Kampala is the capital city of Uganda located in the central region. This city has for several times been ranked as the fastest growing in the world and one of the safest on the continent. Kampala enjoys cool weather all year round, thanks to the neighboring Lake Victoria and various tropical forests in central Uganda. The city’s warm and friendly people is what you have to wait and see for yourself, plus the bustling night life.
Located just 45km from Entebbe international airport, Kampala can be accessed in only 30minutes from the airport via the newly constructed Expressway. Kampala sits at an altitude of 1,180m above sea level, and boasts pleasant weather, with annual temperatures ranging between a minimum 17 degrees Celsius and 27 degrees Celsius (maximum).
To the south is Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water lake, continent’s largest lake as well as the true source of River Nile – world’s longest river. The history of Kampala, like that of many other cities in Africa dates back in the times of early missionaries and explores, who set up various regional towns to act as the central administrative headquarters.
At the beginning of 19th Century, Kampala was a mere seat for the Buganda kingdom until a British envoy, Lord Captain Fredrick Lugard built a colonial fort here to mark the journey of Kampala becoming a city. The name Kampala originated from the numerous Impala – antelopes that occupied the hill and hence the Baganda referred to it as “Akasozi K’empala” meaning “the hill of Impala”. After the British historic visit to the place, they could not pronounce it well and therefore a miss pronounced version of the phrase “Kasozi K’empala” became “Kampala”.
After the British built the fort, they made it the central administrative headquarters when would soon expand their colony from, to other regions of the country. Kampala grew quickly and enlarged to engulf other 7 hills within the neighborhood. These are still referred to as the historical origins of Kampala, and they include Kololo, Mulago, Rubaga, Old Kampala, Kibuli, Namirembe and Makerere hills.
Kampala city is one of the prime tourist destinations that every visitor to the country will find interesting. Some of the main tourist attractions that can be seen are; Kabaka’s palace, Kasubi tombs, Kabaka’s lake, Anglican and the Catholic Cathedrals, Namugongo martyrs shrine, the Baha’i temple, Gadhafi Mosque, the Parliament building, the central business area and crafts / local markets.
Kabaka’s Palace in Mengo
This is the official residence of the king of Buganda. The palace is normally chosen by the king on which hill it can be depending on his decision. Definitely it becomes the capital of the kingdom. The Buganda kingdom palace is perched on Mengo hill which covers a wide area offering incredible views of the entire city center. Constructed in 1885 is the wonderful building over looking to the parliament of Buganda.
Mengo palace is a memorable site to visit because of the history that lies behind the Baganda people. Visitors can explore and learn some of the traditional norms, and customs of the Buganda not forgetting to put on a traditional Buganda dress – Gomasi.
The kasubi tombs is a traditional place for burying the fallen kings of Buganda. The tombs are located on Kasubi hill – 3km from the city center. This site occupies over 30 hectares of land, where part of the land is used for traditional agricultural activities. Kasubi tombs was designated a UNESCO heritage site in 2000 and on top of the hill is where you get the previous palace of the former kings of Buganda kingdom.
This site has some traditional and cultural values that are attached to it, some of them include; the religious practices for the royal family with some rituals performed on a regular basis, the site is a spiritual center for the Baganda in addition to other religious places existing within the kingdom. The site has a lot of historical, traditional and spiritual values that visitors can learn about, with the help of a site guide.
This is a house of worship for the Bahai faith which is the only of its kind in Africa. This place reflects the spiritual truths of the Baha’i faith in Uganda. Baha’i faith talks about the oneness of God, humanity and in religion. Like any other Bahai house in the world, its architectural design is one of a kind and surrounded with beautiful gardens, trees that are inhabited with many small birds.
This circular house is magnificent and the gardens gives the mind a sense of faith and the love to sit and enjoy the fresh breeze under the trees while having a wonderful view of the entire city. Get inside and explore the interior part of the temple with your own eyes and see the best of a building with a rich story that is normally told by the site guide.
Namugongo Martyrs shrine
Experience the great change of a spiritual life right from Namugongo. This is one of the incredible shrines that Uganda has for optimum spiritual and faith tourism. Namugongo is a suburb located about 15 kilometers from Kampala city off Jinja highway. This was an execution area where all Christians who denounced the king Powers at the time painfully shed their blood. It is in this point where 14 people out of the 22 Christians were burnt by the Kabaka Mwanga the second in 1886.
This is the best site for visitors looking for a Christian spiritual strength can visitors and strengthen you faith when you see the memories of what happened to these martyrs but still God stood for them.
The lofty Gadhafi mosque is perched on top of the old Kampala hill. This is a historical hill where Kampala begun as a town under the colonial rule. This hill was used as the capital for administering the colonial rule in Uganda under the British protectorate. Today, Gadhafi Mosque stands on this hill as the biggest Mosque in entire sub-Saharan region. The Mosque was named in memory of the former president of Libya late Muammar Gadhafi to honor his commitment towards its construction.
This is the only location that one can have a bird’s eye view of the entire Kampala city stretching to all directions and also to have a close encounter with the Muslim faith. The site is a must to visit when it comes to a Kampala city tour before you head out experience Uganda’s wilderness.
There are many other sites that a visitor can enjoy when having a Kampala tour which include; Makerere University – the oldest and biggest university in East Africa, Uganda Parliament building, different monuments, Kabaka’s lake, shopping malls among others. Take time and make us understand your interests and let us tailor a perfect program for you, to enjoy the best of Kampala city.