1 Day Kampala City Tour is an amazing short Uganda safari tour that takes travelers visiting Kampala Capital City to explore and experience the amazing historical and cultural history and current lifestyle of Uganda and Ugandans as a people. This one day Kampala City Tour or 1 Day Kampala City Tour is ideal for tourists with a limited to spare but would like to know the history of Uganda as well as experience and see first-hand the way of life of Ugandans. A city tour of Kampala is an amazing Uganda safari tour that can be done by travelers on MICE or have a few hours to spare. Book this 1 Day Kampala City Tour and get to visit various tourist attractions in Kampala City.

Tour highlights of 1 Day Kampala City Tour for an individual or group of tourists:
Religious and historical sites in Kampala with local cuisine lunch break.
The sites to visit are:

  • Kibuli Mosque
  • Rubaga Cathedral
  • Kabaka’s palace
  • Namirembe Cathedral
  • Gaddafi Mosque
  • Lugard’s Fort
  • Uganda Museum
  • Baha’i Temple
  • Nakasero Market
  • Uganda Martyrs Shrine and Basilica at Namugongo

What to carry for a 1 Day Kampala City Tour short Uganda safari tour:
Camera, wide angle lens, 200+ mm lens, spare batteries and a portable charger.

Duration: Whole day
Pick up time: 9am.

Detailed Itinerary of 1 Day Kampala City Tour
This 1 Day Kampala City Tour is an amazing short Uganda safari tour that shall take only one day, exploring and experiencing Kampala Capital City of Uganda. You shall be picked by our Uganda safari guide from your hotel/apartment of stay as early as 9am in the morning.

You shall be briefed about your short 1 Day Kampala City Tour and then embark on moving around in Kampala visiting various historical, religious and monumental sites, as well as experience the way of life of Ugandans as they go about their hustles. You shall have a lunch break, which you shall enjoy in a selected restaurant around Kampala City. Wonder at the hassle and bustle of Kampala City, a very vibrant capital city filled with quite an entrepreneurial a people. After, you shall be returned to your hotel/apartment of stay, marking the end of your 1 Day Kampala City Tour.

End of 1 Day Kampala City Tour

Inclusions of 1 Day Kampala City Tour

  • Entry fees to respective sites
  • Transportation during the tour
  • Services of a professional English speaking Tour guide
  • Lunch in a Local Restaurant
  • Bottled drinking water in the tour vehicle

Kampala obtained the status of the City and was declared the commercial and administrative Capital of Uganda at the country’s independence in 1962. As early as the 11th century it was the center of the interlucustre Kingdom of Buganda and by the 1850’s it was the center of trade for Arabs dealing in slaves and ivory. Kabaka Mutesa I Mukaabya Walugembe, the 30th Kabaka of Buganda, who reigned from 1856 until 1884 used the Kampala area as a hunting ground. The area was made up of hills and wetlands which became a breeding ground for various game.

The evolution of Kampala came in 1890 when Captain Fredrick Lugard was sent to Uganda as an agent of the Imperial British East African Company to govern Uganda on behalf of the British Crown which had been given the territory following the Berlin conference of 1884 that partitioned Africa among the European powers then. Captain Lugard asked Kabaka Daniel Basamula Mwanga son to Kabaka Mutesa I to give him one of the hills to set up base.

The natives told him the name of the hill he had been allocated was called “Akasozi K’empala” (meaning the hill of Impalas, in Luganda). By then, there were many Impalas {an antelope specie} that were breeding in the area.
Lugard named his fort Kampala by misspelling K’empala. Today, Gaddafi Mosque stands on the sport where Lugard build his fort and where the British first hoisted their Flag which signified Uganda as British Colony.

In 1889, Kabaka Mwanga II of Buganda, donated Rubaga hill to the French Catholic missionaries (White Fathers) who set up the Catholic Church in the country, Rubaga Cathedral. The Anglicans were give Namirembe hill where Saint Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe now stands. You shall visit these sites during your one day Kampala City Tour.

