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Kampala – Uganda

Kampala district is within the geographical boundaries of the ancient Kingdom of Buganda in Central Uganda and it borders the district of Wakiso to its south, north and west and then Kiira Municipality to its east. The geographical coordinates of Kampala district are 00 19N, 32 35E. The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) gives the population of Kampala at 1,516,210 as per the 2014 population and housing Census.

As a result of its closeness to the Equator – the world’s main latitude, Kampala’s weather tend to be warm all year round and features an equatorial climate with rain fall throughout the year which also influenced by Lake Victoria the Africa’s largest lake. However, there are two main rainy seasons stretching from March through May and then from August to December.

Kabaka Mutesa 1 of Buganda Kingdom had identified the area that was to become Kampala as one of his preferred hunting grounds. The area’s undulating hills and wetland valleys were a good breeding ground for the Impala antelope thus the locals were used to referring to it as the Akasozi k’ empala literally translated as the hill of the Impala. With the coming of the British colonialists, they modified the naming and named the place Kampala to align in their pronunciation.  Other stories give that when Lugard established his first camp at the present day Old Kampala, he named Camp Impala after the impala antelopes that existed with in and it was that naming that was modified to form Kampala that we are talking of today.

Initially Kampala featured a range of seven (7) hills which included; Namirembe, Kasubi, Rubaga, Nsambya, Kibuli, Makerere and Old Kampala. However, it can be noted that with time, the city has expanded to incorporate more hills and now features five (5) administrative divisions namely; Rubaga, Makindye, Nakawa, Kawempe and Kampala Central.

Kampala city view
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Kampala stands as the Uganda’s capital city and also as a center for economic, social and political influence of the whole country. Capt. Frederick Lugard was the first to set up an administrative camp at Old Kampala hill in 1890 and Fort Lugard is still standing up to today.  The city also acted as the center of the East African Community (EAC) in the initial decade of post-independence period. Kampala was viewed as spacious garden city with a cosmopolitan environment and booming trade. It was also a center for culture and education with Makerere University attaining the tittle of the University of East Africa. All this was to be affected severely during the regime of Idi Amin Dada and the unstable 1980s that followed.

However, with the coming of NRA/NRM in power since 1986, relative peace stability has been realized and the city has revived its lost glory and is apparently among the bustling economic, social and political cities not only in East Africa but Africa as well.  The range of hospitality establishment including Hotels of all categories from 5 star to 1 star, lodges, motels, Guesthouses and Inns have been set up. The city also features best night clubs in the region and is credited for its exciting night life and considered the safest city in Africa at night.

Kampala is positioned at 40km from Entebbe International Airport and is majorly the beginning and end point of the most Uganda safaris. Through its period of existence, Kampala also features great sites of cultural, religious, historical, economic and political significance that have made its day excursion worth undertaking.   The adjacent destinations include Ngamba Island, Chimpanzee Sanctuary, the Mabira Forest, Ssezibwa Falls, Source of River Nile Jinja, Entebbe Botanical Gardens, Lake Mburo National Parka and Mpanga Forest Reserve not forgetting the famous Mabamba Swamp.

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