Uganda`s earliest history comprises her time before the territory that is today Uganda was made into a British protectorate at the end of the 19th century. This small country in Eastern Africa has Paleolithic evidence of human activity that goes back to at least 50,000 years, and perhaps as far as 100,000 years, as shown by the Acheulean stone tools recovered from the former environs of Lake Victoria, which were exposed along the Kagera River valley, mainly around Nsonezi. Rock art in Uganda, particularly in the eastern part of the country, attests to occupation during the later stone age as well. Uganda’s position along the central African Rift Valley, its favourable climate at an altitude of 1,200 meters and above, and reliable rainfall around the Lake Victoria Basin made it attractive to African cultivators and herders as early as the fourth century BCE. Because of this, the region was divided between several closely related kingdoms. Core samples from the bottom of Lake Victoria have revealed that dense rainforest once covered the land around the lake. Centuries of cultivation removed almost all the original tree cover.
The Bantu expansion:
The earliest human inhabitants in Uganda were hunter-gathers. Remnants of these people are today to be found among the pygmies in western Uganda. Approximately 2000 to 1500 years ago, Bantu speaking populations from central and western Africa migrated and occupied most of the southern parts of the country. The migrants brought with them agriculture, ironworking skills perfecting iron smelting to produce medium grade carbon steel in pre-heated forced-draft furnaces and new ideas of social and political organization, that by the 15th – 16th century resulted in the development of centralized kingdoms, including the kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro-Kitara and Ankole.
These cultivators also raised goats and chickens, and they probably kept some cattle by 400 BCE. Their knowledge of agriculture and use of iron-forging technology permitted them to clear the land and feed ever larger numbers of settlers. They displaced small bands of indigenous hunter-gatherers, who relocated to the less accessible mountains