Uganda Shopping and Districts
(Uganda, UG, East Africa)
Uganda's capital city Kampala is a blend of two shopping worlds. On the one hand, there are the traditional markets that have served shoppers for hundreds of years.
On the other hand, Uganda now boasts a number of modern shopping complexes that offer everything from designer clothing to hi-tech gadgetry.
Outside of Kampala and the larger Ugandan towns and cities, however, rural markets still rule the day.
When to Shop / Opening Hours
Uganda food stores tend to open as early as 06:00 or 07:00 in the morning, from Monday to Friday, closing around 18:00 or 19:00 in the evening. Saturday shopping hours vary, although as a rule, most shops close at around 13:00.
Shops that sell other goods tend to have shorter trading hours, opening at 10:00 and closing again at 18:00. Again, most close at lunchtime on a Saturday.
A few Ugandan supermarkets in some of the busier city centres open 24 hours a day for the sale of alcohol, cigarettes and snack foods.
Where to Shop
Kampala has plenty of opportunities to pick up a few souvenirs, to remind you of your stay in Uganda. For a start, the Uganda Arts and Crafts Village, situated just behind Kampala's National Theatre, is made up of lots of individual stalls, all selling hand crafted goods, including wood carvings and souvenir trinkets. Alternatively, Exposure Africa is one of the city's largest craft markets.
Bargain hunters in Kampala should pay a visit to the city's general markets. Owino Market is a bustling place where you can expect to find pretty much anything. A visit to Nakasero Market is also well worth it, particularly if you take time out to admire the building in which the market is housed. On sale is a vast array of goods, ranging from clothes to hardware.
For a slightly more Western-style shopping experience, Kampala also has two large shopping centres, the Lugogo Mall and the Garden City Complex. Designed to meet the needs of wealthy Ugandans and foreign visitors, both are good if you need to find a supermarket, fast-food outlet, European-branded store, or just need to chill out among familiar surroundings.
In rural parts of Uganda, handicrafts are some of the best buys to be had. These include Buganda drums, Ankole raffia-worked bowls and wooden carvings from Karamoja. Most villages have a market or craft stalls.