Uganda

Uganda

The Pearl of Africa

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Bwindi National Park

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Kigo

Bwindi National Park

Bwindi National Park

Uganda

The words of Winston Churchill published in 1908 still ring true today in the 21st Century. “For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for a profusion of brilliant life — bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale — Uganda is “the Pearl of Africa.” The Kingdom of Uganda is a fairy tale.

Uganda’s history dates back over 50,000 years ago. Ugandans were foreigners until the Bantu people migrated here and brought more developed skills. At the same time, the Bunyoro Kingdom took over the northern portion of what is now western Uganda, while Buganda dominated central Uganda.

Tourists who love exploring new places will love coming to Uganda. It is located in the African Great Lakes region, on the shores of both Lake Victoria and Lake Albert. The country borders Tanzania, South Sudan, Kenya, DR Congo, and Rwanda.

History of Uganda

With a rich, turbulent history and amazing natural landmarks, Uganda has a lot to offer to new visitors.

The country got its name from the Buganda kingdom, which it incorporates. Buganda rose to power in the 1840s when it conquered most of the nearby territory. However, the history of Uganda as a whole is much older.

The first signs of human inhabitation date back to as far as 50,000 years. The first people who lived there were farmers and hunters. At some point, the Bantu people migrated here from Central Africa, and most of them moved to the shore of Lake Victoria, where they started to cultivate the land.

Over the years, the Bantu people formed new tribes, and later, they would form clans and even kingdoms. Their descendants still live in this area today.

Buganda and the British Rule

If we fast forward tens of thousands of years, we can see how strong Buganda became. Their king built a fleet of canoes and took control of Lake Victoria. The people Buganda conquered were then used as cheap labor. Even the British explorers were amazed at how organized Buganda was.

However, it wouldn’t remain independent for long. In 1892, King Mwanga II signed a peace treaty with Lord Lugard. The British were now officially in charge. Still, Bugandan kings were allowed to stay in charge of the region, and they even kept their titles.

British rule ended when Uganda gained independence in 1962. Buganda became a part of this new country. However, the king kept his title and had some minor autonomy. In fact, most kingdoms under Uganda did the same. Their kings would keep the titles, but the whole country was ruled by a president and the parliament.

Turmoil

However, the early years of independence weren’t very peaceful. Between 1962 and 1967, Bugandan king Mutesa II clashed with Uganda’s prime minister Milton Obote. Their conflict would lead to an open civil war. In 1966, Obote led an attack on the king’s palace. It was a decisive victory for the prime minister. Mutesa was exiled, and Obote was in charge.

A year later, Obote declared himself president. He then abolished all existing kingdoms within Uganda. Still, not too many people liked this decision, and some of them were even Obote’s personal allies.

In 1971, his own general, Idi Amin, would overthrow him. Of course, we all know how bloody Amin’s regime was. He was finally overthrown when Tanzania invaded Uganda in 1979. They overthrew Amin with the help of Ugandan exiles.

Uganda After Amin

After Amin, Obote became president once again. However, he was just as much of a dictator as Amin. Thus, another coup happened in 1986. Yoweri Museveni took power and Obote was exiled. Museveni has been in office ever since.

Don’t be discouraged by Uganda’s violent history. It still has a lot to offer to its visitors. The geography itself gives the country a lot of opportunities. We can see lush forests, beautiful Rwenzori mountains, stunning rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. It’s no wonder that Uganda has many national parks — nature is its main asset.

Most of the country relies on agriculture. Ugandans cultivate and export a lot of products. Some of these include coffee, maize, fish, tea, sugar, tobacco, beans and cocoa beans, sesame and flowers. They also export a lot of raw materials. Many African countries import Ugandan cement, crude oil, base metals, and animal hides.

Still, in the last two decades, the service sector has surpassed agriculture. In 2007, 52% of Uganda’s revenue came from the service industry. More and more people are becoming bankers and IT experts. Additionally, tourism keeps growing, and many people from the Great Lakes region come to visit.

Several other sectors have grown quite a bit too. For instance, Ugandan cinema has seen some expansion recently. One such example is an independent film studio in Wakaliga. This studio is called Wakaliwood, and in the past ten years alone, it made more than 40 no-budget films. Some of these films became famous worldwide.

