Exploring The Beautiful Sights & Sounds Of Kampala Beyond The Hustle And Bustle That Goes Everyday
Do you know your city- Kampala well enough? If you yes, how many attractions have you visited? Regardless of the number, I would like to take you on around Kampala on a Kampala city tour to put on spotlight on several of the various magnificent attractions that are found within this city that might have skipped your eyes due to the daily hustle and bustle that goes around you while in Kampala in a 15 part series as we get to celebrate our 57th independence. Let’s begin with an overview of what Kampala is and stands for in Uganda
Location of Kampala
Kampala city is found in Uganda which lies in the eastern region of the African continent on geographical co-ordinates of 00o18’49” N 32o34’52” E and its highest elevation is 1190m above sea level. Kampala city is located about 40 km east of Entebbe international airport and is bordered by Lake Victoria in the south, surrounded by Wakiso district town councils in the north, east and west.
The birth of the name Kampala
As you walk down the streets of Kampala during your 1-day Kampala city tour / Kampala day tour, one of the questions that is expected to be racing through your mind is how did Kampala get to be named Kampala? well let me put your mind at ease as I answer that question for you. Before Kampala became to be as we know it today, before the 20th centuries, Kampala was a mixture of several hills that are interconnected by several low lying swamps. The name Kampala, however, started taking shape with the arrival of the foreigners in Buganda especially the British who were fascinated by the several rolling hills with several lush wetlands within the valleys between these hills with these hills being a habitat to numerous species of antelopes especially the impalas. Because of what they saw, many of these foreigners described this place as the hills of impalas in reference to the several hills and the mind-blowing number of impalas along the slopes of these hills. As the Baganda translated the word of “hill of Impalas” they got “Kasozi ka impala” “kasozi” means hill “Ke” means “of” and Empala means “Impalas” in plural and among the Baganda the words “ka’mpala” means “place of impalas” which definitely fitted the description of the British.
Kampala city was initially the capital of Buganda kingdom before the 20th century, and in 1890 when capt Fredrick Lugard came to Uganda, he set up a forum on Mengo hill which he used as the imperial British centre for controlling the Buganda kingdom and it was from here he managed to bring other kingdoms of Bunyoro, Tooro, and Ankole under British rule. When the British finally managed to declare Uganda a British protectorate, in 1905, the capital relocated from Kampala to Entebbe and remained there until the end of the colonial era in Uganda in 1962.
Kampala is divided and run under 5 divisions or boroughs and these are Kampala central, Makindye, Kawempe, Lubaga and Nakawa divisions, each of these divisions is under the leadership of a division mayor and he or she runs all the political, economic and social developments in that particular division while the entire city is run by a city mayor who is more of a political figurehead but the economic and social development policies of Kampala are developed and implemented by an authority called Kampala Capital City Authority which is led by an executive director.
Originally, Kampala city sprawled across 7 hills only and they included; Mengo, Nakasero, Lubaga, Kibuli, Old Kampala, Makerere, and Namirembe hill but it has evolved and grown over a period of over 100 years to cover more than 22 hills, new ones include Nalya, Buziga, Mbuya, Mutungo, Mulago hills and others.
Weather in Kampala
Kampala city experiences a tropical rainforest climate with 2 rain seasons between February -May and August- December, and a dry pattern in the months of January, June and July. Kampala experiences annual average high temperatures of about 27.8oc or 82.0of and annual average low temperatures of 17.6oc or 63.7of and an annual amount of rainfall around 1260mm or 49.7in. its average relative humidity is high at 74.5 annually
A flash into Kampala’s political history
Kampala has a turbulent history as it has witnessed several political turmoil episodes especially in the post-independence Uganda, in 1966, there was the overthrow of Kabaka Muteesa II from power by his prime minister Apollo Milton Obote and abolition of all cultural institutions, 1971 Kampala still witnessed a coup when Idi Amin overthrew president Obote Milton from office although this was a bloodless coup, this put the city under the dictatorial rule for 8 years as president Amin ruled the city with an iron feast, in 1972 he expelled all Asians from Uganda and this led to backsliding of the Ugandan economy since most of the businesses were being run by Asian families. During the last years of President Amin’s regime, Uganda was at war with Tanzania and Kampala had to endure the destruction of some of its properties. In the mid-1980s, as the national resistance army was fighting to take control of the political arena of Uganda, Kampala was again at center stage of siege between the resistance army militia and the pro-government forces and again destruction in Kampala was unavoidable.
As of today, you can ably enjoy a 1 day Kampala tour / Kampala city tour because Kampala is a very peaceful city and has been so for the last 3 decades and this has given rise to increased business activity in Kampala which has seen the city be declared among the fastest-growing cities on the African continent and also the best city to live in east Africa by mercer a New York-based agency for global development. Kampala is the biggest and capital city of Uganda with an estimated day population of over 4 million people and night population of about 1.5 million people as declared by Uganda Bureau of statistics given the 2014 population census results. This is because many Ugandans prefer to reside in areas outside Kampala and commute daily to the town for work. Kampala serves as a multiple function city, for example, it is an administrative city with administrative institutions such as the parliament of the republic, all the higher courts of law in Uganda present and most of the government ministries having offices in here. It is also the commercial capital of the land with all banks having their headquarters here, most of the business activities to insurance companies to major markets to retail shops operate in this town, Kampala is also the entertainment center or we can call it the “Las Vegas” of Uganda with a wide range of entertainment spots ranging from disco clubs, casinos and more than half of all the fancy hotels and restaurants in Uganda.
Kampala a place with a sweet blend of an array of culture
During a walk on any of the several streets of Kampala on your Kampala tour you will realize that Kampala has got a blend of almost all Ugandan culture and foreign culture at large, Kampala has got representations of people from all the different ethnic tribes of Uganda either working or living here and a healthy population of foreign culture as many foreign nationals live and work in Kampala. The largest ethnic tribe in Kampala is the Baganda who represent 16.9% of the total population of Uganda which stands at about 36million people according to the Uganda population census results of 2014 followed by the Banyankole, Basoga and Bakiga tribe respectively with 9.5%, 8.4% and 6.9%. Major languages spoken include Luganda, Kiswahili, English and a multitude of Ugandan tribal languages with Kiswahili and English being the official state languages. Watch out for next episode on Kampala city tour about the Bulange Mengo- the political seat of one of the oldest kingdom in east and central Africa.
many peopel who make this a Kampala city tour also make a Uganda safari to any of several destinations around Uganda such as Kidepo valley national park Uganda , Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National Park for your ultimate encounter with numerous wild mammals. Did you know that Uganda is also an epic gorilla destination? Yes, may Africa Wildlife Safari goers who visit Uganda usually ensure to make a short gorilla safaris Uganda as they visit either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. A gorilla safari Uganda to any of these puts you in the right place to have a fascinating encounter with any of the 19 gorilla families are found here. Prime safaris and tours ltd has positioned itself as one of the best local travel companies that give you an amazing gorilla trekking Uganda experience or a Uganda wildlife safari as it has a wide range of safari packages to all wildlife destinations in Uganda. Some of these come in short Uganda wildlife safaris/short gorilla tours Uganda, Uganda mountaineering safaris, Uganda birding safaris, Kampala city tours/ 1 day Kampala city tour/ Jinja city tour/ 1 day Jinja city tour/ long Uganda wildlife safaris, long gorilla safaris Uganda
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