A Guide to Kampala City, Uganda

0
128
Munyonyo commonwealth resort

Kampala City Guide is a comprehensive guide to Kampala, Uganda. Find hotels, restaurants, religious places, markets, malls, attractions, craft shops, bars and many more that are worthy visiting on your trip to Kampala city.

Welcome to Kampala, the vibrant capital city of Uganda! This comprehensive city guide will help you navigate through the bustling streets, discover cultural treasures, indulge in delicious cuisine and explore the rich history and natural beauty that Kampala has to offer.

Kampala occupies a series of hills at an elevation of about 3,900 feet (1,190 meters) and is situated in the southern part of the country, just north of Lake Victoria. Kampala lies just north of Mengo, the capital of the kingdom of Buganda in the 19th century.

Kampala is the hub of the nation’s road network and lies on the railway from Kasese to Mombasa, Kenya. It is also served by Port Bell 6 miles/ 10 km on Lake Victoria and by Uganda’s international airport at Entebbe.

The city has got several residential popular suburbs like; Kololo, Nagulu hill, Bugolobi, Kansanga, Munyonyo, Nakulabye, Ntinda and many others.

Downtown Kampala supports most of the small and private businesses which operate up to late evening, the two taxi parks and several bus stations, budget hotels, markets and many other facilities. The streets are busy during working hours, crowded with shoppers, hawkers and hustlers. The city has the highest number of motorcycles (boda-bodas) which are the cheapest means of transport if you wish to maneuver through most of Kampala’s busy streets.

Kampala is endowed with a lot of accommodation facilities so there should not be worry on where to sleep during your trip in Kampala. Some of the accommodation facilities include;

 Kampala Serena hotel. It is located in the heart of Kampala. An inspirational blend of 5-star polish and pan-African panache, this world-class hotel will showcase the cream of Ugandan culture while delivering the ultimate in personalized service, international cruise, social style and business reliability

Offering an outdoor pool and a restaurant, Kampala Serena Hotel is located in Kampala. Free WI-FI access is available.

Each room here will provide you with a TV, air conditioning and a balcony. There is also an electric kettle. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a bath and a hairdryer. You can enjoy city view from the room.

At Kampala Serena Hotel you will find a fitness centre. Other facilities offered at the property include a tour desk and luggage storage. The property offers free parking. The fastest way to reach Kampala Serena Hotel from Entebbe International airport is to use a taxi which takes about 34 minutes to reach.

Silver spring hotel. Silver Springs Hotel is located in Bugolobi town along Port Bell Road with immediate access to nightlife, dining, business, shopping and cultural diversions.  The hotel is just a few minutes’ drive from city centre. It has ultra-modern facilities that leave its customers smiling with full satisfaction. The experienced team at the hotel is dedicated to delivering memorable hospitality to all customers.

The accommodation ranges from 92 rooms comprising of 34 standard rooms, 52 Executive Deluxe rooms, 6 Executive Suites. All these have individual bathrooms, controlled air conditioners, minibar, working tables with reading lights, satellite TV, room telephone and free wireless internet.

When you are from the city center, silver springs hotel can be accessed by use of both a car or a boda-boda. You use jinja high way and branch off from the yard-port bell road and it’s about 35minutes’ drive to reach the hotel.

Mestil Hotel. It’s located about 1.8km from Kampala city on the Nsambya hills near Nsambya barracks and its just 10 minutes’ drive to reach the hotel incase if there is no traffic jam.

Mestil Hotel and Residences provides accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a fitness centre and a garden. Providing a restaurant, the property also has a terrace, as well as a sauna and a hammam. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service and free Wi-Fi throughout the property.

The hotel provides guests with air-conditioned rooms with a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a microwave, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV, a balcony and a private bathroom with a shower. At Mestil Hotel & Residences every room is fitted with bed linen and towels.

Kampala Railway Station is 3.4 km from the accommodation while Independence Monument is 3.4 km away. The nearest airport is Entebbe International Airport, 38 km from Mestil Hotel and Residences.

Grand Imperial Hotel. Grand Imperial Hotel was one of the first hotels to be built in colonial Kampala.

It is the only hotel that has been used by every governor of the colonial era.

The 103 rooms including suites reflect the urban elegance and easy southern charm of the city.

Centrally located in Kampala, the hotel is just 30 minutes’ drive from the International Airport, Entebbe, and is in the heart of the Central Business District. Grand Imperial Hotel has 103 luxurious rooms and all bedrooms are all fully air conditioned and are exquisitely furnished to the latest international standards. Each luxurious room has a work desk, large plasma screen T.V with in house video & satellite cable programmes, direct dial telephone, and en – suite bathrooms with separate shower cabin, In-room electronic safe and mini bar.

A wellness spa to revitalize relax, and refresh the body, featuring classic, oriental and aromatherapy and massages. Golf can be arranged near the hotel for a modest charge.

Residents are entitled to free Internet access in the rooms provided they have their own laptop. All rooms are provided with fast internet connection on a fiber backbone dedicated both in cable and wireless.

Grand Imperial excels at hosting business meetings and events. Hotel’s facilities are fully equipped for all types of staging; from award galas to multimedia presentations. On offer is the assistance of experienced personnel to help you successfully plan and execute each event.

It is a walkable distance from the city center to the hotel or one can choose to use a boda-boda or a bicycle.

 Le Petit Village Boutique Hotel. It’s located on the outskirts of the Kampala city near the US embassy in Nsambya along Ggaba road. Spend the duration of your tour visit of Kampala in one of the 12 rooms offered by Le Petit Village. All Standard Suites, Junior Suites, and Executive Suites are air-conditioned and offer a king-size bed. Spacious and well-decorated, Suites includes hardwood or stone-tiled floors, headboard or four-poster beds draped with mosquito netting, and a small seating area. You can enjoy additional amenities such as an LCD TV with satellite connection, DVD player, writing desk, minibar, in-room fridge, digital safe, and supplies to make tea and coffee. The Junior Suite offers a lounge seating area and a Victorian clawed bathtub to soak in, while the Executive Suite includes a dining room, an extra upper floor room, living room, and a kitchenette that comes equipped with a microwave, stove, and kitchenware.

