Uganda Capital City, About Kampala Tourism and Travel

(Uganda, UG, East Africa)

Kampala replaced the former capital of Entebbe as both Uganda's largest city and its main administrative centre.

Today, the city and its suburbs extend to cover over 20 surrounding hills. The most historic part of Kampala, however, grew up on several 'central' hills; hence, its nickname as the 'city of seven hills'.

Nowadays, Kampala is a bustling hub that serves most of Uganda's commercial and tourist needs, reflecting its position at the very heart of the country.

Tourism and General Information

Modern Kampala grew up around a port that was built for the British East Africa Company. In the final years of the 19th century, it was named as the headquarters of the colonial administration in Uganda. However, Kampala's history dates back even further to the Buganda Kingdom, which was already established here and had its own government and parliament.

In 1962, Uganda gained its independence and Kampala was named as its new capital city. During the civil war of the 1980s, many parts of the city suffered damage. In recent years, work has been ongoing to ensure that the capital's war-torn buildings are brought back to their former glory.

Kampala's central district includes Kasubi Hill, which is widely regarded as being the most important, historically speaking. It is also, perhaps, the area of Kampala that is of most interest to visiting tourists. Known originally as Nabulagala, Kasubi Hill is home to several royal sites linked with the Kingdom of Buganda, a dynasty that dates back some 800 years. Nearby Mengo Hill also has royal connections. It was here that the first palace was built. Nowadays, it is home to a university, hospital and lake, as well as the Parliament Building of the Buganda.

Several of the city's most central districts have particular religious and historic links. The Kibuli Hill district, for example, contains several buildings of Islamic religious significance. The best known is the Kibuli Mosque. Kampala Hill, often known as Old Kampala, is the site of the mosque that was commissioned by Idi Amin, but was only recently completed. Today, this central part of the city is also a mix of homes and shops, restaurants and cafes.

Namirembe Hill is the location of Kampala's St. Paul's Cathedral, which still plays a significant role in the lives of the city's Anglican community. Lubaga Hill also has religious leanings. It is here that the first Roman Catholic missionaries settled back in the mid-19th century, before constructing St. Mary's Cathedral.

Today, the Lubaga Hill district is the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Uganda and residence of the Archbishop of the Kampala Archdiocese. On the southern edge of Kampala, Nsambya Hill is a residential area and the location of several religious schools and universities, as well as the American Embassy of Uganda.

As Kampala's population reached first the one million and then the two million mark, it became clear that the city would have to extend its boundaries to relieve overcrowding. Many of the hills surrounding the central districts were developed as a result, and suburbs grew up in the east and north-east areas. Among them is the Kira Municipality, which has gone on to become the second-largest town in Uganda.

Today, the capital of Uganda is best known for its busy markets, cultural sites and lively nightlife. Tourist attractions range from several mosques, such as the Old Kampala National Mosque, to the historic Naggalabi Buddo Coronation Site.