Kampala is a wonderful city steeped in history, leisure and tradition. With so many places to go and entertainment to enjoy you will never be without something to do. Kampala’s places of interest is vast as there is so much to see. Whatever your interest are, you are sure to find somewhere in and around the capital. There are many interesting cultural centers leaning against Buganda Kingdom, the largest tribal grouping in Uganda. If culture or history is not your thing, there are also local markets, theaters, night clubs among other places to explore.
With so many activities and places to visit it’s hard to know where to start your weekend retreat with family or friends once you have decided to go for a Kampala city tour. Whatever your interests are, this list should start you on your way to getting the most out of Kampala.
The City Centre
Kampala city a commercial and administrative capital of Uganda spreads over more than twenty hills. It is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. Its architecture is a mixture of the modern, the colonial and the Indian. Kampala is a city that simply buzzes with life. There is much to do, first of take in the atmosphere of the city, the people, the shop, the activity in the market area of Nakesero.
Kabaka Tombs visits
There are various tombs found in Buganda kingdom. Tombs are burial grounds for Buganda Kings. These include; Kasubi, Wamala, Walusi to mention but a few. Kasubi being the main tomb, it is located on kasubi hill, where the four kings of Buganda were barried. The tombs were constructed using local materials; grass, poles and wattle. They have great historical, cultural and spiritual importance to the Baganda because all the remains of their kings are laid there.
Walking the Royal Mile
The royal mile mainly comprises of the Lubiri Palace and the Bulange parliament all located in Mengo. These two have magnificent architectural designs that please all the tourists who take a glance on them as they walk the royal mile learning about the unique Buganda culture.
You can take a Kampala slum tour as well. To the ordinary man living in Kampala, a slum means those congested water-logged small dwellings. These places have a lot of stagnant water with shabby houses. The most notable slums in Kampala include Bwaise, Makerere Kivvulu, Katanga, Kimombasa, Kisenyi and Wankulukuku.
However, slums in Kampala are defined by outstanding characteristics including Inadequate access to safe water, inadequate access to sanitation and other infrastructure, insecure residential status, Poor structural quality of housing and overcrowding. These areas attract a high density of low- income earners and or unemployed persons, with low levels of literacy trying to make ends meet. The cost of living in such places are literally very low and living conditions remain very poor. High crime rates & drug abuse, high levels of noise, immorality (pornography and prostitution) are also other characteristics of slums in Kampala.
Uganda museum tour
The Uganda Museum is an ideal place to start with in order to get solid ground about the country, its people, cultures and traditions. It was first opened in 1908 at a place called Ford Lugard in Old Kampala, then transferred in 1942 to Makerere University however, today it is found on Kitante hill. The museum displays Uganda’s indigenous culture, Archaeology, history, science and natural history.
Shopping in the local markets
A Kampala walking tour can take you to local markets including the ever crowded st Balikuddembe market better known as Owino market, Nakasero market and the Craft markets where you can buy souvenirs for your stay in Kampala. While visiting these markets, you are always advised to keep your valuables such as cell phones, cameras, money purses and small bags safe.
Visiting the Bahai Temple and other religious places
You cannot forget talking about Religion while on a city tour around Kmapala. Uganda has many people believing in different religions attending their services in various Religious places. Among the most popular iconic religious places in Kampala is the Baha’i Temple that is located on the Kikaya Hill 7 kilometers from the city center. It is the only Bahai Temple found in Africa. It is also referred to as the mother temple of the Bahai faith in Africa. Other places include the Rubaga Catholic cathedral, Namirembe Cathedral, the Gaddafi National mosque and Namugongo Martyrs Shrine among others.
Food & drink
Kampala prides itself on the diversity of restaurant offerings it provides. All types of foods are available in this buzzing city including Indian, Chinese, Italian and Spanish foods as well as the usual fast-food outlets. Whatever your tastes are, you will be catered for in Uganda’s capital.
So you’ve enjoyed a day of sightseeing, had a bite to eat and the night is upon you getting the best of it with family. You can enjoy the vast amounts of entertainment in Kampala. Whether you enjoy night clubs with grown up friends, live music or the dramatic presence of a theater show with family, Uganda’s capital is the place to be. There are also cinema halls, bars and pubs as well as lounges.
How to get around?
If it is your first time to drive in Kampala, expect some challenge. A Kampala city tour would be more fun if you are driving with a local guide thus Car hire being reasonable. Walking in the city centre can also be fulfilling as you can visit a number of interesting places such as local markets and slums. You can also rent a bike to travel round the city or use local taxis.
Where to stay
There are lots of different choices from hotels, B & Bs, and guest houses. You can choose to stay in the city center, or in the surrounding areas as transport to center are frequent. Accommodation is available to all classes of people economy wise.
- If you need luxury, there are many 4 and five star hotels to try out. There is Serena Hotel, Protea Hotels, Sheration hotel Kigo, Hotel Africana and Hotel Boulevard among others.
- Standard accommodations such as Tri Hotel, Grand Imperial, Royal suites Bugolobi and Silver springs hotel, Golf course hotel, Golden Tulips, Acadia suites among others.
- If you need low budget, there are a number of back packer lodges such as Bush Pig Backpackers, Fat Cat, Red Chilli for camping, Nateete Back packer among others.