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Kampala skyline
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Location of Kampala in Uganda
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Location in Africa
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Kampala (Africa)
Coordinates: 00°18′49″N32°34′52″E / 0.31361°N 32.58111°E / 0.31361; 32.58111 Coordinates: 00°18′49″N32°34′52″E / 0.31361°N 32.58111°E / 0.31361; 32.58111
Country Uganda
City Kampala
   Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago
   Executive director Andrew Kitaka Mubiru (since December 2018)[ citation needed ]
  Total189 km2 (73 sq mi)
  Land176 km2 (68 sq mi)
  Water13 km2 (5 sq mi)
1,190 m (3,900 ft)
 (2014 Census)
  Density7,928/km2 (20,530/sq mi)
Demonyms Kampalan, Kampalese
Time zone UTC+3 (EAT)
Website www.kcca.go.ug

Kampala ( UK: /kæmˈpɑːlə/ , [1] [2] US: /kɑːmˈ-/ ) [1] [3] is the capital and largest city of Uganda. The city is divided into five boroughs that oversee local planning: Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division, and Rubaga Division. Surrounding Kampala is the rapidly growing Wakiso District, whose population more than doubled between 2002 and 2014 and as of 2014 Wakiso was reported to stand at over 2 million. [4]

British English is the standard dialect of English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective wee is almost exclusively used in parts of Scotland and Ireland, and occasionally Yorkshire, whereas little is predominant elsewhere. Nevertheless, there is a meaningful degree of uniformity in written English within the United Kingdom, and this could be described by the term British English. The forms of spoken English, however, vary considerably more than in most other areas of the world where English is spoken, so a uniform concept of British English is more difficult to apply to the spoken language. According to Tom McArthur in the Oxford Guide to World English, British English shares "all the ambiguities and tensions in the word 'British' and as a result can be used and interpreted in two ways, more broadly or more narrowly, within a range of blurring and ambiguity".

American English Set of dialects of the English language spoken in the United States

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. American English is considered one of the most influential dialects of English globally, including on other varieties of English.

Uganda Republic in East Africa

Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda, is a country in East-Central Africa. It is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south-west by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region. Uganda also lies within the Nile basin, and has a varied but generally a modified equatorial climate.


Kampala was named the 13th fastest growing city on the planet, with an annual population growth rate of 4.03 percent, [5] by City Mayors. Kampala has been ranked the best city to live in East Africa [6] ahead of Nairobi and Kigali by Mercer, a global development consulting agency based in New York City.

Nairobi Capital city in Nairobi County, Kenya

Nairobi is the capital and the largest city of Kenya. The name comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nairobi, which translates to "cool water", a reference to the Nairobi River which flows through the city. The city proper had a population of 3,138,369 in the 2009 census, while the metropolitan area has a population of 6,547,547. The city is popularly referred to as the Green City in the Sun.

Kigali Capital city in Kigali Province, Rwanda

Kigali is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is near the nation's geographic centre. The city has been Rwanda's economic, cultural, and transport hub since it became capital at independence in 1962. The city hosts the main residence and offices of the President of Rwanda and government ministries. The city is within the province of Kigali City, which was enlarged in January 2006, as part of local government reorganisation in the country. Kigali's city limits cover the whole province; it is consolidated. The city's urban area covers about 70% of the municipal boundaries.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.


The name Kampala originally referred to only the present-day Old Kampala hill on whose summit was located the former Fort Lugard and the headquarters of the British Colonialist in the soon to be Uganda Protectorate. Prior to the British occupation and construction of Fort Lugard, this hill was a hunting reserve of the Kabaka of Buganda and had several species of antelope, particularly the impala. When the British arrived, they called this place " The Hill of the Impala". Later on, the Baganda in whose territory this British Settlement was located, translated "Hill of the Impala" as Akasozi ke'Empala – "Kasozi" meaning "hill", "ke" meaning "of", and "empala" the plural of "impala". In Luganda, the words "ka'mpala" mean "that it is of the impala", in reference to a hill, and the single word "Kampala" came to refer to the British colonial Settlement that later developed out of the occupied Old Kampala hill near the pre-existing Kibuga (capital) of Buganda Kingdom.''. [7]

Impala A medium-sized antelope found in eastern and southern Africa

The impala is a medium-sized antelope found in eastern and southern Africa. The sole member of the genus Aepyceros, it was first described to European audiences by German zoologist Hinrich Lichtenstein in 1812. Two subspecies are recognised—the common impala, and the larger and darker black-faced impala. The impala reaches 70–92 centimetres at the shoulder and weighs 40–76 kg (88–168 lb). It features a glossy, reddish brown coat. The male's slender, lyre-shaped horns are 45–92 centimetres long.


