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October 30, 2019

Things to do in Kampala Uganda

Visited Kampala in October 2019 for 4 days.

Weather in October is rainy, I was lucky and it rained mostly during the night, It did rain once during the day while I was at lake Victoria, the rain lasted an hour and I ate a seafood lunch at one of the several restaurants till the rain stopped. Bring a light waterproof jacket, the days are warm and nights are cold.

How to get there - Kampala is the Capital of Uganda. I flew on Kenya airways from Nairobi Kenya on a direct flight to Kampala, there are buses from Kenya and Rwanda that go to Kampala, the flight was under an hour and a bus from Nairobi will take 12 hours.

Immigration Visa and Proof of yellow fever shot: American passport holders have visa on arrival, I paid 50 USD, they can also ask for proof of yellow fever vaccine. There is a makeshift clinic at the airport that will give you yellow fever shot for 40 USD.

You can also apply for eVisa here.

Picture above Right is a Buganda Monument, on The Royal Mile, the Gates are locked and only open for the King, only the King can pass through the gates and everyone else has to go around

Airport to City: The airport is in Entebbe and not in Kampala, an hour away. I took a Taxi, I had already researched the price, it was 30 USD, once out side the airport a taxi driver approached me, he asked me for 40 USD I countered at 30, he agreed and we were off to my hostel.

There are ATM's at Entebbe airport.

Stay: I stayed at Fat Cat Backpackers Hostel in a private room for 34 USD a night, Breakfast included, Very well located with several eating places nearby, I ate twice Indian vegetarian food at Hi Point Restaurant across the street from the hostel.

Scams in Kampala: I was taking pictures of Indian Temples around Kampala City Center when this man approached me and asked me if I was a Journalist, I said no and he shows me an ID and say's he is a cop and wants to see my passport, I knew it was a scam. I replied lets go to the Police station, and my motorcycle driver came over. I explained to my motorcycle driver whats going on, the driver told me he is fake cop and yelled at the scam artist.

Things to do in Kampala

My Hostel arranged for a full day tour of Kampala for 40 USD, the tour was on the backseat of a motorcycle also known as boda boda tour. Riding on the back of a motorcycle in an east African country is not for everyone. After breakfast at 9 AM my tour guide and motorcycle driver was waiting for me, he gave me his second helmet and we were off to see Kampala.

1) The Bahá'í House of Worship in Kampala

It's the only Bahá'í Temple in Africa and One of only seven Baha'i temples in the world. Its on a small hill with beautiful grounds, highly recommended.

No photography is allowed inside. Tours are free.

2) Gaddafi Mosque

The inside is beautiful, the dome artwork was dome by Moroccans, the carpet came from Libya, the stain glass from Italy and cannot remember where the chandeliers came from. Also I do recommend going to the top of the Minaret, one can see all of Kampala from all directions. Pretty cool.

There is a fee to enter the Mosque and go to the top of the Minaret, I had a tour guide that explained the history of the mosque, its located on Kampala hill in the old part of the town. Impala Animals used to live on the hill, and that's how Kampala got its name meaning land of the Impala.

As the name suggests, it was built by Gaddafi of Libya.

3)  Buganda Kings (Kabaka) Palace

Above the Ceremonial Parliament, the king goes there once a year as per my guide. 

Above the Kings palace. There is an entrance fee to the palace that comes with a guide, the guide called it Mengo Palace. Visitors are not allowed inside.

The Royal Mile to the Buganda Parliament building from the Kabaka Palace is very impressive.

The guide went on to explain the history, then we walked past some corn plantations to visit Idi Amin’s torture chamber. about 20,000 people were murdered there, the place used to be filled ankle high with water and then people were electrocuted. Having seen the movie 'Raid on Entebee', I knew some history.

4) City Center

The above picture taken from the balcony of a bar, there was soccer betting going on in the bar. It is legal to bet in Kampala. The hustle and bustle of the big city, quiet the chaos. Well worth a visit. I did not shop or eat there, I did visit the Indian Hindu and Sikh Temple there.

5) Lake Victoria Kampala

The lake is the largest in Africa and it stretches as far as Kenya and Tanzania, I went to the fish market and did eat at one of the many street restaurants there, also I was the only tourist there.

Fish Market Photos

Happy Travels!

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