Kampala is the Capital city and the business district of Uganda. It is spread over many hills and enjoys pleasant weather. It is one of the fastest growing cities on the African continent. Its architecture is a mixture of the modern, the colonial and the Indian buildings. To the south is Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water lake and the source of the longest river in the world, the River Nile.
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, was home to several species of antelope, mainly Impalas. When the British arrived, they called it “Hills of the Impala”.
Kampala was named the 13th fastest growing city on the planet, with an annual population growth rate of 4.03 percent by City Mayors. Kampala has been ranked the best city to live in East Africa ahead of Nairobi and Kigali according to Mercer, a global development consulting agency based in New York City. Today, greater Kampala stands on at least 21 hills. You can be taken through the prominent hills that form the modern day capital and their signature to the city’s political and socio-economic life, starting with the original seven. These include; Mengo, Rubaga, Namirembe, Makerere, Kololo, Nakasero, and Kampala (Old K’la).
Where to Stay
Kampala city is composed of accommodation facility such as; Emin Pasha, Sheraton, Hotel equatorial, Africana, Fair way, Fang Fang, Grand Imperial, Serena, Namirembe guest House to mention but a few, various restaurants like Afro Caribbean Restaurants, Chinese, Continental, kati kati, Ethiopian, French, German, Indian, Ugandan, Italian, Lebanese, Thai, Korean, Japanese plus fast food restaurants.
The People of Kampala
Kampala has a diverse ethnic population. The city’s ethnic makeup has been defined by political and economic factors. A large number of western Ugandans mainly the Banyankole moved to the city in the new government of Yoweri Museveni. Although many Kampala residents have been born and brought up in the city, they still define themselves by their tribal roots and speak their ancestral languages. This is more evident in the suburbs where tribal languages are spoken widely alongside English, Luganda and Swahili. In addition to the Baganda and Banyankole, other large ethnic groups in Kampala include the Basoga, Bafumbira, Batooro, Bakiga, Alur, Bagisu, Banyoro, Iteso, Langi and the Acholi
Guided Tours in Kampala
Kampala is the heart of Uganda. This is where most Uganda safaris start from. The city itself has amazing attractions and there are lots of things to do while in the city. As soon as you are in Kampala, expect to see the Kasubi tombs, where the remains of the Kings of Buganda were buried. There is the Uganda Museum, Nommo art gallery, National Theatre, Cathedrals that is; Rubaga and Namirembe, Parliament of Uganda to mention but a few.
There is also the Ndere center, a prominent cultural centre in the Kampala area of Kisasi that aims to promote Ugandan and African cultural expressions through music, dance and drama. As an instrument found in all cultures, it is chosen as a peaceful symbol of the universality of cultural expressions. The Ndere centre is famous for its Ndere troupe, a music and dance troupe that perform several nights every week at the centre showcasing music and dance from all over Uganda as well as Rwanda and Burundi.
While in Kampala, you can go for shopping in different places. Super Markets include; Shoprite, Capital Shoppers Delight, Game Stores , Kwiksave Convenience, Millennium, Shopper’s Paradise, Embassy Supermarket, Payless, Nakumatti, Boutiques.
Many art Galleries and crafts are found within kampala where tourists can buy various hand made crafts such as Uganda Crafts 2000 Ltd, Gallery Okapi, Makerere School of Fine Art, Nommo Gallery, Rwenzori Crafts, Tulifanya Art Gallery, Banana Boat, Aada Africa Art Gallery
Other features of the city include the Uganda Museum, the Ugandan National Theatre, Nakasero Market and St. Balikuddembe Market known as the Owino Market. Kampala is also known for its nightlife which includes several casinos. Kampala hosts a Bahai House of Worship known as the mother temple of Africa situated on Kikaya Hill.
In terms of sports, Kampala is home to the City Oilers, one of East Africa’s top basketball teams. It is the only East African team that competes in the FIBA Africa Clubs Champions Cup. The Oilers play their home games in the MTN Arena which is based in Kampala’s Lugogo Area.