TOP THINGS TO DO IN KAMPALA, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AND PLACES TO VISIT ON A CITY TOUR
There are a number of places to visit, activities, top things to do in Kampala and many tourist attractions that can be done around this largest city of Uganda. Kampala is the capital city, economic and social hub of Uganda sitting on 7 rolling hills with each one of the having a unique history. It derives its name from a lot of impalas that once roamed the hills of Buganda. Kampala city is diversified with different cultures, historic sites and buildings, religious sites, amazing people and it’s one of the liveliest cities in Africa. Some of the top things to do in Kampala include;
1. Uganda National Mosque (Gadhafi mosque)
The Uganda national mosque was built in 1972 but completed in 2006 with the assistance from col Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and it was named after him as Gaddafi mosque. It was then renamed as Uganda national mosque in 2013 after his death and failure to rehabilitate it by Libyan government. The mosque has a sitting capacity of up to 20,000 worshipers. It houses the offices of Moslem leaders in Uganda. Visiting the Gadhafi mosque is one of the top activities in Kampala.
2. Kasubi Tombs
Kasubi Tombs are the burial grounds for the kings of Buganda kingdom. The Buganda kingdom is one of the oldest and strong kingdoms in Uganda taking up the areas of Kampala city and the neighboring districts. Visitors get to hear and understand the Buganda culture when they visit these tombs since the guides will give a history about the place. The 4 Kings(kabaka) buried here are Mutesa 1, Daudi Chwa, Mutesa 2 and Mwanga.
3. National Museum.
Located along Kira road about 3km from the city center. It was established in 1908 and it house a number of items that show Uganda’s history, culture and economy. There are many artifacts, musical instruments, items used in the past and more.
4. Bulange Mengo (Buganda parliament)
Bulange is a building a few meters from Kabaka’s palace that houses the Buganda parliament and offices of the kingdoms leaders like the speaker of parliament(katikiro) and more. Visitors get to know the history about this parliament and how it’s history. It was built in 1955 and fully funded by Buganda government under the leadership of Ssekabaka Mutesa 2
5. Namugongo Martyrs Shrine
Uganda martyrs Namugongo is a sacred place 32 believers were killed on commands of Kabaka Mwanga 2 and many Christians from all of the world come to pay tribute to these fallen heroes. These were killed because they refused to denounce Christianity. 3rd June every year is a day set aside in Uganda to remember them.
6. Bahai Temple
Bahai temple is the only temple of Bahai faith in Africa. It is located on Kikaya hill about 7km from the city center. All visitors from all walks of life are welcome to visit the temple. The environment around the church is calm and cool for prayers and meditation or just relaxing.
7. Nakasero Market.
Nakasero market is located at the foot of Nakasero hill at the center of the city. The market sells fresh produce like fruits and foods. Other products like textiles, electronics, shoes and more are sold in the market. The market employs more than 1000 people from all parts of the country.
8. Buganda Crafts Village
Buganda crafts village is one of the best places to do shopping for any African textile, sculpture, paintings, musical instruments and many other arts works. It is located along Buganda road and visitors can buy some of these items to keep memories of Africa and as gifts for people back home.
9. Namirembe Cathedral.
St Paul’s cathedral Namirembe is the oldest Anglican church in Uganda built in 1890 and for any visitors interested in Christianity this is the best place to visit as you will be educated on the start of Christianity in Uganda and its growth. The church has great views of Kampala due to its strategic position on a hill.
10. Lubiri (Kabaka’s palace)
Lubiri is located on one of the 7 hills that Kampala sits on called Mengo. Lubiri houses the Idi Amin torture chambers where more than 200,000 people lost their lives at the commands of the then Ugandan president Idi Amin. So when you visit you will learn about the past dark history of Uganda.