Kampala Uganda

Kampala Uganda is the country’s capital and largest city. It is located in the south-central part of the country, on the northern shore of Lake Victoria. It is the center of one of the subnational kingdoms in the country—the Kingdom of Buganda, which was unified in the fourteenth century and today accounts for the largest ethnic group in the country. When the British arrived to establish the Lake Victoria port for the British East Africa Company in 1890, they found a flourishing culture and government with an active parliament. The kingdom was abolished in 1962, but was reinstated again in 1993. The current king (called the Kabaka) is the 36th Kabaka. The Tombs of the Buganda Kings at Kasubi in Kampala comprise one of the country’s three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is a must see sight for visitors to the city. The royal tombs were built in 1881, and there are four of them spread around a hillside surrounded by agricultural area and the city. Another palace was built in 1882 at the top of the hill, and was converted to royal burial grounds in 1884. This is a major spiritual site for the Baganda people, and the tombs are the most active religious place in the kingdom.  The circular buildings themselves are quite beautiful and are outstanding examples of architectural achievement using organic materials.

You will also find that the capital of Uganda is the site of one of only a very few Bahá'í Houses of Worship, also sitting atop a hill on the outskirts of the city. The building was dedicated in 1961, and people of all faiths are welcome to visit. These temples—located from Frankfurt in Germany and Panama City to Wilmette in the state of Illinois and Delhi in India—are all beautifully designed and unique architectural gems. Other attractions in the city include some excellent souvenir shopping in crafts markets; the Uganda Museum (founded in 1908) with an excellent collection of cultural and ethnological items including musical instruments, weapons, and hunting equipment; and the Nommo Art Gallery with an good representation of contemporary paintings by local artists. There are also some attractive beaches not far outside the city, and it's a good base for arranging tours to destinations around the country, such as Murchison Falls and Bwindi.

Kampala Uganda boasts a number of excellent lodging options to suit just about all budgets and tastes. One very popular place for budget travelers is the Red Chilli Hideaway, located in the suburbs about four miles from city center. This is a clean and comfortable property with some excellent features, including free Internet service, a restaurant, bar, and a small plunge pool. There are dormitory rooms, as well as private one and two person rooms, and self-catering cottages. There is also a campsite on the grounds. On the other end of the scale is the five-star Kampala Serena, located on an extensive 17-acre property with lush gardens and a large swimming pool complete with waterfall. This hotel offers all the facilities and amenities you would expect of a world-class five-star resort hotel, including a full service spa, a variety of dining options, bars and lounges, and lavishly appointed rooms and suites.


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