For the most part, we sell stop-over stays here, to travellers spending just a night in Kampala before or after their safari in the national parks of Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth, Kibale, and Lake Mburo. The city has reliable transport links to and from Entebbe’s airport, which provides international flights. However, if you would like to spend more time exploring Kampala, we are happy to arrange this for you.
THE HISTORY OF KAMPALA
The name Kampala derives from the British name ‘Hills of the Impala’. When the British colonists came here, in the late nineteenth century, the area comprised a royal hunting reserve. But a base for the British East Africa Company was set up in 1890 under Captain Frederick Lugard, who was on a mission to establish a trading route between Mombasa and Lake Victoria. He would be military administrator for Uganda for just two years.
During his time in the region, Lugard built a fort along one of the hills, enabling the colonists to occupy Kampala and much of the kingdom of Buganda besides. The territory was declared a British colony in 1905. Although, during the same year, Entebbe was named Uganda’s capital, up until its regaining of the title in 1962 Kampala was the country’s centre for communications and commerce. Among the city’s successes was the founding of the Makerere Technical Institute, in 1922.
The year 1962 also brought independence. Years of political unrest ensued, culminating in damage to many of Kampala’s buildings. However, the city has made a strong recovery and today it contains a wealth of hotels, shopping malls, sports arenas, and other attractions, all benefiting from a sound infrastructure. There is plenty for visitors to see and do.
ACTIVITIES IN KAMPALA
Kampala’s hills are of interest, as they are topped by mosques and churches as well as some grand hotels. If you head down into the lower parts of the city, you can visit the Uganda Museum, the Uganda National Theatre, and the markets of Nakasero and Saint Balikuddembe. There is an excellent assortment of cafés, bars, and restaurants, serving up both local and international cuisine. Keen shoppers will enjoy trips to several shopping centres, particularly the mall at Garden City. That mall is also the location of Kampala’s famous Casino Simba, featuring a hundred gaming machines.
Kampala contains a variety of accommodation options. Please check out our property pages for this vibrant city, and get in touch with us for further information on where to stay.