The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) estimated the mid-year population of Kampala was1,659,600 in 2011.
Mutesa I, the Kabaka (king) of Buganda, had chosen the area that was to become Kampala as one of his favorite hunting grounds. The area was made up of hills and
wetlands. It was an ideal breeding ground for wildlife, particularly a species of antelope, the impala, (Aepyceros Melampus). When the British arrived in the area they called one of the hills “The Hill of the Impala” due to the large presence of impala. The native Baganda used this reference in their local dialect (Luganda) – “Akasozi K’empala”. It is worth noting that it is not unusual for Luganda to adopt the soundings of English words into the language – for example a car in Luganda is “emotoka” (a motor car). So K’empala formally became “Kampala” with repeated usage, and when the British colonial rulers needed a name for the city they adopted this reference.
Traditionally, Kampala was a city of seven hills, but over time it has come to have a lot more.
There are three methods of public transportation: boda-boda, matatu and special hire taxis. The fastest method is the boda-boda; motorcycles that you see all over the city. You won’t be in Kampala long before being propositioned by a Boda driver. If you’re not interested, a simple “no” will get them to leave you alone. You can get almost anywhere on the back of one for between 1,000 and 2,000 UGX, but make sure you agree on the fare before the ride begins.
Because Uganda is located near the middle of Africa, close to the equator, the weather in Kampala (the capital city) is warm throughout the year. Although travel is possible throughout the year, there are certain months that are more comfortable than others because of rain. On average, the hottest months of the year in Kampala are October and February, during which time the daily temps will generally hover in the upper 80’s and the lower 90’s. The coldest months of the year in Kampala on average are June and July, during which time the daily high temps will generally reach the lower 80’s. This temp comparison shows that there is little variation from month to month.
The two rainy seasons are from March through May, and from the end of September through January.
- The Uganda Museum
- Kasubi Tombs, where the remains of the Kings of Buganda are buried were a major tourist site. However, these were extensively damaged by the fire in March 2010 and are currently being rebuilt
- Nommo Art Gallery
- National Theatre
- Rubaga and Namirembe Cathedrals
- Gaddafi National Mosque (in Old Kampala)
- Bahai Temple, atop Kikaya Hill
- Kabaka’s Palace
OUT AND ABOUT
There is a lot to do while in Kampala and there is no shortage of decent restaurants. Eating out in Kampala can range from eating in cheap and cheerful “hole-in-the-wall” joints to the more expensive and upmarket restaurants. There is a wide variety of
food available in Kampala, although on the whole vegetarian and vegan food can be difficult to find at restaurants. In an instance like this it is better to cook your food yourself.
There are a lot of bars and nightclubs in the city. There are also a number of cinemas that are located within some of the shopping malls. Kampala has eight casinos and
around twelve shopping malls, some of which have recently been built.