oa East African Geographical Review - Ecological problems of cattle ranching in Combretum savanna woodland in Uganda

Volume 1967, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1937-6812



An investigation of the Bunyoro Ranching Scheme, undertaken between 1960 and 1962, has provided a preliminary study of the ecological problems involved in ranch management of moist savanna woodland areas of Uganda. A 100 square mile cattle ranch was established in 1956 by Agricultural Enterprises Ltd., a subsidiary of the Uganda Development Corporation. Its inauguration followed two years after the apparent eradication of tsetse from the area and aimed at developing a relatively unpopulated and unproductive region. By 1960 game had been drastically reduced in the interests of tsetse fly control and the number of cattle increased from a few to approximately 4,500. Despite many problems the area now supports a more permanent and dense population of cattle than at any time earlier in the century, and probably more than in earlier centuries when it formed part of the ranchlands of the royal herds of the Mukama of Bunyoro. The overall picture in recent years is one of change from the widespread, varied and less intensive grazing and trampling of game to the more local, intensive and uniform effect of the domestic animal. This has had an immediate impact on the soil and vegetation, the practical implications of which will be discussed.

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