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 travelling further afield.
History of Kampala
The hills surrounding modern day Kampala had been at the political centre 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 centre 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 centre 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 20 miles away
- Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary 30 miles away
- Jinja 45 miles away
- Kibale Forest National Park 114 miles away
- Lake Mburo 130 miles away
- Semliki Wildlife Reserve 152 miles away
- Murchison Falls National Park 153 miles away
- Queen Elizabeth National Park 180 miles away
- Lake Bunyonyi 214 miles away
- Ishasha 216 miles away
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest 229 miles away
- Mgahinga National Park 233 miles 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.
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 centre. 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.