There are plenty of activities you can enjoy doing while in Kampala.Visit the different places of worship,culture and art.You can get to these places so easily.
The shrine had its start in the late 1967 and the cornerstone was laid and blessed on 3rd June 1975 by the special Papal envoy, His Eminence Sergio Cardinal Pignedoli. Lying 15 kilometers east of Kampala off Jinja Road, Namugongo was formerly a place of execution of all people who committed grave offences in the kingdom of Buganda. It is here that 14 of the 22 Uganda Martyrs offered their life to Christ (burnt alive), on the orders of king Mwanga in 1886, having refused to denounce their Christian faith. Following the holocaust of these Martyrs which reached a climax on 3rd June, 1886 Namugongo has steadily taken on the image of attraction as a place of pilgrimage, as God simultaneously has honored them before Believers.
The Uganda Martyrs’ Shrine is a Minor Basilica for a Catholic church dedicated to the Martyrs of Uganda who shed their blood because of the Christian faith. They share a common bond inspired by the life and values of Uganda Martyrs. Together we give glory to God through living the values which were so dear to Uganda martyrs: Love for the Eucharist; knowledge of Scripture; reconciliation and penance as part of the Christian journey and opportunities for Christian giving.
After visiting the largest shrine in Uganda, it is not hard to see why this is the most visited tourist site in Kampala. Interestingly the Shrine is well known for its beautiful and unique interior and exterior, but it is specially notable for its shape and architectural plan: the 22 copper pillars-over 100 feet long that support the shrine built in form of an African hut and its wooden doors that depict the history of the Martyrs. The Shrine has a capacity to seat 1000 people arranged in a circular form. When Pope John Paul II made a pilgrimage to Namugongo on February 7, 1993, during his six day visit to Uganda (5th -10th February 1993), he elevated the Shrine to a rank of a minor Basilica.
Uganda Hosted Pope Francis during his six day visit to Africa from the 27 – 29 November 2015
In recognition of the spiritual nature of humanity – and the importance of prayer, meditation and reflection in achieving it – Bahá’í temples, also known as Houses of Worship, have been established in different parts of the world and are open to all peoples for that purpose. Located on Kikaya Hill on the outskirts of Kampala, Bahai Temple is a quiet and serenity place of Worship that reflects the spiritual truths of the Baha’i Faith: The oneness of God, the oneness of humanity and the oneness of religion. Like all Baha’i Houses of Worship, the temple in Uganda is circular in shape, has nine sides and is surrounded by exquisite gardens.
One of only eight in the world, the Baha’i’ House of Worship of Uganda is a place of prayer and meditation open to peoples of all backgrounds. Since its dedication in 1962 it has received thousands of visitors from all points of the globe. With nine symmetrical sides and entrances, the distinctive architecture of the House of Worship embodies grace and beauty. The House of Worship raises out of carefully maintained prayer gardens, which are host to more than 60 species of flowers, plants, and trees all native to Uganda. Interspersed with footpaths and bridges, the gardens can be the scene for personal reflection, or simply a stroll through the natural beauty of Uganda.
Established in 1908 at Fort Lugard in old Kampala to conserve, promote, interpret Uganda’s cultural and natural heritage through research collections and documentation, the Uganda National Museum is the oldest, most prestigious for art and history and the largest museum in East Africa. The current building on Kira road was constructed in 1954 and all artifacts were transferred.
The museum has collections exceeding one million specimens focusing on ancient Ugandan playable musical instruments, hunting equipment, science, weaponry, traditional culture, archaeology and entomology. There’s a fantastic fossil display including the remains of a Napak rhino, a species that became extinct 8 million years ago. It regularly presents performances of traditional music.
The Uganda Museum is situated five kilometers away from the heart of Kampala city. The urge to collect things of beauty and significance goes deep into history. Museums not only exhibit but also safeguard these art objects for future generation. There’s plenty to catch your interest here and enjoy along the way.
The Uganda National Mosque is a mosque located at Kampala Hill in the Old Kampala area of Kampala, Uganda. Completed in 2006, it seats up to 15,000 worshipers and can hold another 1,100 in the gallery, while the terrace will cater for another 3,500. The completed mosque was opened officially in June 2007 under the name Gaddafi National Mosque, and housed the head offices of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council. It was renamed “Uganda National Mosque” in 2013 following the death of Colonel Gaddafi as the new Libyan administration was “reluctant to rehabilitate the mosque under the old name.