Sliding doors lead to a furnished patio with garden seats to enjoy the fabulous freshness of Kampala. The hotel has a swimming pool excellent for cooling off after a long day of touring. Staff is well-trained and provides excellent service to guests. The on-site restaurant, Le Château Brasserie Belge offers delicious gourmet meals.

Le Petit Village Hotel offers guests a choice of wholesome Continental and Belgian cuisine, accompanied by fine wines from the in-house restaurant, Le Château Brasserie Belge. Guests can also enjoy Kampala’s pleasant climate by dining al fresco, beside the pool. Specializes in fine dining cuisine featuring organic dry aged beef, mussels, shrimps, salmon, lamb, wild caught Nile perch fillet and many more. Vegetarian options include Roasted vegetable burger, Broccoli pesto pasta baked with halumi cheese, chickpea and vegetables coconut curry among others.

It can be accessed by use of means of road transport like buses, taxi, boda-boda and use of cycling method.

Kampala Sheraton hotel. The Sheraton Kampala Hotel is ideally located in the heart of Kampala city (Ternan Avenue – Kampala) and welcomes travelers with a relaxed ambience and a dazzling array of upscale amenities. Just 45 minutes’ drive from Entebbe International Airport and less than 10 minutes away from the central business district.

It offers modern amenities, flexible venue spaces, hotel suites and a business convention. Sheraton Kampala Hotel boasts a highly qualified and experienced staff that ensures the provision of a high degree of comfort and a perfect atmosphere for every guest.  The hotel has a total of about 224 guest rooms which include 51 executive rooms, 112 classic rooms, 3 presidential rooms, 21 diplomatic rooms and 37 club rooms. All the rooms have enough natural light. Each of them has a balcony offering views of either the gardens or Kampala city.

Depending on the kind of meal and experience the guest wants to have, they are advised on the restaurant or area to go to for their meals. They include the Paradise Grill Restaurant, Victoria Breakfast room, Kyoga Pool Bar, Equator bar and Park square Café.  Guests enjoy leisure and a number of other activities at the hotel’s outdoor grounds including swimming, tennis among others.

There are 3 ways to get from Entebbe Airport to Sheraton Kampala Hotel by bus, taxi or car. Though Nature Adventure recommends you to hire a car from them in order to save time than going to kitoro park to board a bus.

Golden Tulip. Golden tulip is located in the heart of Kampala central business district and is overlooking the glorious Kampala Golf Course. The hotel boasts of wonderful views of the city or the golf course from all rooms.

The hotel has a spa centre and sauna, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. Each room at this hotel is air conditioned and is equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Certain units feature a seating area for your convenience. You will find a kettle in the room. Each room comes with a private bathroom fitted with a bath. For your comfort, you will find slippers, free toiletries and a hairdryer. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property. The nearest airport is Entebbe Airport, 48 km from the property.

Fairway Hotel and Spa. Situated in Kampala across the road from Uganda Golf Course and only a short walk from shopping malls, restaurants, and nightlife, Fairway Hotel & Spa boasts expansive lush gardens and an outdoor pool. The property offers free WIFI.

Each room at the property has air conditioning is equipped with a telephone, flat screen TV and safe. Guests can enjoy garden views from the balcony of each room.

Guests can enjoy authentic Indian and Chinese cuisine on premises at the famous Asian Fusion

outdoor Restaurant, or relax with a drink in the bar while listening to live music from local musicians.

Continental meals are offered at the Tree Top Restaurant, with dine-in and room service available 24

hours.

The staff at the 24-hour front desk are ready and willing to help guest with all their queries. The property also has conference and meeting areas. The in-house gym and massage/spa facilities are open for use by any guest residing at the property.

Gaddafi Mosque is 4 km away from the property and the Uganda National Museum is within 2.5 km of Fairway Hotel. Entebbe International Airport is within 45 km. The property offers airport shuttle services upon request.

Metropole Hotel Kampala. Metropole Hotel Kampala overlooks the Uganda Golf Course and is located within the premium localities of Kampala, also known as the city of 21 Hills. Metropole Hotel Kampala is the pioneer in using IP Telephony infrastructure in the Hospitality industry in Africa. It is also equipped with high-speed Wireless Internet connection in all rooms and public areas.

The hotel has two meeting rooms which can accommodate 70-80 each. The meeting hall is complemented by a wide spectrum of facilities which include conference equipment and Food and Beverage arrangements that are created to cater to individual tastes. All the meeting rooms has wireless internet to enable smooth running of the activities. It is a short drive away from the National Museum. All 60 hotel’s rooms are equipped with air conditioning.

Protea Hotel Kampala. It is located in Kampala 2.9 miles from Uganda Golf Club.  Protea Hotel by Marriott Kampala Skyz provides accommodations with free bikes, free private parking, a fitness center and a garden. This 4-star hotel offers a bar.

The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service and free Wi-Fi throughout the property.

Each room is fitted with air conditioning, a safety deposit box and a TV, and certain rooms at the hotel have a terrace. At Protea Hotel by Marriott Kampala Skyz rooms have bed linen and towels.

Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a full English/Irish breakfast. At Protea Hotel by Marriott Kampala Skyz you will find a restaurant serving African, American and Chinese cuisine. Vegetarian, dairy-free and halal options can also be requested.

Independence Monument is 6.2 km from the hotel while Kampala Railway Station is 6.5 km away. The nearest airport is Entebbe International Airport, 50 km from Protea Hotel by Marriott Kampala Skyz.

