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In Uganda, there are forty languages that fall into three main families; Bantu, Nilotic and Central Sudanic. Uganda is home to many different ethnic groups, none of whom forms a majority of the population. Around forty different languages are regularly and currently in use in the country. English became the official language of Uganda after independence. Ugandan English is a local variant dialect that is easy to understand.

While in Kampala

The most widely spoken local language in Uganda is Luganda. Originally spoken predominantly by the Ganda people (Baganda) in the urban concentrations of Kampala, the capital city, and in towns and localities in the Buganda region of Uganda which encompasses Kampala.

Uganda is one of the best English Speaking countries in Africa. However English is commonly used in urban areas. Therefore since Bwindi Impenetrable Forest lies in the rural areas of south western Uganda, don’t expect to find many locals who can hold a conservation in English. The local languages of the people that live around the forest are Lukiga and Lufumbira.

Despite this, the staff at the lodges within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as well as destination guides have a good command of English, since they are carefully selected and trained for the jobs that they hold.

On most organised community tours to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, the guides will make sure that there will be a translator to help you get along with the local people.

Other Languages

Swahili, a widely used language throughout Eastern and Central East Africa, was approved as the country’s second official national language in 2005, though this is somewhat politically sensitive. Though the language has not been favoured by the Bantu-speaking populations of the south and southwest of the country. It is also widely used in the police and military forces.