Kampala City is Uganda’s capital, which used to be commonly referred to as the city of seven hills, is the country’s most vibrant and largest city. These seven hills were Mengo, Rubaga, Namirembe, Makerere, Kololo, Nakasero and Old Kampala. The hills provide a very pleasing view, of green trees and several historical monuments among others. Kampala, which has been a city since the country gained Independence from the British in 1962, is also situated near Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa hence explains the cool breeze that continuously blows through the city. Kampala provides various activities and attractions that people can engage in which include
The Uganda Museum is a great tourist attraction in Kampala. Located along Kiira road, before Uganda Wildlife Authority offices, the Museum was established to preserve the traditional life, protect and promote the cultural and natural heritage of Uganda through the collection of cultural and traditional instruments. Trails to the museum start from old Kampala where the first museum was established and then transferred to Makerere University and later to its current location. The museum is divided into several sections such as the music gallery which has musical instruments which were used as a way of communication for all the tribes in Uganda, transport means section where you will view the canoes and litters that were used to carry African Kings and Queens, historical tools that were used for hunting such as arrows, spears, science industry with rocks and mineral samples, historical sites such as the Kabaka’s shrine, Kasubi tombs, traditional huts which are situated outside the museum, first chairs and cars that were driven by the former Ugandan presidents, first telephones, craft shops among others. The museum is an interesting site with ancient instruments hence helping you to explore Uganda’s history.
Bahai temple, this is located on Kikaya hill after branching off from Gayaza road in Kampala city. Bahai is the first and mother temple in Africa and is a spiritual gathering place that is open to all people in Uganda. The Bahai temple has a quiet and peaceful lush environment with flower gardens at each temple door entrance. The temple was designed in beautiful architectural design with coloured glass planes, offers great scenic views and is a great destination for birding for the bird lovers. Bahai temple is a great place for relaxation, picnics among others.
Gadafi mosque, this is located at Kampala Hill in old Kampala. Gadafi mosque is a skyscraper mosque that was opened in 2007 and is a popular mosque in that it was commissioned by the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi the former president of Libya who left a landmark on international politics on his tour in Uganda with several African leaders. Women who want to visit Gadafi mosque should dress modestly in that they should wear loose-fitting clothes covering the waist and ankles and also cover their heads with coverings that are available at the reception and should be returned after the visit while men should wear trousers and shirts with sleeves. Gadafi mosque is known for its interior design and minaret or the prayer tower which offers great views of Kampala city and a great place for photographs.
Martyrs shrine, Uganda Martyrs shrine is located in Namugongo in Kampala. The Martyrs Shrine is an area where the 22 Martyrs were burnt alive in 1886 on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga who was one of the Kings of Buganda because they had refused to denounce their Christian faith. Uganda celebrates Martyr’s day every year on 3rd June where pilgrims from within and outside Uganda walk barefooted from their home places to Namugongo shrine as a sacrifice in honour of the Martyrs, pay their respects and also renew their faith hence its always regarded as a public holiday in Uganda. The Martyr’s shrine was also constructed in a traditional architectural shape of the Buganda hut with interior designs of sculptures and paintings. Namugongo shrine is a popular religious site in that it was visited by Archbishop Robert Runcie of Canterbury in 1984 and Pope John Paul 11 in 1993. Tour to the shrine hence gives you an opportunity to learn the life of the Martyrs and their death where some were slaughtered and some burnt.
Namirembe Cathedral, Namirembe cathedral also referred to as St Paul’s church is a religious site that is located on Namirembe Hill in Kampala and is the oldest, first and main Anglican place of worship in Uganda and was built on Namirembe hill in 1890. Namirembe cathedral has a graveyard with the remains of Bishop Hannington who was murdered in 1885 and Sir Albert cook a medical doctor who came to Kampala in 1896. Namirembe cathedral is designed in beautiful architecture made of brick red dome, tiles and stained glasses. While at the church you will be able to have great views of Kampala city, its suburbs and also is a beautiful place for photographs.
Ndere cultural centre, this is a cultural information centre and a home of Ndere troupe located in Kisaasi, Kyanja road in Kampala. Ndere cultural centre is a quiet and unique place that you can visit on a Sunday evening and be able to enjoy the Uganda cultural performances through modern artwork, storytelling, traditional foods, songs, dances, history from different tribes in Uganda and also dances from outside Uganda like Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi using traditional instruments among others hence promoting traditional skills and knowledge. This is one of the Best Cultural Sites in Uganda.
Rubaga cathedral, this is located on Rubaga hill and is the oldest and parent cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Kampala and Uganda. Rubaga cathedral was constructed in 1914 and consecrated on December 1925. The twin-towered Roman Catholic Church is a city landmark which can be viewed from all angles in Kampala and also offers great history of the Catholic Church to the visitors. Rubanga cathedral harbours the remains of the late Archbishop Joseph Kiwanuka who was the first African Archbishop and the first African Catholic Bishop of Kampala Diocese.
Kabaka’s palace, the palace is located in Bulange, Mengo hill and is known as the official house of the king of Buganda which is also called Twekobe. Mengo palace was constructed by Ssekabaka Mwanga 11 in 1885 after taking over the throne in 1884 at the age of 18 years. The palace is designed in beautiful and eye-catching historical architecture and consists of the collection of Kabaka Ronald Mutebi’s photographs from the time he was a child up to date. The palace has various sections where you will tour for example the scattered houses in the compound where the guards stay, the kings main house where no one is allowed to enter except the king, the Buganda parliament where they teach you about Buganda culture and history which is the largest and biggest tribe in Uganda hence giving great experience on your tour in Uganda.
Independence monument, this monument is located along Speke road opposite standard chartered bank and stands at a height of 6m. The monument depicts a man unwrapping his child and raising the child to touch the sky which signifies a newborn country let free from the bondage of colonization. Independence Monument was sculpted by a Kenyan born artist and the construction was funded by the British Colonial Government before Uganda celebrated its first independence in October 1962, therefore, it offers the best sight for photographs in Kampala city.
Makerere University, this is the best and largest university in Uganda located on Makerere hill in the centre of Kampala city. Makerere University is known for producing knowledgeable and brilliant students, for example, it produced some of the best East African presidents such as Milton Obote of Uganda, Julius Nyerere former president of Tanzania among others. Makerere University has various attractions such as beautiful monuments, Art gallery; unique Architectural designs of the buildings, different tree species, various cultures and is also a great destination for bird watching with bird species like Marabou stork, Hadada ibis among others which makes it a beautiful destination with great experiences.
Accommodation in Kampala city
Kampala capital city is blessed with a number of accommodation facilities where visitors on a tour in Uganda can relax and chill out including Tal Cottages Hotel, Hotel Sojovalo, Hilton Garden Inn, Mestil Hotel and Residences, Imperial Royale Hotel, Freedom City Hotel, Biraj International Hotel, Fairway, Humura Resorts, Emin Pasha Hotel, Forest Cottages, Lindsay Cottages, Pumba Safari Cottages, Hotel Africana, Satellite Hotel, Serena Hotel, Grand Imperial Hotel, Arcadia Suites, Speke Resort Hotel among others which offer you with comfortable beds, international and local dishes, cool environment for relaxation among others hence making your safari in Uganda rewarding with great experiences.
When to visit Kampala
Kampala city can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, December, January and February when there is less rainfall than in the wet season.
With its busy streets, with the city dwellers going about their daily activities, Kampala city is a sight to behold, with several activities taking place at the same time. It also provides beautiful sceneries, with friendly people, several local delicacies, which are readily available to be sampled by visitors.