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Our I Day Kampala City Tour shows you what Uganda’s capital has to offer. Kampala is the largest metropolitan area in the country with a population of about 1,800,000 people. Before the British and Arabs came to Uganda, Kampala was reserved as a hunting ground for the Kabaka. It had one of the largest populations of Impala in the country and that is where the name Kampala (“The hill of the Impala”) comes from. The rolling hills, valleys and wetlands were the perfect habitat for antelopes. The city was initially built on seven hills (Old Kampala, Kololo, Mengo, Rubaga, Nsambya, Namirembe and Kibuli) but has now grown substantially and now covers over 20 hills in total.


Important Information

The number of things to do in Kampala is almost limitless. This 1 Day Kampala city tour can be tailored based on your preferences and if you only want to do certain activities or visit certain places, we will change the program according to your interests.

Kampala is generally safe for travelers but you have to be cautious especially when carrying expensive electronics. Our company driver/guide will let you know what to do to remain safe and ensure that you and your property is secured.

The traffic Jams in Kampala during morning, mid-day and late afternoon periods can be chaotic and this is where our driver – with an intimate knowledge of the ways to avoid jams - will be very invaluable. Our drivers are very experienced in navigating through the city traffic and will ensure that you get to the different landmarks on time.

Feel free to ask our company driver/guide for assistance; for example, if you want to go to the bathroom, he will know exactly where to take you. We choose driver/guides with a pleasant character and who are experienced in dealing with travelers from across the globe.


Kampala is Uganda’s major industrial and commercial city. The central business area is composed of shopping malls, banks, forex bureaus, insurance companies, hotels, restaurants, casinos and government offices. Although Luganda is the main language spoken, the population in the city is diverse and you can find people from all parts of Uganda. Almost everyone in Kampala can understand and speak English. The people are drawn to Kampala because it is where all the action, social services and employment opportunities can be found. The weather in Kampala is great and warm for most of the year because of its location close to the equator. For a foreigner, Kampala is the best place to learn and appreciate the cultural diversity in the country.


This 1 day tour of Kampala city will take you to discover one of the most vibrant cities in East Africa. You will visit all the major attractions in Kampala city including the key commercial, educational, cultural, religious and historical landmarks/centers. While visiting these landmarks and commercial centers, you will get numerous opportunities to mingle with the people. Ugandan’s are extremely friendly and one of the most accommodative in the world. Uganda is the only country where refugees are given the same opportunities as citizens of the country. It is extremely rare to find Ugandans complaining about the over 1 million refugees in the country.


Although this 1 day Kampala city tour ends in the evening, a night tour can be arranged with one of our guides to experience the Kampala nightlife. If you request for a night tour, expect to be taken to the top night clubs, casinos and restaurants. Kampala is known as a “city that never sleeps” and folk party up to and beyond the small hours of the morning from Monday to Sunday.


Lunch is included in this tour and the guide will ensure that you eat some local food like Luwombo, Matooke or rolex. Traveling around Kampala will be by car but you will walk on foot to most of the landmarks. By the end of this 1 day tour of Kampala city, we hope you will have a good understanding of the unique culture, behavior, traditions and lifestyle of Ugandans. The city tour can start and end anywhere in Kampala, Entebbe or Jinja.


Note: This 1 Day tour of Kampala can be combined with a general Ugandan safari to see Mountain Gorillas, the ‘Big 5’, whitewater rafting in Jinja and so much more.


Places to Visit

The main places to visit while on this 1 day city tour are: –


The Gaddafi Mosque

The Kabaka/King’s Palace

The Baha’i Temple

The Kasubi Tombs

The Ndere Center

The Local Markets

The Uganda Martyrs Shrine

The National Museum

Namirembe and Rubaga Cathedral

Crafts villages

Makerere University


Details About the Places to Visit


Uganda National Mosque (Formerly Gaddafi Mosque)

The Gaddafi mosque lies on top of one of the prominent hills in Kampala. It was built in 2006 with funds from the Libyan government. The Mosque was commissioned by the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and can accommodate about 17,000 people. From its 90-meter tower, the mosque provides one of the 3 best views of Kampala city center. Apart from the great views of Kampala, the mosque is built with Moroccan architecture and furnished with beautiful carpets.


The Kabaka’s Palace and Buganda Parliament in Mengo

Also known as the Lubiru, the palace is just one of several homes of the Kabaka of Buganda. This particular palace is significant because it houses the parliament of Buganda Kingdom – also known as “twekobe”. There are other cultural sites within the palace establishment and you will learn about them from a resident guide. The local guide will share information about the Kingdom dating back to over 800 years ago.


