1 Day Kampala City Tour
Over view of the tour
- Religious tours
- Cultural tours
- Administrative centres
Before the arrival of the British colonialists, the Kabaka of Buganda had chosen the zone that would become Kampala as a hunting reserve. The area composed of rolling hills with grassy wetlands in the valleys, which was a home to several species of antelope, particularly impala. When the British arrived, they called it “Hills of the Impala”. The language of the Buganda, Luganda, adopted many English words because of their interactions with the British. The Buganda translated “Hill of the Impala” as Akasozi k’Empala – “Kasozi” meaning “hill”, “ke” meaning “of”, and “empala” the plural of “impala”. In Luganda, the words “ka’mpala” means “that is of the impala”, in reference to a hill, and the single word “Kampala” was adopted as the name for the city that grew out of the Kabaka’s hills.
This tour will take you to various sites and attractions around the city; starting from Gadhafi mosque, Amin’s torture chamber, Uganda museum, Bahai temple and Namugongo shrines.
This mosque is the major feature on the oldest hill in the city offering unrivalled 360 degrees views of Kampala from the Minaret where you have chances of seeing all the 7 hills that make up Kampala city.
The Royal Mile / underground prison of Bulange
At the other end of a ceremonial Royal drive leading from parliament of Buganda Kingdom, Lubiri Palace was built in 1922. The building was duly converted to army barracks, while an adjacent site became a notorious underground prison and torture-execution chamber built by Idi Amin in the 1970s. Guides will lead you to this terrifying site; a dark concrete tunnel with numerous dark, damp cells separated by an electrified passage of water to prevent escape. At the gate of this palace is a traditional fire source that has never burnt out since the inception of the Buganda monarchy/Kingdom; and shall never stop burning least a king is dead. Here is a representation of all Baganda Clans and their respective role in this Kingdom since time of immemorial as narrated by a royalist at this fire source.
A mile away but directly positioned gate to gate is the Bulange- a parliament in which the Kabaka and his ministers have since old days sat to deliberate upon issues concerning Buganda Kingdom. The architectural design of this building has proven a spectacular Uganda tour site to many local and international visitors. Walk the mile as you learn about Buganda cultural norms and the city of Kampala
Outside, the Museum is the Living museum (Cultural village) that exhibits the ways of lives of Ugandans as it represents the whole of Uganda. This outside museum also exhibits all the kingdoms of Uganda and their way of life
This UN heritage site was unfortunately burnt down in 2010 and is still in the process of restoration. It was the largest grass thatched structure in the world and the burial place to several befallen Kabakas / Kings of the Buganda Kingdom. Once finished to its former glory, we will put it back on our schedule of places to visit in Kampala.
It is one of the most prestigious multinational Universities in Africa with a rich history and professors who have taught here such as Prof. Mazurui, Author Paul Theroux and Nugugu Wa Thiongo. Her old colonial structures fused with new contemporary ones make it a great Uganda tour destination worthy visiting.
If you happen to visit Uganda, then you should never miss reaching at this religious dome that was originally modeled in 1903 by the Baganda Kingdom Craftsmen in a more traditional style as a single large grass thatched cathedral which was sooner struck down by lightning; but was later replaced by the present magical structure. This Cathedral is part of the Church of Uganda but Anglican and as well known in Uganda most Anglican Churches are very evangelical unlike in the West. This beautiful structure perched on a raised hill overseeing the city Centre offers magnificent views for both local and foreign visitors.
The Kabaka`s Lake
The is the largest man-made lake in Africa; made by Kabaka Mwanga and was supposed to connect to Lake Victoria as an escape route for the Kabaka in case of any attack to the throne; but was not finished and only remained as a royal lake near the palace. This is home to some birds and least a fishing sport as well as a leisure to many.
Rubaga Catholic Cathedral
The oldest Catholic Cathedral in Uganda, like Namirembe Cathedral overlooks the city and is a large complex that takes in various functions of the church; surrounded by beautiful botanical gardens dotted with romantic trees and flowers. It is also perched on a hill with a great panorama of the entire city.
From the Torture chamber, you will drive to the national museum; which is the biggest and the oldest Museum in Uganda founded in 1908. The Uganda Museum is a remarkable collection of spans; over two million years of human history with a display of Uganda’s cultural heritage; where one can see ethnological and natural-historical exhibitions. Enjoy an African history, cultures and treasures of Uganda under one roof. This museum is located in kamwokya – Kitante hill; just a few minutes’ drive from the city Centre and just bordering the Uganda wildlife authority headquarters.
Before going to Bahai temple, you will stop in Kamwokya for an amazing culinary adventure to have a bite on a “Rolex” ;- a mixture of fried eggs rolled in a chapatti with tomatoes. This is one of the fast foods for the city dwellers. (Optional)
Proceed to Bahai temple to visit the mother Temple of the Bahai faith in Africa. This being the only Baha’i Temple in Africa makes Uganda a target destination for many tourists
And just like the faith it represents, the Bahai temple is no ordinary house of worship. Sitting on 52 acres of land, the temple is a unique architectural master piece. Built between 1958 and 1961 on Kikaaya hill overlooking the city centre, three miles North of Kampala; the building is 130ft. Its dome is a 44ft in diameter. It is a nine sided structure which represents togetherness and unity of the faiths biggest tenets. It is perched on a beautiful park-like ground with lots of beautiful trees; most of them fruit tree species plus flowers as well as a green-carpet like grass with clean clear gazetted paths leading to the dome. This park-like environment attracts many people who sit on the grass and have a peaceful moments or hold picnics; not forgetting couples in love who flock this place for quality time
The Namugongo shrines is dedicated to 22 young Christian congregants; who were brutally murdered by Kabaka Mwanga in 1885-1887 for their allegiance to Christianity. They were beatified in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV and later canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964. The 22 Martyrs are the only African saints to whom a basilica is dedicated. They are the largest group of saints ever canonized by the Catholic Church.
Every 3rd June, the Catholic Church and their counterpart of Anglican persuasion flock this place from all over Africa and across the world. Most of them by foot to commemorate this day in honor of their Religious heroes; the Uganda Martyrs. The unique architecture of African hut, the temple of worship in this place is a great tour destination and this same place hosted Pope Francis the year 2015.
End of the tour with Love Uganda Safaris
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