The Ankole culture

Rushere Community Hospital is in the kingdom of Ankole – one of the oldest kingdoms of Uganda. The culture of the Ankole district of Uganda is very rich with traditions that go back centuries.

Long Horned Ankole cattle

For many Banyankole people, life in this part of Uganda centres on cattle. Long Horned Ankole cattle have the longest horns in the world, and a Bahima family (traditional cattle herders) will care for large herds, each cow with its own name. The cattle are not only used for milk, but also as gifts, in particular for marriages.

Ankole cows  Ankole cows
Increasingly Friesian cows are being bred or crossed with the traditional cattle as they yield more milk, and Rushere has its own herd of cattle, including both friesian and indigenous cows.

Traditional Bahima houses include a milk hut where milk pots are kept. Milk pots can also be stored on an Omugamba.

Food in South West Uganda

We eat a variety of foods, including:

  • Matoke – a staple made from bananas
  • Millet – used in porridge and bread
  • Cassava
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peanuts – often made into delicious peanut sauce
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Pinapples
  • Bananas of all sizes, including red bananas which are particularly sweet

Wildlife

The Ankole region is beautiful and luxurient with rolling hills, lakes and a rich variety of birds, animals and plants. A visit to the nearby Lake Mburo Game Park will give visitors the chance to see a wide range of mammals and birds, including the hippopotamuses, crocodiles, herds of buffalo and zebra, Eland, Topi, Impala and Ugandan Kob. Slightly further afield is the Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is also home for herds of elephants, the big cats, hyenas and primates.

Lilac breasted roller at Rushere HospitalUganda is a haven for birdwatchers, with a stunning variety of beautiful birds. Some of these birds come to Rushere, and the following have been seen:

  • Lilac-breasted roller
  • Crested Crane – the impressive national bird of Uganda

and much more….