The Bagisu tribe
The Bagisu are a tribe in Eastern Uganda, on the slopes of Mountain Elgon on the border of Uganda and Kenya.
The Bagisu belong to the Bantu ethnic group. Their founding father was called Masaba who, according to Bagisu legend, came from the caves in Mount Elgon. Another legend says that Masaba migrated from the Ethiopian Mountains traveling via Lake Turkana to Sironko, and finally settling around present-day Bududa. Because of their forefather, Masaba, the Bagisu are also called “Bamasaba”. The Bagisu belong to Inzu ya Masaba region led by a Umukhukha (leader). The current Umukhukha is: Umukhukha Sir Bob Mushikori
The Bagisu are agricultural people. They farm Bananas, maize, millet, sorghum, cassava, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, sim sim, vegetables, coffee among other crops. Their staple food is “Kamaleya”, dried bamboo shoots grown on Mount Elgon, which they mix with groundnuts or sim sim. Kamaleya, often called “Malewa” by non Bagisu, can be eaten as food or as a sauce with other food.
Lugisu/Lumasaba is the language spoken by the Bagisu. The Bagisu circumcise their boys in an event called “Imbalu”. This ceremony is an initiation from boyhood to manhood.
The Imbalu Festival is a very popular event both among the Bagisu, and in Uganda. This event takes place every “even” year, and rested every odd year. The “Imbalu dance” is the most popular dance of the Bagisu. The dance, also called “Kadodi”, is performed on the tunes of Kadodi drums. It’s made up of a series on jumps, whistling and dances. Other dances include: Ine’mba, Infu’mbo, Inso’nja, Tsinyi’mba, and Kamabeka.
The Bagisu are the guardians and custodians of Uganda’s side of Mount Elgon also called Mount Masaba. It’s a massive extinct volcanic mountain that extends to Kenya. Mount Elgon, once Africa’s highest mountain, is currently the 4th highest mountain in East Africa and the 8th in Africa, measuring 4,321 m above sea level. Mount Elgon has the World’s largest intact caldera measuring 40km².
Mount Elgon National Park, Uganda’s 4th largest national park measuring 1,279 km² is found on Mount Elgon.
The Bagisu are the guardians of Uganda’s Arabica coffee capital. Arabica coffee is mainly grown on the slopes of Mount Elgon. The Bagisu are also the guardians of the Elgon teak tree/Elgon olive tree which is majorly found on the slopes of Mount Elgon.
The Bagisu are the guardians and custodians of Sisiyi Falls located in Bulambuli (Bugisu region). These falls are magnificent and offer great views and great hiking experiences. The Bagisu are also the guardians of Wanale Ridge, an impressive mountain replete with escarpments, deep valleys, water streaked cliffs, caves and rocks.
The Bagisu are the guardians and custodians of Uganda’s first and only Bull fighting sport. The Bull fighting tradition, which begun in 1956, takes place in Bududa (Bugisu region). Bulls aged 4-7 years are brought from different villages and trained before the fights. The Bull fighting experience is among Uganda’s newest tourism experiences.
The Bagisu are the 7th largest tribe in Uganda, constituting 5% of Uganda’s population. There are 1,646,904 Bagisu (2014 census) in Uganda. The Bagisu are mainly found in Mbale, Bududa, Bulambuli, Manafwa, and Sironko districts .
The Baruli tribe
The Baruli, also called Baruuli, are a tribe in central Uganda on the western shores of Lake Kyoga.
The Baruli belong to the Bantu ethnic group. They originated from the 12th century Bantu migrations from central Africa traveling east to Uganda, settling in present-day Chope region – between the north-eastern shores of Lake Albert and the north-western shores of Lake Kyoga. While in Chope region, they were affected by slave trade which forced them to migrate east eventually settling in present-day Nakasongola district, on the western shores of Lake Kyoga. The Baruli belong to Buruli region and are led by a Isabaruli (leader). The current Isabaruli is: Isabaruli Mwogezi Butamanya.
