The Drunkest Place on Earth

The Drunkest Place on Earth

2012, Health  -   45 Comments
Ratings: 6.41/10 from 34 users.

The Drunkest Place on EarthUganda is the alcoholism capital of Africa. One favorite type of booze the locals make is called waragi. Vice team is going to go make some, drink some, and hopefully not go blind.

In 2004, the World Health Organization released its global status report on alcohol and health, finding Uganda as the top contender for per capita alcohol consumption in the world.

Since 2011, the numbers have only increased, basically making Uganda the drunkest place on earth. So when Vice heard about Uganda's countrywide production of a type of moonshine called waragi, they were interested.

But after they discovered that people were going blind and dying from drinking waragi, cut with industrial chemicals, they knew this was something they needed to taste for themselves.

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45 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Doreen

    You visit one village and qualify the whole country as drunk??!! This video defames Uganda. Every country has a bright and dim side. This is not what Uganda is! It's a beautiful country with diverse culture, climate and world's friendliest people. will give you and your followers a better glimpse.

    1. dxt420

      All the positive vibes u said about Ug are appreciated but I do think we get drunk as f*ck on dis side

  2. AJWR

    That reporter is so cringeworthy. He has absolutely no social skills to speak of and he fails to make any connection with the audience least of all the Ugandans. I guess one of the prerequisites of his job was to have such and such a degree from such and such a university. But seriously anyone could have done a better job than him.

  3. winston

    Even the dogs look drunk in that village.

  4. Garrett Pinagel

    I'm sure most of the typical moonshine isn't adulterated on purpose with industrial chemicals. However, if you don't distill liquor properly it can produce significant amounts of methanol. You could probably imagine how some liquor is accidently contaminated with methanol when it's distilled over a campfire in industrial grade barrels.

  5. David Oyo

    I am Ugandan. Uganda's typical moonshine in not adulterated with industrial chemicals nor does normal consumption of the same cause blindness or death.

  6. morsie2


  7. Asynca Feher

    "Kind of isn't a vice party until something dies." LOL

  8. L H

    The women are not "hookers", they just dress that way.

    1. TheDanishViking

      I see...

  9. L H

    This Village must be a special case. I have been to Uganda many times but have not seen anything like this.

    1. Fab Man Schu

      same for me

  10. Margonin Ester

    What a hipster LOL

  11. John McMahon

    I enjoyed the film about waragi on Vice. Some people go to the Netherlands for the weed, some go to France and California for the wine, and some go to Scotland and Kentucky for the Whiskey. As though somehow being a connoisseur is an excuse for getting loaded in a different place. Hipsters like these kids aren't just in Williamsburg. I live in the South in a city and there are PLENTY of them around. I am pretty sure that the possibility of these guys going blind or suffering any other serious problems from the waragi was pretty minimal. They had a native fixer with them who might have come up short in his payday if one of the bwana had become ill. The country moonshiner woman actually looked like she had it together. It was a nice slice of a maybe not very nice life, and there were no tribal ceremonies, or dances, or other Nat Geo edification, just people getting their waragi on. As far as that goat goes...Jesus, look where these people live. They've got the Lord's Resistance Army, genocidaires from Rwanda, bandit gangs, and countless militias and "armies" running around cutting off peoples limbs, and even engaging in cannibalism. In living memory they were ruled by Idi Amin! That village had no paved road, electricity, and even the school teachers were partying at the waragi club. I bet their dogs do not have names. It is a whole different world, and one that defies sociological analysis

    1. Mamre

      Uganda is good for us Ugandans regardless of what’s being said about it.

  12. Andy Adams

    I hate booze. There is an old saying that "God created whiskey to keep the Irish from taking over the world." In our poverty stricken Irish family, surely the escape was booze; the dead weight to the bottom of the sewer. It surely creates a pain in the family. It will take 10 generations of sobriety in order to excise this deadly sociological perversion. Through what I consider to be a miracle, my brother and I are alcohol free all of our adult life. But what is it that can replace poison to assuage the despondency of poverty and disfranchisement?

    1. batvette

      haha, without alcohol ugly people would never get laid. I was a heavy drinker until the year 2000, haven't touched it since. I miss the fun but not the hangovers and "events".

    2. Manu

      So actually the saying should be: "God created whiskey to keep the Irish on this world."

  13. Shelby - The Internet Drunk

    "But after they discovered that people were going blind and dying from drinking waragi, cut with industrial chemicals, they knew this was something they needed to taste for themselves."

    Those people are retards. They'd want to taste something that they know they can go blind and/or die from? Would they want to go blind and/or die?

    1. John Rintala

      Well, they said taste. The people who die probably have a belly full of the stuff.

  14. Milosc

    VICE: A post-imperial take on documentary making

    Not made so much to inform, but to remind the viewer that he too can wipe his ass on a far away place- as long as he's got some cash- as demonstrated by misc effete Manhattonian white boy ('who isn't scared' to ruff it with dangerous looking poor people.) Insert topic

    It's like Jackass, for hipsters

    1. TheDanishViking

      No. This dude is most likely from Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

  15. fonbindelhofas

    ok, about the goat... im sure we have to thank the bible torture manual for this.

  16. Imightberiding

    Although he is a grown man & I am a subscriber to VICE, I always find it difficult to watch or take seriously the subject matter at hand when they have an Icon of the "Teenager's Virgin Society" covering the story. This dude is a consummate nerd. Not that there's anything wrong with that! I just have a hard time believing the reality of those interviewed by such an off-putting character. Most of what I have seen of this "journalist" is laughable & I mean that in the sense that you laugh at him, not with him.

    I am a fan of VICE & their abstract approaches & views but this fellow just doesn't do it for me.

