5 Days Uganda City and Cultural Tours

Day 1: Transfer from Nairobi to Kampala

Today, you will leave Kenya for Kampala by bus or air. And your guide will be waiting for you in Kampala to take you to your hotel for rest and relaxation. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Kampala

Day 2: Kampala cultural and city tour

Before the arrival of the British colonists, the Kabaka of Buganda had chosen the zone that would become Kampala as a hunting reserve. The area composed of rolling hills with grassy wetlands in the valleys, which was a home to several species of antelope, particularly impala. When the British arrived, 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.

After your morning breakfast, you will prepare yourself for the most historical and magical cultural tour which will see you visit places like Namugongo shrines, Bahai temple, Gadhafi mosque, lubaga , kasubi tombs and ndere center and then you will retire back to the hotel for dinner and overnight at the hotel in Kampala

Namugongo shrines

After the morning breakfast, you will start your tour with Namugongo shrines which is dedicated to 22 young Christian congregants who were brutally murdered by Kabaka Mwanga in 1885-1887 for their allegiance to Christianity; they were beatified in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV and later canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964. The 22 Martyrs are the only African saints to whom a basilica is dedicated and they are the largest group of saints ever canonized by the Catholic Church. Every 3rd June the Catholic Church and their counterpart of Anglican persuasion flock this place from all over Africa most of them by foot to commemorate this day in honor of their Religious heroes. The unique architecture of African hut, the temple of worship in this place is a great tour destination and this same place will be hosting Pope Francis this year of 2015

Bahai temple

From Namugongo shrines, you will visit the mother Temple of the Bahai faith in Africa. And just like the faith it represents, the Bahai temple is no ordinary house of worship. Sitting on 52 acres of land, the temple is a unique architectural master piece. Built between 1958 and 1961 on Kikaaya hill, three miles North of Kampala the building is 130ft.

Its dome is a 44ft in diameter. It is a nine sided structure which represents oneness lots of beautiful trees most of them fruit tree species plus flowers as well as a green-carpet like grass with clean clear gazetted paths leading to the dome. This park like environment attracts many people who sit on the grass and have a peaceful moment or hold picnics not forgetting couples in love who flock this place for quality time. 

Gadhafi Mosque

From Bahai temple, you will visit Gadhafi mosque which is located on the oldest hill in the city offering unrivalled 360 degrees views of Kampala from the Minaret. The Mosque is regarded as the largest in Africa, reputed to have enough space to accommodate 35,000 worshippers at any one time. Be prepared to change your style as ladies will be required to experience and dress in long skirts and headscarf. You will experience a mix of modern and traditional, African, European and Arabic influences the mosque is definitely a worthy visit while in Kampala

Rubaga Cathedral/ Twin-Towered Roman Catholic Church

Before going for Rubaga, you will have a lunch break and after lunch you will resume your tour to this catholic cathedral. The huge building was restored for the Pope's visit of Uganda. It has great historical significance in the history of the Catholic Church. The transept is a memorial to the Uganda Martyrs (dozens of Ugandan Christians burnt to death by Kabaka Mwanga II in 1885 and 1886 for refusing to renounce the white man's religion), 22 Catholic victims, later declared saints, are enshrined in the stained-glass windows

It overlooks the city and is a large complex that takes in various functions of the church and surrounded by beautiful trees plus flowers. It is also situated on a hill with a great scenery view of Kampala city. Built in 1914, the cathedral houses the remains of the late Archbishop Joseph Kiwanka (June 25, 1899 - February 22, 1966), the first African Catholic Bishop and the first African Archbishop of Kampala Diocese, are housed inside the cathedral

The Royal Mile / underground prison of Bulange

At the other end of a ceremonial Royal drive leading from parliament of Buganda Kingdom, Lubiri Palace was built in 1922 .The building was duly converted to army barracks, while an adjacent site became a notorious underground prison and torture-execution chamber built by Idi Amin in the 1970s.

Guides will lead you to this terrifying site, a dark concrete tunnel with numerous dark, damp cells separated by an electrified passage of water to prevent escape. At the gate of this palace is a traditional fire source that has never burnt out since the inception of the Buganda monarchy/Kingdom and shall never stop burning least a king is dead. Here is a representation of all Baganda Clans and their respective role in this Kingdom since time of immemorial as narrated by a royalist at this fire source. A mail away but directly positioned gate to gate is the Bulange- a parliament in which the Kabaka and his ministers have since old days sat to deliberate upon issues concerning Buganda Kingdom. The architectural design of this building has proven a spectacular Uganda tour site to many local and international visitors. Walk the mile as you learn about Buganda cultural norms and the city of Kampala
Outside the Museum is the Living museum (Cultural village) that exhibits the ways of lives of Ugandans as it represents the whole of Uganda and this outside museum also exhibits all the kingdoms of Uganda and their way of life

