A safari to Uganda is complete only if it is combined with exceptional cultural experience in the great land of the Soga people along Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga area, just as you set into the land of Kamuli, Jinja and Iganga. Luckily, we have seen Uganda’s tremendous wildlife and we have appreciated but most incredibly add a cultural safari to bungee jumping or white water rafting in Eastern Uganda and you will certainly realize the fact about authentic African experiences in life. With over 60 different cultures that are all ingrained within this small country, a safari to land of Basoga is the most spectacular experience that offers opportunity to explore their religion, traditional dances, lifestyles, set up of their kingdom and many more things that never leave visitor who get into their community unsatisfied. Before the influence of the Europeans, the Basoga people practiced subsistence farming and mainly depended on cattle, sheep and goat keeping. The ancient occupants in Busoga region were mainly the Nilo hamites which included the Langi and Iteso together with the Bagisu people. However, when the Basoga immigrants from the East came, they were all removed from the area and their culture, traditions and lifestyles were taken over. The Basoga are described by their clan chief that also defines the every day life in their communities. Concerning their area of worship, the Basoga demonstrated ancestral worship with several gods and semi gods together with Lubaale-their creator. They believed in animated nature that they provided with numerous sacrifices of different kinds but later, they were influenced by the Baganda as their dialect (Lusoga) was a bit similar to Luganda. The Baganda dialect continued as the Basoga dialects were hardily understood by other Soga tribes. Because of continuous migrations, the Basoga history is a bit hard to ascertain.
The culture and religion:
Busoga region is spearheaded by His Royal Highness Isebantu Kyabazinga of Busoga. The name was chosen from a symbol of unity derived from the expression and recognition by the Basoga that their cultural leader was the “father of all people who brings all of them together.” Traditionally, the Basoga were composed of several small kingdoms and they were disunited not until recently that they have a single leader. The society was organized based on numerous principles, of which was descent. This was mainly occurring from male ancestors and hence formation of patrilineage that comprises of individuals’ closest relatives. The group offered guidance and support for every individual and united related home steads for economic, social and religious reasons. The women of the household were responsible for taking care of the most common staple foods which include bananas, millet, cassava and sweet potatoes. Once you visit Busoga region, never return without tasting the local menu of the Basoga. For the case of men, their care rotated around cash crops like coffee, cotton, peanuts and corn. Lineage membership was however the determinant of marriage options, inheritance rights and right to worship the ancestors. Each person normally attempted to improve his economic and social status that originally depended on lineage membership, by skillful manipulating patrons-client ties within the authority structure of the kingdom. Despite the relative lineage, the man’s patrons had a right to influence his status in the community some thing different from that of Buganda kings and Busoga Kings.
Traditionally, a Musoga man was/is supposed to identify a girl that he wants to marry where he will then send an advance team composing of presentable and honorable male members the side of his family or clan. The team was to be charged from the girl’s home for getting into contact with their daughter and then gather more information concerning her in order to avoid marring relatives which is not allowed in Uganda’s cultures. The team then goes a head to table a format requesting to introduce the son and ask the girl’s hand in marriage. However, things have changed where there is use of letters that are sent to the girl’s family a head. The father isn’t allowed to read this letter but to solicit the company of his sister while reading it. The letter will suggest a specific date on which the man intends to present himself for proper introduction. If it is inconvenient on the side of the girl’s family, another optional date can be decided and communication will be sent back to the man’s family. According to Basoga culture, an introduction is very important as it creates a strong bond that also brings the two different families together.
In conclusion, a cultural safari to Uganda offers visitors opportunity to explore its diverse cultures. Your safari can be amazing only if you included a cultural experience from Busoga into the list of your activities. Enjoy your cultural safari with the Basoga!