Top 10 Places To Visit in Kampala City
Top 10 Places To Visit in Kampala City: Kampala City is one of the top business hubs in Uganda. It is also the country’s capital with an estimated population of 1,680,000 people. The city is sits on seven hills including Mengo, Rubaga, Namirembe, Makerere, Kololo, Nakasero and Old Kampala. Kampala city is divided into five administrative divisions which include; Kawempe, Makindye, Nakawa, Kampala Central and Rubaga divisions. The city covers 189 square kilometers making it the largest city in Uganda. It is situated near Lake Victoria which is the largest lake in Africa and is also shared with neighbours Kenya and Tanzania. The city is also a top tourism hub for tourists visiting Uganda with a lot to offer to visitors with a thirst for adventure. Here are some of the top 10 places to visit in Kampala city;
Top 10 Places To Visit in Kampala City
The Uganda Museum; This is a top tourist destination for many tourists in Kampala city. It is located along Kiira road, just next to the headquarters of Uganda Wildlife Authority-a government organisation in-charge of managing all the national parks in Uganda. The national museum was established to preserve the traditional life, protect and promote the cultural and natural heritage of the country through collection of cultural and traditional instruments. Trails to the museum start from old Kampala where the first museum was established and then transferred to Makerere University and later to its current location. The museum is divided into several sections such as the music gallery which has musical instruments which were used as a way of communication for all the tribes in Uganda. Visitors at the Uganda museum are also taken through the transport means section where you get to view the canoes and litters that were used to carry African kings and queens, see historical tools that were used for hunting such as arrows, spears, science industry with rocks and mineral samples. You will also get to visit historical sites such as the Kabaka’s shrine, Kasubi tombs, traditional huts which are situated outside the museum, first chairs and cars that were driven by the former Ugandan presidents, first telephones, craft shops among others. The museum is an interesting site with ancient instruments hence helping you to explore Uganda’s history.
Bahai temple; This is located on Kikaya hill and it is the first and mother temple of the Bahai faith in Africa. It is a spiritual gathering place that is open to all religions in Uganda. Bahai temple has a quiet and peaceful lush environment with flower gardens at each temple door entrance. The temple was designed in beautiful architectural design with coloured glass planes, offers great scenic views and is a great destination for birding for the bird lovers. Bahai temple is a great place for relaxation, picnics among others.
Gadhafi mosque; This is located at Kampala hill in old Kampala. Gadhafi mosque is a skyscraper mosque that was opened in 2007 and is a popular mosque in that it was commissioned by the late colonel Muammar Gaddafi the former president of Libya who left a landmark on international politics on his tour in the country with several African leaders. Women who want to visit Gadhafi mosque should dress modestly in that they should wear loose fitting clothes covering the waist and ankles and also cover their heads with coverings that are available at the reception and should be returned after the visit while men should wear trousers and shirts with sleeves. Gadhafi mosque is known for its interior design and minaret or the prayer tower which offers great views of Kampala city and a great place for photographs as Top 10 Places To Visit in Kampala City.
Martyrs shrine; The Martyrs shrine is located in Namugongo in Kampala. It where the 22 Uganda martyrs were burnt alive in 1886 on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga who was one of the Kings of Buganda because they had refused to denounce their Christian faith. Uganda celebrates Martyr’s day every year on 3rd June where pilgrims from within and outside the country walk barefooted from their home places to Namugongo shrine as a way to commemorate the Uganda martyrs. The Martyr’s shrine was also constructed in a traditional architectural shape of the Buganda hut with interior designs of sculptures and paintings. Namugongo shrine is a popular religious site in that it was visited by Archbishop Robert Runcie of Canterbury in 1984 and Pope John Paul 11 in 1993 and Pope Francis in 2015. Tour to the shrine hence gives you an opportunity to learn the life of the Martyrs and their death where some were slaughtered and some burnt.
Ndere cultural centre, this is a cultural information centre and a home of Ndere troupe. It is located in Kisaasi, Kyanja road in Kampala. The cultural centre is a quiet and unique place that you can visit on a Sunday evening and be able to enjoy the Uganda cultural performances through modern art work, storytelling, traditional foods, songs, dances, history from different tribes in Uganda and also dances from other African countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi using traditional instruments among others hence promoting traditional skills and knowledge.