In 1894 Lugard was given Nakasero where he built an army company. In 1895 Nsambya Hill was given to the Mill Hill Missionaries. After the civil wars of 1896-1898, to avoid any further conflict the protectorate government decided to parcel out all land in Buganda. They drafted the Buganda Agreement which was eventually signed in 1900. The Muslims were allocated Kibuli Hill. Collectively these seven hills made up Kampala. Today, the city encompasses 21 hills altogether.

The religious wars
By 1887 Mwanga had begun to rely on the younger generation of Baganda leaders many whom were converts to the new religions.

The leaders of the three religious groups (Muslims, Protestants and Catholics) began to bring in large quantities of arms and to organize themselves into militarized “regiments known as Bapere who gained a great deal of notoriety for their high-handed attitudes of rape and plunder. Mwanga’s attempt to get rid of the Bapere provoked a coup and he was in 1888 overthrown by the united forces of the new religions. He fled and sought refuge with the White Fathers at Bukumbi to the south of the Lake Victoria.

The Muslims, as the most powerful group in terms of numbers and fire power, were able to oust the Christian groups, who in October 1888 fled to the border with Nkore. The Muslims proceeded to establish a Muslim state and circumcised their Kabaka Kalema.

By the end of 1889 the Christian forces managed to temporarily defeat the Muslims but soon started bitter quarrels among themselves over the division of political office. Mwanga believed that he had more chance of retaining Buganda’s independence if he sided with the Catholics. When open warfare broke out in 1892, Captain Lugard directed his Maxim gun against the Catholics and routed them.

In 1897 there was mutiny of the Nubian troops used by the British to subdue their Protectorate and also a last attempt by Kabaka Mwanga to regain his independence. Both revolts were put down and Mwanga was deposed and exiled to Seychelles where he was baptised a Protestant as Daniel. In 1900 the Buganda Agreement consolidated the British takeover and established the special relationship between Britain and Buganda which was to survive until 1955. The Agreement consolidated the dominant position of the Protestant oligarchy under Apollo Kaggwa, the Katikiro and one of the regents to the boy Kabaka Daudi Cwa.

Kampala Religious sites/tourist attractions in Kampala city, that you shall visit when on a 1 Day Kampala City Tour

Kibuli Mosque
Kibuli Mosque on Kubuli hill commands a beautiful view of Kampala. The hill is one of the historical seven major hills of Kampala. Kibuli is the centre of the Islamic faith in Uganda. The land on Kibuli was donated by Prince Nuhu Mbogo who built the first mosque here in 1892. His son Prince Badru Nakibinge later donated an extra 80 acres to accommodate a hospital. . With help and support from the Aga Khan, the present mosque was completed in 1951.

Rubaga Cathedral
Kabaka Mwanga who later ordered the killing of the Uganda Martyrs donated the Rubaga hill to the early Catholic missionaries through Bishop Joseph Hirth in 1891. The place where the cathedral is currently located was once a palace for Buganda’s Kabaka Muteesa I, Mwanga’s father In 1914 the missionaries began constructing a modern cathedral at Rubaga and St. Mary’s Cathedral Rubaga was consecrated on 31 December 1925. 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 current cathedral can accommodate 5,000 worshipers. It is 248 feet long and 63 feet wide. The height from the floor to the ceiling is 50 feet. Some 2.5 million bricks were used to complete the Cathedral. The idea of building this “mother-of-all-churches” in Uganda came from Bishop Henry Halon in 1901 who launched an appeal to all Catholics to contribute financially towards a building fund.

In 1911 St Joseph’s Technical School was founded at Kisubi with the help of Bro Herman of the White Fathers to train carpenters, builders, blacksmiths and others, all this in view of the needs foreseen for the building of Rubaga Cathedral.

Brother Cyprian headed the building of the cathedral. He decided to put up a “test building”, the present Parish Church at Kisubi.

