City Sights of Kampala
Do you know your City? Here are a few places to visit in Kampala during your stay in Uganda …. The Pearl of Africa
BULANGE ROYAL BUILDING
A great place to learn about the history and culture of the Buganda Kingdom, guided tours take you inside the parliament building, providing interesting stories and details about the 56 different clans. Parliament is held twice a month on Monday mornings, though it is conducted in Lugandan.
Open to the public, a visit to parliament is an interesting way to spend an hour or two. You can either tour the building, or see the government in action – parliament sits from 2.30pm Tuesday to Thursday and is conducted in English. You need to visit the public relations department (Room 114) to arrange a visit, and make a written request to see question time. Usually you can arrange a visit on the spot. You’ll need to bring an identification card and be decently dressed. In the main lobby look out for the huge wooden cultural map of Uganda featuring the country’s flora and fauna.
32° East Ugandan Arts Trust
A centre for Ugandan contemporary artists is in the process of setting up an exhibition space; keep an eye out for upcoming events on their website, including its biannual Kampala Contemporary Art Festival.
UGANDA CRAFTS 2000 LTD
Uganda Crafts 2000 Limited is a Ugandan owned Fair Trade Craft wholesaler and retailer providing employment and training for the disadvantaged – particularly widows, youth, the disabled and those living with HIV/AIDS. This is Uganda’s oldest and largest craft market
NDERE CULTURAL CENTRE
If you’re interested in traditional dance and music, try to catch a dinner-theatre performance of the Ndere Troupe at Ndere Centre. They showcase dances from many of Uganda’s tribal groups with high-energy shows taking place in a 700-seat Amphitheatre on Sundays at 6pm, Wednesday at 7pm and Fridays afro-jazz from 7pm.
They also offer traditional drumming and dance classes. The troupe has a lovely base way out in Ntinda, which includes a restaurant-bar and guesthouse. The name Ndere is derived from the noun ‘endere’, which means flute. The flute is the Ndere symbol for choice and inspiration.
Founded ounded in 2002 by art director Daudi Karungi. It is a leading private art gallery in Uganda focusing on the promotion of contemporary art from Uganda and the East African region as well as forging collaborations among artists in Africa and beyond. The gallery has showcased over 110 Ugandan artists whose artworks have also been featured in major international exhibitions, art auctions, Biennales, and art fairs.
AFRIK KONTEMP ART GALLERY
AKA Gallery former Tulifanya Gallery was established in 1995. The principle of the Gallery is to promote contemporary, modern African art through exhibitions and portfolio management of Ugandan and other African artists. Over the years the gallery has grown with an ever increasing number of old and new talent, exhibiting paintings and sculptures by internationally renowned artists like Dr. Rose Kirumira, Ahmed Abushariaa, the late Geoffrey Mukasa and many younger artists.
Built in 1922 Mengo Palace is the former home of the king of Buganda, though it has remained empty since 1966 when Prime Minister Milton Obote ordered a dramatic attack to oust Kabaka Mutesa II (then president of Uganda). Led by the forces of Idi Amin, soldiers stormed the palace and, after several days of fighting, Mutesa was forced to flee and live in exile in the UK. The interior of the attractive palace remains off limits to tourists.
The building was duly converted to army barracks, while an adjacent site became a notorious underground prison and torture-execution chamber built by Idi Amin in the 1970s
UGANDA MARTYR’S SHRINE, NAMUGONGO
This Uganda Martyrs Minor Basilica/Shrine is a Catholic church dedicated to the Martyrs of Uganda who shed their blood because of the Christian faith. The Shrine is well known for its beautiful and unique interior and exterior, but it is specially notable for its shape and architectural plan: the 22 copper pillars-over 100 feet long that support the shrine built in the form of an African hut and its wooden doors that depict the history of the Martyrs. The Shrine has a capacity of 1000 seats arranged in a circular form.
The construction of the Uganda Martyrs’ Shrine began in 1967. It was completed and formally opened by the special Papal envoy, His Eminence Sergio Cardinal Pignedoli on 3rd June 1975.
A sprawling open-air market in downtown Kampala that sells anything from clothing, televisions, spices, buckets, shoes to matooke and cassava. It is insanely busy (over 100,000 people visit the market on a daily basis) and extremely hot and it can be quite overwhelming. There is a lot of pushing and shoving and so it is advisable to leave all your valuables at home. If you know someone local, go with them and pack a bottle of drinking water. Small denomination notes are advisable and go a long way.
The Uganda Museum is a museum in Kampala, Uganda, which displays and exhibits ethnological, natural-historical and traditional life collections of Uganda’s cultural heritage. The museum was founded in 1908 after George Wilson called for “all articles of interest” on Uganda to be procured. Also among the collections in the Uganda Museum are playable musical instruments, hunting equipment, weaponry, archaeology and entomology.
The museum started in a small Sikh temple at Lugards Fort in Old Kampala Hill and turned 100 in 2008.
One of Kampala’s premier sights, the prominent National Mosque was begun by Idi Amin in 1972 and finished in 2007 by Colonel Gadaffi. The hour-long tour allows you to scale its soaring minaret for the best views of Kampala, and takes you within its gleaming interior.
Situated on Kasubi hill within Kampala, the Kasubi Tombs site is an active religious place in the Buganda Kingdom. To the Baganda the Kabaka is the unquestioned symbol of spiritual, political, and social state of the Buganda nation. As the burial ground for the previous four Kabakas, therefore, the Kasubi Tombs is a place where the Kabaka and others in Buganda’s complex cultural hierarchy frequently carry out important centuries-old Ganda rituals. In 2001, the Kasubi Tombs were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site