lighter rainy season is from November to December. The dry seasons are from December to February and June to August.

Weather:

Dry seasons – December to February, June to August

Wet seasons – March to May, October to November

People

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The largest group in Uganda (around a fifth of the population) are the Baganda, who live in the Kampala region and speak Luganda.

Other Bantu-speaking groups include the Ankole, Toro, Banyoro and Basoga. To the east and north are groups of Nilotic/Cushitic origin, including the Teso, Karimojong, Acholi and Lango.

Capital City: KampalaCountry’s population (2013): 41,141,000

Official Languages: Swahili and English

Currency: Ugandan Shilling

As in many African countries, dance is an important part of ceremonies and special occasions. Uganda’s different peoples have their own special dances.

For example, in the eastern region, the Basoga practice a dance known as Tamenhaibunga which expresses the importance of love and friendship. Its name literally means ‘good friends drink together and don’t fight in case they break the gourd holding the drink’.

Probably the most widely recognized Ugandan dance is the Kiganda, where the performers move their lower body to a drum-beat. It’s a tricky dance, requiring great skill to keep the upper torso controlled and rotate to the music from the waist down. The dance has many variations for different occasions, but the version often seen is the one performed in honor of the Baganda king

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Overview

The Republic of Uganda, located in Eastern Africa, is a landlocked country occupying a total area of 241,550.7 square kilometers – 18% of which is open inland waters and wetlands.

It lies astride the equator and is bordered by the Republic of South Sudan to the North, Kenya to the East, Tanzania to the South, Rwanda to the South West and Democratic Republic of Congo to the West.

Uganda has an estimated population of about 34.5 million people and a population growth rate of 3.2%, one of the highest in the world (source; Uganda Bureau of Statistics).

The country is currently governed under a multiparty system following a national referendum in July 2005, which opened the door for political parties to contest for leadership.  Since then, the country has held two elections under the multiparty system (2006 and 2011) won by the incumbent President Yoweri K. Museveni, who first came to power in 1986.

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The Kasubi Tombs are the burial site of the four Kings of Buganda (The Kings of the Kingdom of Buganda). The site located in Kampala is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2010 many of the buildings were destroyed by a fire; however the Government is committed to restoring the tombs as soon as possible for tourists; as the place was an important tourism destination.