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Kampala is the largest city and capital of Uganda. It is a relatively safe city with a good range of accommodation options. You would use Kampala as a base for traveling further afield.

History of Kampala

The hills surrounding modern day Kampala had been at the political center of the Kingdom of Buganda for many years before Captain Lugard, a representative of the British East Africa Company, set up camp on Kampala Hill in 1890.

The most significant point in the growth of Kampala was the arrival in 1901 of the railway line from Mombasa on the Kenyan coast. This allowed Kampala to become the trading center of Uganda and a bustling city.

In the early years of independence, Kampala was considered to be the epitome of how an African city should develop but during the Idi Amin years the city disintegrated into chaos. However, during the 90's, Kampala managed to regenerate itself and is now a typical African city.

Modern Kampala

In the center is a small, bustling, high-rise modern business district surrounded by a spread of dusty but vibrant suburban sprawl switching between the extremes of wealth and poverty. On the outskirts of the city, the green and hilly suburbs merge into the surrounding rural countryside of banana, maize and millet plantations and cattle farms.

Although there is little of interest to tourists and it is not a particularly pretty place, Kampala is a pleasant and safe city.

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who's been there

Audley Travel Specialist Tom

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Kampala by contacting one of our Uganda specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Kampala

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Kampala, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Kampala

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Kampala

    Accommodation choices for Kampala

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Kampala. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Pool at The Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala

      Emin Pasha

      First Class

      This is a lovely small hotel in a peaceful location but within a short taxi ride of the numerous restaurants and bars in the city center. This is a perfect place to spend a night or two if you want somewhere luxurious and stylish to start or end your visit to Uganda.