Other hotels include; No.5 Boutique Hotel, Arcadia Suites, Duomo suites, four points by Sheraton Kampala, ONOMO hotel Kampala, Meilin international hotel, sky hotel international, Golf course hotel, Hotel international muyenga, Grand global hotel, speke hotel and many more. All these hotels provide comfortable stay and they provide a lot of amenities including security, free parking, private bathrooms, some offer private balconies, free internet, electricity, satellite TV, gym, swimming pool, restaurants with all types of local foods like luwombo and Rolex, bars well stocked with all kinds of cuisines. Expect a soothing environment when you sleep in one of those hotels.

Kampala is also known for a lot of tourist attractions and they can best be described as follows;

Uganda National Museum. Uganda Museum is the oldest museum in East Africa which was started in 1908. It was first located in Lugard’s fort on old Kampala Hill then transferred to Makerere University at the school of industrial and fine arts and lastly to Kitante Hill where it stands today. It is a collection of traditional culture and Ugandan Music with all kinds of musical instruments, archaeology, history, science, and natural history. The Museum is one of the top and best places today you can visit in your Kampala city tour because it gives you the real picture of Uganda and its people.

Kasubi Tombs.  These are the burial grounds where the kings of Buganda are buried. This is because it was built purely by plant materials and so far four kings of Buganda have been buried at this site on the house called Muzibu Azaala Mpanga and it was constructed in a circular shape. Kasubi tombs as the world heritage site comprise of 26 hectares of land and it is used for agricultural purpose by using traditional techniques by the royal family members. Kasubi tombs being the burial grounds for the Kings of Buganda, it remains as a vital traditional architectural, spiritual, cultural and political site for both local and international visitors.

Independence Monument. The independence monument was constructed during the days when Uganda was celebrating its first independence on 9th October 1962 and it was funded by the British Colonial government. The monument is located on Speke Road and Nile Avenue in Kampala city bordering the fences of Sheraton Hotel gardens, overlooking Grand Imperial Hotel in the right and opposite Standard Chartered bank. The monument shows a man unwrapping a child and raising it to the sky which narrates that Uganda as a country is now free from the oppression of colonialism.

With the beauty of this monument and around this place, you will require a camera to take memorable pictures. Always remember to tell your driver guide to take you on this top and most accessible attraction within Kampala city.

Kabaka’s Lake. This is the largest manmade lake in Uganda and probably in East Africa located between Ring Road and Nabunya Road in Ndeeba Rubaga Division. It is 5 km away from the Kampala City center. It was constructed between 1885 and 1888 by 52 clans of Buganda Kingdom during the regime of Ssekabaka Mwanga 11. The lake was dug to serve as a water source and a defensive barrier for the king’s palace. Kabaka’s Lake covers an area of approximately 200 acres (0.8 square kilometers) and has an average depth of 4.5 meters. It is primarily fed by natural springs and rainwater runoff.

Kabaka’s Lake holds significant cultural and historical value in Ugandan society, particularly within the Buganda kingdom. It is considered a symbol of the kingdom’s heritage and is often used for ceremonial purposes during important cultural events. The lake’s association with the Buganda kingdom and its traditional rulers further enhances its cultural significance.

Whether in the dry o rainy season, the water Levels have always been consistent. The lake is under renovation and improvement for tourism and one of the future plans is construct a five-star hotel accommodation close to it so as to encourage a lot of tourists to visit the lake.

In the annual Buganda tourism Expo which takes place around August, the king of Buganda takes courtesy with his subjects to be of the officiate watersports on the lake. The Kabaka is accompanied by his soldiers known as Abambowa dressed smartly in their traditional attires well-armed with shields and the spears together with the ministers as well as dignitaries and a security convey.

Kabaka’s Palace. It is also known as lubiri. It is a royal compound of the Kabaka “king” of Buganda, located in Mengo, a suburb of Kampala. The 260 acres compound has a 9 ft. fence wall constructed using earthen bricks and encloses the Kabaka’s Main official residence, known as Twekobe. It also encloses a school, other building for supporting the King’s home and few matoke plantations. The kabaka palace is where most the Buganda cultural practices are carried out from. For example, the Kabaka’s birthday run starts from here.

Kabaka’s palace comprises of both the supernatural or spiritual and the material kings. The spiritual kind is represented by royal drums and regalia referred to as ‘Mujaguzo’. The Royal Drums serve very critical roles in the kingdom which includes the pre-coronation rite of passage for the prince. Informing the subjects of the kingdom of a royal birth of a prince or a princess. Sounding an alarm upon the death of a material king and much more. However, it is believed that kings do not die rather they get lost in the forest.

The Lubiri, a historical and magnificent place for visitors, is easily accessible from the center of Kampala. A taxi or even a good 40-minute walk would take you here easily. An aerial view of the Lubiri leaves people speechless.

Bahai Temple. Bahai Temple is a house of worship also called the Mashriq I’-Adhkar which acts as a spiritual gathering place open to all people in the world. Bahai faith was introduced in Uganda in 1951 which makes it one of the earliest Bahai communities in Eastern Africa.

This majestic piece of art building is situated in one of the Kampala city suburbs. Bahai temple is located about 4 miles from Kampala center on Kikaya hill along Gayaza road.

The Bahia Temple in Uganda is one of the top attractions in Kampala City. The quietness surrounding the temple makes it a very conducive place to visit, pray, meditate or just relax in the peaceful lush green gardens. The gardens are well-kept with beautiful flowers and fruit trees. The gardens at the Baha’i Temple are also excellent for family picnics, get-togethers and small parties among others.

Inside the Bahai temple, there is a raised platform where church leaders sit and this is similar to the one found in Christian churches. You will find wooden pews that are well arranged in 3 rows. The temple also has bright lights emitting through the giant multi-colored glass plane windows. Visitors are prohibited from taking photographs while inside the temple. Believers can attend prayers every day of the week.