  17. Jo McKay

    Was there a point beyond lets go to a couple places in a country in West Africa and get a taste of the regional hooch? I suppose for some that's a reason for a trip. I watched hoping to hear something about the history of alcohol to Ugandan people's culture, and how addiction slowly took over so many. I was disappointed - no culture - no history.(EX. in much of Europe pre- 19th Century copious amounts of local beers were the primary drink-because fermentation made the water safe to drink; I wondered if the same may have been true in parts of Africa?) Apparently every tribe and community in much of Uganda had it's own ancient ceremonies, dances, and spiritual rituals that have survived, for some,through resistance during all the years of colonial rulers; independence 50 years ago and arbitrary borders (North & South r very different) have produced terrible conflicts, instability, tyrant rulers (Amin, Kony). While, far as I can tell, in the pre-colonial past, alcohol was served at special ceremonies (and when visitors came) it was 'not' ever a daily occurrence... Look at just some of this regions history (pick almost any place on the continent in fact) and I'd guess that escape from reality by whatever means would not seem unreasonable or remarkable.

    1. oQ

      East Africa.

    2. Jo McKay

      oops...looked at map...I stand corrected, thanks :)

  18. TheDanishViking

    @Wald0 & Zatarra
    You are both missing the point. It is not about a goat. It is a story about a young boy that lives in Brooklyn (probably Williamsburg) but who is dissapointed because Woody Allen has apparently skipped town and the entire NYC went through a big process of gentrification (the big pussy-fication of the 1990'ies). Therefore he is now trying to find something "authentic". He does this by travelling to poor countries were there are no tourists. And like in any Vice documentary the real issue is whether he manages to convince himself - for a brief period of time - that he has actually discovered something "authentic". The rest of us viewers are of cause only concerned with whether we are entertained or not. The goat is not relevant.

    1. wald0

      LOL, I agree to a large extent but could not articulate it as well as you have- bravo. I knew I disliked these particular vice docs for some reason, you put your finger on it.
      That said, the goat scene was relevant to me- I feel strongly about animal rights. If it isn't relevant to others that bothers me all in itself but I don't expect that bother to be indulged. I don't speak with moral authority, or from some sense of moral correctness- I just express my opinion for others to consider or dismiss. In my opinion that is productive moral reasoning at work, people expressing their individual points of view for others to consider and select from in order to build a more complete morality of their own. Its not about any one person or group claiming some superior moral knowledge or understanding.

    2. Muriel Elsayed

      After reading your comment, I have decided not to watch the video, as I dont wish to see any animal put to death.

    3. batvette

      As the description clearly describes the suffering and dying of humans, that was okay. Animals however...

  19. Eddie Briggs

    last pic of the goat .... a little strange, but all in all a very good doc

  20. TheDanishViking

    We need to strike down on this dangerous drug that is destroying families all over the planet. Binge drinking is causing more violence and destruction that any other drug! Ban alcohol now!
    I am of cause just kidding guys! Cheers!
    Interesting but slightly depressing film.

  21. Deejay Es

    waldo , the kicking and taunting was part of a ritual , so i dont get u on the group mentality .
    I think Rodney King got beaten up harder then this goat .

  22. AllanA

    Groupthink is not limited to Ugandan people. Just about every society on earth falls for this form of decision making one way or another. I respect VICE for showing this and don't fault them. Really it's just a sad "fact of society".

    Thanks VICE! Another great doc created by you guys!

  23. wald0

    Had to stop watching at about 16:30, I don't mind the goat being killed and eaten but watching them taunt and torture the poor thing was just too much. I grew up on a farm so I am used to the idea of life feeding on life but, we also respected life in whatever form we found it. There is something about people being in a crowd, loosing their identity to the whole, that allows them to do terrible things- drunk or not.

    1. dtkcr

      You could'nt just fast forward that part and watch the rest of the doc?

    2. wald0

      Sure i could have, I just wasn't interested enough in the documentary to do so. The point of my post was simply to point out that group mentality leads people to do things they wouldn't normally do- not to suggest that this should have been censored or left out. I grew up in the southeastern U.S. so i am very used to people drinking their own home brewed liquor, I guess that's why this wasn't very fascinating to me. I even made a few runs myself, or helped old timers do it anyway. I've only drank the stuff myself once though, that was all it took. I don't like alcahol anyway (simply a personal preference not a moral statement) but that stuff is rot gut.

    3. killerinside

      Waldo you hit on something very profound in my opinion. In my life I have found the crowd comment to be completely true for most people. I think it even goes beyond that with many people losing aspects of their own identity, morals, values etc. with even just a couple of people around them. Very insightful observation!

    4. Matt Kukowski

      Do not blame the crowd... if one insists on being weird and thoughtless in a crowd, probably means they are ignorant to begin with. The crowd only serves to allow the coward to hide in the crowd, but a coward he is none the less.

    5. wald0

      I'm not "blaming the crowd" I am bringing up a known, studied, quantified concept of psychology- namely that people will take part in things as part of a crowd that they would not and do not take part in on their own. Now we can approach this phenomenon in two ways as a society- 1.Ignore the data and evidence and assume these people are simply prone to whatever behavior is in question regardless of being in a crowd or alone 2. Take the data at its word, so to speak, and try to figure out what it is about being in a crowd that stimulates this phenomenon. I think the second approach is much more productive, after all why have the studies in the first place if we are just going to ignore the trends they identify? My best guess at why this occurrs is because just as you said, people "hide in the crowd"- in other words they literally lose thier sense of self to a degree. Once you have lost even a small part of that sense of self it becomes harder to emapathize with the perspective of a singular individual, we lose the sense that we are being scrutinized as an individual- we lose our sense of moral responsibility for our own actions. But hey, thats just a guess right- i am a chemist not a psychologist after all....