The Capital of Uganda is Kampala. The city has a population of more than 1 million and a half inhabitants and more than 6 and a half million people in its metro area. This capital city is known as one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa.
The Republic of Uganda shares borders with Kenya, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Lake Victoria. This country is known as the African Great Lakes region.
Now, if you have already decided to travel to Kampala, you should note that English is one of the official languages spoken there, so you won’t necessarily need a dictionary with you.
Many of the cities in Uganda are located to the south of the country — near Lake Victoria, where Kampala can be also found. In this article, you will find the most interesting attractions to see in Kampala, Uganda.
Take out your notebook and start writing your itinerary for the trip and do not forget your backpack. There are a lot of things to do, a lot of people to meet, and tourist locations to see.
Gaddafi National Mosque In The Capital of Uganda
The Gaddafi National Mosque is the second largest mosque in East Africa. It is located in the old Kampala area, at Kampala Hill.
In 2007, the construction of this mosque was officially finished. This unique place hosts more than 15,000 people at a time. Only the interior area unfolds for 4.9 hectares or 12 acres. Its minaret has a height of 50.5 meters or 166 feet. Because of the minaret, it is also known as a skyscraper mosque. If you would like, you can can climb to the top of the minaret and enjoy a view that you won’t be able to have in any other place on Earth.
Before going to the National Mosque in Kampala, Uganda, you should know that women are required to wear traditional Muslim clothing, which you can get from the guides.
This should not be confused with the Mosque with the same name in Tanzania.
Baha’i House Of Worship In Kampala, Uganda
The Baha’i House of Worship is also known as the Mother Temple of Africa. It is located on Kikaya Hill, on the outer parts of Kampala. The first stone of its foundations was laid down in 1958 during a ceremony.
The building is 127 feet high and has an interior area of 84 feet. It seats 600 people at the same time. The materials for the construction were brought in from European countries like Italy, Belgium, and Germany.
The entire property includes the official House of Worship, ample gardens, and one guest house. The Baha’i House of Worship is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm.
The trip to this place will be a wonderful opportunity for you to learn more about the Baha’i Faith and its history. Before you embark on your cultural exploits, remember that you won’t be able to take any pictures. It might be a well-deserved change of pace.
Visit The Uganda National Museum
The Uganda National Museum is located in Kampala. It was established more than 100 years ago, in 1908, and it is the oldest museum in the country.
The collections presented here expand over two million years of human history. It is quite an amazing experience, not to mention what a special educational opportunity it is.
You can browse through musical instruments, hunting equipment, weapons, or archaeology. Sometimes a live performance is available for the visitors. You can discover different species of mammals, stone tools used over a million years ago, or a section dedicated to the Iron Age. All in all, these are only some parts of the museum.
The best thing to do is to go and see everything for yourself. Note that official business hours in Kampala, Uganda are between 8 am and 5 pm, with a lunch break from 1 pm to 2 pm.
Kasubi Royal Tombs In The Capital Of Uganda
Image by not not phil on WikicommonsThe Kasubi Tombs in Kampala is a must see for any backpackers traveling in Africa and it is one of the most important spiritual places for the Uganda population in the whole country.
The tombs represent the burial grounds for four kings of Buganda and other royal family members. The site is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2001.
Besides the spiritual experience, you will witness there, you will also be in the presence of a truly traditional architecture example. Pure vegetal materials were used to build the tombs.
You will find the place at Kasubi Hill, about five kilometers or three miles northwest of the city center of Kampala. The Kasubi Royal Tomb is open any time between 8 am and 6 pm, except on Sundays, when they are closed.
Experience Kampala Like Uganda Locals At Ndere Centre
The best place to experience the culture of Africa like the Uganda population is at Ndere Centre. “Sharing African music with the world” is the center’s slogan.
African trees, flowered walk paths, and green areas surround this cultural spot. You will notice a rare architectural style that combines artistic creativity with simple African materials and forms.
While you visit the place, there is a great chance that you will meet the Ndere Dance Troupe. The members of the troupe host live shows pretty often. Just make sure you check the schedule beforehand.
Besides the dancing part, you can enjoy a traditional Ugandan meal daily. You can pick from a variety of dishes at the buffet. The Ndere Cultural Centre is open every day of the year between 6 pm and 12 am.
Shop At The Buganda Road Craft Market
On your way through visiting the Capital of Uganda, you will find yourself, at some point, in need of some souvenirs. Look no more, there is a perfect place in Kampala for that.
The Buganda Road Craft Market, as you might have guessed, is next to the Buganda Road. It is an outdoor market full of a large variety of items.
This is the place to buy crafts and arts made by the Uganda population. Think of fabrics, baskets, t-shirts, and other types of clothing, masks, wallets, accessories like bracelets, and more. The best part about most of the things you will discover at the market in Kampala is that they are handmade.
This time, you don’t have to watch the clock too carefully, because the craft market is open from 8 in the morning until 8 in the evening.
Try The Ugali
All backpackers traveling to Africa and the Capital of Uganda must try some of the local traditional cuisine at least once.
If you want to do so, give Ugali a try. It looks like cheese, but it’s actually made from a type of grain—more specifically, it’s a cornmeal porridge. The Ugali food from Kampala is cooked by boiling millet or sorghum flour in water or milk until it gets to a dough-like consistency.
You can serve it with beans, chicken, beef, goat, or mutton. The choice is yours to make.
Other names for Ugali are nsima, pap, ngima, obusuma, kimnyet, nshima, Mieliepap, phutu, sadza, or kwon.
See The Lake Victoria
Africa is full of incredible lakes and rivers. The Victoria Lake is one of the greatest lakes in Uganda—it’s named after a queen of the United Kingdom in the 19th century.
The water has a depth of 81 meters or 266 feet and a surface of 1,135 meters or 3,724 feet. One of the amazing fun facts about Lake Victoria in Africa is that it has 985 islands. It is the largest lake on the African continent.
As a serious backpacker, you should definitely join a cruise on the lake. If you feel more courageous, you can even join a fishing trip. On Lake Victoria, you can catch the famous Nile Perch, which usually weighs more than 100 kilograms.
Walk Through Centenary Park
You can find the Centenary Park right in the city. Just travel east from the downtown area. It is located about 1 kilometer away, which makes it a walking distance.
Walk all day or rest your feet from all the activities you had so far in the capital of Uganda. Either way, this park will guide you through another authentic African experience. Inside the park, you will find restaurants, bars, and even clubs.
The park closes at 11 pm but opens every day at 8 am. This way, you don’t have to worry about the amount you spend there.
Save A Day For A City Tour
Take a guided tour of the city on one of the days you are in the capital of Uganda. It will be another opportunity for you to learn something new, to find out more about the culture in Africa, and the Ugandan population.
There are numerous city tours available, so make sure you will board one that will completely fit your wishes and needs.
In the end, there are only a few recommendations. When you get to the city, let it speak a little to you. It will guide your adventure there and you will bring home some wonderful life-long memories.