Ugandan People

Uganda is very diverse. In its Bugandan kingdom alone, there are 52 recognized clans.

Most people in Uganda are of Bantu descent. Others are either Central Sudanic, Kuliak or Nilotic.

Over 80% of Uganda is Christian. Among Christians, 44% are Roman Catholic. Islamic Ugandans make up about 15% of the country, while less than 4% of the country follows traditional beliefs. There is even a small percentage of irreligious Ugandans.

Most Ugandans speak the official languages, English and Swahili. However, the Bantu groups don’t really favor Swahili. Instead, they speak several different local languages. In fact, aside from English and Swahili, Ugandans speak over 43 different languages in total.

There is one important detail to mention when it comes to Ugandans. Namely, they are all extremely friendly people. For example, in 2017, a survey was conducted to see which country was the friendliest to expats. Surprisingly, Uganda ended up at the top of that list. In other words, it’s not just the friendliest country in Africa. It’s the friendliest country in the world. And having friendly neighbors is always good for investment.

Ugandan Lifestyle

Generally, Ugandans have a similar way of ‘doing things.’ Still, one feature of Ugandan society is that early marriages are common. In fact, sometimes the bride and the groom would be as young as eleven or twelve. Their parents arrange the marriage, and the kids have no say in the matter.

When it comes to people having fun, however, Ugandans are quite similar to other people worldwide. Men like to go to pubs and have a drink or two after a hard day’s work. They also really enjoy football and often get together for a match or two, even on weekdays. But, dating is a bit different. Usually, it’s very group-oriented, for both genders. In addition, there is no touching in public.

A Great Investment Location in Africa

Uganda enjoys a unique location at the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa within the East African region and lies astride the equator. The country is bordered by Sudan in the north, Kenya in the east, the United Republic of Tanzania in the south, Rwanda in the southwest and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west. This land linked position gives the country a strategic commanding base to be a regional hub for trade and investment. Uganda enjoys pivotal trade partnerships that create a viable market for business.

A potential investor considering investing in Uganda will find a well regulated highly liberalized economy in which all sectors are open for investment and there is a free movement of capital to and from the country.

Uganda is ranked the 8th freest economy out of the 46 Sub-Saharan Africa countries. The business operating environment allows the full repatriation of profits after the mandatory taxes have been paid, as well as 100% foreign ownership of private investments. The incentive regime is structurally embedded in the country’s tax laws making them non-discriminatory and accessible to both domestic and foreign investment depending on the sector and level of investment.

Uganda’s labour is highly trainable, English speaking and the cost compares favourably in Africa.

Inflation has now stabilized to 6.6% after the global economic downturn against which the Uganda economy was resilient and continued to attract foreign direct investment during the period.

The country’s political and economic environment has been consistently improving and stable since 1986. Under the leadership of H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Uganda has been able to be a political stabilizing force in the region, which has provided a secure environment for business to thrive. Security of investment is also guaranteed under the Constitution of Uganda and the Investment Code 1991, as well as the major international investment-related agreements/treaties to which Uganda is a signatory.

In order to provide a conducive environment for doing business in Uganda, the government of Uganda has created a One Stop Centre (OSC) for business registration and licensing at the Uganda Investment Authority. The OSC also assists in tax advice and registration, immigration and work permit issues, land acquisition and verification, as well as environmental compliance and approvals. Accessing all these services under one roof saves the investor both time and money to have their projects licensed and implemented expeditiously.

Uganda’s Strategic Location

Uganda enjoys a unique location at the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa within the East African region and lies astride the equator. The country is bordered by Sudan in the north, Kenya in the east, the United Republic of Tanzania in the south, Rwanda in the southwest and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west. This land linked position gives the country a strategic commanding base to be a regional hub for trade and investment. Uganda enjoys pivotal trade partnerships that create a viable market for business.

Uganda’s Stunning Nature & Wildlife

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 chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43 meter tall waterfall and wildlife.

Situated at the heart of the African continent in the Nile Basin, with a long shoreline on Lake Victoria, Uganda offers visitors everything from vibrant modern city living to some of the loveliest landscape in all of Africa.