Idi Amin’s Torture Chambers: The torture chambers are one of Uganda’s dark tourism destination sites. The torture chambers were first established as armory of the British colonial government and later used as a prison by Milton Obote, following his rise to power in 1966. Later he was over thrown by Idi Amin Dada in 1971, who later transformed the prison into a horrific torture Chamber.
Craft Markets: Kampala City is a busy business hub in Uganda and visitors looking to get yourselves and loved ones great souvenirs, can do so from the various craft markets in the city like; the Craft Village on Buganda Road, Uganda crafts and National Theater Craft shops. You can also visit some of the local food markets in the city like Nakasero market and Owino market where you can buy some fresh fruits and spices. There are also a number of shopping malls that you can visit in Kampala city and these include; Kingdom Kampala, Acacia Mall, Garden City, Forest Mall and Shoprite in Lugogo and clock tower.
Rubaga cathedral, this is located on Rubaga hill and is the oldest and parent cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Uganda. Rubaga cathedral was constructed in 1914 and consecrated in December 1925. The twin towered Roman Catholic Church is a city land mark which can be viewed from all angles in the city and also offers great history of the Catholic Church in Uganda. Rubanga cathedral harbours the remains of the late Archbishop joseph Kiwanuka who was the first African Archbishop and the first African catholic Bishop of Kampala diocese.
Kabaka’s palace; The Kabaka’s palace, also known as King’s palace, is located in Bulange, Mengo hill and is known as the official house of the king of Buganda. Mengo palace was constructed by Ssekabaka Mwanga 11 in 1885 after taking over the throne in 1884 at the age of 18 years. The palace is designed in beautiful and eye catching historical architecture and consists of the collection of Kabaka Ronald Mutebi’s photographs from the time he was a child up to date. The palace has various sections where you will tour for example the scattered houses in the compound where the guards stay, the kings main house where no one is allowed to enter except the king, the Buganda parliament where they teach you about Buganda culture and history which is the largest and biggest ethnic group in Uganda hence giving great experience on your tour in Uganda.
Independence monument; This monument is located along Speke road opposite standard chartered bank and stands at a height of 6m. The monument depicts a man raising his child to touch the sky which signifies a new born country that has been set free from the bondage of colonization. Independence monument was sculpted by a Kenyan born artist and the construction was funded by the British Colonial Government before Uganda celebrated its first independence in October 1962 therefore it offers the best sight for photographs in Kampala city.
Makerere University; This is the best and largest university in Uganda and one of the oldest in Africa. It is located on Makerere hill in the centre of Kampala city. Makerere University is known for producing knowledgeable and brilliant students for example it produced the some of the best east African presidents such as Milton Obote of Uganda, Julius Nyerere former president of Tanzania among others. Makerere University has various attractions such as beautiful monuments, Art gallery; unique Architectural designs of the buildings, different tree species, various cultures and is also a great destination for bird watching with bird species like Marabou stork, Hadada ibis among others which makes it a beautiful destination with great experiences.
Accommodation in Kampala city
Kampala city is blessed with a number of accommodation facilities where visitors on a tour in Uganda can relax and unwind. These include; Cottages Hotel, Marriot Sky’s Hotel, Golden Tulip Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn, Imperial Royale Hotel, Freedom City Hotel, Biraj International Hotel, Fairway, Humura Resorts, Emin Pasha Hotel, Forest Cottages, Lindsay Cottages, Pumba Safari Cottages, Hotel Africana, Satellite Hotel, Serena Hotel, Grand Imperial Hotel, Arcadia Suites, Speke Resort Hotel among others which offer you with comfortable beds, international and local dishes, cool environment for relaxation among others hence making your safari in Uganda rewarding with great experiences.
When to visit Kampala City.
Kampala city in Uganda can be visited anytime of the year; although the best time is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, December, January and February when there is less rainfall than in the wet season.
Kampala city is also known as the city that never sleeps. The city comes to life at night with residents partying and unwinding at local bars and clubs after a long day’s work. Local residents of Kampala city are very friendly and welcoming to visitors.