Kampala is Uganda’s commercial capital city situated in the south-central part of Uganda near the shores of Lake Victoria. Kampala is bordered by other major towns like Jinja in the East and Entebbe in the south. There is chaotic jam in central Kampala, its streets packed with shoppers, hawkers, and bus parks and taxi parks you’re ever likely to see on your short Uganda safaris.
Originally, Kampala city is made up of seven hills with each having a major activity or tourist attraction. These are Mengo, Rubaga, Namirembe, Makerere, Kololo/Nakasero, Kibuli and old Kampala. But today greater Kampala stands on over 21 hills. Mengo hill is home to the Kabaka’s palace, Lubaga hill is famous for the Rubaga catholic cathedral, Namirembe hill has the Namirembe cathedral, Makerere hills has the oldest university in Uganda, Nakasero hill has a commercial market, Kibuli hill has a mosque and old Kampala hill has the biggest mosque in Uganda known as the Gadaffi mosque.
Uganda religious safari attractions in Kampala
This church of Uganda cathedral also known as St. Paul’s cathedral sits on Namirembe hill; an original of the seven hills of Kampala. It is the oldest church and cathedral in Uganda that was built in March 1890 with great architecture and a magnificent interior decor. The most interesting thing about it is the graveyard which includes the remains of Bishop Hannington, who was murdered 1885, and the Cooks, who established Mengo Hospital. The name Namirembe is a Luganda word meaning “Peace”.
Rubaga cathedral is the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in Uganda. The cathedral also known as St. Mary’s cathedral is situated on Lubaga hill in the western part of Kampala city. The towering house of God stands on top of one of the original seven hills that make up the city of Kampala. Visible from all angles, especially in downtown Kampala, St Mary’s and Sacred Heart Cathedral Rubaga, is indeed a city landmark hardly missed by visitors coming to the Pearl of Africa. It is about 5 km away from the main city center Kampala.
Sited on the old Kampala hill, Gaddafi mosque is the biggest mosque in Uganda or referred to as the Uganda National Mosque. The mosque is named after late Gaddafi helped finance its construction when funds ran low. The late Colonel Gaddafi of Libya built the mosque as a gift to Uganda, and for the benefit of the Muslim population. Uganda has many mosques but this one is a tower mosque and is highly treasured by Ugandans.
Sited on a stretch of about 8.5 hectares outside Kampala, Bahai temple was constructed between 1958 and 1961. Bahai temple is located on Kikaya hill after branching off Gayaza road. Bahai temple is the first of its kind in the whole of Africa at its time of construction, it was the tallest in East Africa with 38m tall. The temple is well decorated with a green environment around it that gives worshipers a very conducive environment for prayer and picnics as well.
Uganda Martyrs Namugongo Martyrs shrine
The Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo is one of the most eminent shrines in Uganda. The shrine is taken as an important site among Christians in Uganda and the whole of Africa. It is believed that 32 young Christian converts form both the catholic and Anglican church were martyred in Namugongo on refusal to denounce Christianity, which was spreading like wildfire in Uganda right from 1870. This angered Kabaka Mwanga II, who was the king by then prompting him to order the execution of the 32 men on Thursday 3rd June 1886.
On 3rd June of every year, thousands of Christians from East Africa & other parts of the world, clergy, heads of state, and students of religious based Schools in Uganda make pilgrims to Namugongo to commemorate this day the martyrs were killed.
Days before the long-waited 3rd June, you find people of all age, matching from all directions of Uganda heading to the shrine. The long-waited day is filled with several events like prayers, baptism, plays and lots of eats and drinks.