Kasubi tombs

From the royal mile, you will visit kasubi tombs where ancestral Buganda kings are buried. A Kasubi tomb was built in 1882 as the palace of the King Muteesa I, it was converted into his tomb following his death two years later and UNESCO listed kasubi as a World Heritage site. Tragically destroyed by the fires in March 2010, fortunately construction is in its final stages because of the help from locals and international support who has contributed money towards this project of putting up the sites back and this is done through the campaign of “kusonda etofali” championed by the “katikiro” Prime Minister “Buganda. After the tombs, you will drive back to the hotel for refreshing and take a rest for few minutes, then in the late evening you will go to ndere center located in ntinda and you will eat dinner from this place as you enjoy the local and traditional national of Uganda

Ndere Centre

Ndere Centre is the Home of Cultures; the center is built on 9 acres of well-maintained green, beautifully flowered walk ways and shaded by very mature fruit and other African trees. The rare architecture is a seamless combination of artistic creativity with simplicity that takes African forms, materials, colors and construction to unprecedented heights. The Centre is tranquility at its best enabling you to enjoy blissful artistic creativity of Uganda and African music and performances. The Centre with its resident troupe Ndere Troupe captivate you with amazing cultural songs, dances and unique instruments from the 56 nationalities (tribes), weaves them with humorously informative stories and presents them in an authentic but artistically developed spectacle every Wednesday and Friday at 7pm, and Sundays at 6pm an experience not to be missed by the entire family. For international guests to Uganda, this is the best introduction to Africa's culture and ways of life, food and firm bridge to your own country and culture. Retire to the hotel in the late night

Day 3: Jinja cultural and source of the Nile tour

Jinja is the second commercial Centre in Uganda which was established in 1907. Jinja lies in the south east of Uganda, 87 km north east of the capital, Kampala. It is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, near to the source of the White Nile River. The city is the chief town of Jinja District, and is considered the capital of the Kingdom of Busoga Population. The resident population of Jinja is approximately 106,000 today (an increase from 45,000 in 1980 and 65,000 in 1991), but it also draws in some 80,000 commuters each day.

The majority of the population is of Bantu origin. Lusoga is the main local language. Average annual household income is estimated at US $100. The city of Jinja has been twinned with Finchley, London, England since 1963

You will start this Jinja tour after your breakfast at the hotel in Kampala, which will see you hit the road to the east expecting to visit places like mabira forest, source of the Nile, Jinja city tour, and sezibwa falls

Mabira forest

The Mabira Forest is a rainforest area covering about 300 square kilometers (120 sq. mi) (30,000 hectares (74,000 acres)) in Uganda, located in Buikwe District, between Lugazi and Jinja (Jinja –Kampala highway). It has been protected as Mabira Forest Reserve since 1932. It is home for many endangered species like the primate and the bird species like Great Blue Turaco, Nahan’s Francolin, Papyrus Gonolek and the Black Hornbill. This mabira forest is always green throughout the year and being a catchment area, the forest swallows the water from Nile and Sezibwa River. Because of all this, mabira forest has been one of the hot tourist attractions in this area and no tourist can pass this forest without stopping for a nature walk and primates.

Jinja city tour

As you enter Jinja, the visitor will get a glimpse at Njeru of what made Jinja the industrial town of Uganda. You will see the various industrial establishments including Nile breweries the first beer brewery in Uganda, picfare which was the former nytlil textiles. The visitor will see the source of the river Nile on the Njeru side where a monument in commemoration of the British explorer, john Speke who is said to have the news about the origin of this mighty river to the outside world was built. Still in Jinja town, you will see various historical building as you drive to cross the rivers over a historical bridge built in 1952 as the main link of the east and west linking Kenya with Rwanda, Congo and Sudan. At this very bridge, you will also be able to see the two dams, Owen falls (Kiira dam built in 1952) and Nalubaale (built in 2004) which form the main source of hydroelectric power in Uganda

Source of the Nile

You will visit the source of the Nile River on the Jinja side and here you will have an opportunity using a boat to go right up to the very spot where the waters of river Nile emerge and make a confluence with the waters of Lake Victoria. You will also visit the Mahtma ghadi monument built by the Indian government in commemoration of ghadi ashes spread in river Nile at this spot as per the wishes of Mahtma Ganda himself while he was still alive. You will also enjoy your lunch at this place as you enjoy the cool breeze of the Nile waters

Sezibwa falls

After lunch and relaxation at the source of the Nile, you will hit the road back to Kampala through the thick tropical mabira forest making a stopover at namawojolo a local shopping center known for its roasted meat, chicken and gonja. Then your driver will hit the road to Kampala making another stopover at sezibwa falls which is the traditional and cultural site for the Buganda kingdom, you will have a chance to take the pictures at this site and also enjoy the cool breeze which come out of these waters. Prepare and leave the site expecting to reach Kampala late in the evening depending on the traffic on the road. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Kampala

Day 4: Entebbe cultural and city tour

Entebbe is a major town in Central Uganda. Located on a Lake Victoria peninsula, approximately 37 kilometers (23 mi) southwest of the Ugandan capital Kampala, the town was once the seat of government for the Protectorate of Uganda, prior to Independence in 1962. Entebbe is the location of Entebbe International Airport, Uganda's largest commercial and military airport best known for the dramatic rescue of 100 hostages kidnapped by the resistance group of the PFLP-EO and Revolutionary Cells (RZ) organizations.

