Kampala is one of the most exciting cities in Africa known as the Africa’s party capital, with so many sights and sounds that you could easily miss in a car ride, but on a walking tour you take in everything one at a time. unlike it being city just it is also a district of its own, located in central Uganda in the Buganda Kingdom. Its total population as per 2011 was 1,659,600 people. The weather in the city is warm throughout the year hence favorable for everyone, this is because of its closeness to the Equator. Also note that it has two rainy seasons as on stars from March to May and the other from August to December. Kampala city was originally built on seven hills but has now widened and spread to over twenty two hills. It is a good place to explore with so much to see and experience and the best way to do this is on foot. It is a busy city, this makes it to be regarded to as a “a city that never sleeps”. It has lots of people, therefore venturing it and doing various activities alone could be quite scary hence there is need for a guide who can be in line to lead you through the chaos of the city centre and the maze that characterises Kampala.
Kampala’s history is marked by its role as a cultural, political, and economic center in Uganda. While it has faced challenges and periods of instability, it continues to evolve as a dynamic and diverse city that reflects the country’s history and aspirations. The area around modern-day Kampala has a long history of human settlement, dating back thousands of years. It was inhabited by indigenous Bantu-speaking communities, and the Buganda Kingdom, one of Uganda’s oldest kingdoms, established its capital in the region. The Buganda Kingdom played a significant role in the pre-colonial history of the area.
Kampala City is Uganda’s major industrial and commercial city. The central business area is composed of shopping malls, banks, forex bureaus, insurance companies, hotels, restaurants, casinos and government offices. Although Luganda is the main language spoken, the population in the city is diverse and you can find people from all parts of Uganda. Almost everyone in Kampala can understand and speak English. The people are drawn to Kampala because it is where all the action, social services and opportunities can be found. The weather in Kampala is great and warm for most of the year because of its location along the equator. For a foreigner, Kampala is the best place to learn and appreciate the cultural diversity in the country. Although this Kampala city tour ends in the evening, a night tour can be arranged with one of our Guides to experience the Kampala nightlife. If you request for a night tour, expect to be taken to the top night clubs, casinos and restaurants. Kampala is known a “city that never sleeps”. Folks party up to the wee hours of the morning from Monday to Sunday.
Places To Sight/Visit While You Are On Kampala City Tour
Uganda National Museum
Uganda Museum is the oldest museum in East Africa which was started in 1908. It was first located in Lugard’s fort on old Kampala Hill then transferred to Makerere University at the school of industrial and fine arts and lastly to Kitante Hill where it stands today. It emerged when the Governor George Wilson called for “all articles of interest in Uganda”. The museum is a collection of traditional culture and Ugandan Music with all kinds of musical instruments, archaeology, history, science, and natural history. The Museum is one of the top and best places today you can visit in your Kampala city tour because it gives you the real picture of Uganda and its people.
Kasubi Royal Tombs
This is the burial grounds for the Kings of Buganda (Kabakas of Buganda) and it has been recognized by UNESCO in December 2001 as the World heritage site of local and international importance in the entire region of sub-Saharan Africa. This is because it was built purely by plant materials and so far four (4) kings of Buganda have been buried at this site on the house called Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, it was constructed in a circular shape in 1882 and also other members of the Buganda royal family have been and are always buried here. Kasubi tombs as the world heritage site comprise of 26 hectares of land and it is used for agricultural purpose by using traditional techniques by the royal family members. It being the burial grounds for the Kings of Buganda Kasubi tombs remains as a vital traditional architectural, spiritual, cultural and political site for both local and international visitors.
Today, Kasubi tomb is one of the interesting and top places to visit while on your Kampala city tour, you will explore the history and culture of the kings of Buganda Kingdom.
Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo
Between 1885 and 1887, 32 young men were killed to death for their refusal to renounce Christianity, 22 were killed as authorized by King Mwanga of Buganda and 13 of 22 were burnt to death, others killed in different ways and also other 2 martyrs were speared to death in Paimol, Gulu in the Northern part of Uganda in October 1918. The current building of Uganda Martyrs Shrine was started in 1967 at Namugongo and it was finished after period of 8 years, on 3rd June 1975 and the shrine was officially opened by Papal envoy, His Eminence Sergio Cardinal pignedoli.
Due to the history and Since then Uganda receives a lot of martyrs pilgrims on 3rd June of every year to celebrate martyrs day in Namugongo Martyrs Shrine and this has attracted many visitors over years and not only during the martyrs day celebration but even other days. The unique lake on the gardens of Namugongo shrine is so beautiful and anyone on his / her tour to Uganda would not want to miss a visit to this place. The visitors, who always visit here, often fetch water from this miraculous lake because it is said to have blessing to the extent that some people come to give testimony that the water of lake can heal various diseases. Organizers say that over 5,000 foreigners have attended the martyr’s day celebration on 3rd June 2019. They moved to Namugongo Martyrs Shrine using plane, bus and foot outside of Kampala, so the Uganda safari company has eased this visit for everyone who would like to visit Namugongo martyrs shrine at anytime to explore the history and the culture of Ugandans.