Originally the capital of the Buganda Kingdom, Kampala is the largest city and the country’s capital. Situated on an inlet on the north-western corner of Lake Victoria, Kampala was originally set on seven hills, like Rome, although it has grown to encompass many more.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is one of the few places on the planet which encompasses every ecological habitat.

The original seven are crowned with some of Kampala’s most important sites. The Kasubi Hill, for example, houses the Kasubi Tomb, the sacred burial site of the Buganda kings – a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001 – described as “one of the most remarkable buildings using purely vegetal materials in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Other hills house many of Kampala’s most prominent religious landmarks, including the massive Rubaga Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Namirembe Anglican Cathedral and the Kibuli Mosque.

The Independence Monument situated at the heart of Kampala is one of the city’s most famous landmarks, depicting a man raising a child to touch the sky, symbolizing the new-born country emerging from its colonial past.

Reaching much further into Uganda’s past, the Uganda National Museum on Kololo Hill features stone tools from as far back as one million years ago, as well as sections dedicated to science and technology, communications, paleontology and traditional music.

Or perhaps, for a more lively and contemporary Ugandan experience, there’s the Ndere Centre: nine acres of green walkways, shaded under well-grown tropical trees, where you can find many attractions dedicated to local creativity, including regular performances by the Ndere Troupe, celebrating the music, culture, dance and joy of 56 different tribes.

Lake Victoria offers a variety of aquatic activities and beautiful locations. They’re mostly in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, although there are a few in the Mgahinga National Park as well, this affords a rare opportunity to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. However, tours are arranged with great care, to avoid disruption and the possibility of the gorillas contracting human diseases.

Another of Uganda’s 10 national parks – two of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites – is Rwenzori Mountains National Park, one of the few places on the planet which encompasses every ecological habitat, from Savannah to rainforest to grassland to heath to alpine to permanent snow and ice.

Sometimes called the Mountains of the Moon, the Rwenzori Mountains offer tremendous hiking, climbing, white-water canoeing and some of the richest biodiversity one could ever hope to see.

The Murchison Falls National Park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, centred on a gorge where the Nile squeezes through a narrow point only seven meters wide, falling in a thunderous waterfall 43 meters high.

Featuring 79 different species of mammal, including lions, giraffes and elephants, Uganda’s largest population of crocodiles and more than 450 species of birds, Murchison is a truly extraordinary wildlife sanctuary straddling what might be called the aorta of Africa.

And finally, if there’s only enough time to travel a little way from the capital, Lake Victoria itself offers a variety of aquatic activities and beautiful locations.

The second largest freshwater lake in the world after Lake Superior in North America, and the world’s largest tropical lake, Lake Victoria is the principal source of the second longest river on Earth, the White Nile.

Rich in birds, animals, fish and plant life, almost half of Lake Victoria belongs to Uganda, including the lovely Ssese archipelago. And it’s right on Kampala’s doorstep.

Obviously, the latter is more regarding the tourist industry but obviously, there are more (economic) factors important for selling real estate in Uganda.

Uganda’s Tourism

Uganda is home to the source of the Nile, the longest river in the world and around Jinja. The Nile offers the best white-water rafting experience globally.

Outside Kampala, Uganda offers some of Africa’s most exciting and unique tourist experiences. Along with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda is one of the three countries in the world where there are mountain gorillas.

Lake Victoria, which is shared with Tanzania and Kenya, is the 2nd largest freshwater lake in the world, while Lake Bunyonyi in southwestern Uganda is the 3rd deepest in the world!

It is estimated that 50% of the world’s population of mountain gorillas lives in Uganda.

It is no wonder that even during the British colonialist times; Uganda’s unique character and incomparable beauty were recognized by Sir Winston Churchill who described Uganda as the “The Pearl of Africa”, a coined phrase that depicts Uganda today.

Tourists also like to visit the Queen Victoria National Park. Namely, the lions there all climb trees. In the wild, lions don’t usually climb trees. But here, they do it willingly every afternoon, making this phenomenon almost unique to Uganda.

Places to Visit in Uganda

If you’re visiting Uganda, there are a few points of interest you should keep in mind.

