Established in 1908, the Uganda National Museum proudly stands as the oldest museum in East Africa. This historical treasure trove offers a captivating journey through Uganda’s rich cultural heritage. As you step inside, prepare to be enchanted by ethnological and natural historical exhibitions, which serve as vivid reminders of the country’s vibrant and diverse past. Within these hallowed halls, you’ll also discover an extraordinary collection of traditional musical instruments, beckoning you to create your melodies. And don’t forget, you’re in the heart of Kampala, where an array of activities awaits.
Delve into a sobering chapter of Uganda’s history by visiting Idi Amin’s torture chambers, located within the Lubiri Mengo Palace of the King of Buganda. Originally constructed as an armory to safeguard firearms, this site witnessed a tumultuous period during Idi Amin’s brief but impactful presidency. It’s a somber reminder of Uganda’s complex history.
Marvel at the grandeur of the Uganda National Mosque, perched atop Kampala Hill in the Old Kampala area. Completed in 2006, this magnificent mosque can accommodate up to 15,000 worshippers, with an additional 1,100 in the gallery and 3,500 on the terrace. It’s not only a place of worship but also an architectural masterpiece worth exploring.
Indulge in a shopping extravaganza at Nakasero Market, nestled at the base of Nakasero Hill in Kampala. This bustling market offers a sensory delight with its fresh produce, textiles, shoes, and affordable electronics. Located just 50 meters off the Entebbe Road, Nakasero Market is a vibrant hub in the heart of Kampala’s central business district.
The Kasubi Tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage site, serve as the final resting place for four Kabakas (Kings) and members of the Baganda royal family. Beyond its historical significance, this site remains a spiritual and political focal point for the Ganda people. It’s also a striking example of traditional architectural prowess.
The Bahai Mother Temple of Africa, known as the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, stands as the only Bahá’í temple on the continent and one of just nine worldwide. Located a short distance from Kampala, it’s a testament to the faith’s global reach. Uganda was chosen as the temple’s location due to the presence of Bahá’í followers in neighboring countries.
Located 15 kilometers east of Kampala, the Namugongo Martyrs’ Shrine holds deep historical and spiritual significance. It commemorates the sacrifice of over 20 Catholic and Anglican martyrs who were martyred in 1886. Pilgrims from around the world visit on June 3rd each year to pay their respects. The church on-site, designed in the shape of a traditional Baganda hut, stands as a poignant tribute to the martyrs.
The Uganda National Cultural Centre, known as the National Theatre, pulses with the vibrancy of live music, film screenings, dance performances, and dramatic productions. Here, you can also find bars, restaurants, and outdoor events like jam sessions, drumming sessions, and comedy nights.
The Parliament of Uganda opens its doors to the public, offering a chance to tour its impressive building or observe parliamentary sessions from Tuesday to Thursday between 2 and 4 pm. Ensure you’re appropriately attired, carry valid identification, and obtain permission from the public relations department for your visit.
The Kasubi Royal Tombs serve as the burial grounds for Buganda Kingdom’s kings and royal family members. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, a visit to these tombs offers a glimpse into the kingdom’s history and cultural practices. It’s an extraordinary place to explore and learn about Buganda’s legacy.
Kampala city boasts a vibrant tapestry of craft markets, often referred to as craft villages. These markets showcase an array of colorful crafts, including prints, baskets, paintings, pottery, and jewelry. While some are permanent fixtures like the Craft Village behind the National Theatre and the Craft Centre on Buganda Road, others operate weekly or monthly. Engage with the artists, and you might even commission a unique piece of art.
Established in 1908, the Uganda Museum proudly stands as the oldest museum in East Africa. This historical treasure trove offers a captivating journey through Uganda’s rich cultural heritage. As you step inside, prepare to be enchanted by ethnological and natural historical exhibitions, which serve as vivid reminders of the country’s vibrant and diverse past. Within these hallowed halls, you’ll also discover an extraordinary collection of traditional musical instruments, beckoning you to create your melodies.
Kampala boasts a variety of restaurants that offer an authentic Ugandan dining experience, centered around local cuisine. These premium eateries focus on using fresh, natural flavors and top-quality produce to craft exquisite yet unpretentious dishes. If you’re seeking a culinary adventure off the beaten path, these restaurants are a must-visit.
Kampala’s art and gallery scene is flourishing, with numerous talented artists showcasing impressive and eccentric pieces of art, including paintings, crafts, prints, and more. Supporting local artists by purchasing their creations is a meaningful way to connect with Uganda’s vibrant art community.
Experience the heart of Kampala through the eyes of a Ugandan boda boda rider. These motorbike taxis offer a unique and authentic way to navigate the city’s nooks and crannies. They’ll swiftly guide you through the city, bypassing traffic and providing breathtaking views from various vantage points. Boda bodas originated from the border with Kenya, earning their name from the phrase “border to border.” While they offer a speedy mode of transportation, remember that they come with some risks. However, they remain a time-saving alternative in Kampala’s bustling traffic.
Wandegeya Market, located in the school district of Kampala, exudes youthful energy. This market features boutiques, salons, fresh produce, and offices. It’s also the birthplace of the legendary Rolex and TV Chicken, two of Kampala’s beloved street foods. The Rolex is a delectable concoction of omelet, raw tomatoes, grilled chicken, fries, and assorted vegetables like cabbages, tomatoes, carrots, and green pepper—a must-try when in Wandegeya.
Bulange serves as the administrative and parliamentary heart of the Buganda Kingdom. Originally, sessions were held under trees until the construction of the iconic grass-thatched building in 1958. It’s a captivating place to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Buganda. Keep in mind that, as per the cultural norms of the Buganda people, women should avoid wearing trousers when visiting this significant site.
Contact Trek Africa Tours for more information about your explorations in Kampala, Uganda, including visits to the Uganda National Museum and the many cultural wonders this vibrant city has to offer.