The Baruli are both cattle keepers and agricultural people. They farm millet, bananas, cassava, maize, groundnuts, sweet potatoes, and vegetables. Their staple food is Sweet potatoes, Millet, and Bananas. These are eaten with fish. Millet bread is made from Millet flour.
The Baruli dress code is: kanzu (men), and gomesi (women). Men and women dress in a similar way as Banyoro, Baganda, Basoga, Bagwere, Banyara, and Jopadhola.
The Baruli language is called “Ruruuli”.
The Baruli, and Baganda, are the guardians and custodians of Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, home to Uganda’s only wild southern white rhinos. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is located in Nakasongola (Buganda/Buruli region). The sanctuary is home to 30 southern white rhinoceros which give visitors memorable experiences with rhinos in the wild. The sanctuary is also home to antelopes like bushbucks, and a number of birds among which includes the famous Shoebill stork. Long and short horned cattle from neighboring cattle keepers can also be encountered in the sanctuary.
The Baruli, and Baganda, are the guardians and custodians of the western shores of Lake Kyoga. Lake Kyoga is a 1,720 km² fresh water lake that separates northern Uganda and southern Uganda. The western shores of Lake Kyoga are home to Victoria Nile’s Lake Kyoga outlet stream which supplies Murchison Falls, the most powerful waterfalls in the world. Lake Kyoga is shallow and swampy and a good place for canoeing and birding. It’s lake systems are home to fish species only found in Uganda.
The Baruli keep long-horned cattle just like the Banyankole, and Basongora. They are the major central Uganda tribe that keeps such cattle. Long-horned cattle are a unique type of cattle known for their high quality milk products and adaption to hot climate.
There are 190,122 Baruli (2014 census) in Uganda. The Baruli are mainly found in Nakasongola district.
The Iteso tribe
The Iteso are a tribe in Eastern Uganda East of Lake Kyoga.
The Iteso belong to the Nilo-hamitic ethnic group and they are believed to have come from the Habesha people of the Solomonic Dynasty that existed in Ethiopia from AD 1270 to 1974. Another legend connects their origin to the Egyptian wife of the biblical, old-testament Joseph. In all these legends, it’s said that the Iteso then migrated south through Sudan to Eastern Uganda, By 1850 the Iteso were in control of a large territory that extended as far as the western highlands of Kenya. In 1902, after the British colonialists separated western Kenya from Uganda, the Iteso on the Kenya side remained part of Kenya to this day. The Iteso belong to Teso and are led by an Emorimor (king). The current Emorimor is Emorimor Augustine Osuban Lemukol.
The Iteso are both agricultural and pastoral people. They farm millet, sorghum, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, cassava, maize, cotton and also keep livestock. Their staple food is millet but sweet potatoes are also a popular meal among them. The sweet potato slices are dried forming “Amukeke”, a very popular food among the Iteso. Millet is used to make “Atapa” – meal, and “Ajono” – a popular drink among the Iteso. Ateso is the language spoken by the Iteso.
The Iteso are the guardians and custodians of Uganda’s most amazing ancient rock paintings, Nyero Rock paintings. These paintings are composed of six shelters and date to before AD 1250. They were painted by the early Batwa whose descendants are the Batwa tribe in South western Uganda. The paintings are among the world’s best Archeological artifacts and are a UNESCO world heritage site. They are located between Ngora and Kumi (Teso regions).
The Iteso are the guardians of Soroti Rock, a large striking granite rock that towers above Soroti town. Soroti Rock rises 90m above the plain landscape and it offers fantastic panoramic views of Soroti town, Lake Kyoga and Mt. Elgon.
The Iteso are the guardians of Tididiek Rock, also called the pinnacle of Teso. This amazing rock stands at 1230 meters above sea-level, giving beautiful views of surrounding areas and distant horizons. Tididiek Rock is located in Tididiek (Teso region).