There is no entrance fee for visiting the Bahai Temple in Uganda. The Bahai community are discrete about their activities and will not take donations from just about anyone. Visiting the temple can be highly rewarding for religious tourists, birders and those who love nature. Birders can expect to see over 100 species including the grey wood pecker, palm nut vultures, brown parrots, striped kingfisher and red eyed Dove among other birds. Accommodation for Travelers can be found outside the temple compound or within Kampala city. The Bahai temple in Kampala is not only good for religious tourism but also an opportunity to escape away from the noisy and busy Kampala city center.

Idi Amin’s Torture Chamber. The chamber was built by Idi Amin Dada of Uganda during the reign of Milton Obote. It is located on Mengo hill, a mile up further from the Buganda’s parliament. The place has been vacated due to the dark events which took place there. It was used by Amin to torture to death anyone he thought was stronger, smarter or ugly. An estimated 300 people lost their lives in the chamber.

The torture chamber was comprised of five cells and a dark tunnel filled with electrified water with an electric door at the entrance. All the cells had no windows or ventilators but more than 100 people both men and women would be forced in each cell where they would die of suffocation and hunger. More than 200,000 people are believed to have died in these chambers.

Many tourists come to Idi Amin torture chambers to hear about Amin’s history. The torture chambers still exist though the water and electricity are gone. All that can be seen in a dark tunnel with its cement wearing out and writings of pain written in blood like cry for help me the dead and soil on the walls. The remains of the people like bones and skulls were removed since the chambers are visited by both children and adults. A visit to this historical place creates a memorable experience and can be visited at any day, just let Nature Adventure Africa Safaris in order to add it to your city tour itinerary in Kampala.

Namugongo Martyrs Shrine. If there is any place in Africa that is so popular for bloodshed of young Christians and Muslim converts who suffered so much in the hands of authorities in 1880s, it has to be Namugongo. The shrine gained its international recognition when the Catholic Church in the Vatican declared the courageous departed souls as martyrs. Different visitors from all walks of life flock in Uganda to make their way to the pilgrimage site.

The Uganda martyr’s shrines were setup following the death of 45 Christian young men who were both catholic and Anglican in 1888. These were killed by king Mwanga II of Buganda because they refused to renounce Christianity a religion they had adopted after it was introduced in Uganda by the missionaries during the reign of Kabaka Mutesa I.

These shrines were first recognized in 1985 by Joshua Serufusa whose father was one of the people who fought the religious wars in Uganda, he became a strong believer and then enhanced his son’s belief in God. After he took interest, Joshua built up a small structure in Namugongo in respect of those that were killed and later the shrines were built in the same spot and then cathedrals were built on the exact spots where most of them were burned to death in both the Anglican and the catholic wing. For a number of years now, Millions of people from different parts of Uganda and outside Uganda do gather at Namugongo on 3rd June every year for a holly service or fellowship and it is done to commemorate the lives of these 45 Uganda Martyrs. This is regarded as a pilgrimage that is why the ceremony is always graced by the top leaders from both the catholic and the Anglican Church.

Besides, being a religious site, it is also one of the tourists’ sites which attract a large number of travelers from different parts of the world and some are from within Uganda. People who are interested in having firsthand information about the history of the place, those that believe in their cause and those that just want to see how the burial ground look like do visit the place. This place can be visited any time of the year because there are no hindrances like the poor road due to the rain making them impassable or anything. Visiting the Namugongo shrines is one of the activities that are included in the Kampala city tour itinerary.

 Ndere Cultural Centre. The Ndere cultural Center is located in Bukoto, a Kampala suburb. The Ndere Troupe is a group within the Centre that entertains people with traditional dances and music from Uganda’s various local tribes. The Ndere Troupe performs at the Centre as well as at various events such as weddings, business functions, parties, and other social gatherings.

Ndere troupe can also perform in any convenient locations such as hotels or lodges. However, their main performances take place at the Ndere Centre on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

The stage is filled with talented traditional dancers dressed in traditional dance attire, gyrating, moving, shuffling, gesticulating, and stamping to the lovely tunes of the background vocalists, drummers, and instrument players. The entire cultural experience at Ndeere Cultural Centre is meticulously designed to provide a sense of daily living in ancient Ugandan culture. You will be wowed and fully immersed in the experience, from the famous Mwaga mbalu initiation dance from Bagisu, the Amagunjju Baganda royal dance, the Ekitaguriro harvest dance from Ankole, to the Lakararaka, Acholi courtship dance, among others, due to the dexterity and imagery with which these dances and songs are presented.

At a fee, the Ndere Cultural Center offers dance and instrument classes to individuals who want to take their experience back home with them. They also offer culinary courses for people who want to learn how to make Ugandan dishes or just for fun. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that should not be missed.

Every Sunday evening, the cultural center puts on a family show for guests and the shows start at 6 pm at a fee of $25 per person though the fees exclude meals served at the cultural center.

For those interested in visiting religious places for prayers, there are many choices of churches and mosques where you can go and these include;

Namirembe cathedral. Namirembe cathedral is Uganda’s oldest cathedral also known as St. Paul’s Cathedral built as a place of worship among the Anglicans. It is located on Namirembe Hill (mother of peace) within the Rubaga division of Kampala City. It seats 4,000 people and employs more than 40 people to maintain its various structures. Lots of people have been baptized and wedded in this church including royalty and statesmen such as the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, Ssekabaka Fredrick Luwangula Muteesa II, Ssekabaka Daudi Chwa. The cathedral bells have tolled in sorrow as caskets of great men and women rolled up and down its aisles.

The cathedral is visible from all directions of Kampala. The cathedral consists of Interest of graveyards which includes the remains of Bishop Hannington who was murdered in 1885 and the Cooks who established Mengo Hospital. Sunday Services are conducted in English is at 7.00 a.m. and Luganda Service at 10.30a.m.

The cathedral is within a walkable distance of many places of interest for the tourists like the Namirembe Guest House.

