Uganda is a country of many contrasts. The rugged mountains act as a foil to the softer meadows and broad savanah, while the dry uplands contrast with the wetlands of the Lake shores. The contrasts between the various peoples of Uganda reflect this variety of surroundings, and are demonstrated in the multiplicity of cultures, traditions and lifestyles.

The nation is a result of the unification of ancient kingdoms, as well as many smaller independent chieftainance now part of the richness of our modern state. Their heritage lives on in the hearts of the people, their traditional dress, languages, dances and customs.

The largest cultural group are the Baganda people, whose kingdom has always been influential in Ugandan affairs. Amongst our ethnic groups are many others that include those in the the Kingdom of Toro, the Banyankole, the Acholi, Basoga and Lugbara.

Today, all Ugandans live together, proud to be one people, but we cherish the memory of our history and keep alive the traditions of our ancestors.

Many of our historical sites are settings of events from when Uganda was a land of many different peoples, and the local residents will be happy to acquaint you with the traditions of their local community.

Religious tolerance is an important part of present-day Uganda. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and others all live in harmony, free to practice their own religion. Our temples and churches are buildings of great slendour, and venues for impressive festivals and celebrations. Of special interest is the Lake Mburo Cultural Village which the Ankole people have created to highlight the customs and history of their kingdom.

Legends abound in our folklore, and story tellers abound in the community. Ask our old people to regale you with tales of the Chwezi people.

Music and dance are part of our culture. The Imbalu dances of the Bagisu people on the slopes of Mt. Elgon are particularly exciting, while the Runyege dances near Masindi are an unforgettable experience.

Some of the peoples of Uganda
People
Language
Traditional Lands
Baganda Luganda Central Uganda
Acholi Luo Nothern Uganda
Batoro Lutooro Western Uganda
Karamajong Karamojong North-east Uganda
Banyankole Lunyankole South-west Uganda
Banyoro Lunyoro Western Uganda
Basoga Lusoga Eastern Uganda
Basamia Lusamia Eastern Uganda
Bagisu Lugisu Eastern Uganda

Ankole Cultural Village
The Ankole people have developed a cultural centre close to the Sanga gate to Mburo National Park, just a few kilometres from Mbarara, where vistors can discover more about the local culture and way of life. Typical village houses can be visted, and Ankole guides will explain their people’s history and lifestyle. Distinctive Ankole handicrafts can be purchased as souvenirs.