This area of numerous hills that later become known as Kampala was the core of the highly centralized Buganda Kingdom and site of the location of shifting Kibuga(capitals) and of its different Bassekabaka(Kings). Each Kabaka(king) would set up his Kibuga(capital)on a new and different hill in this area, the first written description of this Kibuga was by the explorer Richard Francis Burton in his book The Lake Region of East Africa published in 1860.

Richard Francis Burton British explorer, geographer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer, and diplomat

Sir Richard Francis Burton was a British explorer, geographer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer, and diplomat. He was famed for his travels and explorations in Asia, Africa and the Americas, as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures. According to one count, he spoke 29 European, Asian and African languages.

In the book, Burton relying on the information collected by Snay Bin Amir, an Arab trader, described the Kibuga as “…the settlement is not less than a day’s journey in length, the buildings are of cane and rattan. The sultan (Kabaka)’s palace is at least a mile long and the circular huts neatly arranged in a line are surrounded by a strong fence which has only four gates.

in 1862 when explorer John Speke arrived in the Buganda Kingdom Mutesa I of Buganda was king and his Kibuga(Capital) was at Bandabarogo present-day Banda hill. Later on, in 1875 explorer Henry Morton Stanley reported the capital as being at present-day Lubaga hill were he met the same Kabaka Mutesa I. And during this visit, Henry Stanley Morton wrote a letter that was published in the Daily Telegraphy inviting missionaries to come to Buganda.

Henry Morton Stanley Welsh journalist and explorer

Sir Henry Morton Stanley was a Welsh journalist and explorer who was famous for his exploration of central Africa and his search for missionary and explorer David Livingstone. Upon finding Livingstone, Stanley reportedly asked, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" Stanley is also known for his search for the source of the Nile, his pioneering work that enabled the plundering of the Congo Basin region by King Leopold II of Belgium, and his command of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition. He was knighted in 1899.

Lubaga Place in Uganda

Lubaga is a hill in Kampala, Uganda's capital and largest city. Its comes from the Luganda word okubaga, a process of "planning" or "making a structure stronger" while constructing it. For example; okubaga ekisenge means to strengthen the internal structure of a wall while building a house. The name also applies to the neighborhood on the hill.

In 1877 the first lot of missionaries of Church Mission Society who were of the protestant faith, arrived from the United Kingdom to Buganda and were given Namirembe hill and two years later in 1879 the catholic White Fathers missionaries also arrived in Buganda and were also given another hill Lubaga hill. The arrival of these two missionaries groups laid the ground for the Religious wars of 1888 to 1892 between their new converts and forcing the missionaries from Britain to then lobby for the British government to take over Buganda/Uganda as a protectorate.

The Church Mission Society (CMS), formerly known as the Church Missionary Society, is a British mission society working with the Anglican Communion and Protestant Christians around the world. Founded in 1799, CMS has attracted over nine thousand men and women to serve as mission partners during its 200-year history. The society has also given its name "CMS" to a number of daughter organisations around the world, including Australia and New Zealand, which have now become independent.

White Fathers society of apostolic life

The Missionaries of Africa, commonly known as the White Fathers or the Society of the Missionaries of Africa are a Roman Catholic society of apostolic life. Founded in 1868 by Archbishop of Algiers Cardinal Charles Lavigerie, the society focuses on evangelism and education, mostly in Africa. In 2019, the White Fathers numbered 1,191 perpetually vowed members.

In 1890 Frederick Lugard, an agent of the Imperial British East Africa Company, arrived in Buganda during the reign of Ssekabaka Mwanga II with whom he signed a treaty of protection by the British government over Buganda and whose Kibuga(Capital) was at Mengo hill. Captain Lugard would, later on, be allocated the hill that would soon be known as Old Kampala were he built a fort.

In 1895, Mengo Senior School the first school offering Western Education in Kampala was opened by the Church Missionary Society at Namirembe hill were mostly children of chiefs and pages of the Royal palaces were the students.

In 1897 Ssekabaka Mwanga would rebel and wage a war against British rule and was subsequently captured and deported in 1899 to Seychelles alongside Omukama Kabalega and Mwanga's son who was 3 years old at the time was made the King by the combined forces of the British officers, Nubian soldiers and Baganda collaborators and culminating in the signing of the Buganda Agreement (1900) that formalized British colonial rule in Buganda.

