Masindi town is quite an important town in the history of Uganda. With its rich historical roots traced to the Great Bunyoro Kitara Dynasty - also known as the Bachwezi Dynasty of the 16th century, that covered the great lakes region of Africa as far as the present day DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), Masindi is an house hold name in the past of this country.
Located in the mid-western Uganda, the town is part of the larger present day Bunyoro Kingdom and the administrative town of Masindi District.
It's a very diverse and multi-lingual town with peoples of different origins; the Acholi, Langi, Lugbara, the Alur from west nile and of course the native Banyoro form the common groups.
A drive to Masindi - shortly before you enter the town, you will quickly see that the region has an agricultural potential - The stretches of farmland coupled with ranches and forested areas welcome you.
Photo by; David Hamill
A walk through town has that organic feel of the colonial arrangement of the buildings and their type that have not changed much in the last 50/60 years.
It's famous for its monumental sites particularly those linked to the Bunyoro Kingdom; prominent is the point at which the late king of Bunyoro - Kabarega the Great met Sir Samuel Barker for reconciliation.
Sir Samuel Baker was a British explorer in the 19 century who was an engineer and writer with a big passion for big-game-hunting. At the time he was part of the abolitionist movement that worked tirelessly around the world to get rid of slave trade.
Visiting the monuments and historical sites around the town and listening to the stories tells a lot about how great the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom liked in its glory days.
Masindi Hotel - Colonial Era - Photo by; sarahemcc
Masindi is ideally located as a favourite stop over for tourists going to the Murchisons Falls National Park (previously called the Kabarega National Park)and the Budongo Forest Reserve Famous land marks include; Masindi Public Primary school and Kabarega Secondary school - which have produced many high profile Ugandans over the years.
Economically, it's agriculture - cattle keeping and crop growing that sustains this place; coffee plantations, banana growing, piggery, subsistence dairy farming and poultry are quite prominent here.
Majority of the residents are employed in the sugarcane plantaion by the Kinyara Sugar Works.
However with all its potential, Masindi quite evidently grapples with poor roads - A big chunk of its revenue depends on grants from the central government, plus local revenue from Kinyara Sugar works and the local markets.
Budongo Forest near Masindi - Photo by; sarahemcc
The ray of hope is that there is some opportunistic positive news; Masindi - just like the other districts and towns around is positioned strategically to tap into the benefits of the impending oil exploration in Bulisa, the Karuma dam power project and the Kinyara sugar works expansion - these would potentially create more jobs for the residents, improving the their welfare.
All in all, Masindi is a very pleasant laid-back-town. If you are in no rush, take a walk down town and take in more of the town - I am sure you will discover more about this monumental town that you can gladly share with us here...
Did you know that;
The local dialets in Masindi are Runyoro and Swahili? Here are a few survival phrases to get you started with the lingo ...
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