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1 day Kampala city tour offers an opportunity to explore the rich cultural and historical heritage of Uganda’s largest city. You will visit a diverse array of attractions ranging from historical, cultural, religious sites, and bustling food and craft markets. Kampala was founded when the British Empire seized Buganda kingdom as its protectorate in the early 20th century.

The British East African Company sent its colonial agent Capt. Frederick Lugard who set up a camp on a hill near Kabaka’s palace at Mengo. The area of hills and swamps was inhabited by Impala, one of the antelope species in Uganda and a favorite hunting ground for the Kabaka. The hill was often referred to as Akasozi K’empala in Luganda meaning the hill of the Impala in English. Over time the name was shorted as Kampala.

The city was originally built on seven hills including old Kampala hill, Rubaga and Namirembe hills that the Kabaka offered to the Catholic and Anglican missionaries respectively, Makerere hill for education, Kibuli hill to the Muslim community, Nakasero hill as colonial administrative centers, and Mengo hill which was the official residence of the Kabaka. As such, Kampala city tour allows you to learn about Buganda kingdom and the political history of Uganda.

Highlights of 1 day Kampala city tour

  • Climb 304 stairs to the top of Gadaffi mosque on old Kampala hill
  • Explore Kabaka’s palace and Bulange at Mengo hill
  • Visit the UNESCO Kasubi royal tombs of the former kings of Buganda
  • Marvel at the religious landmarks; Rubaga and Namirembe cathedrals and the Bahai temple
  • Visit the Uganda national museum, the national art gallery and national theatre

Detailed itinerary of Kampala city tour

Start your day by visiting the Kasubi Royal Tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the burial grounds of the four former kings of Buganda, one of Uganda’s largest kingdoms. The site offers a glimpse into the history and traditions of the Baganda people. From there you will go to Namirembe Cathedral and Rubaga Cathedral: These two iconic cathedrals are must-visit religious sites in Kampala city. Namirembe Cathedral, also known as St. Paul’s Cathedral, is the oldest cathedral in Uganda and offers stunning views of the city.

Rubaga Cathedral, on the other hand, is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda and features impressive architecture. Next, you will have lunch at Pope Paul’s IV Memorial Hotel and thereafter visit Mengo royal palace, the former residence of the kings (kabakas) of Buganda and Lubiri building, the Buganda Parliament, known as the Lukiiko, where traditional leaders convene to discuss matters of governance and cultural significance.

Standing a mile apart, the two sites are connected by the Royal Mile Walk, where you will explore the totems of the 42 clans of Buganda. Within the palace gardens, you will visit the torture chambers, one of the locations where many individuals were subjected to brutal torture during Idi Amin’s reign as dictator in Uganda from 1971 to 1979 that was marked by widespread human rights abuses.

From Mengo, you will visit Gadaffi mosque on old Kampala hill. Uganda’s largest mosque has a tall minaret that you can climb upstairs to get spectacular views of Kampala metropolitan area. Proceed via the city to Nakasero hill; visit the food market and the Nommo gallery, the national art gallery that showcases the work of Ugandan and East African artists, featuring a diverse range of contemporary art forms including paintings, sculptures, mixed media, and installations.
Proceed to the Uganda museum to gain insights into Uganda’s rich cultural and natural heritage. Visitors can explore displays on prehistoric artifacts, traditional crafts, ethnographic collections, and archaeological findings.

Visit the Bahai House of Worship also known as the Bahai temple. It provides an opportunity to learn about the teachings and practices of their faith The Temple is renowned for its stunning architecture. Designed by architect Charles Mason Remey, it features a unique structure with intricate designs and nine entrances symbolizing the unity of all religions. From Bahai, you will transfer to your place of choice. Those intending to experience nightlife for their 1-day Kampala city can opt for a night at Ndere cultural center.

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