In 1897, Kampala's first Western-style health facility Mengo Hospital was opened on Namirembe hill by British Doctor and missionary Sir Albert Ruskin Cook would also, later on, founded Mulago Hospital the current National Referral Hospital in 1913 at Mulago hill. In 1899, Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa would open Lubaga Hospital at Lubaga hill.

This agreement by Sir Harry Johnston created new land tenures such as Freehold, Crownland, Mailo and divided up and allocated the land in such a way would that would come to define the development of Kampala.

The Land in Buganda's capital (Kibuga) included Mengo hill,Makerere hill, etc was allocated to the young king of Buganda, the Baganda colonial collaborators, etc under mailo and freehold.

The Religious Missions were also formally allocated land they were previously occupying including Catholic White Fathers who got Lubaga hill, the Protestant Church Missionary Society got Namirembe hill, the Muslims under Prince Nuhu Mbogo's leadership received Kibuli hill and the Catholic Saint Joseph's Missionary Society of Mill Hill from Britain received most of Nsambya hill. and finally, the Uganda colonial/Protectorate government got land classified as crownland in the area such as Old Kampala hill, Nakasero Hill, etc this would be formalized by the Uganda Crownland Ordinance of 1903.

In 1906, the Crownland consisting of Old Kampala and Nakasero hills and covering 567 Hectares(5.67sqkm) was consolidated and gazetted as Kampala Township and by 1912 when Kampala Township first got its first land-use plan the Township had a population of 2,850 people who were mostly European and Asians. [8]

In 1922,Makerere University Kampala's oldest University was founded as the Uganda Technical College at the present Makerere hill and offered carpentry, building construction and mechanics, arts, education, agriculture, and medicine.

In 1930 another planning scheme (land use plan) was introduced to regulate developments within the township. The 1930 land-use plan for Kampala segregated residential, industrial and commercial areas as well as a planned civic center. [9]

In 1930 the first sewerage plan was prepared targeting a population of 20,000 people in Nakasero and Old Kampala areas of the Kampala township. This plan guided sewerage development from 1936–1940 in planned urban areas of the Kampala Township and excluded the Kibuga area occupied by the Baganda and other natives. [10]

In 1931, the Uganda Railway line reached Kampala connecting Kampala to Mombasa Port thirty-five years from the commencement of its construction. [11]

In 1938, The East African Power & Lighting Company was granted a license for thermal electric power generation and distribution for towns of Kampala and Entebbe and in the same year Governor Sir Philip Mitchel switched on Kampala and Uganda's first electric street lights. [12] , [13]

In 1945, Ernst May a German Architect was commissioned by Uganda Protectorate Government to design a new physical plan for Kampala. Ernst May's plan 0f 1947 was intended to extend Kampala eastwards covering Kololo hill, Naguru hill and with commercial center on the southern slopes of Nakasero hill, an industrial zone in the southeast of Kampala and for the first time a planned residential zone for the Ugandan natives. [14] The plan was never fully implemented and 1951 the third physical plan by Henry Kendall was instead adopted though it incorporated some elements of Ernst May's 1947 plan. [15]

Henry Kendall's 1951 plan expanded Kampala from the 5.67sqkm area of 1930 plan to an area of 28sqkm incorporating areas like Kololo hill, Industrial Area, etc. However, like the first two planning schemes, the 1951 plan failed to achieve many of its stated objectives [16]

On 9th October of 1962, Uganda gained independence subsequently the capital city was transferred from Entebbe to Kampala and in the same year, Kampala was granted City status.

In 1968, five years after Uganda attaining Independence the Boundaries of Kampala were expanded incorporating the Kibuga(now known as Mengo Municipality), Kawempe and Nakawa Townships, areas of Muyenga, Ggaba, etc. [17] This increased administrative area of Kampala from 28sqkm to the current 189sqkm.

In 1972, the fourth physical plan for Kampala was made covering the newly incorporated areas of Kampala's boundary extensions of 1968 but the subsequent political and economic turmoil of the 1970s and 1980s meant the plan was never implemented. [18] , [19] Similarly, the fifth physical plan for Kampala made in 1994, like 1972 plan was never also implemented.

In 2010 Kampala Capital City Authority act was enacted giving the government more control of the administration Kampala city and the act also created the Kampala Metropolitan Physical Planning Authority with aims of improving the infrastructure of the Kampala proper and the surrounding areas of Wakiso district, Mukono Town, and parts of Mpigi and Luwero districts. [20]


Lake Victoria KAMPALA.LAKE VICTORIA.1 - panoramio.jpg
Lake Victoria

Several neighbourhoods of Kampala are bordering Lake Victoria.


