Kampala is Uganda’s national and commercial capital city mostly known as the city of seven hills. The name Kampala derives from the Luganda expression ‘Kasozi Kampala’ meaning Hill of Antelope a reference to the domestic impala that cropped the lawns of Mengo during Mutesa’s reign. Kampala was widely regarded to be the showpiece of the East African Community; a spacious garden city with a cosmopolitan atmosphere and bustling trade. It was also a cultural and educational centre of note, with Makerere University regarded as the academic heart of East Africa. Kampala enjoys the reputation of a modern city with a buzzing atmosphere and it serves a good base point for exploring and enjoying the surrounding area. If you’re looking for a smart international standard hotel, a splendid choice of cuisine, shopping opportunities, live music and latest movie, you will probably love Kampala.
Tourist attractions in Kampala
The Baha’i Temple
The Baha’i Temple built on Kikaya hill near Gayaza road is the only worshiping place of its kind. Baha’i teaches that heaven and hell are not places but states of being defined by the presence or absence of spirituality. It is a magnificent building sitting on a large piece of land that offers a scenic environment for relaxation and bird watching. The temple grounds are also a favorite place for meditation and are frequented by people from all religious backgrounds. The Baha’i Temple provides great views of Kampala city and the surrounding suburbs. The Baha’i grounds provide a chance of taking memorable pictures though one is expected to give maximum respect to the interior side and no pictures are allowed within the temple. The temple is also a home to various bird species given to the number of trees, flowers that exist in the area and act as habitats to different bird species including the weaver birds, wood peckers, pigeons and ring-necked doves.
In 1885, Mwanga settled on the ultimately overambitious scheme of digging a large lake near his capital and link it with Lake Victoria as well as to act as an escape route during major wars. In spite of the low technological advance at the time, construction of the lake began using rudimentary equipment like hoes and bare hands. From chiefs to his subjects, no one was exempt from this intensive labour which always started from 3:00am till 4:00pm each day and was to last 11 months. The Lake was completed in 1888 but the intended link was abandon when Muslim dissenters drove the kabaka from the capital. Clan leaders of Buganda consider the lake sacred and occasionally gather to clean it. This beautiful lake is now a tourist attraction on its own and offers a perfect atmosphere for relaxation, boat rides or racing and bird watching.
The kasubi ground in Uganda is the site for the burial grounds for the kings of Buganda and other members of the Baganda Royal family. Therefore the site remains an important, political and spiritual site for the Ganda people as well as an important example to the traditional architecture. Some of the most popular buildings were almost completely destroyed by the fire that hit the tombs in 2010 though the cause of the fire is under investigations. The reconstruction began in 2014 funded by the government of Japan. The walls at the main structure are decorated with bark cloth and several mats where visitors can sit. The photos of all the Kings and stuffed leopard skin can also be seen by visitors to the main building. While at the tombs, you can view the large hut holding the tombs, the royal clothing, hunting tools and other monuments of these past kings. The royal guides will share with you stories about each of the kings and the roles they played during their reign and history of the Baganda people. The site is taken care of by descendants of the Kings wives. Some sections of the main tomb are not accessible to everyone.
The Uganda Martyrs shrine
The Uganda Martyrs holy Shrine which makes it a must visit place for anyone touring the pearl of Africa. The shrine is remembered today for the massacre that took place on 3rd June 1886 on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga. 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. In the morning of 3rd June these Christian prisoners were given one final opportunity to denounce their recently adopted faith. Charles Lwanga the leader of the catholic contingent, was hacked apart and burnt alive on the spot. The remaining individuals were bound in reed mats, thrown on the pyre, and roasted alive.
The Uganda Martyrs where killed in different places of Uganda including Gulu where Daudi Okello and Jildo Irwa were executed however were St. Charles Lwanga and his colleagues were killed was chosen as the area where the Martyrs should be celebrated ”Namugongo”. There is an interesting molded sculpture in an area of Charles Lwanga and his friends being burnt and many believers gather here to pray, seek for knowledge, and if you walk in at night, you might think that these are real human beings. There is also a Lake/pond in the area which is believed to be having waters with healing powers and many believers every 3rd June carry this water in their plastic jugs and Jerry cans to get rid of the blessings in it.
Uganda National Mosque
The Uganda National Mosque (Gadaffi Mosque) is the largest, massive and gigantic mosque located at Kampala Hill which rises gently to the immediate west of the center. It was accomplished in 2006, it is a sitting capacity of about 15,000 worshipers and can hold another 1,100 in the gallery, while the brick outdoor will cater for another 3,500. Colonel Muammar Gadhafi of Libya commissioned the mosque as a gift to Uganda, and for the benefit of the Muslim population. Uganda has many mosques but this one is a high rise mosque. It was renamed “Uganda National Mosque” in 2013 following the death of Colonel Gaddafi as the new Libyan administration was reluctant to rehabilitate the mosque under the previous name. The mosque has two parts; the ground floor which is always open at all times and the first floor which is only open for special occasions like EID and weddings and it is one of the places you can visit while on a Uganda city tour.
Paying a visit to the mosque is an increasingly popular and genuinely worthwhile diversion. Visitors are welcomed and you will find a tent of tourism office just inside the main gate. For ladies shawl to wear is provided and for gents shorts that extend below the knee are put on and they are deemed too short, a kanzu will be provided. The interior design is made in 3 settings that is wood from Congo represents African setting, glasses on Windows from Italy represents European setting and chandeliers from Egypt represents Arab setting and the carpet is designed according to the mosque. Gadhafi mosque has a very tall minaret which has 304 steps though it’s opened upon some one’s request alongside the guide, visitors are free to climb all the stairs up and get the great aerial view (360° view) of the whole city Kampala while on their city tour and starting at 6:30 will enable you to climb the tower and watch the dawn break over the city
Cathedrals in Uganda
Namirembe cathedral is the most impressive colonial era constructions in Kampala, and it also offers a superb view over the city centre and suburbs. This Anglican cathedral is perched at the top of Namirembe Hill, roughly 1.5km west of the city of Natete road. The cemetery contains the grave of Bishop Hannington who was murdered near Jinja in 1885 as well as Sir Albert Cook a pioneering medical doctor whose extensive writings about the early colonial era are quoted. You can try the cathedral for the English service at 6:30 and for the Luganda service at 10:00 to worship and praise the lord
Rubaga Cathedral also known as Saint Mary’s cathedral is major cathedral to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Kampala and the oldest diocese in Uganda of the Roman Catholic believers. The cathedral is located in Lubaga division on Lubaga hill west of Kampala the capital city of Uganda. This cathedral will make your Kampala city adventure memorable living the place alongside blessing and forgiveness from God.
Traditionally “endure“means flute therefore Ndeere Troupe means flute troupe and its major aim and ambition is to restore the dignity and integrity of music dance and drama in Uganda and Africa atlarge. For a blissful safari travelers on Ugandan trips should tryout the centre to encounter African cultural dances and also to get a thrilling adventure that you will live to remember. The centre traps fantastic cultural songs, dances and instrumentals from different tribes, stories and cultures an adventure not to be missed while on a Ugandan trips, bring your family to get memories alongside learning different norms of various cultures. Amazing female dancers dressed in cultural attires serve you soft drinks and beers to give you a fruitful evening at the centre and it’s upon your choice to choose a dance that you would love to watch.
Accommodation in Kampala
- Imperial Royale Hotel
- Kampala Serena
- Kampala Sheraton Hotel
- Hotel Africana
- Speke Hotel
- Hotel Triangle
- Urban by City Blue
- Makerere University Guesthouse
- Hotel Ruch
- Pacific Hotel