In the early 1960’s, this particular Mengo palace was attacked by government forces under the orders of president Obote. The ruling Kabaka at the time escaped to exile where he remained until his death. Because of the tragic history of the palace, the new Kabaka never spends the night there. President Idi Amin Dada later used the palace grounds as a torture chamber for some of those who were suspected of opposing him. Inside the main gate is a fire source that has remained on since the Kingdom was founded. It only goes off when a King is dead.


Although the Kabaka doesn’t spend the night in the Mengo palace, the parliament building remains within the palace compound. The Kabaka, his ministers and clan heads meet here regularly to discuss all issues affecting the Buganda Kingdom.


Kasubi Tombs

The Kasubi Royal tombs are a UNESCO World Heritage site and are one of the top cultural attractions in Uganda. The tombs are the main burial grounds for the Kings (Kabakas) of Buganda and hence of great spiritual importance. The Baganda look at the Kasubi tombs with pride because they help preserve their rich heritage and culture. Once you get to the tomb, the caretakers will take you around and share information about the place and other important cultural regalia. The key attraction is the main building (Muzibu Azaala Mpanga) where the kings are buried. This building is an architectural wonder because of its rare shape and material used. The building is made of reeds, wood, grass, and other local materials. You will be left in awe by the unique artifacts and architecture of the tombs. Four kings are buried in the main building but there are also graves for other royals to be seen in a separate site.


Note: Parts of the Kasubi tombs were destroyed by a fire in 2010. The government, UNESCO and the Buganda Kingdom have teamed up to renovate the destroyed structures. Once it is completed, it will look even better.


Baha’i Temple

The Baha’i Temple in Uganda is the only one in Africa. Built on top of Kikaaya Hill, the temple is a unique architectural wonder. From the temple one can get great views of the city center and surrounding areas. Many city residents go to the temple just to rest on its beautiful lawns and gardens. On a typical visit, tourists are taken around the facility to learn more about the Baha’i faith. After exploring the interior visitors are taken for a stroll around the gardens to take photos as they catch beautiful views of Kampala city or spot birds.


Main Markets

One of the best ways to understand the culture of a new place is to visit the main markets. It is where you get to hear the latest gossip and get insight into how the local people do business. The main markets in Kampala are St. Balikuddembe Market (Formerly known as Owino Market) and Nakasero Market. It is possible to find almost anything in these markets. Owino Market is known for second hand clothes but one can also find electronics, fresh fruits/vegetables, spices and grains. Nakasero market is known for electronic and hardware shops. If you are interested in buying something from these markets, you must understand the art of bargaining.


Ndere Center

The Ndere Cultural Center is arguably the best place to learn about the culture of the various tribes in Uganda. Expect to find other tourists, a large diplomatic and Expatriate community all gathered to watch cultural performances from all corners of Uganda. The best time to visit the Ndere Center is on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


The Uganda Martyrs Shrine

The Martyrs Shrine is found in in a Kampala suburb known as Namugongo and they commemorate the 22 Catholic martyrs who were burned alive when they refused to denounce Christianity. Every 3rd June, over one million pilgrims from all over the world visit the shrine for prayers and celebrations in remembrance of the Martyrs. Apart from the amazing architectural works, one can also visit a well surrounding the shrine where pilgrims draw water which is believed to provide divine healing and blessings.


Uganda National Museum

The Uganda National Museum is one of the key attractions in Kampala city. This is where the country’s key historical, ethnological and cultural exhibitions are kept. The Museum was built in in 1908 on the orders of Governor George Wilson so as to preserve all articles of interest in the country.


Makerere University

This is the oldest, largest and most prestigious public University in Uganda. Most of the prominent Ugandans have passed through Makerere University and it has also produced over 7 presidents along with some of the most respected professors in Africa (Prof. Ali Mazrui) and great Authors (Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Paul Theroux). Driving inside, the university rewards visitors with beautiful sites of new gigantic structures and the older colonial buildings.


Rubaga Cathedral:

This cathedral is found on the top of Lubaga Hill and is the oldest Catholic cathedral in Uganda and is home to some of the most senior Catholic clerics. The first African Catholic Bishop and first African Catholic Cardinal are buried here and visitors to the Cathedral will learn a lot about the history of the influential Catholic church. You will also have an opportunity to marvel at the beautiful design of the church. Because of its location on top of one of Kampala’s prominent hills, visitors can also get beautiful views of the city center.


