Paradise Large City of Memorable Developmental Activities The City on 7 hills “One Visit Make A whole Time Visit” KAMPALA CITY, Meet people renown for their friendliness and visit cultural sites. the guide takes you through the sights and sounds of this hilly city. Kampala has to offer; amazing attractions, coolest hang out spots, superb culture/nightlife, events, restaurants, hotels and more.
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What to See In Kampala – Kampala Key Attractions Things to do in Kampala
When travelling to Kampala city, it is advisable to bear in mind the following information which will make your holidays easier. We believe you will definitely enjoy what the city has to offer.
Kampala’s Top Attractions
- The Uganda Museum: –
- Kasubi tombs: –where the remains of the Kings of Buganda are buried, was a major tourist site. However, these were extensively damaged by fire in March 2010.
- Nommo art gallery: –
- National Theatre: –
- Cathedrals: – Rubaga and Namirembe(not very interesting itself but good view of the city)
- Gaddafi National Mosque (in Old Kampala): –The entrance is 10’000 UGX (September 2013), then a guide will show you around. You can also climb up the stairs of the tower and enjoy the 360° view on Kampala.
- Wamala tombs: –Where the remains of some of the earlier Buganda kings were buried including Kabaka Ssuuna 11 (1836-1856). During his time he had 148 wives and produced 218 children.
- Bahai Temple: –atop Kikaya hill
- Parliament of Uganda and the independence monument: –
- Refugee and community: –
What To Do | Activities That are Done Near Kampala | Find Your Next Destination | With In Kampala
- Raft the headwaters of the Nile: – Four companies offer this service: Nalubale Rafting, Nile River Explorers, Adrift and White Nile Rafting.
- Bungee jump: –Dipping your head in the headwaters of the Nile, near Jinja.
- Jet-Boating on the Nile, up and down some of the smaller rapids.
- Do an ATV safari along the headwaters of the Nile, driving through various small towns.
- Namugongo Martyrs shrines were turned a world heritage site by UNESCO after Kasubi tombs were destroyed by fire. the place is now open for tourists, it is a dark tourism site in Uganda. In Namugongo there is Catholic and Anglican commemoration place. Some of the martyrs were killed in Munyonyo (near Speke Resort) where is another shrine.
- Book your Gorilla safari at the Ugandan Wildlife Authority (in Kololo) before heading south-west to Bwindi National Park.
- Excursion to Lake Mburo National Park(4 hours), with a guaranteed viewing of a hippopotamus, as well as zebra, various gazelles, crocodiles, birds, warthog.
- Excursion to Entebbe to the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, where you can watch chimps being fed, which is even more entertaining than it sounds. Boats leave from near the zoo at 9 AM and 1 PM, the price is $70, for 4-hour round trip.
- Visit the Zoo, beaches and Botanical Gardens in nearby Entebbe.
- Walter’s Boda Boda Tours Kampala, Kampala, Learn all about Kampala from the back of a Boda Walter and his safe drivers will whisk you around to all the major sites for a reasonable price. He also offers car tours, including day trips to Jinja as well.
How – To – Get – in – Kampala – Dream City
When coming to Kampala “By Air”, you will actually arrive in the city of Entebbe, 35 km South West of Kampala.
you will be required to pay USD 100 for the entry visa, so have the money ready in cash (USD) to pay for passport control – they do not accept credit cards. In any case, check whether a visa is required before arrival for your specific nationality. Normally you will need to show an international vaccination certificate for Yellow Fever, however, the rule is not applied strictly.
You can get from Entebbe to Kampala:
- The Duiker Safaris Van: With us, You can at any time arrange to be picked up at the Entebbe Airport.
- Hotel shuttle for example if you have a reservation with Big Star Hotels in Kampala, ask for their shuttle and some charges will be added to your hotel bill, for one way trip and if sharing, the chances are very high that there other hotel guests arriving with you on your flight.
- Via scheduled airport shuttle service – Airport Express: –The shuttle drops you off at Garden City Shopping Mall, centrally located in Kampala. You can at any time arrange to be picked up or catch a taxi ride from the mall. The shuttle staff will also arrange a door-to-door service for you and bookings can be made online at the Entebbe Airport Express website.