The Iteso are the guardians of Lake Opeta – Bisina, one of the lakes known for the Fox’s weaver – a bird that is only found in Uganda. The lakes’ swamps are also a great location for birding, including the Shoebill stork.
The Iteso are the 5th largest tribe (after Bakiga) constituting 7% of Uganda’s population. There are 2,364,569 Iteso (2014 census) in Uganda. The Iteso are mainly found in Soroti, Kumi, Katakwi, Amuria, Bukedea, Serere, Ngora, Pallisa, Kaberamaido, Tororo, Kapelebyong, and Kalaki districts.
The Basoga tribe
The Basoga are a tribe in Central Eastern Uganda, north of Lake Victoria and south of Lake Kyoga.
The Basoga belong to the Bantu ethnic group and they came from Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom. Their founding king, Prince Mukama Namatukula, was a prince in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, which came from the 13th century Chwezi Empire. The Basoga belong to Busoga Kingdom in Central Eastern Uganda led by a Kyabazinga (King). The current Kyabazinga is: Kyabazinga William Gabula Nadiope IV.
The Basoga are agricultural people. They farm bananas, millet, cassava, yams, sweet potatoes, vegetables, coffee, tea, cotton, among other crops. Their staple food is sweet potatoes – locally called Embooli.
The Basoga traditional dress code is: Kanzu (men) and Gomesi (ladies), just like the Baganda. Lusoga is the language of the Basoga and it’s closely related to that of the Baganda. Basoga women kneel during greeting and when serving food to their husbands.
The Basoga are the guardians of the Source of River Nile, the world’s longest river that stretches 6,650 km from Lake Victoria to Egypt. The waters of the Nile take 6 months to reach Egypt from Lake Victoria. Along the way, these waters create the world’s most powerful waterfall, north East of Uganda.
The Basoga are the custodians and guardians of Uganda’s and East Africa’s Adventure capital – Jinja. Jinja is Uganda’s second biggest city and home to the World’s finest Grade 5 white water rafting on River Nile. Jinja is also home to other Nile adventures like Kayaking, tubing, bungee jumping, river boarding, fishing, and offshore adventure activities like quad biking, golfing and horse riding. All these activities combined make Busoga region, Uganda’s and East Africa’s Adventure Capital. Jinja town was also Uganda’s industrial capital in the 20th century and it created the first 20th century middle class society in Uganda. It was home to a number of industries that supported Uganda’s development in the past century.
The Basoga are the guardians of Kagulu Hill, a massive 3,600 feet above sea level rock in Buyende (Busoga region). This hill is one of Uganda’s latest tourism attractions offering spectacular 360 views from the top, of nearby and distant horizons including views of Lake Kyoga. Climbing the hill is also a great hiking experience. The Basoga are also the guardians of Uganda’s newest and best bridge: The Source of the Nile bridge, located in Jinja. Uganda’s top hospitality training institute, Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute, is located in Jinja.
The Basoga are the guardians of the first vice-presidency of Uganda. The first vice-president of Uganda, who was also the king of Busoga Kingdom at that time (1963), was Kyabazinga William Wilberforce Kadhumbula Nadiope III.
The Basoga are the guardians of most of Uganda’s major hydroelectric dams. These dams include: Bujagali Power Station, a 250 MW hydro station which until 2019 was the most powerful hydroelectric power station in Uganda constructed in 2012, Nalubaale Hydroelectric Power Station, a 180 MW hydro station formerly called Owen Falls Dam and Uganda’s oldest hydroelectric dam, constructed in 1951, Kiira power station, a 200 MW hydro station constructed in 1993, and Isimba Hydroelectric Power Station, a recently opened 183.2 MW hydroelectric power station constructed in 2015 .
The Basoga are the guardians of Uganda’s leading sugar manufacturer: Kakira Sugar Works, located in Jinja. 47% of Uganda’s sugar is made from this factory and Kakira sugar is the most popular sugar brand in Uganda.