Rubaga cathedral. It is situated on top of Rubaga hill, one of the 7 hills of Kampala. This cathedral is a cornerstone of the Catholic Church history in Central Africa. Its location offers a great scenery view of Kampala city and its cosmopolitan buildings that are visible from all angles. It was built in 1914.  The cathedral keeps the remains of the late Archbishop Joseph, the first African Central Catholic Bishop in Kampala Diocese. On its walls are the statue heads of the missionaries that brought the catholic faith to Kampala and these include Rev. Fr. Simon Loudel Pierre (also known as Mapeera) and Brother Amans.

The place where the cathedral is currently located was once a palace for Buganda’s Kabaka Muteesa I. This twin-towered Roman Catholic Church was restored for the Pope’s visit to Uganda. It has great historical significance in the history of the Catholic Church. The transept is a memorial to the Uganda Martyrs. 22 Catholic victims were declared as saints and enshrined in the stained-glass windows. It overlooks the city and is a large complex that takes in various functions of the church and surrounded by beautiful trees plus flowers.

Many religious worshippers come here every year to offer their services and spend some time here. After visiting the Cathedral, you can enjoy the scenic beauty of the place and relax amidst the natural surroundings.

 Gaddafi Mosque. It is located on the top of Old Kampala Hill. This religious place is ideal for those who seek an insight into Islam and Art.

This Mosque sits on over 10 acres of land thus emerging as the second largest mosque in Africa, accommodating as much as 200,000 worshipers, seating up to 15,000 worshipers in the main mosque while holding another 1,100 in the gallery and 3,500 in the terrace. It’s a two stories building and the mosque is on the upper floor while the offices are on the ground floor. The mosque is only opened on special occasions like weddings and Eid days while the offices are on the ground floor which is open at all times. It has large domes covered in brown mosaic and a minaret, (a prayer tower) rivalling the typical Ugandan ‘sky- scraper’ as a symbol of religious architectural superiority.

The mosque offers breath-taking city-wide views, religious artistry, beautiful Islamic embroidery on the inside of the dome and wonderful architectural elements that pay tribute to a great deity.

The mosque is located just 2 kilometres from the Kampala centre and it is one of the interesting attractions that can be explored by tourist any day of the year as soon as they visit the country in a city tour.

When visiting this holy place, the dressing code matters. Women should wear loose fitting clothes covering to the wrist, ankle and cover their heads. One should know this that the coverings are available at the reception for those who need them and should be returned immediately after the visit. Men should wear trousers, shirts with sleeves. Don’t forget to leave your footwear at the entrance.

 Kibuli mosque. The Kibuli Mosque is an Islamic place of worship and cultural landmark located in the Kibuli neighborhood of Kampala. It holds historical and religious significance for the local Muslim community.

Construction of Kibuli Mosque began in the late 1920s under the leadership of Prince Badru Kakungulu. It was officially opened for worship in 1951. The mosque is situated on Kibuli Hill, offering scenic views of Kampala city. Its architectural style combines elements of Islamic or Arabic and local designs. It was constructed from contributions from local Muslims notable of which were Aga Khan, Musa Kasule and Badru Kakungulu who donated the land that totals to 80 acres in total. The land is home to Kibuli Secondary School, Kibuli Mosque, Kibuli Primary teachers Collage, Kakungulu Memorial School, Kibuli Demonstration School, Islamic University in Uganda and the Kibuli Muslim Faction Headquarters.

Kibuli Mosque features a blend of traditional Islamic and local architectural designs. It includes prayer halls, administrative offices, classrooms for Quranic studies, and spaces for community gatherings. The mosque’s serene ambiance and intricate calligraphy provide a peaceful environment for worshipers.

Kibuli Mosque serves as a place of worship and a center for Islamic activities. It facilitates daily prayers, Friday congregational prayers (Jumu’ah), and educational programs for all age groups. The mosque complex is also home to the Kibuli Muslim Hospital, which provides healthcare services to the community.

The mosque plays an important role in promoting Islamic teachings, fostering unity among Muslims, and engaging in social and humanitarian activities. It hosts religious festivals, lectures, and events aimed at promoting Islamic values, education, and community development. Additionally, the mosque encourages interfaith dialogue, contributing to peaceful coexistence among different religious communities in Uganda. Kibuli Mosque represents the Islamic heritage and the presence of the Muslim community in Uganda. Its historical and architectural value as well as its community-oriented activities, have made it a notable cultural asset in Kampala.

Kampala has many places where you can buy arts and crafts – keep your eyes open as you venture around in this amazing city. Visitors interested in buying African wears, craft shoes and other things that fall in that category like the baskets, mats, stools among others on your trip to Kampala, its better you tell us the exact thing you want so that we can take you to the right craft shop. Kampala has so many craft shops and some of them include;

Banana boat.  Banana boat has several locations like at Garden city shopping mall, Lugogo mall, Kisementi, and many other scattered sales points. They offer items for sale made from better and original arts and crafts materials from Uganda and other African Countries which include greeting cards, batiks, jewelry, clothing, carvings, metal art, and much more.

The prices at Banana Boat are moderately expensive but with a variety to choose from. Banana Boat has favorably the best access points for all travelers since they can easily be located.

Uganda crafts 2000 ltd.  Located along Bombo Road, Kampala. This is a non-profit fair-trade store that sells hundreds of handmade items that are made from leather, wood, cane, banana leaves and some of the items made include; baskets, ornaments, purses, tableware, wooden crafts, jewelry, greeting cards and so much more. The variety of local crafts are from Uganda, Kenya and Congo but most of them are Ugandan made. Uganda crafts 2000 limited provides training and employment to the disadvantaged people with disabilities, widows, orphans and those living with HIV.

Therefore, any items purchased avails funds that improve on standards of living of the artisans but also helps to sustain their jobs.