- Via with the Airport Taxi
How To Get Around The Dramatic City Kampala
There are three methods of public transportation: Boda Bodas, Matatu, and L’hoest’s Special Hires.
The fastest method is The Boda Bodas: – “Motorcycles that you see all over the city.” You won’t be in Kampala for long before being propositioned by a Boda driver. If you’re not interested, a simple “No” will get them to leave you alone. Men usually ride facing forward while women are expected to ride side saddle very risky! Females can get away with riding facing the front but may be accused of riding “like a man,” though the locals are fairly understanding of female tourists doing this.
Boda Bodas are extremely dangerous as their drivers will do whatever it takes to get you to your destination quickly. Expect to dart in front of and against traffic and even though crowds of pedestrians when necessary. Boda-boda accidents account for most of the hospital visits and traffic fatalities in Kampala. There are many boda-bodas in Kampala, and they are known as one of the most dangerous ways to go around the city. One company is changing this by selecting and training drivers to offer a safer ride. These drivers, called Safe Boda, can be recognised by their orange jacket and helmet. They respect traffic rules and regulation, and always provide a helmet for their passenger. You can order a ride with a Safe Boda through their toll-free line or smartphone application.
Boda-bodas got their name from the bicycle taxis that operated at some of the busy border crossing points. Buses had to discharge their passengers at the exit border control, who then had to walk to the entry border control. The distance across no man’s land at some borders can be considerable. Hence the bicycle taxis would cry “boda-boda (border to border)” to the weary travellers. These bicycle taxis can still be found in most smaller Ugandan towns, however, in Kampala, they have been replaced by motorcycles.
“Make sure to agree on the fare before the ride begins.”
Matatus: – Are a series of minibuses that follow relatively preset routes all over the city and many other parts of the country. Confusingly, they are known as taxis in Uganda. Each matatu has a driver and a conductor, both of whom will shout the destinations of their vehicle out the windows. Don’t be frightened if you can’t understand what they’re saying. Ask one of them for your destination and you’ll be told “yes or no”. When you get in, expect to be squeezed. Each vehicle is licensed to carry 14 people, but they will pack in as many as will fit (and their belongings). Sometimes when the vehicle gets too full, the conductor will tie the luggage onto the roof of the matatu. If you don’t like this it’s a good idea to sit in the back of the vehicle, since usually the squeezing is limited to the first 2 rows. When you reach your destination, tell your conductor “Stage” and they will stop the van. There are also a number of staging points where the driver will stop and wait until they can fill the vehicle. This can take a few seconds or several minutes just be patient. You pay the conductor when you exit, although some people give the conductor money while the vehicle is moving so that he can make the change ahead of time.
If you aren’t up for the thrill of the bodas and don’t have time for a matatu (taxis), We L’hoest’s Company are readily available and reliable, offering 24-hour service.
What and where to Buy In Kampala
Owino market is one of the largest in this region of Africa. The endless booths that line the chaotic alleys of Owino offer a mind-boggling array everything from homemade irons, to American hand-me-down-clothes with the Goodwill price tags still on them, to an amazing array of African foods, to any and everything else under the sun. Everything at Owinio starts cheap and gets cheaper with bargaining. Owino was completely destroyed by fire mid-February 2009 and is under reconstruction at the time of writing (16. March 09).
Owino is located near the centre of Kampala, and any Boda or taxi driver will know how to get you there. Come prepared for a crowded maze of goods and people. Nakasero market is also interesting, more accessible from Kampala road and better suited for a (relaxed) stroll.
Nakasero market is a lot smaller and more pleasant than Owino, good for fruit and vegetables.
If you’re in the market for souvenirs, check out the craft market on Buganda Road or the slightly larger crafts market behind the national theatre near the Garden City complex. Also on Buganda Rd. across the street from the craft market, you find a number of tailors if you are looking to have clothes sewn. And if you’re tired from shopping the (upscale) cafe 1000 Cups of Coffee is a relaxing Mzungu hang out.
Also for crafts, there is a tourist market behind the National Theatre, Dewinton Road (nearish Nakumatt).
