Kampala is a modern city. It is the capital, main business centre and administrative capital of Uganda. Originally found on 7 hills like Rome, Kampala has grown and spread to 22 hills.
The city is one of the fast growing cities in Africa and in East Africa, it is the safest place to visit. Visitors to Kampala can easily explore the city like locals and can even walk at night very safely!
Kampala is interesting! It is historic! It’s untamed and you will enjoy the craziness of Kampalans! Just like Newyork, Kampala is an iconic African city! Kampala is anything you want it to be. Would you like to see Africa differently? Would you like to learn something new that you will tell the world? Why not visit Kampala? So, let’s go! You can discover a lot from Kampala – from the places of hustling to very relaxing and peaceful tranquil environments.
ABOUT KAMPALA CITY, UGANDA
Kampala is the capital city of Uganda. It is divided into five divisions namely: Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division, and Lubaga Division. Currently, Kampala city is managed by Kampala Capital city Authority (KCCA), a body which assigned to improve the welfare of the city. Kampala city is governed by KCCA under the executive director and the Mister of Kampala plus the Lord Mayor. The board (KCCA) is responsible for installing security lights, cleanliness of the city, collect taxes, setting up business centres, improving health and education among others.
Nearby districts include Wakiso, Mukono and Mpigi which are growing at the greatest speed. The government is proposing to expand the city to part of Mukono and Wakiso though the proposal is not yet fulfilled at the moment, let’s wait in the near future.
The origin of the name “Kampala”
The name Kampala was derived from the antelope species known as Impala – before the arrival of the British colonists, the Kabaka of Buganda had chosen the zone that would become a hunting reserve. The area now Kampala was composed of rolling hills with grassy wetlands in the valleys was home to several species of antelope, particularly impala.
When the British arrived in Uganda, 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 ke’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.
People in Kampala are hospitable and welcomes visitors. Kampala city is estimated to host over 3 million people. Additionally, Kampala is very safe to walk around and you are free to move around Kampala even at Night – visit night clubs, casinos, café, theatres and so on.
Things to Do in Kampala
Discover the different things to do in Kampala. There are many wonders that make Kampala a magical destination to stay and tour within Uganda. From Kampala, you will enjoy some of the many fun and exciting things to do not only within the city but also within the nearby areas such as Mukono, Entebbe, Jinja, Ssese Islands, Wakiso etc.
Experience the endless treasures that Kampala has to offer.
Top Things to Do in Kampala
Here are just some of the amazing activities from which to choose on your next holiday in Kampala!
- Visit the different religious sites
- Visit the different cultural sites
- Experience urban nightlife
- Go shopping – local markets, boutiques, artifacts
- Sports Tourism – enjoy football at Namboole Stadium
- Uganda Martyrs’ Trail – Visit the shrine in
- Sport Fishing in Gaba and Munyonyo
- Boat Cruises along the Lake Victoria
- White Water Rafting in nearby Jinja
- Visit the Sezibwa Falls in nearby Mukono
Transportation in Kampala:
Transportation of people from one place to another is governed by bicycles, motor cars, boda-boda and railway which mostly transport traders and their commodities.
Major tourist attractions/ places of interest in Kampala:
Explore the different places including historical and cultural sites, natural wonders, religious sites, museums and more! Get to know the real Kampala.
- Kasubi Tombs
- Uganda Museum
- Kasubi Tombs
The Uganda Museum, it is where historical materials, traditional attires, weapons among others are kept. In other words, it is a historical museum.
Kasubi tombs, it is where the remains of the Kings of Buganda were laid to rest. It is still the burial place for the Buganda Kings. Kasubi Tomb is a major tourist site in Kampala. However, these were extensively damaged by fire in March 2010. Good news is that, the site is under reconstruction to meet the world standards of historical sites!
Nommo art gallery, It is Art and craft center. Many skills can be obtained from here.
National Theatre, Music, Dance and drama center. Meet talented and experienced musicians, actors and actresses here. Enjoy music, dance and drama in National Theatre. All artists gather here for meetings and whenever one partner dies, artists mourn from here.
Cathedrals, Rubaga and Namirembe – they are worshipping places situated in the city.
Gaddafi National Mosque, it is situated at Old Kampala hill. You can also climb up the stairs of the tower and enjoy the 360° view on Kampala. It is believed that the mosque was built by the former late president of Libya, Canal Mwama Gadaffi.
Bahai Temple situated at the hill in Kikaya zone.
Parliament of Uganda and independence monument situated at the entrance of the parliamentary building.
Local markets like owino, Nakaserero, Wandegeya, Kasubi among others. In such markets, fruits, vegetables, food stuffs among others are sold.
The pride Theatre, this is where music, dance and drama actors and actresses perform from to entertain visitors/ tourists.
Much of the city was destroyed after the overthrow (1979) of Idi Amin’s dictatorship and subsequent civil war. With the coming of the Museveni regime in 1986, Kampala enjoyed relative stability, and foreign investment provided funding for the rehabilitation of the city’s infrastructure and the restoration of services. Kampala is the seat of the East African Development Bank and Makerere University, Nakasero state House among others.
The reality of Kampala city:
Kampala city is an industrial centre, water, soda, beer, textile, food processing industries among others are found. Products like food, beverages, furniture, and machine parts among others are produced. Agricultural exports include coffee, cotton, tea, and sugar among others.
Kampala is the historical centre, Uganda museum is where historical materials or attires of Ugandan are stores. Kasubi tomb is where the Kings of Buganda are buried, Independence monument, the Queen’s clock, the Buganda’s King palace among others.
Kampala is an administrative centre, presidential, parliamentary building, offices of the governments/ headquarters are found.
Kampala is an entertainment centre, theatres, night clubs, Casinos among others are found. Relax with Ndere troup at Lugala, National theatre, and pride theatre among others.
Kampala is a sports centre with National stadiums like Nakivubo stadium, sports centres like Lugogo cricket ground, Luggybay grounds among others.
Kampala is an educational centre with schools and high institutions of learning like Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Nakawa institute of learning, Makerere Business institute, YMCA, Kampala international University among others.
Kampala is a financial centre with financial institutions like Forest bureaus, banks, micro finances among others. Banks like Centenary Bank branches, Stanbic Bank branches, Pride Micro Finance among other financial institutions.
Kampala is a tourist centre, places like Uganda Museum, Kabaka’s lake, Kasubi Tombs among others are visited by tourists.
Kampala is the a centre of embassies – American embassy along Ggaba road, Rwanda Embassy in Kamwokya, British console in Kamwokya, Burundi Embassy in Kololo among others.
Kampala is a residential centre – with settled areas like Kololo, Makindye, Kamwokya, Natete among others. Rental houses and residential are found in many parts of Kampala.
Kampala is a recreation centre – cinema halls, bars, and night clubs among others.
Kampala has Airstrips like Kololo
It is also a training ground for military guards like police officers, army officers among others.
Places to Stay
Looking for Where to stay in Kampala? There are many places where one can stay in Kampala. Would you like to stay in a bed-and-breakfast hotel? Are you looking for a lavish five-star hotel in the heart of the city, or maybe a small boutique hotel? From a resort at the lakes shores to a hotel in the downtown business center, we have a place for you to call home during your holiday in Kampala. Search below and find the perfect place for you and your vacation.