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 1990s, Kampala managed to regenerate itself and is now a typical African city.
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.
Suggested itinerary 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
- Entebbe 32 kilometers away
- Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary 48 kilometers away
- Jinja 71 kilometers away
- Kibale Forest National Park 185 kilometers away
- Lake Mburo 211 kilometers away
- Murchison Falls National Park 234 kilometers away
- Semliki Wildlife Reserve 259 kilometers away
- Queen Elizabeth National Park 291 kilometers away
- Lake Bunyonyi 346 kilometers away
- Ishasha 350 kilometers away
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest 356 kilometers away
- Mgahinga National Park 377 kilometers away
Photos of 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.