Welcome to Kampala a City built on seven hills. On this Web site you will find information on all aspects of life, culture, attractions, travel-tips, leisure, where to eat and sleep and where to step out while in Kampala.

Kampala, the capital city of Uganda has expanded to spread over ten hills and derives its name from one of the local language kiganda expression “kasozi k’empala, “the hill of antelopes”.

Kampala, the capital city of Uganda is spread over ten hills and derives its name from Kasozi k’empala, “the hill of antelopes” The origins of the city go back to 1891 when the Kabaka (king) of Buganda had his court on Mengo hill. It grew to municipal status in 1950 and became a city in 1962.

Today, as you stand on the hills, the city provides magnificent ever green view gently disrupted by red-tiled villas, green iron-roofed bungalows, as well as taller modern city profiles that give way to attractive views of the surrounding countryside and nearby Lake Victoria. The city has retained its traditional charm, and remains the greenest in Africa.

Kampala is the heart of Uganda, the center of commercial life the seat of the government. It is a vibrant modern metropolis adorned with gardens and parks providing colourful oases for its citizens and visitors alike.

Within Kampala, there are many hotels including luxury hotel facilities with state-of-the-art conference facilities, to offer budget hotels and other accommodation lodging that cater for the more budget-minded. From USD10 (per night) you can get a good number of hotels to choose from for your stay in Kampala.

The broad range of cultures in Uganda is also reflected in the wide choice of restaurants in the city, all featuring the wonderful produce of our fertile countryside and fish-filled lakes.

Access:

By air: 40 km from Entebbe International Airport.

By road: a network of modern tarred roads feed the capital from different border posts.

By rail: Kampala is linked with Kenya by rail.

By lake: A cargo steamer service links Port Bell with Mwanza in.

Geography

Kampala lies at an altitude of 1,155 meters from Lake Victoria. Kampala was founded in the 19th Century, when the king of Buganda had his seat in the hills. The name “Kampala” originated from a British Lord Captain Frederick Lugard. There were many Impala – Antelopes found there at that time. From the Luganda translation for hill of the Impala”, Kasozi ka Impala, the short form “Kampala” was developed. This term referred to the hills of present-day Old Kampala, on which the Capt Lugard built his fort.

As the fort was established so many people were attracted to the city. The town grew rapidly and expanded to 7 hills that is; Mulago, Kololo, Kibuli, Rubaga, old Kampala, Namirembe and Makerere. Each of the seven hills represents a predominant feature: On the hills, Rubaga, Namirembe and Kibuli there settled the central bodies of the three leading religious communities (Catholics, Protestants and Islam). Kololo/ Nakasero form the Center for Public Administration and were the preferred residential areas of their employees. Makerere became the university campus and in Mulago settled health facilities. These identities have remained upto today.

During 1906, the United Kingdom law declared Kampala as a town and it advanced into an administrative municipality in 1949. Although in 1962, it received the official status of a city. The British originally had their administrative headquarters in Entebbe and Kampala was only after an election to the capital of the Uganda. In the first decades the city grew steadily. It had the best University in East Africa (Makerere University) and was an appeal to all the other African cities which was hard to surpass. During the civil war years under Obote and Amin, Kampala suffered heavily the consequences. Many buildings were destroyed and the infrastructure completely broke down.

Today, Kampala is one of the most modern African cities and awakens in many areas the European feeling that is, many shops and hotels, bars and international restaurants. Kampala is also known as one of the safest cities in Africa. Kampala and its surroundings offer sightseeing, city walks and day trips opportunities.

Origins of Kampala

The origins of the Kampala city go back to 1891 when Kabaka of Buganda had his court on Rubaga and Mengo hills. The town that grew from colonial and royal resting place achieved municipal status in 1950 and became a city’ in 1962.

Today, as you stand on the hills of Kampala, the City provides magnificent evergreen trees, gently disrupted by red-tiled villas, green iron-roofed bungalows, as well as taller modern city profiles that give way to attractive views of the surrounding country side and nearby Lake Victoria.