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Owino is Garden City. Garden City is Kampala’s upscale mall, and if you are in the market for an Internet cafe, a Forex bureau, coffee shop, an expensive pair of shoes, a western-style grocery store, a travel agent, a cinema, and more under the same roof, then Garden City is for you. Garden City can be a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of the centre of Kampala. Similarly, Nakumatt Oasis is next to Garden City and bit more upmarket.
Aside from Garden City, other Western-style supermarkets include Shoprite, (in Lugogo, on the Jinja road) and six Nakumatt supermarkets all over Kampala.
Next door to the Shoprite is is another huge modern shop called Game which sells DIY stuff, camping chairs, torches, batteries etc. There is also a chicken and chips cafe, a souvenir shop, a couple of banks, a phone shop etc.
Uganda Crafts 2000 Ltd., Plot 32-36 Bombo Road (Heading towards Wandegeya from City Square, Uganda Crafts is in the basement shop of the DLCO-EA building, between Teacher’s House and Bible House.), 9 AM – 6 PM. Uganda Crafts is Uganda’s oldest fair trade craft shop. Has been working with disadvantaged artisans since 1983. We are known for our baskets, but also stock lots of traditional Ugandan products, including musical instruments, jewellery, batiks, carvings, and bark cloth items. Also carry products from Kenya, Rwanda, and the Congo. We are certified fair trade by the International Fair Trade Association, which means that we pay our artisans promptly and fairly. Kasumba Square Mall is at the edge of Kampala west at the intersection of Busega Roundabout and Northern bypass highway, This Mall was developed as to alleviate congestion and to deliver goods and services to the community as Kampala is becoming congested city due to rapid population growth.
There are a variety of markets throughout Kampala, where you can buy things ranging from clothing and shoes to fruits and vegetables. Vendors make the prices higher for expatriates, so if you want cheaper prices it is best to go with a local who can make sure the prices are lowered. The fruits and vegetables that are available are of high quality, while the clothing like t-shirts, shorts and shoes are not such good quality. The mats and clothes, as well as jewellery made from recycled paper, are made by Ugandan women. These products are good quality because they are made from Ugandan materials. Therefore they do not have to be imported. The markets are usually quite crowded and the most common days for the markets to be open are Mondays and Thursdays and sometimes Sundays.
What and Where to Eat
There are a number of dining options in Kampala ranging from the cheap and local to the very fancy (and very expensive).
Everywhere you go you’ll see signs for little hole-in-the-wall restaurants (including some called “pork joints”). Most of these places don’t have menus, so you’ll have to ask what’s available. Common options include meat (usually beef), rice, beans, Matooke (steamed green bananas, served mashed).Common dishes that can be found in the most of the city restaurants and in the countryside are Fish and Chips and chicken and chips. These meals vary in servings. Be sure to ask the price ahead of time so that you don’t get surprised later on. Sodas and bottled water. Matooke with groundnut sauce can be delicious!
For a street snack: – The famous “Rolex” is very enjoyable. It is made out of a chapati (kind of a pancake) wrapped around an omelette, with cabbage and tomatoes. Other street food also includes roast chicken, goat and beef. This is usually served with a chips or salad or both. If you are looking for something healthier but still want to enjoy the experience of roadside eating, the best bargain is with roasted corn or maize. The white maize is slow roasted on a charcoal grill. Freshness is guaranteed as Maize is a common plant found throughout Uganda. Usually, the vendors will have a stall close to a source of maize plantation.
Pop Up Café, community café in Ntinda near New Market, with a cause of empowering Ugandans with special needs. Prices for food are around 10,000-15,000. Coffee and milkshakes at under 10,000. A good place to stop before heading to see the Ndere show.
Govindas, Ovo-Lacto vegetarian, in Dewinton Road near Nakumat, offers thali at 15000 UGX at lunchtime, and a full menu of Indian dishes. Popular with the local Indian community. They also serve Vegetarian Pizzas and Sandwiches. A reasonable variety of Indian Sweet’s is available too.
Makerere University Food Technology department, offers a tasty “local food” lunch, at 7000 UGX.