Kampala has a tropical rainforest climate (Af) under the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system. [21]

A facet of Kampala's weather is that it features two annual wetter seasons. While the city does not have a true dry season month, it experiences heavier precipitation from August to December and from February to June. However, it's between February and June that Kampala sees substantially heavier rainfall per month, with April typically seeing the heaviest amount of precipitation at an average of around 169 millimetres (6.7 in) of rain. Kampala has been frequently described as the lightning-strike capital of the world.

Climate data for Kampala
Record high °C (°F)33
Average high °C (°F)28.6
Daily mean °C (°F)23.2
Average low °C (°F)17.7
Record low °C (°F)12
Average rainfall mm (inches)68.4
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)6668.57378.580.578.577.577.575.573.57371.574.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 1551701551201241801861551501551501241,824
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization , [22] Climate-Data.org for mean temperatures [21]
Source #2: BBC Weather [23]


The Kasubi Tombs Kampala Kasubi Tombs.jpg
The Kasubi Tombs

Kampala was originally built on seven hills, but it has expanded to cover more than the original seven hills.

The original seven hills were:

Old Kampala Hill on which Fort Lugard was located, the first seat of the British colonialists in Uganda.

The second is Mengo Hill which was the then Kibuga (capital) of Buganda kingdom at the start of British colonial rule

The third is Kibuli Hill, that is home to the Kibuli Mosque.

The fourth is Namirembe Hill, that was home to the Anglican(Wangeleza) faction of the Buganda religious wars of 1888 to 1892 and site of Namirembe Anglican Cathedral.

The fifth is Lubaga Hill, that was home to the White Fathers Catholic(Wafaransa) faction of the above mentioned Buganda religious wars and also site of the Rubaga Catholic Cathedral.

The sixth is Nsambya Hill, site of the former Cathedral of St Peter's Nsambya and allocated to the British Catholic Mill Hill Mission during the signing of the Uganda Agreement(1900).

The seventh is Nakasero Hill on whose summit was Fort Nakasero, a British military installation built after relocating from Fort Lugard in Old Kampala,the hill was also the site of the European Hospital(the current government analytical laboratory opposite Ministry of Public Service headquarters).


Makerere University Ssetendekero Makerere.jpg
Makerere University

The Makerere University was founded in 1922.


Street map of Kampala Location map Kampala.png
Street map of Kampala
View of Kampala from space Kampala 32.57974E 0.29781N.jpg
View of Kampala from space

The population of Kampala grew from 1,189,142 in 2002 to 1,507,080 in 2014. In 2019 the population of Kampala is projected to be 1,650,800. [24] [25]

Kampala has a diverse ethnic population. The city's ethnic makeup has been defined by political and economic factors. A large number of western Ugandans, particularly the Banyankole, moved to the capital in the new government of Yoweri Museveni. [26]

Inter-tribal marriage in Uganda is still uncommon outside large urban centers. Although many Kampala residents have been born and brought up in the city, they still define themselves by their tribal roots and speak their ancestral languages. This is more evident in the suburbs, where tribal languages are spoken widely alongside English, Luganda, and Swahili (more recently introduced). In addition to the Baganda and Banyankole, other large ethnic groups include the Basoga, Bafumbira, Batoro, Bakiga, Alur, Bagisu (better known as Bamasaba), Banyoro, Iteso, Langi, and Acholi. [27]

YearTotal Population
194862,264 [28]
1959107,058 [29]
1969330,700 [30]
1980458,503 [31]
1991774,241 [32]
20021,189,142 [33]
20141,504,080 [34]
20191,650,800 [35]


Cultural institutions

There are the Uganda Museum and the Ugandan National Theatre.

Ndere Cultural Centre

A prominent cultural centre in the Kampala area of Kisasi that aims to promote Ugandan and African cultural expressions through music, dance and drama. The name Ndere is derived from the noun 'endere', which means flute. As an instrument found in all cultures, it is chosen as a peaceful symbol of the universality of cultural expressions. The Ndere centre is famous for its Ndere troupe, a music and dance troupe that perform several nights every week at the centre showcasing music and dance from all over Uganda as well as Rwanda and Burundi. [36]


Notable people

Honorary citizens

People awarded the honorary citizenship of Kampala are:

16 June 2017 Aga Khan IV (1936Present)British Humanitarian and Imam of Nizari-Ismaili Shia Islam. [38] [39]


Kampala is home to the City Oilers, one of East Africa's top basketball club teams. It is the only East African team that competes in the FIBA Africa Clubs Champions Cup. The Oilers play their home games in the MTN Arena, which is based in Kampala's Lugogo Area. [40]

The city hosted the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 2017.