 Exposure Africa. This one is situated along Buganda Road and is the biggest and leading arts and crafts market in Kampala though a few are locally made in Uganda. Most of items here are imported from countries like Kenya. Here, you will find a variety of products in one place, something that should be satisfying to most tourists.

 Nommo gallery. The gallery is located at Nakasero next to Sheraton Hotel on Plot 4 Victoria Avenue. Though it is mainly a gallery for display, there is also a shop where the unique products of wonderful artworks and crafts are sold. It’s worth a visit while on your Kampala city tour though at times it is not open 24/7.

Uganda arts and crafts village. This arts and crafts village is one of the best areas where you’ll find a wide range of beautiful and strong arts and crafts that you may get confused on making a choice about which one to take. It is found behind the National Theatre in Kampala. The items at this place include trousers, t-shirts, wooden carvings of wild animals in Uganda, wooden carvings of African men, women and children, small traditional stools, chairs and beautiful paintings of African lifestyle among others. This is also a place where you’ll get then at reasonable prices.

Others include; Tulifanya Art gallery, BAT valley-Kampala, Makerere university Art gallery, Design agenda, Craft Africa, Nsambya Juakali craft market, Craft box among others. All these craft shops sell properties at affordable prices which can be obtained by everyone.

For those not willing to have their meals from the booked hotel, you can choose to enjoy your favorite dishes from one of the best restaurants in Kampala. Some of these restaurants include;

St. Anthony’s Restaurant. Located in Kampala-Lumumba Avenue. St Anthony provides a variety of local cuisines that are delicious. They have a good customer care service system and they provide the best organic food in the city which is served straight from the garden to the plates. It has a variety of local dishes that’s served and some include:  Luwombo of chicken, meat and Fish stew in ground nuts, millet bread and boiled local food that is not fried like rice, beans, greens.

The Bistro. The Bistro in Kisementi Kampala is a stylish eatery that brings forth a fusion menu using the very best local ingredients sourced from local markets and suppliers in Uganda. An outdoor patio allows customers to make the most of Kampala’s near-perfect weather, while the comfy couches inside beckon those who are meeting friends for coffee, stopping by for an after-dinner drink, or wanting to use the free Wi-Fi.

2K Restaurant. 2K Restaurant is a premium eatery offering – among the best restaurants in Uganda. It has a unique and fine dining experience specializing in Ugandan food. This restaurant leads the pack with Ugandan food.  2K Restaurant focuses on fresh and natural flavors, top-quality produce, and expert technique resulting in its delicious food. If a step away from the food norm is something you’re looking for, visit 2K Restaurant for that authentic Ugandan food experience.

Cafe Javas. With over 8 outlets, Cafe Javas is one of Kampala’s top eleven restaurants. Cafe Javas has become a Kampala household name with over 300 menus. It’s a full-service, coffee-themed chain restaurant with a full bar.

The Piato Restaurant. The Piato restaurant is located within the heart of Kampala on plot 20, Lumumba Avenue in Nakasero.

Piato has one of the best grilled foods in Kampala and as their slogan suggests “The king of the grill”, it serves its purpose. The service from the waiters and waitresses is at a peak and they make you feel at home when it comes to the food and hospitality and you can either pay using a visa card or cash.

Piato Restaurant opens from 7:00am to 11:00pm weekdays and on weekends from 8:00am to midnight. The Restaurant gives off a romantic feel for those who want to dine as couples by giving you exclusive privacy and it is also a good place to commune with friends for an evening.

Favorite dishes served at Piato mostly include Italian and Asian food and some of these cuisines are listed below:

Fried chicken in a basket, the chicken is mixed with bread crumbs and herbs and then deep fried until it becomes golden brown.

Grilled beef fillet steak; this is served with either mushroom source or pepper source.

Shaka Zulu restaurant. Located in Bugolobi Kiswa Road, Shaka Zulu ranks as the best when it comes to customer care and tasty foods in Kampala. A few minutes’ drive from the city center, it offers you a serene place where you can rest away from the busy roads and chaos of the city.

It offers a wide range of food from the different parts of Uganda like millet bread, matooke, rice, cassava, potatoes and food from other countries like pizza, steak and they also do deliveries once you order food online or by making a call to their restaurant. They also have local dishes like Luwombo for fish, meat, chicken, ground nuts all at their best and the beauty about dining from Shaka Zulu Restaurant is that once you arrive, you are given a jug of juice even before you start ordering for food.

Mama Ashanti Restaurant. Located on Plot 20 Kyadondo road, Mama is one of the most accessible restaurants in Kampala and it has a lot to offer to its clients like food delivery once ordered for online, all kinds of food, a good place for children from and there is also an access for those that use wheel chairs.

If you are a fan of West Africa food, then this is the right place to go. With its serene beauty and calm environment, Mama Ashanti offers you the whole package of privacy and a secret get away with your friends although you should note that they are a bit expensive.

Favorite dishes served include;

Okra stew, they are best known for their okra stew which is a delicacy for many.

They are also known for their Joll of rice and beef, Fufu and egusi.

Seascallop Restaurant. Located in Kamwokya, Seascallop restaurant offers a variety of food in form of a buffet and at a relatively affordable price. It has caring staff that take care of your food needs and on time.

There is good security, ample parking space and a great view of the British Embassy and Uganda Museum.

Favorite dishes served at seascallop include;

The one-meter-long pizza which can be got an affordable price.

Luwombo, rice, matooke and ground nuts.

The Biriyani is also a good dish served at this restaurant.

Spectrum Labonita. Located along Colville Road opposite Christ the king, Spectrum is a budding place most especially if you are into buffet food. Since it is located within the city centre, its prices are a bit high but the tasty food is worth it.

Spectrum offers a wide range of foods that are from different continents including local dishes and they have a large space where one can hold meetings, parties and they also have space that can accommodate couples and offer them the privacy that they need and can enjoy a play or two from the Theater Labonita just nearby.

