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The 1 day Kampala city tour is an excursion across Kampala – Uganda’s national and commercial capital city. With a population of over 2 million people, Kampala was named the 13th fastest growing city on the entire planet with an annual population growth rate of 4.03 percent. Also, Mercer – a global development consulting agency based in New York has ranked Kampala the best city to live in East Africa, ahead of Kigali and Nairobi.
The city stands on a series of hills covered with red-tile villas, contemporary skyscrapers and a mass of trees and greenery. The city has many attractions, most of which you will see during your 1 day Kampala city tour. You will visit; the Uganda Museum, Kasubi tombs, Kabaka’s palace, Uganda Martyrs shrine – Namugongo, the Baha’I temple, Owino market and the crafts markets. These remarkable sites will make your 1 day Kampala city tour a complete excursion.
Entebbe International Airport
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Your 1 day Kampala city tour will include:
Your 1 day Kampala city tour will begin when you meet up with a professional driver – guide at a suitable location in Kampala. After a briefing on how your day will go, you will embark on your tour. The first stop will be a visit to the prized Uganda museum. Situated in Uganda’s capital – Kampala, the museum was founded in 1908 and since then has housed artifacts that display and exhibit the country’s archaeology, varied culture, history, tradition and science. Also, found in one of the museum’s vast rooms is the Uganda Society’s library, a mass of over 3000 volumes, periodicals, maps and photographs, all reflecting African history, culture, sociology, and science. The Uganda museum is a ‘must-see’ during this 1 day Kampala city tour.
The Kabaka’s palace situated on Mengo hill is not only a great historical site but is also a remarkable tourist attraction. The palace is one of the residences of the King (Kabaka) of Buganda. Buganda is the largest and one of the oldest reigning monarchies in Uganda. Inside the ‘Twekobe’ – translated ‘the king’s house’ is a collection of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II (the reigning king) ’s photographs, dating way back to his childhood.
The other things to see include; the military machinery used by the former presidents of Uganda – Milton Obote and Idi Amin Dada, when they attacked the palace, Kabaka Mutesa II’s dilapidated Rolls-Royce and the infamous ‘empuuku’ translated ‘dungeon’ – Amin’s torture chambers where he had the gruesome murders of his enemies carried out. A visit to the Kabaka’s palace during this 1 day Kampala city tour will not live you the same.
The 1 day Kampala city tour is incomplete without visiting the Kasubi tombs – the traditional burial grounds of four of Buganda kingdom’s Kabakas (kings). Buganda kingdom is Uganda’s most prominent reigning monarchy. The tombs were dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 2001, they are recognized as one of the most remarkable structures built using purely vegetable materials in the entire region of sub-Saharan Africa. The tombs are an architectural wonder comprising of thatch, reed, wood, wattle and daub.
Although some of the major structures were destroyed in March 2010 by a fire, the tombs still remain a major tourist attraction and spiritual – traditional site for the Baganda people. The fallen kings who were buried at this site include; Mutesa I who reigned from 1856 – 1884, Mwanga II – the mind behind the massacres of the Uganda martyrs in 1886, he reigned between 1884 – 1888 and 1889 – 1897, Daudi Chwa II who reigned between 1896 – 1939 and Sir Edward Muteesa II who reigned between 1924 – 1969. The tombs are a symbol of the unfading loyalty, devotion and honour that the people of Buganda have had for their kings over the generations and ages. You will be thrilled by the discoveries you will make as you explore the Kasubi tombs.
The other place to see while exploring Kampala is the great baha’I temple. A display of architectural prowess, the temple is stationed on Kikaaya hill overlooking Kampala’s crowded business centre. The temple is the home of the Baha’I faith in Uganda and the mother house of worship in the whole of Africa. The vast temple is religiously referred to as the ‘dawning place of the remembrances of God’ and is a sacred place of worship revered by all the followers of the Baha’I faith. The temple is a religious marvel.
On your 1 day Kampala city tour, you will pay a visit to the sacred Uganda Martyrs’ shrine situated in Namugongo, about 15km by road, northeast of Kampala city. The shrine is one of the largest Christian pilgrimage destinations in the whole of Africa. The shrine was erected to commemorate the martyrdom of 32 of Kabaka Mwanga’s pages, on the 3rd of June 1886. The 32 men were burnt for their selfless faith in Christ – they refused to renounce Christianity even at the cost of their lives.
When Pope John Paul VI visited the shrine on 18th October 1968, he canonized 22 of the Catholic martyrs and affirmed them saints in the Catholic church. A basilica was built in the place where majority of the martyrs were burnt. A visit to the Uganda martyrs shrine is your opportunity to encounter the silhouettes of the celebrated martyrs – on whose blood and faith the foundation of Christianity stands unshakable in Uganda.
At the climax of your 1 day Kampala city tour, you will visit Owino market, the biggest open market in Uganda and possibly in the whole of East Africa. The market has over 50,000 vendors and traders plus an appalling number of 300,000 customers who visit it on a daily basis. The market sells foodstuffs, second-hand clothes, utensils and all sorts of household items. A visit to Owiino market is your chance to encounter the locals.
Your next stop for Kampala city day tour will be the crafts market on Buganda road or to the slightly larger one behind the National theatre near Garden city complex. These markets have an assortment of African crafts and traditional items on display, you will be able to purchase an item and carry it home as a souvenir. After your excursion, you can choose to unwind with a cup of coffee at the cafe 1000 cups of coffee – a famous ‘muzungu’ hangout. Your driver – guided will take you to your hotel or drive you to the airport if you have a flight to catch. This will mark the end of your 1 day Kampala city tour.
The other places you could visit during this 1 day Kampala city tour include; Ndere cultural Center, Makerere University, Namirembe Cathedral, Rubaga Cathedral, Gadaffi Mosque, Kabaka’s lake, Nakasero Market, Mbuya hill, Old taxi park, Serena hotel among other attractions.