By building this small church, Brother Cyprian aimed at training the students of the technical school in readiness for the task ahead. At Rubaga, Catholics shared in the construction work, with everyone coming to Mass in the morning stopping at Nalukolongo kiln and taking a number of bricks on the head to the building site on top of Rubaga hill.

The powerful Stanislas Mugwanya, then a Buganda regent, used to lead the procession every morning with four bricks on his head. From the Kisubi kiln, the bricks and other materials were brought to Rubaga by an oxcart as there were no vehicles in Uganda then.

Brother Cyprian and his foreman, Matayo Bakaluba started the work of building the cathedral on May 3, 1914 and by October 14, 1914 the foundation had reached the ground level and consumed 500,000 bricks. Construction was interrupted for two and half years during World War I (1914-1918) due to lack of funds. The cathedral was completed in 1924 and consecrated on December 31, 1925. Ugandans alone contributed Shs87,167 (a big amount then), The Catholics of Europe, America, and Canada parted with Shs379,302 while the missionaries of Africa Vicariate gave Shs23,896.

The cathedral’s Roman style was adopted from Normandy in France by Brother Gilbert, the main architect. The great altar of Muvule tree was the work of Brother Sylvester and took two years to complete.
The cathedral’s bells, were offered by Mr. FM Alcouffe from Aveyron, France, and bought from Annecy Vieux, France in 1925.

The cathedral ceiling is made of molded metal sheets bought in London by Bishop Forbes while the first glass windows were installed by Bishop Edward Michaud, who died on June 18, 1945, and buried inside the Cathedral. Outside the church, the popular giant Virgin Mary statue overlooking the city of Kampala was brought all the way from Italy and installed by Brother Antonius.

The current cathedral is the seventh to occupy the Rubaga hill. Between 1891 and 1914 when the construction of the current cathedral began, the hill gave shelter to six “cathedrals.”

The first church was destroyed on January 24, 1892, during the so called religious wars. Later, two more grass-thatched cathedrals were built within a year, with the first one being destroyed by an earthquake and the other burnt down by Protestants (Anglicans).

In 1893 they built a temporary church which was later replaced by a more solid building in 1894 and was used until 1901 when the sixth new church of sun-dried bricks still with a grass thatched roof was put up. It was used for 24 years. Around this time prominent Catholics like Stanislas Mugwanya during Mass would stay outside watching with an ancient wooden gun just in case Protestants invaded. The present church, a real cathedral in the true sense of the word and status was completed in 1924 before being consecrated in 1925. The construction lasted 10 years.
Courtesy of The Monitor (Kampala) 19 NOVEMBER 2015

Namirembe Cathedral
Saint Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe, commonly referred to as Namirembe Cathedral, is the oldest cathedral (not the original building) in Uganda. The first church building was constructed in 1890. Namirembe hill has been a site for Ugandan Protestants since October 1889.

The first pole of the first church building was set up on March 11, 1890 at a plot called Kitesa. The architect, Nicodemo Sebwato, the pokino, used traditional Ganda methods to design an 800-seater building of about 81 by 24 feet of reed work and thatch supported by tree-trunk poles. The work entirely done by local Christians saw opening of the church on a Sunday in 1890 with Bishop Tucker’s first service.

In 1894, when Archdeacon Walker, of the European missionaries was in the building teaching a group of women, a strong wind blew off the roof. On November 21, 1894, it was agreed that the church be replaced with a similar design with Apollo Kaggwa as the architect. On June 18, 1901, Kabaka Daudi Chwa laid a foundation stone to start the construction of a brick cathedral that was, however, destroyed by a fire sparked off by lightning. The fourth surviving cathedral was designed by a Briton, Arthur Beresford Pite, in 1910. Kabaka Chwa laid a foundation stone on November 8. The splendid pulpit was designed by boys at King’s College Buddo.