Wonder Bar- Quartier Matonge Bar-resto in Kansanga on Ggaba road. Specialises in Congolese dishes with live Lingala music on Saturday and Sunday nights. Specialities include goat meat stew with cassava leaves and fufu and The grilled fish for two is also excellent.
Hello Food: – A delivery service from a selection of Kampala’s eateries. A good place to look at menus and prices before heading out to a restaurant. Delivery fees vary by your location
Jinja Road is a good place for a variety of meals.
Garden City: – The food court at this shopping centre offers a wide variety of options including Lebanese, Italian, Indian, and more. There are particularly good masala dosas served in the food court. Unlike a traditional food court, you order from a menu and a waiter brings food to your table. There is a good Indian restaurant named Nawab on the roof of Garden City, and a steak restaurant that’s quite good. Be warned the Kampala City Authority Police (yellow uniforms) are targeting tourists outside of this shopping centre and will try to extort money for none existent crimes, this has become endemic as of April 2014.
Istanbul, Corner of Kampala Road and Said Barre Road, Lunch & dinner: – Turkish restaurant located downtown serving up pretty good Anatolian food. Fresh juices, salads, grilled meats, pizzas. A good option for people staying in the Serena or Sheraton who don’t want to get a taxi to a suburban restaurant.
Cafe Javas, Oasis Shopping Plaza (next to Garden City) Expat and local hangout. Flawless service. Great breakfasts and wonderfully rich coffee. Free wireless internet. Opens at 6 AM and stays open late.
New York Kitchen, Garden City Basement (next to Stanbic bank parking garage). Has an assortment of authentic NY style food items.
Fang Fang Chinese. Decent Chinese food.One of the better Chinese food you shall find in Kampala.
Just Kicking, Kisementi shopping Centre, good choice of pub food and continental dishes, weekend nights BBQ.
The Lawns Restaurant & Lounge Bar: – Plot 34, Impala Avenue, Upper Kololo Terrace, Kololo, Kampala, Features a wide variety of fusion delights from all across the continent. The only restaurant in Uganda offering the full range of Game Meat. The Starters range and Main course range. The wines include South African and a number of European selections. This has a fantastic ambience, and the food is amazing.
Paradise: – “Sheraton Kampala”. Features a variety of Indian and continental dishes. the Main course range. The wines include South African and a number of European selections.
Serena Hotel, just down the hill from the Sheraton. A variety of South Asian and African dishes prepared with flair. A complete meal for two will run to about 200,000UGX, excluding alcohol.
Khana Khazana, This is one of the best (more expensive) Indian restaurants: It is on Acacia Avenue, up from the Protea Hotel, in Kololo.
Mama Ashanti, Plot 20 Kyadondo Road, Nakasero. Excellent West African food, although on the expensive side.
Mamba Point, This is one of the best (more expensive) Italian places: Be sure to go to the Italian Restaurant on Akil Bua Road, not the Pizzeria on Lumumba Ave—-although the Pizzeria is one of the best in town.
The Pyramids Casino, This is the place to go when someone else is paying. It is more expensive than just about anywhere, except for the Serena. It has good pasta and meat and is a bit more interesting for continental/fusion food than major hotels like the Sheraton or Serena. It is on Yusef Lule Road, across from the Golf Course.
Fang Fang Chinese Restaurant, One of the best Chinese places. There are two in Kampala– one with an attached hotel (nearer to the Sheraton) and open to outdoors (so don’t forget to wear bug spray). They keep two white rabbits that hop on the grass in the main patio area and will put up with children petting them if you feed them a carrot or cucumber. The second Fang Fang is in downtown Kampala at Communications House; they have indoor seating and a roof terrace.
There are many Indian Restaurants in Kampala, like Haandi on Kampala road, Masala chat and Govinda on Dewington Road, Khana Khazana and Khyber Pass Speke Hotel behind NSSF, and Indian Summer in Tankhill Parade.
Do not drink the tap water. Spring water brands like Aqua Sipi, Rwenzori and Blue Wave can be trusted.