The favorite dishes served at Spectrum include steak, Luwombo of chicken, meat and groundnuts, grilled pork and other international cuisines like pizzas.

Namayiba Park Hotel Restaurant.  Located along Rashid Khamis Rd, this is one of the best restaurants in Kampala and it has one of the best environments that one can relax. If you are planning on a trip upcountry, this is the best place to dine from since it will give you ample time to book and catch the bus on time after enjoying the delicious meal. It is strategically located in that you can easily shop from the shops around before boarding the bus.

Famous Dishes served at Namayiba include;

There are several dishes that are served at Namayiba Restaurant from local food to international cuisines but the best dishes served at this wonderful Restaurant are listed below

Tilapia, they are known to have the best Tilapia in Kampala prepared according to one’s ordered tastes and at a very fair price.

Luwombo, this is a local dish where source is wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. This is served with different food like rice, potatoes, cassava but most especially Matooke.

Torino Bar and Restaurant. Located in Kampala along Park Lane plot 9B, Torino has one of the best Eritrean foods served in the whole country. They serve out all the Eritrean dishes that you can think of and it is always tasty.

The environment is also conducive for parties.

  Faze 2 restaurant. Faze 2 is locate within Kampala on Nakasero hill and it also offers a variety of food ranging from local to international dishes. The well-organized compound and in door setting gives a customer the much-needed calm environment and privacy that they need.

Faze 2 has one of the best waiters and waitresses and it also has its own butchery which sees constant supply of meat in the area.

It has good and ample parking space and the security is also on point. Faze 2 offers good quality tasty food and some of the dishes served include the following

Favorite dishes served at Faze 2 are as below;

Faze 2 is largely known as the best restaurant when it comes to salads in Kampala.

They also offer pork, fish and beef

Other restaurants include; Baguma restaurant, Café javas, Middle East Restaurant-Bugolobi, Olives Restaurant- Naguru, Saba Restaurant – Onomo Hotel, Nakasero and many more. All these restaurants serve delicious meals both local and international foods and they have hospitable staffs. You also check out in Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants around Kampala because they tasteful chicken.

Kampala has a range of markets offering a wide range of products including clothes, food stuffs, accessories among other items. These markets include;

Nakasero market. This is located on the foothills of Nakasero and appears smaller compared to the Owino market. It is well known for its fruits though other food stuffs, electronics and shoes are also available.

Owino market. It was first known as St. Balikuddembe market. It’s known for selling second hand clothes, shoes, accessories, some food stuffs and other products. It’s well known for its cheap prices and products will become more cheaper if you know how to bargain. It is located close to Nakivubo stadium and its near bus and taxi parks.

Wandegeya market.  This located in the heart of Wandegeya. It is a new market with modern buildings with multiple levels. It is apparently the well-constructed market in Kampala. It sells clothes, food stuffs and many other items.

Nakawa market. Nakawa Market is located along the Kampala–Jinja Highway, in the neighborhood of Nakawa, in Kampala’s Nakawa Division, approximately 5 kilometres (3 mi), by road, east of the central business district of the city.

The Nakawa Market is one of the largest fresh produce markets in the city. As of June 2010, the market supported in excess of 7,000 produce vendors.[1] It is a popular shopping venue for expatriates on assignments in the country and for locals who usually come on Fridays and Saturdays.

The items on sale in the market include; fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, textile, electronics, spices, matooke, pumpkin, eggs, coffee, Irish potatoes, raw sugarcane, agricultural produce such as beans, maize, rice and many more.

Other markets include; kalerwe market, kibuye market, kabalagala market, kitintale central market, Bugolobi local market among others.

If you are wishing to have a glass of wine for refreshment after your long day tour in Kampala, you can visit night clubs such as;

Club Illusion. Illusion is one of top night clubs in Kampala located at the Acacia Mall. The club has two main sections, a VIP area, and an ‘open’ section, so you can decide what kind of night you want. With its state-of-the-art sound systems and regular events and shows.  Illusion is worth checking out for a night of partying in Kampala.

The Alchemist club. It is nestled around the Bandali Rise in the heart of Bugolobi. Alchemist boasts a loyal customer base that has remained steadfast over the years. Even amidst increasing competition from legendary establishments such as Thrones, this upscale venue continues to attract Kampala’s urban elite each weekend and every day.

H2O club – Kololo. H2O is one of the few clubs in Kampala to offer an indoor and outdoor experience. Located at Kololo, this club boasts a luxurious pool, sophisticated bar, and lounge area. The club has a lively dancefloor with regular events featuring local and international DJs. H2O also serves delicious dishes from their menu while you groove to the music.

 Club Guvnor. Club Guvnor is the best club for those interested in night clubbing. It is located at the 2nd Street of Industrial Area, Kampala. The atmosphere has AC almost every 10sq. meters and has no sweaty smell. It is very tidy, the sound is great, the music good, the waiters are active and loyal. Cleaners are all over the place to check and clean the mess. Parking and security are reliable.

However, you pass through the smoking area to juggle the two dance floors, making non-smokers susceptible to passive smoking.

La Paroni’s club. It is situated on Garden city rooftop, La Paroni’s is a unique establishment that offers better services for everyone. The club is one of the top night clubs in Kampala. It has a relaxed atmosphere during the day which turns into an upbeat dance party at night with its live DJ sets. La Paroni’s also serves various drinks and snacks to keep you going all night.

Club Venom. Club Venom in Nsambya is one of the most beautiful clubs. It is spacious with nice decoration and has well-lit bars and the best toilets found in Kampala clubs. Music is fairly good but the management may need to get better DJs although the sound is ok. In case of emergency there could be trouble finding your way out since the club is on the top floor of Tirupati Mazima shopping mall.

Club Ambiance-Kampala. This popular Kampala spot is known for its energetic atmosphere and high-energy music. It appeals to all ages with various music genres played throughout the night. Club Ambiance Kampala also has multiple bars, including an outdoor area, so there’s plenty of refreshment options available in case you need to take a break from dancing.