Iganga school and Mityana school made the choir stalls while six of the screens, the credence table, and altar were made by Kavirondo boys from Maseno high school in Kenya. Government, in memory of Ugandans who died in the 1914 to 1918 World War I, donated the eagle oak lectern.
Source: The Observer Newspaper November 11, 2015

Gaddafi Mosque
The Gaddafi Mosque sits on 12 acres of land in Old Kampala where the city started when in the 1890s, Frederick Lugard, the chairperson of the Imperial British East Africa Company, built a fort. The Mosque also stands on the spot where the British first hoisted their Flag which signified Uganda as British Colony.

Its interior and exterior can accommodate up to 35,000 worshipers and is one of the five biggest mosques in Africa. The fort was near the current minaret until it was removed in 2003 to another place on the same hill to accommodate the construction of the mosque.

The mosque was given to Muslims of Uganda as a gift from the Libyan government, then under the leadership of the late Col. Muammar Gaddafi. The mosque was constructed by the former president of Libya the late cornel Gaddafi. Initial construction of the mosque started in 1972 under President Idi Amin Dada but was halted in 1976, until the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi intervened and ensured its completion and inauguration in 2008. The Colorful structure with its magnificent features of Art was built and designed based on a mixture of Cultures of Arab, European, and an African Touch. It can be viewed from all Corners of Kampala. Its minaret commands a 360 Degrees view of Kampala City.

The Mosque is Open to all People regardless of their Creeds, Political affiliations, Ethnic backgrounds, Cultures and Nationalities. This majestic work of art also houses the Headquarters of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council which is the National Faith Based Umbrella Organization for all Muslims, their Organizations and Institutions in Uganda with a Core responsibility to reach out to all People at all Levels.

The Mosque Complex consists of a Large Mosque Hall that is usually open to all Muslims for Friday Prayers and also for other Islamic Festivals. It also has a standard Conference Hall, Library, And an Fm Radio Station, a hospital, and a University College among other Units.

Uganda Martyrs Shrines in Namugongo
Namugongo is 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north-east of Uganda’s capital Kampala On 3 June 1886, 32 young men who were pages of the court of King Mwanga II of Buganda, were burned to death at Namugongo for their refusal to renounce Christianity. They were both Anglican and Catholic. Every 3 June, millions of Christians from Uganda and other parts of the world congregate at Namugongo to commemorate the lives and religious beliefs of the Uganda Martyrs.

Twenty-two of the Catholic martyrs were canonized by Pope Paul VI on 18 October 1964 and are regarded as saints in the Catholic Church. A basilica has been built at the spot where the majority of them were burned to death. A church stands at the place where the Anglican martyrs met their death, about 2 miles (3.2 km) further east from the Basilica of the Uganda Martyrs. Documentation is available on 45 martyrs but it is believed that many more believers met their death at the command of Kabaka Mwanga II between 1885 and 1887.

Baha’i Temple
The Bahá’í Mother Temple of Africa, also known as the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, is the only Bahá’í temple on the African continent and one of only nine around the world. The others being in Chile, the USA, Germany, Panama, Samoa, India, Australia and Cambodia. The temple on Kikaya hill is located about three kilometres (two miles) from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The English and Iranian followers of the faith arrived in Uganda in 1951 to introduce Bahá’í to local citizens.

Six years later, the foundation stone was laid for the temple and the Bahá’í Intercontinental Conference for Africa was held in Kampala to mark the occasion. Uganda’s Bahá’í Temple is modeled on a traditional African hut. The dome-like shape symbolises the divine circle, a reflection of heaven on earth and the spirituality of sacred borders.

The faith has a daily minimum of three mandatory prayers, as written in their holy book of prayer, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas written by the Bahá’í founder Bahá’u’lláh in 1873. The book contains the laws by which Bahá’ís must abide.
The Bahá’ís do not have a dedicated day of the week on which to pray. They decide which day is the most convenient for them. In Kampala, followers go to the temple on Sundays. The temple fills to capacity on special days like the Twin Holy Birthdays, two consecutive days commemorating the birth of Bahá’u’lláh and Báb, the most important figures in the Bahá’í faith.