Kampala Today:

The City has retained its traditional charm, and remains the greenest in Africa. But today Kampala is the heart of Uganda.
The centre of commercial life and the seat of government. It is a vibrant modern metropolis adorned with gardens and parks providing colorful oases for its citizens and visitors alike, Hotel facilities range from the best international hotels, with state-of -the-art conference facilities, to accommodation for the more budget-minded travellers.

The broad range of cultures in Uganda is also reflected in the wide choice of restaurants in the City, all featuring the wonderful produce of the fertile country side and fish-filled lakes.

The open food markets like that of Nakasero and Owino do truly reflect Uganda’s agricultural endowment.

While in other cities of the world, one would go an extra mile to eat an organically grown fruit or vegetable, in Kampala all what is grown is organically friendly and naturally delicious.

Attractions

Kampala’s attractions are spread out in various place and they range from traditional sites like the Kasubi tombs where the Kings of Buganda were buried, the snow capped Rwenzori “mountains of the moon” to nature’s endowment such as the mighty water falls on the Nile.

Animals

Visiting Uganda’s wilderness is definitely a breathtaking experience. Game safaris in Uganda is filled with scenic views of crater lakes, kings of the jungle and the masters of the bushes. Here are some of the animals that make Uganda’s wildlife a living testimony of the diversity of nature.

Birds

Uganda’s endowment of birds varies from place to place, but rich in variety and species. In fact Uganda is ranked first in the world as an inhabitant of the largest number of rare bird species.

Pairs of saddle-billed stork are sometimes seen in the Africa. Although widely distributed, they need large territories in which to feed and breed and their wetland habitats are shrinking elsewhere due to drainage for agriculture. This huge black and white bird has a large red and black bill with a yellow “saddle” across its base. Males and females can be distinguished by their eyes – those of the females are yellow, while those of the male are brown.

Uganda’s endowment of birds varies from place to place, but rich in variety and species. In fact Uganda is ranked first in the world as an inhabitant of the largest number of rare bird species.

Pairs of saddle-billed stork are sometimes seen in the Africa. Although widely distributed, they need large territories in which to feed and breed and their wetland habitats are shrinking elsewhere due to drainage for agriculture. This huge black and white bird has a large red and black bill with a yellow “saddle” across its base. Males and females can be distinguished by their eyes – those of the females are yellow, while those of the male are brown.

Some sightseeing opportunities are;

  • the Bahai Temple (The only temple of this religion in Africa. A beautiful, peaceful place with a fantastic view over the city).
  • The Kasubi Tombs (The Royal tombs of the Buganda kings Mutesa I, Mwanga II, Daudi Chwa II and Mutesa II in a huge tent built out of wood and straw).
  • Kibuli Hill (This is an Islamic mosque, whose minaret offers a magnificent view of Kampala. One of the largest Islamic worship Uganda).
  • Nakasero Market (The largest market in Kampala city, where mainly African foods are sold. But also Mediterranean products can be found there).
  • Namirembe Cathedral
  • the Uganda Martyrs shrine, Namugongo
  • National Museum at Kitante
  • National Theatre

Hospitality

Kampala is very friendly and unlike many thriving, modern cosmopolitan cities – you are never far from a warm smile or a relaxed greeting, and your wish to walk the streets is not daunted by the worry of intimidation.

After work, the city’s friendliness is most apparent in its enormous capacity to relax and enjoy.

In the past few years, new restaurants, nightclubs, bars and casinos have sprung up all over the city.

There is hardly a country that isn’t represented effectively when it comes to good eating and drinking!
In Kampala, a wide variety of eating places, coffee shops and night clubs tell the cities night life with flare and fondness.

Stepping  Out

Ugandans like to party and thus there is no shortage of nightspots to let your hair down. In the old industrial area are Club Silk and Ange Noir relatively close to each other, so if you get tired of one, just take a stroll to the other. Out of town is the other, PULSATIONS. There are also numerous drinking places and bars. The Sheraton also has a British style Pub serving ale’s from around the world …. at a price!