Kampala Central Mosque
Kampala Centrals Mosque formerly known as Gaddafi National Mosque is located in the old Kampala hill in the central Kampala city, Uganda. It was a gift to the Muslim community in Uganda by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. The construction of the mosque was completed in 2006 and it accommodates up to 15,000 worshipers and also can seat another 1,100 in the gallery, while the terrace caters for another 3,500. It was officially opened in June 2007 after the construction was completed and it was named Gaddafi National Mosque since then until 2013 when it was renamed as Uganda National Mosque following the death of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. This was as a result of the new administration of Libya was reluctant to rehabilitate this Mosque. This mosque is one of the Top 11 Tourism Places To Visit on a Kampala City Tour. Today the Mosque acts as the head office of Uganda Muslim community and supreme council and it is among the most visited place in Kampala by various tourists.
Do not miss to visit the Uganda National Mosque, your tour will start right away from the outside while seeing the nice structure of this Mosque, the inside is so good and comfortable with soft and nice looking carpets, women and men side are all nice looking however the men side is bigger than the women side and whenever you are here it is worthy to revisit again. A part from being excited of the outside and inside part of this mosque, you still have another wonderful experience rather than climbing the Minaret which is composed of 272 steps more of a skyscraper and it will take you almost 15 minutes to climb it. The minaret gives you chance to see the whole Kampala not excluding the seven hills of Kampala, roads, Kabaka’s Lake and various tall and short buildings and if you have not seen your favorite place, please tell it to your guide will point it out for you while on the top of the Minaret.
This is the oldest and the first mother temple to be built in African continent in 1958 and it was the tallest building in East Africa when it was completed in 1961. The Bahai faith started to increase in 1951, 500 Bahai’s in 80 localities joined, including 13 Bahá’í Local Spiritual Assemblies and this number of people where represented by 30 tribes in Uganda. Unlike other religions in the world, they have specific days in the week for gathering but the Bahai people do not have the specific days but they just decide the day when they should be meeting in every week and in Uganda they meet every Sunday of the week. They have at least three prayer sessions every day, as it is written in their holy book of prayer, “the Kitáb-i-Aqdas”. Also the grounds and the surrounding is one of the beautiful places one would wish to enjoy as it is covered with the beautiful flowers and trees and this has attracted very many indigenous species of birds and it is worthy visiting. The temple is visited by many people from Uganda and many other countries in the world to explore the beauty of this temple especially the architectural design, beautiful natural environment, and the history behind the temple.
The independence monument was constructed during the days when Uganda was celebrating its first independence on 9th October 1962 and it was funded by the British Colonial government. The monument is located on Speke road and Nile Avenue in Kampala city bordering the fences of Sheraton Hotel gardens, overlooking Grand Imperial Hotel in the right and opposite Standard Chartered bank. This is one of the Top 11 Tourism Places To Visit on a Kampala City Tour. The monument shows a man unwrapping a child and raising it to the sky which narrates that Uganda as a country is now free from the oppression of colonialism. With the beauty of this monument and around this place, you will require a camera to take memorable pictures. Please never forget to tell your driver guide to take you on this top and most accessible attraction within Kampala city.
This is the oldest cathedral in Uganda located in Namirembe hill since March 1890. It is also known as Saint Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe which serves as the provincial cathedral of the Church of Uganda and the diocesan cathedral for Namirembe Diocese. The church of Uganda was moved to Nakasero in All Saints Church and taken back again to Namirembe hill where it is located today. The church of Uganda has been built several times and the fifth structure which accommodates over 10, 000 people stands today at Namirembe hill. This has been as a result of various circumstances like Swampy area, Strong winds, termites and fire hence it being constructed for five times. It is open to all kind of visitors while on your Uganda Safari and the guide will take you through this interesting church and its Museum to see and learn the history of this church.
Namboole National Stadium
Namboole National Stadium, also known as Mandela National Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium located in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The stadium is situated in the suburb of Namboole, approximately 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) east of Kampala’s city center. It is the largest stadium in Uganda and serves as a venue for various sporting events and entertainment activities. The stadium was officially opened on July 2, 1997, and was named after Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa, in recognition of his role in the struggle against apartheid.
Namboole National Stadium plays a significant role in the sports and entertainment scene in Uganda and serves as a symbol of the country’s passion for sports and culture. It has hosted numerous memorable events and continues to be a hub for sporting and cultural activities in Uganda.
