CENTRAL UGANDA KEY HIGHLIGHTS
Kasubi Royal Tombs
Namugongo Matyrs Shrine
Kampala City - The Seven Hills city
The Uganda Museum
Entebbe City - A city built on nature
Kasubi Royal Tombs
Kasubi Hill was originally called Nabulagala, but Mutesa I changed its name to Kasubi when he established his palace on the hill in 1882. This is a traditional site in an urban setting 5kms to the south-west of Kampala city, the capital of Uganda.
Four of the last Kings (Bassekabaka) of the Kingdom of Buganda namely; Mutesa I (1865-1884), Daniel Mwanga II (1884-1897), Daudi Cwa II (1897-1939) and Frederick Mutesa II (1939-1966), are buried in this gigantic dome-shaped grass thatched house known as Muzibu Azaala Mpanga.
The magnificent reed and ring work representing the 52 clans of the Baganda, the equally long and straight poles wrapped with barkcloth and the tranquility inside the house all contribute to the mysticism, respect and awe which are the intangible values about the great house.
Indeed it is not only the cemetery of the Buganda royalty but also an active religious shrine of the Buganda Kingdom. Its traditional architectural design, its religious function and living relevance formed the criteria for its nomination as a unique cultural site of outstanding universal value. Kasubi Royal Tombs of the Kings of Buganda was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in December 2001. It is a famous tourist site which records more than 50,000 visitors a year.
Namugongo Matyrs Shrine
Namugongo martyrs' shrine where more than 20 catholic and Anglican martyrs were burnt alive on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga in June 1886; is about 15 km east of Kampala city. Consequently, christians from eastern and central Africa and indeed the world over flock to Namugongo to pay their respects and renew their faith by paying pilgrimage to the martyrs on June 3rd, every year.
A church was constructed in the shape of a traditional Baganda hut (akasiisiira) in memory of the martyrs. It stands on 22 copper pillars representing the 22 catholic martyrs. In front of the main entrance to the church, below the altar is the spot where Charles Lwanga, the leader of the Catholics was burnt on June 3rd 1886.The church was consecrated by Pope Paul VI on August 2nd, 1969.
Location: 15 KM from Kampala, in the outskirts of Kampala city along Kampala - Jinja road.
How to get there: 15km, by road from Kampala city centre along Kampala - Jinja road. It is accessible by public transport.
Activities: Religious, Exploring the roots of religion in Uganda, fellowships and restoration of faith.
When to visit: Any time of the year but prepare to reach there before June 3rd (Martyrs' day) of every year.
The 84-forested island of the Ssese Group, float like green jewels on the waters of lake Victoria ,located 55km from Entebbe, these are one of Uganda's greatest natural gifts waiting for you to be discovered. To all professional Entomologists Ssese Group of islands provides an earthly insect paradise. Guests are required to bring with them bird watching and fishing gears.
The most famous and recommended tours and historical places of interest in Ssese include;
Nsirwe Island, famous for both bird and spider breeding.
Bugaba Island, the birth and home place of the African Grey parrots .It also hosts a living sample of a true African virgin Equatorial forest.
Bubembe and Funve Islands, and Serinya, Banda and Kitobo Islands.
Other islands on Lake Victoria include; Kalangala, Ngamba Islands,and Kigungu among others.
Location of Ssese Islands – 55 KM on the Northwest of Lake Victoria.
How to get there - Boats, ferries and vehicles are available to take you between and around the 84 islands, these are fully equipped with life jackets, sun canopies.
For those tourists who wish to enjoy the country side, travel arrangements can be made by road from Kampala to Masaka Town (Nyendo) crossing with the Bukakata/ Luku Ferry to Bugoma. One hour drive gets you to Kalangala the home of Islands.
While you are in and around Ssese islands, sport fishing, bird watching, monkey and marine life viewing, are all activities and discoveries, one can make.
When to visit
Anytime of the year - except during rainy seasons of April - May and September - November.
Kampala City -The Seven Hills city
Kampala, the capital has many attractions, destinations and tourists activities ranging from events to prime time venues.
In Kampala, you have an interesting mix of old and new, African and Western, sophisticated and basic when it comes to shopping. In parts of the city there are markets and a few minutes away you can find a towering office block and a shopping complex offering designer labels and high tech computing equipment.
The range of goods available is the widest on offer in Uganda so if you need anything specialist or luxury it's always best to purchase it whilst in Kampala rather than hope to find it elsewhere.
For Ugandan products, and essentials such as vegetables and fruit, it's not worth visiting the more expensive western style shops, as the prices will be higher and the goods will have been sourced locally anyway.
Plenty of modern and 'western' style shops exist in purpose built complexes such as Garden City that are designed with richer Ugandans and foreign visitors in mind. They all have the feel and atmosphere of typical western shopping malls, with a mix of supermarkets, luxury goods and fast food outlets.
If you want luxury goods, especially European and American brands, then the following malls are probably your best bet if you like to do all your shopping in one place.
• Garden City Complex
• Quality Supermarket
• Capital Shoppers
The Uganda Museum
A display of Uganda's cultural heritage where one can see ethnological and natural-historical exhibitions. It is a vivid reminder of the country's colourful past. One of its most interesting features is the collection of traditional musical instruments, which one is free to play.
The Uganda Museum (founded in 1908) in Kampala has exhibits of traditional culture, archeology, history, science, and natural history. It regularly presents performances of traditional music. Makerere University's main library in Kampala has a general collection, which is the largest in Uganda. The most important specialized collections, all in Kampala, are found in the Albert Cook Library at Makerere Medical School (at Makerere University), the Institute of Teacher Education, the Uganda Polytechnic Kyambogo (formerly Uganda Technical College), the Makerere Institute of Social Research, and the Cabinet Office.
Location: It is Located in Kampala, the capital along Kira Road (to Kamwokya) off Bombo Road. The museum contains rich materials from Uganda and is a must see.
When to visit
Throughout the year, however, the museum usually receives a high number of visitors, including foreign tourists, during the December Christmas festive season.
A city built on nature
Entebbe city is yet another destination with lots of attractions you won't want to miss. Minutes from Entebbe International Airport there are superb hotels, resort beaches, the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre and much more.
Wildlife Education Center
The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) was opened in 1952 by the Colonial Government then, as an animal Orphanage that offered sanctuary to young animals found abandoned in protected areas due to the death or poaching of parent animals.
In the early 1960s, it became a traditional zoo until 1994 when it was converted into a Wildlife Education Centre.
Set on the shores of Lake Victoria, Uganda Wildlife Education Centre is a must visit for anyone coming to Entebbe for a leisure or educational tour.
The centre which sits on 72 acres, boasts of a wide variety of indigenous wildlife numbering well into the thousands, and housed in natural settings which depict three of Uganda's ecosystems: The Wetland, The Savannah and The Forest.
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