Kampala lies at an altitude of 1,155 meters from Lake Victoria. Kampala was founded in the 19th Century, when the king of Buganda had his seat in the hills. The name “Kampala” originated from a British Lord Captain Frederick Lugard. There were many Impala – Antelopes found there at that time. From the Luganda translation for “hill of the Impala”, Kasozi ka Impala, the short form “Kampala” was developed. This term referred to the hills of present-day Old Kampala, on which the Capt Lugard built his fort.
As the fort was established so many people were attracted to the city. The town grew rapidly and expanded to 7 hills that is; Mulago, Kololo, Kibuli, Rubaga, old Kampala, Namirembe and Makerere. Each of the seven hills represents a predominant feature: On the hills, Rubaga, Namirembe and Kibuli there settled the central bodies of the three leading religious communities (Catholics, Protestants and Islam). Kololo/ Nakasero form the Center for Public Administration and were the preferred residential areas of their employees. Makerere became the university campus and in Mulago settled health facilities. These identities have remained upto today.
During 1906, the United Kingdom law declared Kampala as a town and it advanced into an administrative municipality in 1949. Although in 1962, it received the official status of a city. The British originally had their administrative headquarters in Entebbe and Kampala was only after an election to the capital of the Uganda. In the first decades the city grew steadily. It had the best University in East Africa (Makerere University) and was an appeal to all the other African cities which was hard to surpass. During the civil war years under Obote and Amin, Kampala suffered heavily the consequences. Many buildings were destroyed and the infrastructure completely broke down.
Today, Kampala is one of the most modern African cities and awakens in many areas the European feeling that is, many shops and hotels, bars and international restaurants. Kampala is also known as one of the safest cities in Africa. Kampala and its surroundings offer sightseeing, city walks and day trips opportunities.
Some sightseeing opportunities are;
- the Bahai Temple (The only temple of this religion in Africa. A beautiful, peaceful place with a fantastic view over the city)
- The Kasubi Tombs (The Royal tombs of the Buganda kings Mutesa I, Mwanga II, Daudi Chwa II and Mutesa II in a huge tent built out of wood and straw)
- Kibuli Hill (This is an Islamic mosque, whose minaret offers a magnificent view of Kampala. One of the largest Islamic worship Uganda)
- Nakasero Market (The largest market in Kampala city, where mainly African foods are sold. But also Mediterranean products can be found there)
- Namirembe Cathedral
- the Namugongo Martyrs shrine
- Uganda National Museum
- National theatre
- Makerere University Kampala
- St. Mary’s Cathedral Lubaga
- Namirembe Cathedral