Namirembe Cathedral

This is the oldest Christian Cathedral in Uganda. It is built on Mengo hill and is the most important seat of the Anglican Church in Uganda. The Church was constructed in 1915 to replace a simple structure built in 1903 by Craftsmen from the Buganda Kingdom which sadly succumbed to strong winds and a lightning strike in 1894. From the Cathedral, tourists can get beautiful views of the city Center.


Uganda Parliament Building

The Parliament building in Uganda is open to visitors after undergoing extensive security checks. It is found very close to the city center and hence very easy to access. Tourists are taken around the facility by resident guides whenever they visit. If you are lucky to visit when the members of parliament are debating a motion or passing a bill, you could be allowed to sit at the back to observe.


Optional Activities during the 1 Day in Kampala

There are countless amazing activities that one can engage in while in Kampala which can be included in case you are not interested in any of the ones listed above. These include:


Visit one of Kampala’s beaches: A large part of Lake Victoria is found in Kampala and because of that, residents can visit any of the numerous beaches in Ggaba and Munyonyo for fun activities. There is also the popular sunset boat cruise to look forward to if interested.


Visiting Local Community Development Projects: A good example is the BeadForLife project which was initiated to enhance the capacities of local women to be self-reliant through participating in income generating activities like making jewelry. While visiting this project, you will learn a lot about how the project is positively impacting on the women and their families. Do not forget to buy souvenirs in support of the women.


Mulago Hospital: This is Uganda’s largest National Referral Hospital. Mulago has some of the best and most up to date medical equipment in the county. It is also the best teaching hospital in Uganda helping produce some of the finest doctors in Africa.


Local Artisan/Craft shops: There are countless artisan shops in Kampala city where you can buy souvenirs in the form of jewelry, paintings, wood carvings and local fabrics. The most popular ones are the Craft market along Buganda Road, outside the National Theatre, outside the National Museum and close to Garden City.


The Kabaka’s lake: The Kabaka’s lake was built by Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda and is the largest man-made lake in Africa. The lake was dug to connect the King’s palace to Lake Victoria and provide an escape route in case of an attack or uprising. Unfortunately, it was never finished as intended and the connection to Lake Victoria was not achieved. The lake has remarkable scenery and is home to an amazing collection of birds. One can also choose to go fishing or exploring the lake further.


Old Kampala: Before Kampala increased in size, most of the administrative and residential areas were in Old Kampala. As the city expanded, Old Kampala was left with its ancient buildings and more modern structures were built in other parts of the city. Tourists love visiting this part of the city because of the eye-catching Indian style architectural buildings.


Mandela National Arena: Also known as Namboole Stadium, this is the place to go to if you want to watch Uganda’s popular sports teams in action. It is also a venue for crusades, music concerts and a lot more. If you are interested in other sports grounds, you can visit the Lugogo Indoor stadium for cricket, tennis and basketball. Rugby fans can visit the Lugogo Rugby Club.


Travel Plan

Our driver will collect you from your hotel, residence or agreed point and brief you about the tour. The first activity is visiting the National Museum (40 minutes) for a chance to see artifacts and learn about the history of Uganda. From the National Museum, the driver will proceed to Makerere University. From Makerere, the journey continues to the Baha’i Temple (40 minutes) and then to the Kasubi tombs (40 minutes). After the Kasubi tombs, you will be taken to visit the Uganda Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo (40 minutes). You will have lunch after visiting Namugongo and it will consist of local food (Luwombo, Katogo, Rolex and others) unless you wish to have international dishes.


You will then come back to town to visit the city markets (40 minutes), Kabaka’s Palace, Kabaka’s Lake, Gadhafi Mosque (30 minutes) and all the other key landmarks. The driver will also take you to the main taxi park and Owino Market to see the chaos and crowds of passengers preparing to travel or doing business. After completing your tour of the city in the evening, the driver will take you back to your hotel or residence.


Note: The evenings and nights can be spent at the Ndere Cultural Centre, Theater La Bonita or one of the prominent and safe nightclubs. The evening section of the tour is a separate arrangement that you can request for at the time of booking.


What to Pack

While on this 1 day Kampala tour, ensure that you have some cash with you, good camera, good walking shoes, modest clothing, drinking water, medication, a hat, sun-screen and sun glasses. The cash is important if you plan on buying souvenirs from the National Museum and other artisan shops and our driver can take you to a suitable Forex bureau to exchange currencies if required. It is important to dress appropriately while moving in the city center in order to avoid attracting unnecessary attention or stares. Skimpy dresses are generally inappropriate when visiting churches or mosques. Remember to put on light clothing because Kampala is a warm city. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from the afternoon sun while the sunscreen will offer a protective shield against strong rays from the sun. Do not forget to move with any medication prescribed by your doctor.