Ndere Cultural Centre
Uganda which is known as the pearl of Africa is the country with the most cultural diversity in the world as noted by the current UN report in 2019. Ndere cultural centre was founded in 1986 with objective of promoting cultural activities in Uganda among which they include performing arts, music, dance, storytelling and poetry which has been translated into happiness and love during this wonderful performance. Today Ndere centre with its troupes represents over 60 groups of people and over 30 indigenous languages (a summary of Uganda Culture and tribes) however English and Kiswahili are the official languages being used by most people. The performance take place every Wednesday and Friday at 7:00pm as well as on a Sunday at 6:00pm ready to enjoy and watch the music and dance of the Ugandan tribes with Ndere troupes performing at Ndere centre.
Owino Market, also known as St. Balikuddembe Market, is a bustling and vibrant market located in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. It is one of the largest and busiest markets in East Africa, and it plays a significant role in the economic and social life of the city and the country. The market offers a wide range of products and services, including clothing, footwear, fabrics, textiles, household items, electronics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, and more. It’s known for its bustling stalls and shops that sell everything from traditional wear to modern fashion, and from fresh produce to electronic gadgets.
Owino Market is known for its lively and energetic atmosphere. It’s a place where locals and tourists alike can experience the vibrancy of Ugandan urban life. The market is usually crowded, and the narrow alleyways are filled with vendors and shoppers.Exploring Owino Market is not just about shopping, it’s also an opportunity to engage with the local culture, interact with residents, and witness the dynamics of a vibrant urban market.
Lubaga Cathedral, officially known as St. Mary’s Cathedral Rubaga, is a significant religious and historical landmark located in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. Cathedral is situated on Lubaga Hill in Kampala, Uganda. The cathedral’s elevated location provides panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. Lubaga Cathedral is one of the oldest and most iconic religious structures in Uganda. It holds historical importance not only for its religious significance but also for its connection to Uganda’s colonial and post-colonial history. The cathedral’s architecture is a blend of European and African influences. It features Romanesque and Gothic architectural elements, with its striking twin towers being a prominent feature.
Lubaga Cathedral is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kampala. It holds regular religious services, including Masses, weddings, and other religious events. The cathedral has played a pivotal role in the growth of the Catholic Church in Uganda.The cathedral’s interior features memorials and plaques commemorating significant events and individuals in Uganda’s history. It has been a witness to important moments in the country’s development. The cathedral’s elevated position on Lubaga Hill offers a commanding view of Kampala. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city and its surroundings from this vantage point.
Visiting Lubaga Cathedral provides a cultural and religious experience. It allows visitors to appreciate the architectural beauty, explore the historical connections, and witness the role of the cathedral in the lives of Ugandans. Lubaga Cathedral is not only a place of worship but also a cultural and historical landmark that reflects Uganda’s rich heritage and the enduring importance of faith in the lives of its people.
Buganda Kingdom Palace
The palace was constructed in 1885 by Ssekabaka Mwanga11. This was when he took over the dominion in 1884 at age of 18 years old. It is a rule in Buganda Kingdom for the new king to choose a hill where to build his palace, so Mwanga 11 constructed his first palace at Masaja and after some time he thought of shifting his palace away from Masaja. He had always appreciated Emmengo which was also by then called Nkaawo hill where members of the Nvubu clan stored their grinding stones for herbal medicine. So the king decided to construct his palace at Nkaawo hill (Emmengo) and the name Mengo was adopted. Today the palace became Mengo Palace and the hill became Mengo hill. The king was much scared when the palace caught fire after the construction was completed and this fire destroyed the all important documents for the Kingdom, it scared the king and he escaped away to Nalukolongo were he was hosted by Roman Catholic Missionaries. After some time, the king left the missionaries and went to live with Mukasa who was the Katikiiro to his father Ssekabaka Muteesa II. When he was still staying at Mukasa`s place, lightning struck and destroyed everything at Mukasa`s home in 1886. He again ran away from Mukasa`s home and went to Munyonyo where he constructed another palace at Mulungu hill next to Lake Victoria.
The prime Minister of Uganda (Milton Obote) ordered a strong attack to remove out Kabaka Mutesa 11 in 1966. It was by the commands of Idi Amin forces, they attacked angrily the palace and after many times of attacks and fighting, the King was forced to flee and live in exile in the United Kingdom’s. The palace was completely turned into army barracks and it became a dangerous underground prison and torture chamber for Idi Amin in the 1970s. This underground torture chamber built by Idi Amin was a dark concrete tunnel with numerous darkness, damp cells which were separated by an electrified passage of water to prevent escape of prisoners, also you can see charcoal messages written by former prisoners on the walls: one reads ‘Obote, you have killed me, but what about my children and on the grounds are also the scrap metal remains of Mutesa’s Rolls Royce destroyed by Idi Amin. The palace is one of the Top 11 Tourism Places To Visit on a Kampala City Tour.