The Kabaka’s Palace
Kabaka’s Mengo Olubiri (Palace) is the official residence of the King of Buganda. In the walls of the palace is the Kabaka`s official house called Twekobe. Mengo palace was first constructed by Ssekabaka Mwanga II in 1885. When he took over the throne in 1884 at the age of 18, he first put his palace at Masaja. He had always admired Nkaawo hill on which members of the Nvubu clan kept their grinding stones (Emmengo). Mwanga decided to construct his palace at Nkaawo hill and the grinding stones were shifted. It`s from these grinding stones (Emmengo) that the name Mengo was adopted.

In Buganda, it was customary for a new king to choose a hill where he would build a new palace. This palace would become the new capital of the Kingdom and the King was free to rename the place as he so wished.

The palace covers some four square kilometres of land. There are four gates at different points of the palace. Each gate has a name. One is called wankaki which is the main gate, kalaala where one of the Kabaka’s wives passes, another gate called Nnalongo (mother of twins) who performs some norms in the palace and Ssabagabo or Wansaso which is the Kabaka’s private gate.

A straight road lined with old candle nut trees locally known as “Kabaka Anjagala” meaning the king loves me connects the Palace to Bulange (Buganda parliament). There were 56 of these trees representing the 52 clans which Kabaka Mutebi increased by dividing the big ones.

Halfway through the road is a roundabout “Lukoma Nantawetwa” (also a title to the king translating into the king doesn’t go round a roundabout) with a towering long drum, split into two to create a way in between. Belwo the drums is a gate that is locked and guarded. The King is the only one allowed to go through the gate is a straight line. The Kabaka has the authority over all roads that lead to his palace.

Inside the palace is a fireplace with a fire that can only go off if the Kabaka dies. Inside Twekobe is the Kabaka’s collection of photographs that profile Kabaka Ronald Mutebi’s life, from the time he was a child to date.
The collection includes Kabala Mutebi with his father Kabaka Mutesa at a sports gala, Field Marshal Idi Amin Dada, a number of elders and on his coronation day, among other photographs.

Other items displayed in the palace are some the military machinery used by fallen presidents Idi Amin and Milton Obote when they attacked the palace in 1966 and a weather-beaten Rolls-Royce, one of Kabaka Mutesa’s prized possessions.

The current Kabaka Mutebi has chosen not to stay here much because of the palace’s bloody history. In 1966 the then Prime Minister of Uganda Milton Obote ordered a dramatic attack to oust Kabaka Mutesa II. The attack was led by Idi Amin. Soldiers stormed the palace and, after several days of fighting, Mutesa was forced to flee and live in exile in the UK from where he died. The building was duly converted into an army barracks, while an adjacent site became a notorious underground prison and torture-execution chamber built by Idi Amin in the 1970s.

Uganda Museum
Uganda Museum is located in the northern part of Kampala on Kitante 5km away from the city. It was founded in 1908, after Governor George Wilson called for “all articles of interest” on Uganda to be procured.

It displays and exhibits ethnological, natural-historical and traditional life collections of Uganda’s cultural heritage. Among the collections in the Uganda Museum are playable musical instruments, hunting equipment, weaponry, archaeology and entomology.

The Uganda Museum history goes back to 1902 when Governor George Wilson called for collection of objects of interest throughout the country to set up a museum. The museum started in a small Sikh temple at Fort Lugard on Old Kampala Hill. Between the 1920s and 1940s, archaeology and paleontological surveys and excavations were conducted by Church Hill, E. J. Wayland, Bishop J. Wilson, P. L. Shinnie, E. Lanning, and several others, who collected a significant number of artifacts to boost the museum. The museum at Fort Lugard become too small to hold the specimens, and the museum was moved to the Margret Trowel School of Fine Art at Makerere University College in 1941. Later, funds were raised for a permanent home and the museum was moved to its current location on Kitante Hill in 1954.

Other tourist attractions of Kampala City that you may visit include the torture chambers of Amin Daada, Nakasero Market, the Independence Monument, the Old taxi park, among so many others depending on your time schedule.