Kampala is the capital city in Uganda located in the central part of the country, the city used to be a hunting area for the former Kabaka of Buganda kingdom because of its scenic rolling hills that are seven in number, valleys, and wetlands that used to harbor the Impalas(antelopes). Kampala became the capital city of Uganda in 1962 when Uganda attained its independence from the British rule; the named Kampala is derived from a local word “Ka’ Impala” meaning for Impalas due to the many Impalas that were abundant in the region.
Things to do in Kampala
Visit the Uganda Martyrs Shrine. The Uganda martyrs shrine also known as Namungongo martyrs shrine is a place where 32 people were killed through torture due to the their Christian beliefs on the 3rd of June 1986. Pope John paul VI canonized 22 of the martyrs when he visited Uganda on the 18th of October 1964. During every year on the 3rd of June Christians from Uganda and other parts of the world walk to Namungongo martyrs shrine to commemorate the lives of the martyrs, visiting the place gives you more information about how the martyrdom started and details of the whole story.
Tour Lake Victoria. Lake Victoria boasts as the second freshest water tropical Water Lake in the world, the lake is located in the heart of the city with many beaches to chill out from. You can take a boat cruise to explore its unique flora and fauna, go for relaxation and swimming, cruise to Ngamba Island for chimpanzee trekking or even do fishing. Sunset and launch boat cruises are also available.
Visit the Kasubi Tombs. The Kasubi tombs in just located 3 kilometers from Kampala city center was the burial place for the Buganda kings and the royals. The tombs have been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. The tombs were first built as a palace in 1882 Kabaka Mutessa I. There is a lot to learn about the Buganda kingdom and the kings buried here with their time of ruling Buganda kingdom.
Wamala Tombs. The Wamala tombs are a resting place for Kabaka Ssuna the 29th King of Buganda kingdom, the tombs are found a hill next to Kagoma hill where he built for his mother. When there was a lot of strife in the Buganda kingdom Ssunas mother ran with him and laid him to Lake Wamala in Mityana, he was brought back when his mother died and he settled in Wamunyenye and decided to call the place Wamala.
Visit Gadaffi Mosque. The Gadaffi mosque found in old Kampala is the best place for viewing the all city at it top minaret, the mosque was built by the former Libyan colonel Gadaffi and it is the largest in the city. Women will be given headscarf’s and Sarongs to cover up as you be taken around.
Tour Mengo Palace. Mengo palace id the former palace of the Kabaka( King) of Buganda kingdom, the place was constructed in 1922 but it’s vacant since 1966 when the former prime minister Milton Obote ordered an attack on the palace to oust the then president who was Kabaka Muessa II.
Uganda Museum. The Uganda museum exhibits natural historical, cultural and ethnological displays, its the biggest museum in Kampala; there is a lot to learn from the museum that the guide will teach you and explain everything you need to know from each exhibition.
Ndere Cultural Center. The Ndere cultural center is the best traditional group in Kampala, if you want to know more about Uganda’s traditions and cultures, you can catch a dinner cultural performance at the theatre. The local dancers are gifted in performing all the Ugandan tribe’s traditional dances and songs.
Kabaka’s Palace & Idi Amin Torture Chambers. The former president of Uganda Idi Amin built his torture chambers on Mengo hill where you find the Kabakas palace opposite Buganda parliament, the victims were badly tortured from here though electricity and horrific murder. The guides are always there to give you information about the palace and more about the chambers.
Bahai Temple. For those who love to learn about the Baha’i faith and beliefs, this is the place to be. The Baha’i temple found in Kikaya hill is one of its kind in the whole of Africa. The spacious gardens are a perfect place to also have a picnic lunch.
Rubaga & Nakasero Cathedrals. The Rubaga cathedral is a memorial for the first African bishop in Uganda who was martyred for the spread of Catholic faith in Uganda. The cathedral is also located on top of one of the Kampala hills giving spectacular views of the city, entrance is free though you can contribute to the church if you wish. The Namirembe cathedral also provides greater views of the city and it is of protestants faith, it’s one of the most beautiful Christian places in the city.
Owino Market. If you want to see the hustle of everyday life, then Owino is the best place you can go to, the market sells everything ranging from foodstuffs to clothes and so much more but the place is very crowded in that you can go in with friends and come out alone, there also a lot of pickpockets around so you should guard your items and wallets very carefully.
Katereke Prison Ditch. A sad story is told of the Katereke prison ditch when Kabaka Kalema killed 30 of his siblings during 1888-89 in fear of being overthrown from power. The Royals were badly tortured to death or starved to death.
Nnamasole Kanyange Tombs. These Buganda royal tombs are located just 4 kilometers away from Wamala tombs, this is the burial place for Queen Nnamasole Kanyange mother of Kabaka Ssuna. There are also other Queens that were buried here after her. There is a sanctified drum within the tombs that are used to request the Kabaka Ssuna’s spiritual presence, the tombs give you more knowledge about the Buganda kingdom and its a sacred place to date.