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Kampala city

It is the capital and largest city of Uganda the pearl of Africa, divided into the five boroughs of Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division and Rubaga Division. Kampala acts as the main business center in the country with top Government offices located at its center and it’s referred to as the green city of the sun because of the green tress in the city along with the bright sun throughout the year. The name Kampala derives from the Luganda expression ‘Kasozi Kampala’ literally meaning Hill of Antelope, a reference to the domestic impala that settled on the lawns of Mengo during Mutesa’s reign.   

Kampala Hills

Kampala city sits on seven hills namely;

  • Old Kampala Hill, on which Fort Lugard was located, the first seat of the British colonial authorities in colonial Uganda.
  • Mengo Hill, which was then Kibuga (capital) of Buganda kingdom at the start of British colonial rule.
  • Lubaga Hill, that was home to the White Fathers Catholic faction of the above-mentioned Buganda religious wars and also site of the Rubaga Catholic
  • Kibuli Hill, that is home to the Kibuli Mosque
  • Namirembe Hill, that was home to the Anglican faction of the Buganda religious wars of 1888 to 1892 and site of Namirembe Anglican Cathedral
  • Nsambya Hill, site of the former Cathedral of St Peter’s Nsambya and allocated to the British Catholic Mill Hill during the signing of the Uganda Agreement (1900).
  • Nakasero Hill, whose summit was Fort Nakasero, a British military installation built after relocating from Fort Lugard in Old Kampala. It was also the site of the European Hospital (the current government analytical laboratory opposite ministry of public service headquarters).

The climate of Kampala

It experiences a tropical type of climate which is characterized by almost the same weather conditions. The heavy rainfall in Kampala capital city is experienced in the months of March, April, May and November while the dry season in Kampala is experienced from January through February and July. Note that the rainy season in Kampala can be problematic, especially when you are in the down town of the city centre, the water increases to an extent of the roads being blocked. Therefore, it is important to understand the weather of Kampala in order to enjoy your city tour.

Tourist Attractions in Kampala city.

Kampala capital city of Uganda is also a tourism center because it holds the most famous chain hotels in Africa and the other parts of the world such as Serena hotel, Sheraton hotel, Protea Marriott hotel among others. There are also a number of very interesting places one might love to visit in order to know more about Uganda the pearl of Africa, culture and its people and these include;

Bahai Temple

Was built on Kikaaya hill near Gayaza road. it is a house of worship also called “Mashriq l”-Aldhkar which acts as a spiritual gathering place open to all people in the world. Bahai teaches that heaven and hell are not places but states of being defined by the presence or absence of the spirituality. it is a great place for family visits, picnics, praise and worship for visitors to have a quiet time, peaceful, fresh and enjoy the environment with beautiful trees and gardens for relaxation, resting from the noisy city, birdwatching, nature walks in the gardens among others which give you a great lifetime experience.

The Uganda Martyrs shrine

The shrine is remembered today for the massacre that took place on 3rd June 1886 when Anglican and Catholic young men were burned to death on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II of Buganda for their refusal to renounce Christianity. The shrine derives its inspiration from the African hut which is eye catching to various travelers and has the capacity to accommodate over 1000 people. The Uganda martyrs were killed from different places of Uganda such as Gulu where Daudi Okello and Jildo Irwa were executed however, were Charles Lwanga and his colleagues were killed was chosen as the area where the Martyrs should be celebrated “Namugongo”. At the shrine, there is a molded sculpture of Charles Lwanga and his friends being burnt and many catholic believers gather here to pray, seek for knowledge, and if you get a chance to walk at night, you might think that these are real human beings. There is also a small lake in the area which is believed to be having waters with healing powers and believers can’t come and go without taking this water because it’s believed to be with blessings in it.

Kabaka’s Lake

This is the largest manmade lake in Uganda dug out by the 52 clans of Buganda between 1885 and 1888. This lake was planned by Kabaka Mwanga II to be an escape channel leading all the way to Lake Victoria in the event that there was a conflict with the British. Unfortunately, the construction stopped on 2nd August 1888 as religious wars had broken out in the kingdom. This beautiful lake is now a tourist attraction.