It is located in the heart of Kampala in the foot of Nakasero hill, it is among the famous, biggest and largest markets in Kampala city just 50meters away from Entebbe’road. It was set up in 1895 when the King of Buganda was advised to set up the first market in the palace. Later after 10 years, the market was moved to Kagugube which is currently between Sir Apollo Kagwa Road and Gaddafi Road and lastly it was moved to its current location Nakasero hill when the temporary structure of the market was built by then. The market was divided into two areas; the first area is the open part which is temporarily covered and this is the area where people buy fresh produces. The closed area which is shown by an old building is a place which contains hardware, clothes and other tourism items being sold.
Kabaka’s Creator Lake
This is the largest manmade lake in Uganda located between Ring Road and Nabunya Road in Ndeeba Rubaga Division, it is 5 km away from the Kampala City center. It was constructed between 1885 and 1888 by fifty two (52) clans of Buganda Kingdom during the regime of Ssekabaka Mwanga 11. The Kabaka (King) had planned to construct a wide channel so that he can cruise by boat to reach Lake Victoria for swimming, fishing purposes and also to enable him stay at his palace which he had constructed at Mulungu hill in Munyonyo next to Lake Victoria, it was also to serve as an escape route in the event of armed conflict with the British. Unfortunately all of his plans were veins distorted by religious war which broke out in Buganda Kingdom on 2nd August 1888.
he lake occupies an area of around 2 square kilometers and about 200 feet deep and water level is constant throughout the year yet it has no any water outlet which supplies it with water but only the underground springs since 1885, the environment surrounding this manmade lake is so beautiful with tall trees and green grasses and the two islands makes it more beautiful, walking on shores is an experience and you will also see local people and learn about their behaviors and culture in relation to this lake, it is also home of various bird species like Great White Egrets, Hadada Ibis, Black Headed Weaver, Open-billed Stork, and African Darter among other bird species.
Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, has several craft markets and artisanal hubs where you can explore and purchase a variety of locally made handicrafts and traditional items. These markets offer an opportunity to discover unique Ugandan craftsmanship and culture.
Additionally, take your time to explore the diverse range of traditional and contemporary Ugandan crafts and support local artisans in their craft making endeavours.
Kasenge Forest Resort Beach
Kasenge Forest is found in Mukono district, about 30 kilometers away from Kampala and it straddles within 60 acre land, featuring Kasenge Forest Resort Beach, stunning green lawns, Lakes and streams. Kasenge Forest is an incredible natural forest with lots of attractions and activities and a fact that it is located along the Kampala Jinja highway, it is one of best stopovers for tourists on safari to Jinja, Mbale and Busia Boarder or Sipi falls.
If you’re looking for relaxation and nature, head to Kasenge Forest Resort Beach on the shores of Lake Victoria. Enjoy the beach, take a boat ride, or just relax by the water.
Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, offers a diverse range of local foods that reflect the country’s rich culinary heritage. Ugandan cuisine is characterised by the use of staples like matoke (green cooking bananas), posho (maize porridge), sweet potatoes, cassava, and a variety of meats and vegetables
Rolex: A Rolex is a popular street food snack in Kampala. It’s essentially a chapati (flatbread) rolled up with a filling of eggs, vegetables, and sometimes meat. It’s a convenient and tasty street food option
These are just a few examples of the delicious and diverse foods you can find in Kampala. Ugandan cuisine offers a wide range of flavors and dishes, and exploring the local food scene can be a delightful culinary experience.
Kampala Night life
If you’re looking to party in Kampala, learn some new dance moves, and try some of the many varieties of Ugandan beer, we’ve got you covered. We cater to any group size of 4 and above, so let us know when you want to party! Kampala city never sleeps ! It is themed with “Party after party after party “ In kampala the night life is everyone’s favorite like a famous song which says “kampala is awesome at night “ during day , you will think people don’t have lives outside work. But when the night comes , people enjoy it like there is no tomorrow. Bars here in kampala work till morning . Casablanca Bar well-known for never closing . It works 24/7 and it’s music Djs are on point. Enjoying a night in kampala requires some money for the enjoyments to go on smoothly and if you ain’t a drinking type, probably you will enjoy the music . People that enjoy drinking some beer , whiskey, vodka , Gins etc Kampala is the right place ! Kampala is a beer capital in Africa commonly known for The famous UGANDA WARAGI with different flavors but with the coconut flavor leading . Beers like Nile Special , Club & Tusker are the famous ones . The famous uganda waragi
Remember to plan your tour according to your interests and the time you have available. Kampala is a city with a lot to offer, from its rich cultural heritage to its vibrant urban life. Make sure to respect local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Also, consider hiring a local guide to enhance your experience and gain deeper insights into the city’s history and culture.