Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its rich history, diverse culture, and breathtaking landscapes, Kampala offers an array of experiences for travelers.
In this comprehensive guide to Kampala, we will take you on a journey through the heart of Uganda, showcasing the best things to do and see in Kampala. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a foodie, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.
A Guide to Exploring Kampala: Things to Do and See
Discover the Rich History
Kampala has a fascinating history that dates back centuries. To truly understand this city, start with these historical sites and experiences:
The Kasubi Tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offer a glimpse into Uganda’s royal heritage. These royal burial grounds are a testament to the history and cultural significance of the Buganda Kingdom.
Step into the past at the Uganda Museum, which houses an extensive collection of artifacts that showcase the country’s history and diverse cultures. It’s a perfect starting point to gain insights into Uganda’s heritage.
Lubiri Palace, Kampala
Explore the Lubiri Palace, the former residence of the Buganda king. This majestic palace reflects the architectural beauty of the Buganda Kingdom and offers a glimpse into the royal lifestyle.
Visit the Martyrs’ Shrine in Namugongo, a place of pilgrimage for Christians. It commemorates the 32 young men who were executed for their faith in 1886. The site holds significant historical and religious importance.
Dive into the Cultural Diversity
Kampala’s rich cultural diversity is one of its most alluring aspects. Embrace the local culture and traditions through these experiences:
Ndere Centre Kampala
Don’t miss the Ndere Centre, a hub of Ugandan culture. Enjoy performances that showcase music, dance, and storytelling, all deeply rooted in local traditions.
Explore the various craft markets scattered around the city, where you can purchase handmade crafts and artifacts, giving you a taste of Uganda’s artistic talents.
Kampala’s food scene is a delightful mix of flavors. Sample local dishes like Rolex (a rolled chapati with eggs) or try the street food at the Old Taxi Park for a real culinary adventure.
Plan your visit to coincide with one of Kampala’s vibrant festivals, like the Nyege Nyege Festival, to experience the city’s contemporary culture and music scene.
Explore the Natural Beauty in Kampala
Kampala boasts a stunning natural landscape that will leave you in awe. Enjoy the following natural attractions:
Spend a day at the serene shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake. You can take a boat ride, fish, or simply relax and enjoy the picturesque views.
Discover the Entebbe Botanical Gardens, a lush oasis with a variety of plant species and wildlife. It’s a perfect place for a leisurely stroll or a family picnic.
Hiking and nature enthusiasts will love Mabira Forest, an unspoiled tropical rainforest. Explore the winding trails, marvel at the biodiversity, and enjoy birdwatching.
In addition to the well-known attractions, Kampala offers some hidden gems for the adventurous traveler:
Baha’i Temple Kampala
Visit the Baha’i Temple, a peaceful spot atop Kikaya Hill, offering stunning panoramic views of Kampala. The tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking scenery make it a hidden treasure.
Namirembe Cathedral, Kampala
Explore the Namirembe Cathedral, a place of spiritual and architectural significance. The hilltop location offers breathtaking views of the city.
What’s the best time to visit Kampala?
Kampala’s weather is pleasant year-round, but the dry seasons (June to August and December to February) are ideal for outdoor activities.
Is Kampala safe for tourists?
Kampala is generally safe for tourists. However, like in any city, it’s advisable to take common safety precautions, such as avoiding poorly lit areas at night.
What currency is used in Kampala?
The currency used in Kampala is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX). Credit cards are accepted in many establishments.
How can I get around Kampala?
Kampala has various transportation options, including boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis), matatus (shared taxis), and private cabs. Choose the one that suits your comfort and budget.
Are there wildlife safaris near Kampala?
Yes, Kampala serves as a gateway to numerous national parks, offering exciting wildlife safaris. Jinja, Murchison Falls, and Queen Elizabeth National Park are within driving distance.
Kampala is a city that has it all – history, culture, natural beauty, and hidden gems waiting to be explored. This guide has taken you on a journey through the best things to do and see in Kampala, offering a glimpse into the vibrant and diverse experiences that this city has to offer.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first adventure, Kampala promises a memorable and enriching experience. So pack your bags, and get ready to explore this remarkable city.