Uganda
Kampala

Here you’ll find travel reports about Kampala. Discover travel destinations in Uganda of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

6 travelers at this place:

  • Day58

    More of Kampala

    February 28, 2016 in Uganda

    We've been taking it easy in this big ol' capital. We walked over to a place called 1000 cups of coffee yesterday since both Jack and I have been itching for a good latte. So, so rewarding. Along the way was a little craft village with all your typical and repetitive tourist aimed crafts like wooden giraffes, drums and bags. We've decided to keep our shopping for our last stop - Nairobi. Thats hoping we'll find what we want there... You find yourself weighing the pros and cons of having to carry things for another month or not finding them again later.

    Visiting the Mengo Palace and Bulange Royal building gave us a good bit of new knowledge of Ugandan history and their attachement to their tribal history. The monarchs reign over social and cultural issues here, and are incredibly respected by the people. As our guide from yesterday put it, in newspapers here you will find many caricatures of the president, mocking him, but you will never find anyone saying something negative or mocking the kings in Uganda. The Buganda King, based in Kampala, has the largest Kingdom, was given the crown at 16 years old. It is passed on to the son of the Royal families chosing, and can not be given to the first son, unlike your usual royal line.

    Each Ugandan identifies to a tribe and a clan. The clans are all represented by animals or insects and such. It's interesting to hear them introduce themselves - I'm from the Buganda tribe, and the elephant clan. To this day, even the youth, are proud of their clans and follow the tradition (mostly) of never marrying someone from your clan, yet marrying within your tribe. They ask about Canadian clans and tribes. It's hard to justify that I know so little about our First Nations that I can't really contribute to that conversation.

    The visit at Mengo Palace also led us to this old underground torture chamber used by Idi Amin during his time as general commander. They say in the 6 years he used it, over 15000 people were killed here, mostly by the use of electricity run through the body of water kept along the corridor... It was marking.

    We made our afternoon into an art gallery one, quite like in Kigali. Free art galleries, why not. Again, having the money and space for these things, my apartment would look so eclectic and wonderful...

    Topped the night off with a movie - DeadPool! I was so excited! I've been talking about seeing a movie for a while, it's a way of letting go and really relaxing. My mind, which never usually stops working throughout that day, can finally stop and enjoy the movie. I laughed the entire time, loved it. I was probably in an extra good mood since I got to chat my sister thanks to the great Wi-Fi in the mall. It's was therapy of its own to get to hear her voice.

    Last day in Kampala before heading to Jinja for some River rafting... Wish me luck!

    FYI - I didn't elaborate yesterday, but the national mosque was beautiful! It had contributors from around the world, chandeliers from Egypt, carvings from Marrocco, stained glass from Italy... We even got to climb the minaret and had incredible views of the city. Only down side is the coverings they give - made me feel incredibly awkward to have to cover up into a hijjab and skirt... Like Halloween.
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  • Day58

    Museums 101

    February 28, 2016 in Uganda

    Apparently Jack needs more sleep then I do! We've been going to sleep at the same time, yet every morning I wake up around 7-730am and she's still sounds asleep. Around 8am I usually end up waking her to start our day. She made the request last night to sleep in today so I obliged. She finally got out of bed around 910am when I told I was going to breakfast (free with our hotel) without her. We took our time, read the news, brushed up on some Facebook time... By the time we actually stepped out of the hotel, it was 11am. Talk about a lazy morning. But after 2 months of travelling (there's a big difference between vacation and travelling), it feels nice and relaxing.

    We decided to walk to the National Museum of Uganda today, taking an hour to do so. By the time we arrived, 12pm, hot and sweaty, we did lunch instead. Lol. Lazy day. We went to a more "white people" filled place for lunch, a coffee shop with again - great coffees and fresh salads. Being in a big city allows you to treat yourself to the more westerner luxuries. Latte! I'm surprised at the limited amount of tourist we have come across in Uganda. Yet this coffee shop was probably half white, half black, the most whites I've seen yet. There were about 5 white folks at the movies yesterday and both Jack and I felt surrounded by them. We are so used to being the only white folk around, this shows how much expats and NGO workers only stay in the capital. It's quite nice to feel like we're surrounded by the people we are here to get to know, and that's the feeling you get in the rest of Uganda. Kampala is so big, so busy, there's no in between city. It makes everything else we've seen so rural and so real.