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Day 1

Visit Ssezibwa falls, Mabira Forest walk and evening boat cruise. OR Zip-lining in Mabira Forest, then Quad biking and an evening boat cruise to the source of the Nile

Kampala to Jinja, tour Ssezibwa & forest walk at Mabira Forest
After enjoying an early morning breakfastyou will meet your tour leader for a briefing and pick up ready to transfer to Jinja taking the Jinja-Kampala highway for about 85kms.

Possible stop-overs en route include visiting Ssezibwa Waterfalls to explore the cultural importance attached to this scenic falls before proceeding to Mabira Forest, a beautiful natural forest with a huge variety of primates, birds and tree species.

At Mabira Forest, we will provide the best of guided nature/forest walks for you to keep an eye out for different birds, trees and primates etc. Following this we will proceed to Jinja while viewing the extensive tea and sugarcane plantations en route.

Settle for lunch upon arrival and then later in the afternoon enjoy a boat cruise on the River Nile with a chance to visit Samuka Island for an abundance of different birds.

Following your exciting boat cruise we will return to your accommodation to settle in for dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Accommodation in Jinja:

Jinja Nile Resort, Wild Water Lodge (Luxury)
Kingfisher Safaris Resort Hotel, Source of the Nile Suites (Mid-range)
2 Friends Guesthouse, Bilkon Hotel (Basic/Budget)
Food Plan: Half board


Zip-lining in Mabira Forest, then Quad biking and an evening boat cruise to the source of the Nile

Start your 2 Days Jinja Tour with breakfast and then head to Jinja for an incredible zip-lining experience in Mabira forest that allows you to see the forest from a completely different perspective.

Experience the thrill of soaring through ancient trees under the guidance of experienced Sky Captains or Sky guides. The network of five zip-lines stretches 250 meters across the River Musamya, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Safety is paramount, and the strictest international standards are followed, with top-quality climbing gear and high-ropes imported. After being securely belayed up the first tree, you’ll glide through the entire system with ease and end your adventure with an exhilarating 78-meter diagonal zip.

This unforgettable experience combines adrenaline-pumping action with awe-inspiring natural beauty, making it a must-do for anyone seeking adventure in Uganda. Proceed to Jinja City.

Take your lunch from one of the local restaurants and then head for Quad biking, another amazing adventure you can do on a Jinja city Tour.

Begin your quad biking adventure through the countryside surrounding Jinja. The route will take you through a variety of terrains, from dirt roads to rocky paths and rolling hills.

Enjoy the freedom and excitement of riding a quad bike while taking in the stunning scenery around you. Your guide will provide information about the area’s history and culture as you ride through local villages and plantations.

Later on in the evening, go and enjoy a boat cruise to the Source of the Nile River before heading to your selected hotel or lodge for a relaxing dinner and overnight rest.

Day 2

Visit some monuments and then go for white-water rafting – return to Kampala or Entebbe. OR Visit Itanda falls and the go for Kayaking or tubing on the Nile – return to Kampala

White water rafting and return to Kampala or Entebbe
Begin your day with an early morning cup of tea or coffee before leaving your accommodation for a briefing about white-water rafting.

You will then embark on the thrilling white-water rafting adventure which will take you through different rapids for a long day expedition as you enjoy the River Nile waters.

Returning from the challenging and exhilarating white-water rafting experience you will enjoy a late lunch before checking out of the hotel and setting off on the drive back to Kampala or Entebbe marking the end of your 2 day Jinja tour.

End of 2 days Jinja tour – Whit- water rafting


Visit Itanda falls and then kayaking or tubing on the Nile – return to Kampala.

Instead of white-water rafting on Bujagali falls, we can start our second day with visiting Itanda falls and then kayaking or tubing on the River Nile.

Enjoy your kayaking adventure on the river, paddling through calm and rapids sections of the Nile. Enjoy the refreshing water and stunning scenery around you, including lush vegetation and exotic birdlife.

Take your lunch and then depart Jinja for your return to Kampala or Entebbe, depending on your next destination.

The end of 2 Days Jinja Tour

This short Uganda Safari offers an action-packed 2 Days in Jinja City, where you can experience some of the best adventure activities and natural beauty that Jinja City has to offer.

Depending on your interests, you can tailor the 2 Days Jinja Tour itinerary to suit your preferences.

Entry and admission fees
Parking fees
Transport and fuel
A driver
Lunch and drinking water
Air tickets and Visa
Alcoholic drinks and cigars
Travel and Medical insurance
Personal expenses on telephone calls

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