Red Chilli Kampala Day Tour
$45–$100 Per person
The capital of Uganda has traditionally enjoyed a reputation as the greenest city in Africa. Kampala literally means “of the Impala”, due to the number of antelope which roamed freely over the Kabaka of Buganda’s hunting reserve in the nineteenth century. The city, like Rome, was originally built on seven hills, although Kampala has expanded dramatically over many more hills since then, into the busy and bustling vibrant city that it is today. In fact the city has been named the 13th fastest growing city in the world, with a current population of over 2 million and a growth rate of more than 4%. Despite this, Kampala has managed to retain its relaxed and friendly feel and enjoy relative safety: some of the reasons why it has been ranked the best city in which to live in East Africa.
There is much to see and do whilst in Kampala and many sites of cultural, religious and historic interest to visit. These are spread over the length and breadth of the city’s hills, which makes a comprehensive tour on public transport more than a little challenge. For this reason we have put together a varied itinerary of our highlights of the whole city which can be enjoyed in a full day with your own Red Chilli driver and guide.
09.00 Please be at Red Chilli reception by 08.45 to meet your driver and guide for the day. Depart at 09.00 in either an 8-seater minibus or a standard saloon car, if 3 or less people are on your tour.
09.45 Depending on traffic, you will arrive at the Uganda National Mosque by 09.45. The mosque was commissioned as a gift for Uganda by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and was completed in 2007. Although Kampala has many mosques, this sky-scraper mosque is the largest in East Africa and boasts panoramic views over the whole city. At the mosque you will take a brief private tour and enjoy the views from the minaret. Please note, women should be prepared to cover themselves before entering the mosque (scarves are provided if necessary at the entrance) and a reasonable level of fitness is required to climb all of the stairs up the tower for optimal viewing.
10.45 Leaving the National Mosque, you will take a drive past the infamous Kampala taxi parks and Owino market. Owino is the second largest second-hand clothes market in Africa, although you can buy pretty much anything from here! The market borders the crazy transportation hub of Kampala: the old and new taxi parks and the bus park. If you wish, you may take a brief stop here to have a look around or take some photos of the organised mayhem!
11.00 Arrive at the Kabaka’s Palace in Mengo. The site actually comprises 2 palaces which provide a rich history of one of Uganda’s oldest Kingdoms – the Buganda. Although you are not permitted to enter the palaces, you will receive an informative guided tour of the grounds, including the torture chambers of Idi Amin. Not for the faint-hearted!
11.45 Leaving the palace, you will take a short drive to the nearby Kabaka’s Lake – the largest man-made lake in Uganda and originally built to allow the king to travel by boat to Lake Victoria, as well as serving as an escape route in the event of armed conflict with the British. The construction was halted in 1888, before completion, because of a religious war that broke out in the kingdom.
12.30 After leaving the Kabaka’s lake you will head off for a sumptuous lunch at Mamma Babolu’s restaurant in Mbuya. Her Ugandan buffet is prepared fresh daily and usually includes the following traditional food, depending on what is in season: African beef and/or goat stew, steamed matoke, pilau, cassava, sweet potato, chapatti , spinach and G-nut sauce. Homemade passion fruit juice or a soda will also be provided.
14.00 After a leisurely Ugandan lunch, you will move on to Bugolobi, for a tour of the pioneer fair trade NGO, BeadforLife. BeadforLife jewellery is designed and produced by women dedicated to improving the lives of their families. At the hub you will learn about their life changing mission and gain an insight into the unique artisan technique of Ugandan paper bead making and the lives of women entrepreneurs in Uganda. There will also be the opportunity to buy some Fair Trade souvenirs if you wish.
15.00 On leaving BeadforLife, you will make your way to the Namugongo Catholic Martyrs’ Shrine on the East of the City, for your last activity of the day. On 3rd June 1886, under the orders of King Mwanga II, 32 men were burnt to death for their Christian faith. The basilica, set in 15 acres, was completed in 1968 and has been honoured by two Papal pilgrimages, in 1969 and again in 2015. You will be received a guided tour around the grounds, where artwork and sculptures depict the martyrs’ sacrifice.
17.00 You will return to Red Chilli Kampala at around 5pm, depending on traffic conditions and the exact time taken at each location.
1 Person, 8 Persons
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