    Back to the museum we go. It's absolutely hilarious. This is the order in which things were presented : an old Ford car, next to a manually pulled 2-wheeled cart, then presentation of wood from different types of forests in Uganda, then medicinal plants, then the new petrol and oil digging going on in Uganda, expected to start expecting oil in the next few years, then a presentation on malaria with a really interesting "severe malaria algorythm" for us nurses, then of course - Ugandan participation in Olympics. Yep, that's that for the first section. Posters on the ground leaning against the wall, boards covered by furniture pilled in front, dust everywhere... And this is their biggest museum. And of course Justin Bieber's "Sorry" playing on repeat. That songs has been EVERYWHERE.

    There were 2 other sections slightly better presented, showing your typical archaeological findings, tribal history and traditions. Outside was a "cultural village" with representations of huts according to different geographical areas. If anything, this museum has been a good laugh. We spent almost 2 hours here, knowing that we needed to stay around this area all day.

    Since we got out just before 4pm, and we wanted to see a show (diner and theatre of sorts) in this area of town, we now have 2 hours to waste... Beer! Beer garden with micro brewery short walk away it is. They give you a shot glass of their different brews to taste. Unfortunate thing is, most of the beer is quite bland in Uganda, and this was no exception. They all tasted similar or bad. Lol. But ah well, the place looks nice.

    Finally time to make our way to Ndere Centre, a cultural dance show and food! After a little price negotiation (we thought food was included, it wasn't, so we paid the local price which was almost half off!), we got to sit back and enjoy an absolutely incredible show! To think we almost missed it because of the price... There were at points maybe 30 people on stage, either dancing or playing an instrument, with a pretty funny host telling which region they were representing. They even did an Intore dance from the people of Rwanda, a dance Jack was so disappointed we didn't get to witness in Rwanda. It was absolutely fantastic. I also enjoy the idea of paying a dance group to do a representation of their traditional dances and music instead of paying a tour guide to bring me to a village where they mascarade around as if they still live in the days where these costumes were worn. Much less of a "human safari" as they're called around here. It was fantastic and we loved it.
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  • Day57

    Finally the Capital

    February 27, 2016 in Uganda

    We made it to Kampala! Busy, tons of people, impossible to walk effectively Kampala!

    I'm a small town kind of gal when it comes to travelling. I like peaceful, simple places. Big cities are sometimes overwhelming. But there's a certain character in Kampala that really needs to be experienced first hand. The streets are lined with street vendors everywhere, and that's on top of the multiple markets. As much as I'd like to say you can find anything you need around every corner, most of these vendors just repeat themselves. Fruits, second hand clothing, snacks, and a bunch of handkerchiefs.

    There's people everywhere. Again, we haven't seen that many tourist though. Maybe that's because of the size of the city. Who knows. But the vendors will grab onto you, they'll use pitty tactics like buy from me, help me. You basically have to ignore everyone talking to you because responding to everyone would take too much time.

    Jack has an incredible sense of direction, so she managed to get us to the hotel and get us to a mosque and Hindu temple we wanted to see... It was impressive. Because of the size of the city, I'm afraid we will have to take boda-bodas to get from site to site. We're currently in a very central hotel, 6 floors up, broken elevator of course. According to lonely planet, it's the best deal you'll find in town. Whether or not that's true, who knows, but the location is fantastic. The fan wasn't working, and in this room you need a fan! So when we returned from our walk around 7pm they came to replace it. 10 minutes and we had a new fan. Then the TV, which is wall mounted, had no electrical plug around it. Whoever thought that through should be fired. So we asked for an extension cord and eventually got it, only to realize there's 2 channels - one with really boring news, mostly a list of statistics, and one with football highlights. Hm. Then the hot water never made its way up. Good thing the location is great... And there's Wi-Fi!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Kampala, ካምፓላ, كامبالا, Горад Кампала, Кампала, ཀམ་པ་ལ།, کامپالا, Καμπάλα, Kampalo, קמפלה, कम्पाला, Kanpala, Կամպալա, KLA, カンパラ, კამპალა, 캄팔라, कंपाला, କାମ୍ପାଲା, ਕੰਪਾਲਾ, Kaempaala, کمپالہ, Campala, Kambaala, கம்பாலா, กัมปาลา, كامپالا, کمپالا, Kampal, IKampala, קאמפאלא, 坎帕拉

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