7 Things to do in Kampala

7 things to do in Kampala are those activities in Kampala that any traveller visiting Uganda should do. Kampala is the capital city of the Republic of Uganda. Kampala is not only the capital city of Uganda but also the commercial centre of the country. Kampala is located in the central region of Uganda, only a few kilometres from the shores of Lake Victoria, and about 40km from Entebbe International Airport. Entebbe International Airport is the main gateway to Uganda, given that the country is landlocked. Kampala is made up of 7 hills that include Makerere hill, Mulago hill, Kololo hill, Mengo hill, Kibuli, Old Kampala and Rubaga hills, that it was called “kassozi ka Impala” by the Buganda back in the day for the hilly place with many impalas. 

7 Things to do in Kampala

Kampala is rich in diversity, culture, historical monuments, scenic attractions and above all the people. The people in Kampala are a whole vibe, unlike everywhere else you may have travelled. With about 56 tribes in Uganda, all these people do come together in Kampala given that Kampala is the capital city, thereby giving the cultural diversity and congestion in Kampala city making it one of the best stops for cultural tourism.

Uganda has great historical and cultural attractions that tourists can see with a Kampala city tour. New establishments like malls, religious sites with some being quite old and the only standing in Africa, political instalments, and so much more can be enjoyed in Kampala. Restaurants and bars like the Café Javas, Java House, Faze 2, La Cabana and so much more offer not only great culinary dishes of all kinds but have great music and the Kampala night life is one to behold in the entire East African Region.

Some of the top 7 things to do in Kampala include among others;

Kasubi Tombs

Visiting Kasubi Tombs is one of the top 7 things to do in Kampala. Kasubi tombs are located on Kasubi hill, one of the 7 hills that make up Kampala, and are the burial grounds of the kings and royals of Buganda kingdom. The Kasubi tombs are regarded as a UNESCO world heritage site for their historical and cultural significance. Kasubi tombs are only among the 31 burial grounds that have been established in other places by the Buganda kingdom since the 13th century. The Kasubi tombs in particular have 4 fallen kings of Buganda Kingdom buried there including Kabaka Muteesa I, Kabaka Mwanga II, Daudi Chwa II and Sir Edward Muteesa II the father of sitting King. In 2010 however, some parts of the Kasubi tombs were burnt down, and reconstruction have since been underway and shall be soon re-opened to visitors.

Baha’i Temple

The Baha’i Temple is the temple of the Baha’i faith in the whole of Africa. The Baha’i faith originated from Iran/Persia, and teaches the very highest levels of humanity. Tourists get to visit the Baha’i temple and learn of the origins and all that the religion has entails. The temple has well maintained and manicured gardens fit for picnics and some lone time. Photos are not allowed to be taken of the inside of the temple, and is usually open from 8 in the morning to 6 pm every day, with services being held on Sundays.

The Namugongo Uganda Martyrs Shrines 

The Namugongo Uganda martyrs shrines are the places where most Uganda martyrs were killed by burning on orders of the then sitting King of Buganda, Kabaka Mwanga II. Shortly after the missionaries settled in Uganda and preached the gospel, Kabaka Mwanga got jealous of their influence over his subjects and saw them as a threat to his kingship that in June 1886, he ordered the killing of any of his subjects who had refused to renounce the gospel. The killings consequently happened in different places including Munyonyo, but it was in Namugongo that a notable number of them were killed. Every 3rd June, prayers are held in their memorial, thereby bringing together over 1 million Christians, both Roman Catholics and Protestants. A museum was built by the Protestants, and is open to visitors. Visiting the Namugongo Uganda martyrs shrines of both the Catholics and Protestants shall have you learning more of the history of religion in Uganda.

Uganda National Museum

Visiting the Uganda national museum is another of the 7 things to do in Kampala while on a Kampala city tour. Though not as many found elsewhere, the Uganda national museum has a lot of history of Uganda in it, which would help enlighten one of historical aspects of Uganda, and maybe determine just where the country is likely of go. The Uganda national museum is located in Kitante, just near the British High Commission. The Uganda National Museum was put up in 1908 by the then British colonial officer George Wilson so as to keep the ancient artefacts of Uganda. The Uganda museum consists of mostly music instruments, bows, arrows, rifles, spears and so much more used by the eminent personalities in the past. Accolades and medals of sportsmen, nobles and so many more can also be found here.

Idi Amin torture chambers

One of the 7 things to do in Kampala include visiting the Idi Amin torture chambers where many of the people that were presumed a threat to Amin’s rule were tortured and often times killed. Idi Amin’s reign is a part of Uganda’s history that the country has to live for eternity, marred with a lot of random kidnaps, killings and inhuman treatment of the people. It is sad tales of the life then by knowledgeable guides here that shall have you learning of the dark history of Uganda.

Lake Victoria 

Get to visit and encounter the various thrills that Lake Victoria has to offer while visiting Kampala. Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water lake in the world, and the largest in Africa. Activities like boat safaris with various boat cruises available for booking, as well as other activities like sport fishing, can be done on Lake Victoria. Some hotels do have great views of Lake Victoria and guests are rewarded with great views. Watching sunsets over Lake Victoria are fun too, try to enjoy one when you can, with a Uganda safari package.

Experience shopping in Owino market

Owino market, called the St Balikudembe officially, is the largest market in the entire East African region that one could even risk getting lost within. There are a lot of things on display ranging from food stuffs to clothing, restaurants and so much more, at a very affordable price. You do not necessarily have to visit to purchase, just take a walk in the market and get the feel of being in one of the largest markets in Africa. While visiting, be sure to not bring along your valuables, or keep them very safe if you can’t do away with them.

Other things to do in Kampala including visiting the religious sites of both Namirembe Cathedral and Rubaga Cathedral as well as the Gaddafi Mosque which is one of the largest in Africa, visit monuments in Kampala including the Independence monument, Nakasero Market, explore Buganda craft village, visit the old taxi park, and so much more.

Have your tour operator put together for you a fun Kampala City tour where you shall get to visit most of these sites. Be sure to carry with you enough drinking water if your guide is not providing, leave your valuables at the hotel if you can, be extra vigilant if carrying them for there is quite a lot of pick-pocketing especially in Owino market. There are a number of restaurants you can sit and have a great meal from, as well as various night clubs to enjoy the night life that Kampala has to offer.

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