If you feel like going out, go out, you should be safe, just exercise common sense, Ugandans are very sociable. There are several clubs such as Club Silk and Ange Noir.
For a relaxed drink with an international crowd head to ‘Just Kicking’ Bar in Kisementi, a few minutes from the city centre. It gets very lively during weekend nights and whenever a major football match is screened. Or if you want a quiet and tranquil environment, head to The Lawns Restaurant & Lounge Bar. The Lawns offers beautiful garden lounge bar. Try their wide range of cocktails or wine with amazing starters.
Uganda does, however, have a serious drink problem with the U.N. saying it has the highest alcohol consumption rate in the world, much of this is sold on back streets, hence official figures don’t rate it so highly. Don’t let this put you off, the city is still safe even with this undesired tag.
Coffee. Bancafe, at Nakumat (Oasis), is some of the best coffee, good espresso and they sell beans and ground coffee (at December 2010). Cafe Javas, also at Nakumat, is also good. As of September 2011, Good African Coffee in Lugogo (next to Shoprite) offered an excellent array of coffee concoctions and a good selection of food. Looks like a coffee shop/cafe with outdoor seating, but also offers a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu with burgers, steaks, fish, roasted chicken, pitas, salads, etc.
Juice In Dewinton Road, just up the street from Govinda’s is a very good juice cafe, offering a huge selection of juices, including various herbal remedies.
With Us, You will be able to see any place of your choice including shopping malls, bars, churches, restaurants, museums, craft fares etc.
Stay safe | Security
Kampala is a relatively safe city. It is fairly safe to walk or take matatus around some areas at night, but don’t take unnecessary chances.
Boda-boda motorcycle taxis are notoriously dangerous, but are sometimes so convenient it’s difficult not to use them. If you do decide to use them regularly consider buying a helmet (they are not provided by the driver). Although it defies logic at first glance, you might want to consider taking a boda-boda in which the driver does not have a helmet. Drivers without helmets tend to drive slower, and as they never have helmets for the passengers, this means that you are a bit safer.
if you plan on using your credit card. If it is accepted, there is a small chance of fraud. Safer is withdrawing money from ATM’s using your Visa card or Master-card. Many ATMs take Visa card. KCB, Equity Bank, Stanbic, Barclays bank, EcoBank take MasterCard branded cards.
To stay safe, also be aware of a large number of prostitutes in Rock Garden at Speke Hotel. There are several stories about guys being duped, drinking beers laced with Rohypnol, ending up short on cash, cell phones, credit cards and bank cheques.
Be aware of the Yellow shirt Police, Kampala City Authority Officials. They are targeting white tourists around the Garden City complex and expect payment or threaten detention nonexistent or minor crimes ie crossing the road. Standing on a grass area. Demanding $200 bribes in return for release.
Contact | Internet cafes
Amazon Digital Cybercafe and Document Center: – Located next to MTN Service Centre in Metroplex Mall, Naalya.
Linking Worlds (Quality Shopping Village) 1000 meters from Entebbe Road with a fast internet connection
KayeNet internet cafe is a chain of Internet cafes located in Kampala at the following locations;
- (Nakulabye) Beauty House, Mengo, Kampala, Uganda, Opposite Chez Johnson Hotel.
- (Nalubwama arcade) Nalubwama arcade, Kampala, Uganda, Opposite old taxi park.
- (Wandegeya), Opposite Stanbic bank, Above Kookee supermarket.
- (Market Street) Energy Centre Building, Nakasero, Kampala.
Embassies: – Egypt, 33 Kololo Hill Drive, Sweden, 24 Lumumba Avenue, United States, Plot 1577 Ggaba Rd, Pakistan, Katatumba Suites, Plot 2 Colville Street.
Kampala Attractions and Ultimate Tour activity in and Around the City!
Equator line: – Just go to the New taxi park and get on Kampala-Equator minibuses or the Kampala-Masaka Minibuses. The final stop of Kampala-Equator minibuses is few meters away from the Equator line. They make a u-turn and head back to Kampala. It is 1.5-hour drive from Kampala. The equator line is just before the town of Kayabwe. There is water flow demonstration. All the minibus drivers know when and where you should get off.