The first and obvious one is the capital, Kampala which got it's name from the impalas and the Britts called it Camp Impala, later changed to Kampala to match local pronounciation. While you’re there, make sure to visit the famous Kasubi tombs. A UNESCO heritage site, these tombs hold the remains of four Bugandan kings and their families. It’s an important cultural and spiritual site for the local Ganda people. The great mosque is a great view spot overlooking the whole city on the seven hills.

Of course, if you like culture, you must visit the Ndere center. During your stay, you will be treated to fine local meals and experience many different songs and dances from various cultures in Uganda.

If you want to step out of Kampala, we highly recommend the city of Hoima and its small municipal town Mparo. Hoima is the current capital of the Bunyoro kingdom, which used to dominate the region at one point in history.

Within Mparo, you can see the stunning Mparo tombs. They hold the remains of several Bunyoro kings, princes and princesses. The most notable of those is King Kabalega II, who was exiled to Seychelles in 1899 by the British.

How Investing Helps the Locals

In the past few years alone, tourism has brought Uganda billions of dollars. People are coming over from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, DR Congo, and South Sudan. However, they’ve also had visitors from India, the UK, and the USA.

Hundreds of thousands of people want to visit Uganda’s national parks. Moreover, they also want to see important cities like Kampala and Jinja. A lot of this new interest in Uganda can be attributed to Internet meme culture. Young travelers who use the Internet often want to visit the country. As a result of that, the number of tourists has almost doubled.

Uganda’s booming tourism also helps reduce poverty. More and more Ugandans are turning to the tourism industry. For example, they’re working as drivers, tour guides and park rangers. They’re also getting jobs as accountants and translators. So, if we invest in the local infrastructure, we help the locals earn more money. More importantly, we boost and expand the local economy.

Investing in Uganda would help expose its culture to the world too. For instance, people can take tours of Western and Central Uganda. During these tours, they can get to know the local people and their customs.

The country also has a lot of modern, urban festivals. Some of these include the Festival of the Nile, Kampala City Festival, This Is Uganda, and the Nile Jazz Safari. You can connect with modern Ugandans more easily when you attend these. But more importantly, they bring in more revenue for Uganda itself.

Uganda might have its flaws, that much is true. But the New Nordic Group sees everything it has to offer. All it needs is some proper investment. If we have that, we can make Uganda the next tourist hot spot in just a few decades.

Bwindi National Park

As names go, there's hardly a more evocative African destination than the Impenetrable Forest of Bwindi. This swath of steep mountains covered in thick, steamy jungle is just as magnificent as it sounds. The 331sqkm World Heritage–listed Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of Africa’s most ancient habitats, even surviving the last Ice Age as most of the continent's other forests disappeared.

Entebbe

Due to its position, Entebbe is a crucial part of the New Nordic puzzle. With stunning wildlife, music festivals and incredible beaches, it has suitable economic potential for many investors. Still, the New Nordic Group is particularly interested in Entebbe due to its great position (it’s located on the coast of Lake Victoria) and the fact that it’s a natural wonder aimed at wildlife enthusiasts and history buffs. Furthermore, the government is planning to modernize the airport, which saw 2 million passengers in 2018 alone.

CATALOGUE

Kigo

Kigo is not like other cities in Uganda. But then again, it’s not a city. In fact, it is a small neighborhood in the Ssabagabo municipality. We believe that it’s the perfect place for investment, and if you read on, you’ll find out why.

A resort just on the very beach of Lake Victoria, the worlds 2nd largest lake. 18 holes golf a stone throw away. 

Country head office

In the past few years alone, tourism has brought Uganda billions of dollars. People are coming over from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, DR Congo, and South Sudan. However, they’ve also had visitors from India, the UK, and the USA.

Our Headquarters in Uganda is not yet in place, please reach out to any of our offices around the world for more information. Contact information is on the bottom of thie page.

LOCATION

Our Hotel Terra is New Nordic first development in Uganda and is conveniently situated in the city of Entebbe, close to both the international airport and to the lake. A central location makes it perfect for any kind of adventure for a day or longer and the airport means that you'll get both to Hotel Terra and to your home or other destinations quickly.

Being our first development does not mean our last, we're already on pursue of more beautiful pieces of land.