The pearl of Africa has a very strong cultural heritage well-endowed with different cultural and historical sites. With more than 50 different indigenous languages belonging to two distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and handicrafts, Uganda is a one stop center for a rich African cultural experience, ranging from Bantu in the Central, West, South-west, and East, to Nilotic groups of people in the North, North-East and North-West.
Ugandans are remarkably hospitable and hail from a diversity of rich cultures and lifestyles with each tribe having its own distinct cultural values that describe who they are. All these values are based on tribal traditional activities from all spheres of life; including, food and welfare, traditional dances, clothing and organization of societies. Many regions in Uganda have kingdoms, including Buganda, Busoga, Bunyoro and Toro. Other regions still value their heritage of chiefdoms which is traceable and equally treasured.
Long-horned Ankole cows, a treasured domestic animal in many tribes from the western part of Uganda.
The western region is also rich in culture, consisting of; Bakonjo/Bamba, Batooro, Banyoro, Banyankore, Bakiga, Bafumbira, Batwa and Bachwezi among others, who are well recognized for their wealthy culture connected with their strong link and love for their long horned cows - thought to have originated from the former rulers of the mighty Bunyoro-Kitara Empire called the Bachwezi – demi-god people who introduced the centralized system of governance and led to the birth of the inter-lacustrine kingdoms that occupy the area between Lakes Kyoga in Central Uganda and Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania.
Currently, the dominant kingdoms in western Uganda include, Tooro and Bunyoro, and the famous Batwa community.
Entogoro is danced by Banyoro and Batooro of western Uganda. The dance takes its name from the pod rattles (locally known as ebinyege) that the boys tie on their legs to make different rhythms as they dance.
Ekitaguriro is traditional fascinating dance of Banyankole and Bakiga characterized by energetic stamping and tangling rhythms using the feet and aerial arm movements that depicts their relationship with their beautiful long horned cattle.
Eshabwe: A traditional Banyankole dish comprising of ghee, skimmed from milk. This is usually eaten with Akaro. It's a meal one would certainly get acquainted with on a visit to the western parts of Uganda. Others include; Firinda and Akaro which is millet flour mixed with cassava and then mingled.
There are so many cultural and historical sites that you would not love to miss in this region including; Kitagata hot springs, Sempaya hot springs, Karambi Royal Tombs, Igongo Cultural Center in Mbarara, Great Lakes Museum in Kabale, Amabere Caves, Mparo Tombs, and Bigo Bya Mugyenyi among others.
An group Batwa from the Batwa community, an entertaining indegenous tribe from the western part of Uganda.
Cultural tours in Uganda can be done during any season of the year. There are quite a number of festivities that run throughout the year, and you find such a great time to catch up with the celebrations - to experience the epitome of African culture in the Pearl of Africa.
A list of potential tour operators is available for you to choose from. They'll take you to get the best experience ever in your adventurous life.
You can also check out cultural tours in Central, Northern and Eastern regions.