Kampala, the Capital city of Uganda, much like Rome was originally built on over seven hills, but over a time it has come to have a lot more. It takes its fabled name from Kasozi K’impala, interpreted as “the hills of antelopes”. The origin of Kampala dates back to 1891 when the Kabaka (King) of Buganda held his court on Rubaga and Mengo hills. The Origin of the word impala is likely from the Zulu language in South Africa, adapted into English. The British called the area the hills of the Impala. Translated to Luganda language it became “Kasozi ka Impala”. With time, local usage took to referring to the Kabaka’s hunting expeditions as “Kabaka agenze e ka ‘empala (The Kabaka has gone to Ka’mpala). Eventually the hills became known as Kampala city. To day as you stand on the hills within Kampala you are blessed with magnificent evergreen views intermingled with red tailed Villas, green iron roofed bungalows and tall modern buildings surrounded by a lush green countryside and the nearby Lake Victoria.
While Kampala is often referred to as the greenest city in Africa, it is also the heart of Uganda, serving as the center of commercial life and the seat of government. It is a vibrant modern metropolis adorned with many beautiful gardens and parks which provides a colorful oasis in amidst of the urban landscape for both citizens and visitors. Hotel facilities range from the best international standards with state of the art conference facilities, to accommodations for the more budget – minded traveler.
There are many attractions to see in Kampala such as; Kasubi tombs which are the traditional royal tombs of the Kabaka’s of Buganda, the Namugongo martyrs shrine, the Uganda Museum featuring a display of Uganda’s cultural heritage and a vivid remainder of their fabled past. The national theater of Uganda, which opened in 1959 and is truly a national theater for the people of Uganda. The parliament building, this is the seat of Uganda’s government. Kampala also has several famous religious landmarks to include the magnificent Miracle Centre Cathedral the biggest church in East and Central Africa, the Rubaga cathedral also known as St. Mary’s Catholic Catholic Cathedral, the Namirembe Cathedral known as St Paul’s Protestant Cathedral, Old Kampala Mosque and the Bahai Temple, which is the only temple of this religion found in Africa.
For more information about Kampala check out the following websites
- Kampala City Guide
- Kampala Business Directory
Quick Information About Kampala
Kampala is the capital and administrative city of Uganda. It is divided into five divisions namely: Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division, and Lubaga Division. Currently, Kampala city is managed by Kampala Capital city Authority (KCCA), a body which assigned to improve the welfare of the city. Kampala city is governed by KCCA under the executive director and the Mister of Kampala plus the Lord Mayor. The board (KCCA) is responsible for installing security lights, cleanliness of the city, collect taxes, setting up business centres, improving health and education among others.
Nearby districts include Wakiso, Mukono and Mpigi which are growing at the greatest speed. The government is proposing to expand the city to part of Mukono and Wakiso though the proposal is not yet fulfilled at the moment, let’s wait in the near future.
The origin of the name “Kampala”
The name Kampala was derived from the antelope species known as Impala – before the arrival of the British colonists, the Kabaka of Buganda had chosen the zone that would become a hunting reserve. The area now Kampala was composed of rolling hills with grassy wetlands in the valleys was home to several species of antelope, particularly impala.
When the British arrived in Uganda, they called it “Hills of the Impala”. The language of the Buganda, Luganda, adopted many English words because of their interactions with the British. The Buganda translated “Hill of the Impala” as Akasozi ke’Empala – “Kasozi” meaning “hill”, “ke” meaning “of”, and “empala” the plural of “impala”. In Luganda, the words “ka’mpala” means “that is of the impala”, in reference to a hill, and the single word “Kampala” was adopted as the name for the city that grew out of the Kabaka’s hills.
People in Kampala are hospitable and welcomes visitors. Kampala city is estimated to host over 3 million people. Additionally, Kampala is very safe to walk around and you are free to move around Kampala even at Night – visit night clubs, casinos, café, theatres and so on.
Transportation in Kampala:
Transportation of people from one place to another is governed by bicycles, motor cars, boda-boda and railway which mostly transport traders and their commodities.
Major tourist attractions/ places of interest in Kampala:
- The Uganda Museum, it is where historical materials, traditional attires, weapons among others are kept. In other words, it is a historical museum.
- Kasubi tombs, it is where the remains of the Kings of Buganda were laid to rest. It is still the burial place for the Buganda Kings. Kasubi Tomb is a major tourist site in Kampala. However, these were extensively damaged by fire in March 2010. Good news is that, the site is under reconstruction to meet the world standards of historical sites!
- Nommo art gallery, It is Art and craft center. Many skills can be obtained from here.
- National Theatre, Music, Dance and drama center. Meet talented and experienced musicians, actors and actresses here. Enjoy music, dance and drama in National Theatre. All artists gather here for meetings and whenever one partner dies, artists mourn from here.
- Cathedrals, Rubaga and Namirembe – they are worshipping places situated in the city.
- Gaddafi National Mosque, it is situated at Old Kampala hill. You can also climb up the stairs of the tower and enjoy the 360° view on Kampala. It is believed that the mosque was built by the former late president of Libya, Canal Mwama Gadaffi.
- Bahai Temple situated at the hill in Kikaya zone.
- The Parliament of Uganda and independence monument situated at the entrance of the parliamentary building.
- Local markets like owino, Nakaserero, Wandegeya, Kasubi among others. In such markets, fruits, vegetables, food stuffs among others are sold.
- The pride Theatre, this is where music, dance and drama actors and actresses perform from to entertain visitors/ tourists.
- Kampala is the seat of the African Development Bank and Makerere University, Nakasero state House among others.
The reality of Kampala city:
Kampala city is an industrial centre where water, soda, beer, textile, food processing industries among others are found. Products like food, beverages, furniture, and machine parts among others are produced. Agricultural exports include coffee, cotton, tea, and sugar among others.
Kampala is the historical centre, Uganda museum is where historical materials or attires of Ugandan are stores. Kasubi tomb is where the Kings of Buganda are buried, Independence monument, the Queen’s clock, the Buganda’s King palace among others.
Kampala is an administrative centre, presidential, parliamentary building, offices of the governments/ headquarters are found.
Kampala is an entertainment centre, theatres, night clubs, Casinos among others are found. Relax with Ndere troup at Lugala, National theatre, and pride theatre among others.
Kampala is a sports centre with National stadiums like Nakivubo stadium, sports centres like Lugogo cricket ground, Luggybay grounds among others.
Kampala is an educational centre with schools and high institutions of learning like Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Nakawa institute of learning, Makerere Business institute, YMCA, Kampala international University among others.
Kampala is a financial centre with financial institutions like Forest bureaus, banks, micro finances among others. Banks like Centenary Bank branches, Stanbic Bank branches, Pride Micro Finance among other financial institutions.
Kampala is a tourist centre, places like Uganda Museum, Kabaka’s lake, Kasubi Tombs among others are visited by tourists.
Kampala is the a centre of embassies – American embassy along Ggaba road, Rwanda Embassy in Kamwokya, British console in Kamwokya, Burundi Embassy in Kololo among others.
Kampala is a residential centre – with settled areas like Kololo, Makindye, Kamwokya, Natete among others. Rental houses and residential are found in many parts of Kampala.
Kampala is a recreation centre – cinema halls, bars, and night clubs among others.
Kampala has Airstrips like Kololo
It is also a training ground for military guards like police officers, army officers among others.