Travel to Kampala

Kampala

Kampala, the capital of Uganda, is spread over a number of green hills and takes its name from Kasozi k’impala, “the hill of antelopes”. The city grew around the court of the Kabaka of Buganda with British officials and Indian merchants settling on adjoining hills. It is a charming green city, with its many gardens and attractive views of the surrounding countryside and Lake Victoria. There is a wide range of hotels and restaurants. The Kasubi Tombs - the traditional royal tombs of the Kabakas of Buganda - are a fine example of Ganda architecture.

Do not miss the colorful Nakasero fruit and vegetable market, the general goods market and the crafts market. There are a number of interesting buildings in the city, including the buildings that housed the colonial administration and the houses of the Indian merchants, the Parliament, the museum and buildings of different religious faiths and the Namugongo Martyrs’ Shrine. Barkcloth, basketware, pottery, gourds, kikoi cloth, carving, traditional weapons and musical instruments are some of the souvenirs available for purchase.

Overview

Uganda - the pearl of Africa, a country with fantastic natural scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures. Traveling through Uganda, you’ll be captivated by its beauty, safety, accessibility and friendliness. The natural beauty of its people and its landscapes are outstanding. It is one of the most appealing nations and Africa’s friendliest country.

People

Situated at the geographical heart of the African continent, Uganda has long been a cultural melting pot, as evidenced by the existence of 30-plus different indigenous languages belonging to five distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and handicrafts. The country’s most ancient inhabitants, confined to the hilly southwest, are the Batwa and Bambuti Pygmies, relics of the hunter-gatherer cultures that once occupied much of East Africa to leave behind a rich legacy of rock paintings, such as at the Nyero Rock Shelter near Kumi.
At the cultural core of modern-day Uganda lie the Bantu-speaking kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro, Ankole and Toro, whose traditional monarchs – reinstated in the 1990s after having been abolished by President Milton Obote in 1967 – still serve as important cultural figureheads. According to oral tradition, these centuries-old kingdoms are offshoots of the medieval kingdoms of Batembuzi and Bachwezi, which lay in the vicinity of present-day Mubende and Ntusi, where archaeological evidence suggests that a strongly centralized polity had emerged by the 11th century. Three former kings of Buganda are buried in an impressive traditional thatched building at the Kasubi Tombs in Kampala.

Language

The central area is largely Bantu-speaking with the Baganda as the largest group. The Northern tribes are Nilotic in origin; the north is also the home of the nomadic Karamajong and the remote mountain tribe - the Ik. There are pygmy communities (the Batwa) in some forest areas. More than 30 languages are spoken - with English, Luganda and Swahili being the most widely used.

History

Lord Lugard established a British East African Company base in 1890 in Kampala and shortly after-wards Uganda became a British Protectorate, centered around four old African Kingdoms. The Uganda Railway linking the interior to the coast reached Kisumu (in Kenya) on Lake Victoria in 1901 and Kampala in 1915. The system of indirect rule gave Uganda greater autonomy than elsewhere in British-ruled Africa. At independence in 1962, Uganda was a prosperous and peaceful country. It went through a turbulent period after Amin seized control in 1971 and expelled the Asians. In 1986 the National Resistance Movement, lead by Yoweri Museveni, took control of the country. Today, the country is progressive, peaceful and inviting. The old kingdoms, abolished in the 1960s, were restored in 1993 and the monarchs have now re-emerged as symbols of traditional society. The 36thKabaka of the Baganda, Ronald Mutebi, was crowned in 1993 and married in 1999, to great public rejoicing.

Travel Guide

Currency

The official currency is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX), which is divided into 100 cents

Weather

Uganda is near the Equator. As a result the climate does not change much, this makes both countries all year round destinations. The rainy seasons tend to be from March to April and October to November, but this varies in different areas and it can rain any time of year, especially in the gorilla parks areas. Travel can be slower in the rainy season but the views are often better. Gorilla tracking can be muddier but remains open. In the mountainous areas it is much colder than on the plains and the rainfall is greater. The temperatures on the plains tend to be between 70°F and 86°F and in the mountainous areas they can go down to 50°F in certain months. So our advice is to travel when it is most convenient and usually the rain, which is often for short periods, is part of the great experience. A client may avoid tracking in the “official” rainy season only to find that it pours throughout his visit during another period! For this reason Volcanoes does not close our lodges during the rainy season as they do in savannah countries.

Health Requirements

Anti-malaria tablets and mosquito repellent are essential.  Travel to and from some African countries requires a Yellow Fever inoculation.

Visa Requirements

Ugandan visas are required by citizens of the European Union, the USA and Japan; other nationals should check. Entry visas can be obtained at Ugandan missions overseas or at Entebbe airport or land borders. A single entry visa to Uganda costs US$ 50, and is valid for three months.

Credit Cards

Major credit cards are accepted by very few outlets in Kampala, and a few hotels/lodges up-country.

Electrical Appliances

240 volts. 3-pin (square) sockets.

Water

Drink bottled or boiled water only

Map

A: Kampala
B: Uganda

Destinations

Explore the rest of our Uganda destinations:

Brochure

Build your own custom brochure

Finally, information the way you want it, when you want. Create your own customized information brochure from anything on our site with this magical tool called a brochure builder. Add destination information, hotels, resort and lodges and even vacations that you are interested in. Simply find a product you are interested in, and click to add to your brochure.

Once you have finalized your selection, press select and your own customized brochure will be created, filled with all sorts of hints and tips to get you started. What a great way to get your friends and family interested in a trip, or perhaps to surprise your husband or wife with, or even to just have a memory of your own vacation?

The selection on this website is just a small showcase of the offerings available, ask the travel experts for more details. We're here to inspire!

    

This Destination

Kampala

Related Destinations

Kampala
Uganda

Related Hotels

Emin Pasha Hotel
Kampala Serena Hotel

Related Vacations

Related Tours


Top Stays

Kapinga Camp
Kapama Karula
Exeter Dulini Lodge
Phinda Zuka Lodge
Selinda Camp

Top Vacation Packages

Five Senses of South…
Tanzania Tented Adventure
Kenya & Tanzania…
Elewana Sky Safari,…
Cape Town &…

Hotels/Lodges

Emin Pasha Hotel

The Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala’s unique boutique hotel. In a…

Learn More

Kampala Serena Hotel

Serena’s Uganda flagship, the Kampala Serena Hotel is an…

Learn More

Vacation Packages

Tours