Club Silk. Club Silk in Kampala is located on 1st street, industrial area and has been in existence since 1994. The Club boasts of state-of-the-art sound systems intermingled with a brilliant visual system providing the ultimate clubbing experience. All the walls of the Club are covered with plasma screens, displaying all sports and classic movies.

It has 3 sections: Silk Royale, Silk Lounge and Silk Oxygen. The different sections feature separate DJ’s, dance floors, sound systems and ambience. All sections feature an exclusive bottle service in an atmosphere to die for. Club Silk is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays (Silk Lounge), Fridays and Saturdays to the public and can be hired on any other day of the week for private functions.

Rouge is probably the hottest and most happening and Night spot in Kampala specially on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The interior and the atmosphere are very stylish. Even the toilets are stylish which is really very rare in Kampala. There is a big chill-out area and a small dance floor. The music is good and is not too loud, so you can dance but still have a good chat.

Sky Beach club. Located in the Kampala suburb of Muyenga. Sky Beach is one of Uganda’s most popular beachfront nightclubs. The outdoor setting makes it a great place to hang out and enjoy the stunning views over Lake Victoria while dancing to some of the hottest DJs that Kampala offers. There is also a wide selection of drinks, snacks, and barbeque available for patrons to enjoy throughout the evening.

Mask Lounge, Bukoto. Mask Lounge has a good sound, the atmosphere is so conducive, well-ventilated and the music is superb. It is very tidy in both toilets and the club though it is quite small and has many seats. Parking and security are reliable. Waiters are jolly and they love their work.

Thrones club. This upscale club has beautiful live music performances and the occasional celebrity guest. Thrones also offer classic cocktails, premium spirits, and snacks for those wanting to refuel their energy between dance sets. Thrones is still a great place to go for a night out, with its two floors, dance floors and spacious outdoor areas.

Club Amnesia. The music is good, service by waiters and bartenders is good. Security is fairly good inside though you have to pay something to guarantee security of your car outside. The place is spacious enough. The VIP side has its own DJ but no dance floor. The whole VIP space is full of couches. Entrance to this VIP section is by an electric switch that operates the door.

9 Degrees – Kampala Road.  This club also has best music. 9 Degrees DJs can keep you on the dance floor from 10pm to 5am. The place is more or less like an ordinary bar. Security inside is fairly good and outside though parking is at your own risk. You need to pay an askari to be guaranteed your car’s safety. Sound is fair, owing to the small space, service by waiters is fair, and ventilation is ok.

Those who come in Kampala with a purpose of conducting conferences, celebrating birthdays, have weddings, there are number of places where you can enjoy from and these include gardens, halls among others. These places include; Kigo gardens, Akamwesi gardens, Nsambya sharing hall, Lugogo grounds, UMA show grounds, The square, Empire gardens and many more. It’s better to inform us in time about your event so that we can book for you.

Kampala is endowed with a lot of shopping malls that are worthy looking at and visiting. If you want to have some shopping moments and time, Nature Adventure Africa Safari recommends you to go to these shopping malls for better services and nice products. They include;

Metroplex shopping Mall. Located at Naalya Kampala Uganda. Metroplex Shopping Mall is the best place for shopping and business. The shopping mall offers you with quality boutiques, banks, computer accessories, cosmetics, bookshops, fashion accessories, electronics, foreign exchange bureaus, kids clothing and toy shops, salons, shoes and handbag shops.

Garden city shopping mall. The shopping mall is situated on Yusuf Lule Road. It comprises of banks, bookshops, boutiques, butchers, clothing boutiques, computers, department stores, computer accessories, digital cameras, dry cleaners, electronics, foreign exchange bureaus, florists, engravers and furniture companies. More so, garden city shopping mall contains hair dressing and beauty salons which include parlous, handicrafts, jewelers, along with stationery, pet shops, photo processing, sports shops, casinos, bars and cinemas to mention but a few.

Acacia mall. Acacia mall is the best place for business and shopping offering all you need. It is located at Kisementi Kololo and services offered include ice cream, banks, pastry shops, sandwiches, electronics, internet service providers, foreign exchange, restaurants, technology, photography studio, coffee shops, telecommunications, book shops, accessories, movies, kids play zone, boutiques, clothing retailer and health shops.

Lugogo shopping mall. Located at shop No.17 Lugogo bypass Kampala, Lugogo shopping mall is the best place for business and shopping offering you with camping equipment’s, handicrafts, furniture, pharmacies, supermarkets, Coffee shops, optometrists and foreign exchange bureaus among others.

Quality shopping villages. Situated in Lubowa 2km off Entebbe Road, quality-shopping supermarket entails bookshops, banks, boutiques, dry cleaners, fabrics, pharmacies, shoe shops, ice cream parlors, restaurants, and hair salons among others.

Freedom city shopping center. Located in Namasuba along Entebbe Road, the shopping mall offers you with best bars, restaurants, salons, boutiques, banks, bookshops, cosmetics, jewelries, and cafesseries among others.

Mukwano Mall. The shopping Mall is located opposite new Taxi Park on kyaggwe road kisenyi down town Kampala. It is endowed with clothes, bags, shoes, households, furniture, stationary, cosmetics, jewelries and bookshops.

Pioneer Mall Kampala. It is situated between Burton Street, Johnson Street and Wilson Road Kampala. Pioneer mall offers you first class clothes, shoes, art designs, foods ceramics and jewelry at affordable prices.

Other shopping malls include; Oasis Nakumatt shopping mall, Ovino shopping mall, avemar shopping mall, Akamwesi shopping mall, Ham shopping mall, Equatoria shopping mall, Arena mall and many more.

All tourist attractions in Kampala can be accessed by use of all types of road transport. Though boda-bodas are more convenient than cars since they cannot easily be stopped by traffic jam.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here