The Basoga are the 3rd largest tribe in Uganda constituting 9 percent of Uganda’s population. There are 2,960,890 Basoga (2014 census) in Uganda. The Basoga are mainly found in Jinja, Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Mayuge, Luuka, Kaliro, Namutumba/Busiki, Buyende, and Namayingo districts.
The Baganda tribe
The Baganda are a tribe in Central Uganda in the Lake Victoria region both on the shores and on the Islands.
The Baganda belong to the Bantu ethnic group. One legend has it that they originated from Bunyoro Kitara Empire under their founding father Kato Kintu Kimera. Another legend says they originated from the 13th century Chwezi Empire that covered East, Central and Western Uganda. In all these legends, the founding father of the Baganda was Kintu.
The Baganda belong to Buganda Kingdom in central Uganda led by a Kabaka (King).
The Baganda are agricultural, pastoral and fishing people. They farm bananas, cassava, yams, sweet potatoes, vegetables, keep livestock and fish. Their staple food is Bananas – locally called Matooke. The Baganda’s meals are prepared wrapped in banana leaves and their sauce called “Oluwombo”, is a stew prepared in banana leaves too. Oluwombo is one of the best and most creative sauces in Africa.
The Baganda are the guardians of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest freshwater lake, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. 84 beautiful Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria belong to Baganda. Baganda are also the guardians of Kabaka’s Lake – Africa’s oldest man made, non reservoir lake. This lake was hand dug by the Baganda in 1886 and it was an idea of then King of Buganda: Kabaka Mwanga II Mukasa, who also participated in the digging.
The Baganda are the custodians and guardians of Uganda’s capital city – Kampala. The country’s name, “Uganda”, was inspired by the Baganda tribe. They are also the guardians of the first presidency of Uganda. The first president of Uganda, who was also the king of Buganda Kingdom at that time (1963), was Kabaka Sir. Edward Mutesa II. The Baganda are the guardians of Uganda’s main International Airport – Entebbe International Airport. They are also the guardians of Uganda’s only zoo – Entebbe Zoo, Uganda’s oldest botanical gardens – Botanical Gardens Entebbe, and Uganda’s only island chimpanzee sanctuary – Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Ngamba Island.
The Baganda are the guardians of Uganda’s most popular beaches found along Lake Victoria. They are also the guardians of Uganda’s only rhinos – at Entebbe zoo and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola (Buganda region). Lake Mburo National Park, the closest national park to Kampala is found in Lyantonde (Buganda region).
The Baganda have a strict clan system and give surnames based on clans. There are 52 clans in Buganda kingdom. The traditional marriage ceremony of the Baganda, “Kwanjula”, is one of the most popular functions in Uganda, and Luganda, a Baganda language, is the most widely spoken language in Uganda. The Kabaka (King) of Buganda Kingdom is widely respected among the Baganda and he is a very popular person in Uganda. The current kabaka is Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II. The Kabaka’s birthday run is a popular fundraising event for different illnesses.
The Baganda dress code, Kanzu (men) and Gomesi (ladies), is a popular dresscode in Uganda’s central region. Baganda women traditionally kneel during greeting.
The Baganda are the guardians of Uganda’s top University – Makerere University Kampala, the Uganda Museum, Uganda’s national referral hospital (Mulago Hospital), and a number of Uganda’s government and private buildings and installations. They are also the guardians of Africa’s only Baha’i temple.
The Baganda are the largest tribe in Uganda constituting 17 percent of Uganda’s population. There are 5,555,319 Baganda (2014 census) in Uganda. The Baganda are mainly found in Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Mpigi, Masaka, Rakai, Mubende, Sembabule, Kayunga, Mityana, Nakasongola, Luweero, Lyantonde, Gomba, Kiboga, Buvuma, Kalungu, Buikwe, Kyankwanzi, and Lugazi districts.