Efforts are underway to relocate heavy industry to the Kampala Business and Industrial Park, located in Namanve, Mukono District, approximately 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) east of the city's central business district, [41] thereby cutting down on city traffic congestion. Some of the businesses that maintain their headquarters in the city center include all of the 25 commercial banks licensed in Uganda; the New Vision Group, the leading news media conglomerate and majority owned by the government; and the Daily Monitor publication, a member of the Kenya-based Nation Media Group. Air Uganda maintained its headquarters in an office complex on Kololo Hill in Kampala. [42] Crown Beverages Limited, the sole Pepsi-Cola franchise bottler in the country, is situated in Nakawa, a division of Kampala, about 5 kilometres (3 mi), east of the city centre. [43]

The informal sector is a large contributor to Kampala's GDP. Citizens who work in the formal sector also participate in informal activities to earn more income for their families. A public servant in Kampala, for example, may engage in aviculture in addition to working in the formal sector. Other informal fields include owning taxis and urban agriculture. The use of Kampala's wetlands for urban farming has increased over the past few decades. It connects the informal rural settlements with the more industrialized parts of the city. The produce grown in the wetlands is sold in markets in the urban areas. [44]

In December 2015, Google launched its first wi-fi network in Kampala. [45]

While more than 30 percent of Kampala's inhabitants practice urban agriculture, the city of Kampala donated 32 acres (13 ha) to promote urban agriculture in the northeastern parish of Kyanja, in Nakawa Division. [46]


Kampala is served by Entebbe International Airport, which is the largest airport in Uganda.

Boda-bodas (local motorbike transport) are a popular mode of transport that gives access to many areas within and outside the city. Standard fees for these range from USh:1,000 to 2,000 or more. Boda-bodas are useful for passing through rush-hour traffic, although many are poorly maintained and dangerous. [47]

In early 2007, it was announced that Kampala would remove commuter taxis from its streets and replace them with a comprehensive city bus service. (In Kampala, the term "taxi" refers to a 15-seater minibus used as public transport.) The bus service was expected to cover the greater Kampala metropolitan area including Mukono, Mpigi, Bombo, Entebbe, Wakiso and Gayaza. As of December 2011 the service had not yet started. [48] Having successfully completed the Northern Bypass, the government, in collaboration with its stakeholders, now plans to introduce the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Kampala by 2014. On 12 March 2012, Pioneer Easy Bus Company, a private transport company, started public bus service in Kampala with an estimated 100 buses each with a 60-passenger capacity (30 seated and 30 standing), acquired from China. Another 422 buses were expected in the country in 2012 to complement the current fleet. The buses operate 24 hours daily. The company has a concession to provide public transport in the city for the next five years. [49] [50] The buses were impounded for back taxes in December 2013. The company expected to resume operation in February 2015. [51]

In 2014, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni and a China transportation company signed a Memorandum of Understanding, that they would at some point begin embarking on building a light rail system in Kampala, similar to the one recently completed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

On 11 April 2011, the pressure group Activists for Change (A4C) held its first Walk to Work protest near Kampala, in response to a comment by President Museveni on the increased cost of fuel, which had risen by 50 percent between January and April 2011. He said: "What I call on the public to do is to use fuel sparingly. Don't drive to bars." [52] [53] The protest, which called on workers to walk to work to highlight the increased cost of transport in Uganda, [52] was disrupted by police, who fired tear gas and arrested three-time presidential candidate Kizza Besigye and Democratic Party leader Norbert Mao. [54] In the course of the protest, Besigye was shot in the right arm by a rubber bullet. The government blamed the violence on protesters. [53]

In 2016, the Rift Valley Railways Consortium (RVR) and Kampala Capital City Authority established passenger rail service between Namanve and Kampala and between Kampala and Kyengera. Those services were temporarily discontinued after RVR lost its concession in Uganda in October 2017. [55] However, when Uganda Railways Corporation took over the operations of the metre gauge railway system in Uganda in 2018, the service was restored in February that year. [56] A new Kampala to Port Bell route is being planned, to be added in the 2018/2019 financial year. [55]

Places of worship

Among the places of worship, they are predominantly Christian churches and temples : Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kampala (Catholic Church), Church of Uganda (Anglican Communion), Presbyterian Church in Uganda (World Communion of Reformed Churches), Baptist Union of Uganda (Baptist World Alliance), Assemblies of God. [57] There are also Muslim mosques.

Kampala hosts a Bahá'í House of Worship known as the Mother Temple of Africa and is situated on Kikaya Hill on the outskirts of the city. The temple was inaugurated in January 1961. [58]

See also

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