Entebbe is also the location of State House, the official office and residence of the President of Uganda

Entebbe will expose you to the colonial capital of Uganda, which is the first town that welcomes each and every safari tourist who come to the country by air. This town is so quiet and cooled with breezes from Lake Victoria, the beach palm trees and the botanical gardens filled with different species of birds. Entebbe is also a safari destination for both the local and international visitors. There are bird species which live around the Victoria Lake and some of these include; mostly storks, ducks and crowned cranes. The Animal Orphanage in Entebbe housing more than dozen bird species but most of them stay on the high trees, out of camera reach. The other attractions in Entebbe include; vervet monkeys, the animals’ orphanage, the crowned crane, Lake Victoria, botanical gardens, Entebbe International Airport, resort beaches, chimps at Ngamba, and many more to see on your safari visit to this wonderful place

Entebbe has a population of approximately 90,500, Located on the shore of Lake Victoria. Luganda is the local language spoken and English; Entebbe means a “seat”. It was named that because it was the place where a Baganda chief sat to adjudicate legal cases. Most popular of Entebbe’s residents are civil servants and others making their livelihood through agriculture, fishing, producing consumer goods, or through small-scale industry.

Entebbe town was founded in 1893. It first became a British colonial administrative and commercial center when Sir Gerald Portal, a colonial Commissioner, used it as a base. Port Bell went on to become Kampala’s harbor and actually the first capital of Uganda. Although no ships land there now, there is still a jetty, which was used by Lake Victoria ferries.

From 1894 to 1962 the city was the administrative capital of the British Uganda Protectorate. In 1972, Entebbe’s Asian population was forced to leave as part of a nationwide expulsion of Asians by Gen. Idi Amin. In 1976, Entebbe’s airport was the site of a raid by Israeli commandos who freed 103 Israeli hostages from a plane hijacked by Palestinian terrorists. Eleven Ugandan warplanes and much of the airport were destroyed in the raid. This tour will take around various attractions in Entebbe, like the zoo, reptile village, botanical beach, and town walk

Reptile village

After the breakfast at the hotel in Kampala, you will drive to Uganda Reptile Village which is managed by Mr. Kazibwe who is a reptile expert. He was born in 1982 in Wakiso District. After studying in Uganda he went to Kenya and Tanzania where he was fully trained in reptile handling and rescue over a period of about 4 years. In 1998 whilst in Tanzania he met Jackson Erickson, a South African reptile warden who was undertaking extensive research on snakes in the country. In June 1999 Erickson offered to take him to Zimbabwe to hone his skills even further. And it was this back ground as to why this reptile village is in existence today because between 2003 and 2008, he rescued more than 623 snakes of 38 different species from imminent death.  After the tour around this reptile village, your guide will drive you to the zoo

Uwec –Zoo (Uganda wildlife conservation center)

From the reptile village, you will drive this zoo which is an orphanage for various animals and birds. This place is a home of various animals which were rescued from poachers in the national park, and you will see animals like lions, leopards, elephants, monkeys, ostriches and many others being fed. And you would also want to participate in feeding of these animals and also playing around with some of these animals like monkeys and other non-harm full birds

Botanical beach

From the zoo, you will go to Entebbe botanical beach for relaxation and lunch. You will enjoy your lunch with the cool breeze from the lake while sipping a bottle of Nile or soda or cocktail juice. After lunch you can put on your swimming costumes and go into the natural waters of Lake Victoria. This is a breath taking activity which will leave you wanting to come back to Uganda because you will mix with the people of Uganda who are very hospitable and friendly enough to give you comfort

Entebbe town drive and Transfer back to Kampala

From the beach, you will drive through the historical Entebbe town as you find your way back to Kampala for an overnight and dinner at the hotel in Kampala

Day 5: Transfer back to Nairobi

After the morning breakfast, you will get ready to go get your bus tickets taking you back to Kenya. depending on what time is your bus , but if at all it is in the evening, you will do some Kampala city walk to owino markets, craft shops, nakasero markets and national theatre as you wait for time to reach .

Your guide will drive you to the bus station in town for you to board back to Kenya.


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