For people who intend to travel (Swahili: Safari) not only
as a leisure moment but even as an opportunity to discover new cultures, Uganda offers various choices to get near
and close to the local communities.
Uganda, with a population of 24.5 million has about 50 different tribes.
South of the Nile is dominated by tribes belonging to the Bantu ethnic group:
- Baganda, the largest Ugandan ethnic group having around the 20% of the whole population, live in central and southern Uganda and around Kampala and are the origin of the name to the nation. The Buganda Kingdom was never conquered by colonial armies; rather the powerful king (Kabaka), Mutesa I, agreed to a protectorate status. The Kabakaship is linked to a legendary Kintu as the first king but rather a mythical origin of the Kingdom.
- Banyoro descend from the most ancient Ugandan kingdom: Bunyoro - Kitara (1300). The traditional government of Bunyoro consisted of a hereditary ruler, or king (Omukama). The Nyoro Omukama was believed to be descended from the first ruler, Kintu who had 3 sons. The oldest son became a servant and cultivator, the second became a herder, and the third son became the ruler over all the people according to some legendary stories. Bunyoro - Kitara has also mythical links with Abaewezi, legends abound among Banyoro history.
- Basoga live around Jinja East of the Victoria Nile River. Traditional Soga society consisted of a number of small kingdoms not united under a single leader. Society was organized around a number of principles, the most important of which was descent. Unlike the kabakas of Buganda, Basoga kings are members of royal clans, selected by a combination of descent and approval by royal elders.
- Bagisu occupy the western slopes of Mount Elgon. Bugisu has the highest population density in the nation. As a result, almost all land in Bugisu is cultivated and production of arabica coffee is very important and a major cash crop.
- Bakiga inhabit the far south west.
- Bakonjo are found in Kasese area and parts of Bundibugyo bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Bamba near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo dominate Bundibugyo district.
- Banyankole in Mbarara and the neighbouring districts descend from the traditional Ankole kingdom where the pastoralist Hima established dominion over the agricultural Bairu. The Iru were legally and socially inferior to the Hima, and the symbol of this inequality was cattle, which only the Hima could own. Ankole society evolved into a system of ranked statuses
- Batoro descend from the Toro kingdom, an offspring of Bunyoro - Kitara and live in and around Fort Portal area. They evolved out of a breakaway segment of Bunyoro some time before the nineteenth century. The Batoro and Banyoro speak closely related languages, Lutoro and Lunyoro, and share many other similar cultural traits. Toro king (also called Omukama) also claims to rule over the Bakonjo and Baamba people in the more fertile highlands above the plains of Toro. Toro is a highly centralized kingdom like Buganda but similar in stratification to Bunyoro.
- Basese live on Ssese islands.
- Moreover we find:
Bafumbira, Bagwe, Bagwere, Bakenyi, Banyuli, Basamia, Sabiny.
North of the Nile there are tribes belonging to the Nilotic ethnic group who arrived in Uganda through Southern Ethiopia around 1300:
In the North East there are the Karimojong and other migrant herders
- Lugbara and Madi in the North West. The Lugbara (roughly 3.8 percent of the total) and the Madi (roughly 1.2 percent) are the largest of these groups, representing the South Eastern corner of
a wide belt of Central Sudanic language speakers stretching from Chad to Sudan. The Lugbara live in the highlands, on an almost treeless plateau that marks the watershed between the Zaire River and the Nile. The Madi live in the lowlands to the East.
- Acholi are located in North Uganda near the Sudanese border
and Lango around Lira. They migrated from territory now in Sudan into Uganda and Kenya. They encountered horticultural Bantu-speakers, organized under the authority of territorial chiefs.
The newcomers probably claimed to be able to control rain, fertility, and supernatural forces through ritual and sacrifice,
and they may have established positions of privilege for themselves based on their spiritual expertise. Some historians believe the Langi represent the descendants of fifteenth-century dissenters from Karamojong society to the East. Both societies are organized into localized patrilineages and further grouped into clans, which are dispersed throughout the territory.
- The Iteso (people of Teso) with roughly 8.1 percent of the population of Uganda, are believed to be the nation's second largest ethnic group. The traditional economy emphasizes crop growing. Many Iteso joined Uganda's cash economy when coffee and cotton were introduced in 1912. All Iteso men within
a settlement, both related and unrelated, are organized according
to age. Each age-set spans fifteen to twenty years, providing
a generational framework for sharing the work of the settlement. Age-sets exercise social control by recognizing status distinctions based on seniority, both between and within age groups.
of the nearby countries like Toposa from Sudan and Pokot from Kenya.