The Parliament of Uganda, a cornerstone of the nation’s democracy, welcomes the public to its impressive premises. Whether you choose to tour this iconic building or witness the parliamentarians in action, you can do so from Tuesday to Thursday between 2 – 4 pm. When planning your visit, it’s essential to dress decently, carry a valid identification card, and request permission from the public relations department. A visit to the Parliament of Uganda can be seamlessly combined with other exciting activities in and around Kampala city.
The Parliament of Uganda derives its authority and responsibilities from the 1995 Constitution, the Laws of Uganda, and its own Rules of Procedure. The Constitution contains vital articles that establish, define the composition, and outline the functions of the Parliament of Uganda. Moreover, it empowers the Parliament to “make laws on any matter for the peace, order, development, and good governance of Uganda” and to “protect the Constitution and promote democratic governance in Uganda.”
The term of Parliament extends for five years from the date of its inaugural session following a general election. The current Parliament, known as the 10th Parliament, commenced its session in May 2016 and is set to conclude in May 2021.
The Idi Amin torture chamber finds its home within Lubiri Mengo palace, the historic residence of the King of Buganda kingdom. This chamber initially served as an armory for safeguarding firearms. During Idi Amin’s brief presidency, this site played a significant role in Uganda’s history.
The Uganda National Mosque, situated atop Kampala Hill in the Old Kampala area, stands as a symbol of religious and architectural grandeur. Completed in 2006, this magnificent mosque accommodates up to 15,000 worshipers, with an additional 1,100 in the gallery and room for 3,500 on the terrace.
Nakasero Market, nestled at the foot of Nakasero hill, is a bustling hub in Kampala. Offering a diverse range of goods, from fresh produce to textiles, shoes, and affordable electronics, this market is a thriving center of commerce. Conveniently located just 50 meters from Entebbe Road, Nakasero Market stands as one of the largest in Kampala’s central business district.
The Kasubi Tombs, nestled in Kampala, serve as the sacred resting place for four kabakas (kings) and other members of the Baganda royal family. This site carries immense spiritual and political significance for the Ganda people and stands as a testament to traditional architecture.
The Bahai Mother Temple of Africa, also known as the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, stands as the only Bahá’í temple on the continent and one of just nine worldwide. Located approximately three kilometers from Kampala, this temple’s choice of location remains a fascinating historical mystery. English and Iranian Bahá’í followers arrived in Uganda in 1951, aiming to introduce the faith to the local population. By 1952, over 100 Bahá’í followers had emerged in Uganda, marking the faith’s rapid growth. This flourishing community laid the foundation stone for the first and only Mother Temple of Africa, a significant milestone celebrated during the Bahá’í Intercontinental Conference for Africa held in Kampala.
About 15 kilometers east of Kampala lies the Namugongo Martyrs’ Shrine, a solemn place where more than 20 Catholic and Anglican martyrs met their tragic end in June 1886. Each year on June 3rd, Christians from across the globe converge here to pay their respects and renew their faith by embarking on a pilgrimage to honor these martyrs. The shrine features a church constructed in the shape of a traditional Baganda hut (akasiisiira), supported by 22 copper pillars representing the 22 Catholic martyrs. Pope Paul VI consecrated the church on August 2nd, 1969, commemorating this hallowed ground.
The Uganda National Cultural Centre, known as the National Theatre, is a vibrant hub for live music, film, dance, and drama. Within its auditorium, you can immerse yourself in the arts scene. The National Theatre also boasts bars, restaurants, and nightly outdoor events, including jam sessions, drumming performances, and comedy nights.
The Buganda Royal Tombs, known as Kasubi Tombs, serve as the final resting place for kings and royal family members of the Buganda Kingdom. Recognized by UNESCO for their historical significance, these tombs offer visitors a glimpse into Buganda’s rich heritage. The thatched huts, originally constructed as a palace for Kabaka Mutesa I in 1882 and later transformed into a burial site, create an ambiance reminiscent of a rural village.
Kampala City features a vibrant array of colorful crafts markets, often referred to as craft villages. These markets showcase a wide range of vibrant crafts, including prints, baskets, paintings, pottery, jewelry, and much more. You can interact with local artists, even commissioning them to create custom pieces.
Established in 1908, the Uganda Museum stands as the oldest museum in East Africa. Its exhibitions provide a glimpse into Uganda’s cultural heritage, featuring ethnological and natural historical displays that offer a vivid reminder of the nation’s colorful past. Additionally, the museum houses a collection of traditional musical instruments, which visitors are free to play.
Kampala boasts an array of restaurants specializing in Ugandan cuisine. These premium eateries offer a unique and refined dining experience centered around local food. Using fresh, natural ingredients and expert culinary techniques, these restaurants create delectable dishes that are both unpretentious and visually stunning.
Kampala’s thriving arts and gallery scene showcases the talents of numerous artists who create impressive and eccentric pieces of art, including paintings, crafts, prints, and more. Supporting local artists by purchasing their work provides a meaningful souvenir or gift for your home or loved ones.
For an authentic exploration of Kampala, consider embarking on a boda boda ride. These motorbike taxis offer a unique perspective of the city, taking you through its nooks and crannies, helping you bypass the city’s numerous hills, and providing a quick and hassle-free mode of transport. The term “boda boda” originates from the border with Kenya, where the vehicles crossed between the Ugandan and Kenyan borders, colloquially known as “bado boda.” While boda bodas offer convenience, they do come with certain risks, so riders should exercise caution.
Wandegeya Market, located in the school district of Kampala, exudes a youthful and energetic atmosphere. This market features boutiques, salons, fresh produce, and offices. It’s renowned for its legendary street foods, including the Rolex and TV Chicken, which combine omelets, raw tomatoes, grilled chicken, fries, and various vegetables to create delicious and satisfying meals. If you find yourself in Wandegeya, indulging in these local delights should be on your agenda.
Bulange serves as the administrative and parliamentary center of the Buganda Kingdom. Previously, sessions were held under trees before the construction of the iconic grass-thatched building commenced in 1955. Completed in 1958, Bulange offers visitors an opportunity to delve into the history and culture of the Buganda Kingdom. Visitors should note that, according to the culture of the Buganda people, trousers should not be worn by ladies when visiting this site.
Whether you’re interested in history, culture, art, cuisine, or simply exploring the city’s unique ambiance, Kampala offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to every traveler’s preferences. Contact Trek Africa Tours to plan your visit to the Parliament of Uganda and discover the multitude of captivating activities awaiting you in Kampala.