Introduction


Buganda is located in the south-central region of the country known today as Uganda, as shown in the map below. This is right in the heart of Africa, astride the equator, and at the source of the great river Nile. The people of Buganda are referred to as Baganda (the singular form is Muganda), their language is referred to as Luganda, and they refer to their customs as Kiganda customs. Sometimes the generic term Ganda is used for all the above (especially by foreign scholars). Buganda is home to the nation's political and commercial capital, Kampala; as well as the country's main international airport, Entebbe. If you want to see where Uganda is located within Africa, click here.

Buganda's Location

'Uganda' (Swahili for 'Land of the Ganda') was the name used by the Arab and Swahili traders on the East African coast to refer to the kingdom of Buganda, deep in the interior of Africa. These traders first arrived in Buganda in the mid-nineteenth century in search of slaves, ivory, as well as other merchandise. When the European colonialists eventually extended their hegemony over Buganda and the surrounding territories at the end of the nineteenth century, they used the swahili term Uganda to refer to the new colony. Today, Uganda is made up of almost 40 different ethnic groups with the Baganda being the largest group at almost 20% of the total population. On a visit to the country, the late Winston Churchill was so taken by its beauty, he called it the "Pearl of Africa"; a fitting moniker that has stuck to this day. For tourist specific information, see the Visit Buganda section and also check out the web site of the Uganda Tourist Board.

Buganda, like her neighbors, had a proud history extending back centuries before the arrival of the Arabs and Europeans. In Buganda's case; the ruling dynasty of kings was established in the mid-14th century AD. Unfortunately, the lack of a written history prior to the arrival of the Arabs and Europeans makes it difficult to establish important dates with precision. The first acknowledged king in this dynasty was called Kato Kintu. There has been a total of 36 kings from Kintu's time to the current king, Mutebi II. This site endeavours to give the visitor a concise yet comprehensive look at the history, language and culture of the people of Buganda.

If you are interested in how and when Buganda was founded, how her monarchy was established, who has reigned as monarch, her territorial expansion, governance system, the colonial impact on Buganda, or the fateful constitutional crisis of 1966 and political developments since then; start with the history section. If you are interested in aspects of the Luganda language such as proper authography, pronunciation, rules governing the grammar, reviews of selected literature, and a handy Phrase Book; these can all be found in the language section. If you want to learn about Buganda's clans and the roles of the clans in Buganda's history, naming conventions and some commonly used names, Buganda's traditional music, or her indigenous religion, check out the culture section.

This site does not stop at exploring Buganda's past, it also devotes a section to the development efforts being pursued by His Majesty's government at Mmengo highlighting current efforts to rebuild and reinvigorate Buganda. For more, look into the Window on Mmengo.

Developing this site has been a labor of love and many people have contributed in varied ways to its growth. The many accolades and awards received are testimony to the combined efforts of those involved. You can check out the full list of contributors. I would like to keep this site growing in ways that benefit its many visitors. If you have any suggestions or contributions you would like to make, send me an email.


Return To: | Top Of This Page | Buganda Home Page |