Another Cathedral but this one is of the Catholic persuasion. Again this cathedral is located on one of Kampala’s many hills so views are great. Kampala is fabled to have 7 hills. It in fact has 22 but Rubaga is one of the original ones and, therefore, worth a visit for historical reasons. The cathedral also boasts a memorial to the first African Catholic bishop in Uganda martyred for the cause of bringing Catholicism to Uganda and is the current headquarters of the Catholic Church in Uganda. Entrance is free although voluntary contributions are welcome
While Uganda may not be know within Africa for its crafts – and lets be honest a lot of them are imported from nearby Kenya and DRC – there is still, however, some good local stuff being made, and whether you’re decorating your house, buying your family 20 identical but ‘authentic’ Christmas presents or just looking for some souvenirs of your time here, the Kampala craft markets offer some good options. The largest craft market is on Buganda rd, central Kampala and is open 7 days a week. Be careful to shop around and haggle before buying anything. Cheaper and often better, however, is the Juakali handicraft village – better known as the ‘Friday craft market’ up in Nsambya, off Ggaba rd. It operates to some extent every day but as you can guess from the name only really comes into full force on Fridays. It has a good selection of artwork, jewelry, wooden and stone sculptures as well as a small amount of fabrics.
Again, one of the main draws of this cathedral is the great view it has across Kampala. It is, however, in my opinion, also the most beautiful of Kampala’s Christian cathedrals. Word of warning though – ever since they started renovating it they try and charge any muzungu wandering around with a camera or looking vaguely touristy a 10,000 UGX donation towards the renovation (even if you don’t go in). My advice? Tell them you’re a) worshipping b) got to rush and meet some friends but will be back after and will pay then. For those of you interested in theology or looking to worship – this one’s a protestant church. After you’ve checked out the cathedral you can always also pop to Namirembe guest house for a spot of lunch or down to nearby Java’s for a coffee.
It located in Ndeeba, between Ring Road and Nabunya Road.This Lake was dug out on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga in the 1880 as an ‘escape corridor’ to Lake Victoria. This is the largest excavated lake in Africa
Enjoy the quality programs of music, film, dance and drama performances in the theatre itself, but most tourists are here for the popular, free outdoor events. Grab a beer and a chair and catch an informal open-stage jamming, infectious Afro-fusion grooves and, underground hip-hop on or comedy night. There is also a great selection of Ugandan and African crafts and souvenirs from Uganda and a good bargain.
Visit the tombs that are of significance to the Buganda kingdom, the huge thatched-roof palace of the Unesco World Heritage listed Kasubi Tombs was tragically destroyed in an arson attack in March 2010. Fortunately construction is in its final stages. Built in 1882 as the palace of the King Mutesa I, it was converted into his tomb following his death two years later. Subsequently, the next three kabaka (kings) “ Mwanga; DaudiChwa II; and Edward Mutesa II, father of the current kabaka, Ronald Mutebi II (known also by his Baganda name, Muwenda) â€“ broke with tradition and chose to be buried here instead of in their own palaces. Â You will learn more about Buganda culture and history at the site.
Part of the old taxi park in central Kampala. A ‘dirty mental chaos’ is probably the best words to describe Owino and the taxi park! It’s the kind of place you might go in to with 5 friends and come out alone and inexplicably missing your left shoe…Nevertheless it is definitely an experience worth having just to appreciate the hecticness of everyday life and get a contrast to Kololo’s manicured lawns. The market sells nearly anything you can think of, but the best buys for foreigners are on the African print fabrics sold here by length, and the wide range of second-hand clothes and shoes, including many designer labels – I’ve got a great Ralph Lauren jumper from there…! There is also quite an interesting Voodoo market, selling all sorts of wierd and wonderful things if you can manage to negotiate the maze and find it! As always make sure to haggle and keep your personal belongings close and don’t wear any obvious jewelry or big handbags.
Ndere Troupe Center
At Ndere troupe center, there is an amazing show on Sunday evenings about the heritage and history of Uganda. For all Arts lovers and any one that is into Music Dance and Drama, this is a great place to visit. They have a dance troupe that comprises of mainly high school students & University students that are able to dance any traditional dances from any part of Uganda.
The Independence Monument, standing majestically at a height of 6 metres, is a must see if you are travelling to Kampala. The monument situated in the heart of the capital between the Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Grand Imperial Hotel and Stan-Chart bank, is one of the most distinctive landmark of Uganda.
Uganda’s Independence Monument was constructed by former British Colonial Government just before Uganda celebrated its first independence on Tuesday 9th October 1962.
The monument depicts a man unwrapping a child and raising the child to touch the sky. The sculpture signifies a new born country let free from colonialism and bondages. Today with the beautification around the monument, you need to carry your camera for the memorable capture of the sight.