Casinos

Looking to spend a bit of cash? Kampala has five Casino’s for your gambling pleasure and the list is growing.
Kampala night life is lively and fun as the youth and old alike fill Kampala night places to have fun.
In the last couple of years several places of night life have sprung up in Kampala to such an extent that it almost impossible for the first time visitors to Kampala to believe the serenity and enjoyment the Kampalans have everyday.

Some of the places to be at night in Kampala are:

  • Kampala Casino – Kimathi Avenue
  • Hotel Equatorial Casino – Ben Kiwanuka Street
  • Al’s Bar at “Half London” Kansanga
  • Wagadugu at Kisementi
  • Just Kicking at Kisementi Kamwokya
  • DV8 on Wilson Road
  • Rock Garden Cafe’ at Speke Hotel
  • Kaos on Kitante Road
  • Sabrina’s Pub on Bombo Road
  • House of Entertainment – Crested Towers

Dining

Uganda as a nation loves food, and no celebration is ever complete without a feast. As a result there is no shortage of eating places in the country. Food is generally cheap and there is something to suit every pocket and taste. Prices range from a mere Ush2000 to 60,000 a head depending on what you have and where you choose to dine. For those who want to try the delicious Baganda traditional dish called “oluwombo”, don’t miss Ekitobeero Restaurant on Kintate Road near Fairway Hotel.

Dishes:

Local:

Available in most places. Try the “Nyoma Choma” available at most drinking places also referred to as “drinking joints”. But the favourite places for “nyama choma” are:- Kabalagala or commonly referred to as “Half London”, Kisementi, Wandegeya and Bamboo nest in Bugolobi.
“Nyoma Choma” is roasted beef,¬† goat meat, pork or chicken served with green vegetables (salads) and Pepper (optional).

The favourites are “Past Leaders” and affectionate name for pork and chicken also is available at all “joints”. Most of the hotels in Kampala serve extensive menu of local Ugandan cuisines, the most famous being the “Luwombo” – a delicious stew steamed in banana leaves – a must try!. Uganda’s fresh water fish is also highly recommended especially the Nile Perch and the Tilapia.

Italian:

For really good, classic Italian dishes, try Mamba Point, run by Guido and Fiona. Fancy a superb pizza with tilapia fish followed by an exotic ice cream! Try the Mammamia on the terrace of the Speke Hotel.

Indian:

Indian restaurants are also well represented in Kampala.

Sam’s near Farmer Choice, the Haandi in the Hotel Equatoria serves delicious North Indian cuisine from the Punjab (you may watch the Roomali Roti being made in its kitchen through a large window). The Maharaja serves curries and Tandoori cuisine in delightful surroundings at the Speke hotel, and, at the Masala Chaat House you may enjoy the delicious Dosas and Uttapams of South India. An excellent vegetarian restaurant serving truly delicious Indian delicacies can be found in Dewinton Road opposite the Crafts Market. Highly recommended.

Greek:

Andy the Greek located on Acacia Avenue, (run by Andy and Marie) provides spectacularly accomplished traditional Hellenic dishes, meze and superb seafood in a comfortable and very welcoming environment.

Chinese:

Ms. Fang Min is the perfectionist of Chinese food at the Fang Fang restaurant located on 4th Floor, Greenland Bank Towers on Kampala Road, offers a varied menu cooked by three chefs, each specializing in a different provincial Chinese cuisine. A truly superb Thai Restaurant can be found on road called Kulua,

European:

If you are a fan of fondues, try Le Plein Vent for a mouthwatering and substantial meal. You could be forgiven for thinking that you’re in Paris when eating at The Crocodile Cafe and Bar and it would be difficult to better the English food at 7 Cooper Road for quality and value in London.

Al fresco dining in the beautiful gardens of the Gallery Cafe combines really good food with attractive pictures and don’t miss enjoying an authentic taste of Ugandan cuisine at the the Kampala Casino on Thursdays.

However, if you are in Kampala, don’t just limit yourself to hotels, there are fabulous restaurants and places to kick the boredom away like the tantalizing, “Just Kicking” Bar and Restaurant at Kisementi.

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