Kasubi Tombs

The Kasubi tombs are an important burial site for the Kabakas of Buganda and the royal family. All princes and princesses who are their direct descendants are buried at the bank of the main shrine. Therefore, the tombs remain an important historical, spiritual and cultural site for the Baganda as well as an important example to the traditional architecture. The most known and popular buildings were destroyed by the fire in 2010 though the cause of the fire is still under investigations. In 2014, the government of Japan began with the reconstructions. The walls at the main tomb are decorated with several mats and bark cloth where visitors are able to sit. The photos of all the kings and stuffed leopard skin are seen by visitors to the main building. The Kasubi tombs are being taken care of by the descendants of the King’s wives and some parts of these tombs are not accessible to everyone. Not even the reigning Kabaka can go there. It’s only the widows of the Kings, the Katikkiro and some of the members of the royal family. While at the tombs, you can view the large hut holding the tombs, hunting tools, royal clothing and other monuments of these past kings. And if you are interested in the history about the kings and the roles, they played during their reign plus the history of the Baganda people, the royal guides will be at your service to share with you this information.

Cathedrals in Uganda

Uganda has got two cathedrals; the Namirembe cathedral and the Rubaga cathedral.  Namirembe cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Uganda located in Lubaga division on Namirembe hill. The hill has been the main Anglican place of worship in Buganda since 1890. You can try this impressive colonial era construction for the English service at 6:30 and for the Luganda service at 10:00 to worship and praise the Lord. Rubaga cathedral also referred to as Saint Mary’s Cathedral Kampala is the oldest Roman Catholic Diocese in Uganda and home of the Archbishop of Kampala. It is located on Lubaga hill west of Kampala.

Ndere Troupe

This troupe was founded in 1986 by Rawangyezi Stephen and the word “endere” means ‘flute’ which was chosen as it produced beautiful and irresistible music. Thus, Ndere Troupe therefore means Flute Troupe symbolizing universal unity as the troupe prides itself on emphasizing commonalities and celebrating the rich differences. For a blissful safari experience on Ugandan trips, you should tryout the centre to encounter African cultural dances and also get a thrilling adventure that you will live to remember.

The Uganda National Mosque (Gadaffi Mosque)

This is a massive and gigantic mosque located on Kampala hill in the old Kampala area of Kampala. It was commissioned as a gift to Uganda from Colonel Muammar Gadhafi of Libya. The mosque was renamed “Uganda National Mosque” in 2013 following the death of Colonel Gadhafi as the new Libyan administration was reluctant to rehabilitate the mosque under the previous name. the mosque has two parts; the ground floor that is ever open and the first floor which is only open for special occasions but you can also get a chance to visit it while on a Uganda city tour. When visiting, ladies are provided with a shawl to wear and men are provided with kanzus if their shorts are deemed too short.

Uganda Museum

The Uganda Museum was founded in 1908, after Governor George Wilson called for “all articles of interest” on Uganda to be procured. It is based in Kampala and has exhibits of ethnological, natural-historical and traditional life collections of Uganda’s cultural heritage such as playable music instruments, hunting equipment, weaponry, archaeology and entomology. The museum is visited throughout the year; however, the museum usually receives a high number of visitors, including foreign tourists, during the December Christmas festival season.

Where to stay while in Kampala

This city rapid growth has also led to a rich hospitality industry. Kampala accommodation facilities can be categorized as guest houses, motels, lodges and hotels. On addition, they offer either luxury, midrange or budget accommodation. So even though your budget, you can still find and book accommodation in Kampala.

Luxury

  • Pearl of Africa hotel
  • Grand imperial hotel
  • Protea hotel

Mid-range

  • Dana hotel
  • J-frigh hotel
  • Emerald hotel

Budget

  • jicca hotel
  • African tribe hotel
  • Emin pasha hotel

How to get to Kampala

There is a lot of available transport means when travelling to Kampala. You can opt to take a taxi, minibus or a motorcycle taxi to Kampala and the price is UGX10,000 in general. Keep in mind, it can get busy during rush hours in the morning and in the evening as a result the journey by car will take longer.

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