Uganda is very rich in culture and has a strong cultural heritage with a couple of cultural sites split up in different regions of the country. Almost each and every tribe in Uganda has either a kingdom or chiefdom which has been the tradition ever since. Kingdoms and Chiefdoms was first demolished over 40 years ago not until the incumbent president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni revived the idea of Kingdoms in Uganda shortly after taking over power in 1986. The fact that Uganda has always had a strong cultural heritage has left it with so many cultural attractions (See list below).
Kasubi tombs is located approximately 6 kilometers from Kampala city in a place called Kasubi right after Mengo, Rubaga. The tombs hold a significant to Buganda Kingdom, 4 Kings of the Kingdom (Kabaka) were buried in it. Ever since, a lot of respect has been paid to Kasubi Tombs. It’s also claimed that ancient Baganda rituals have been performed in this place for centuries of years. Besides holding the burial graves of four Kabakas, The tombs also hold various historical treasures and tools of Buganda Kingdom.
Namugongo Martyrs Shrine is one of the popular and most recognized cultural sites in Uganda. It’s definitely a very important attraction in Uganda and is so far the most visited. This is the place where 22 catholic Christian converts (The Uganda Martyrs) brutally lost their lives following the orders of the Buganda King, Kabaka Mwanga II in 1886. Touristic shrines have been built by the Roman Catholic Church Christians and the Church of Uganda in this place and every 3rd of June, pilgrimages are made to this place to commemorate the catholic converts that lost their lives because of their faith in God.
Also referred to as Fort Baker, this fort is located approximately 29 kilometers north of the town of Gulu in a place called Patiko, north east of Awach. Fort Baker was founded by Sir Samuel Baker, an early explorer in this Uganda. The stone structure around the fort symbolizes Sir Samuel Baker’s exceptional effort against ending slavery in this area. The construction of Baker’s Fort was completed in the year 1872.
Bigo bya Mugenyi
Bigo bya Mugenyi is located in a place called Ntusi in Mubende district. It holds numerous earthwork and cultural values of the ancient Cwezi, the first Bachwezi people who lived in the area. The road to Bigo bya Mugenyi is very dusty without a single refreshment joint in place. This place holds the treasures of the Bachwezi and is referred to as the abandoned treasure.
The Karambi Tombs are one of the most important places in Tooro Kingdom. Three Tooro Kings (Abakama), Kyebambe Kamurasi, Rukidi III and Olumi Kaboyo II plus other Tooro Kingdom royals were buried in this these Tombs with each king holding his own own tomb. The tombs are located in Fort Portal, 6km away from town on Fort Portal-Kasese Road. The royal regalia that were used by each of the three kings are kept in these tombs.
Situated about 4 kilometers along the Hoima road in Mparo Division, Hoima District; Mparo Tombs holds significant value to Bunyoro Kingdom. These tombs are the burial grounds for kings of Bunyoro Kingdom and it’s royals. One of the greatest kings of the Bunyoro Kitara empire, Omukama Kabalega was buried in these tombs. Many people visit Mparo Tombs to perform rituals and also honor or seek blessings from their fallen king, Omukama Kabalega.
Located in Mukono district in between Bugerere and Kyagwe kingdom-parishes, Sezibwa Falls holds significant spiritual value to the Baganda people. The falls have been one of the most important spots for the past and present Kabakas (kings of Buganda Kingdom). Former kings, Kabaka Mwanga and Kabaka Mutesa II are claimed to have tethered twins from this same spot. Besides the cultural values it holds, Sezibwa Falls attracts a great number of tourists. It’s a very good spot for Birding, enjoying culture, rock climbing, spiritual healing and relaxation.
Found in Mubende District, the Nakayima Tree is over 400 years old, one of the oldest and biggest tree in Uganda at the moment. Residents around the area say Nakayima Tree was planted by Nakayima, a wife to Nduhura by then. It is claimed that long ago, many people around the area used to walk up hill to Nakayima tree to get blessings. This tree is still looked at as a source of blessings with many still maintaining the tradition of seeking for blessings from it.
Situated in a place called Kakiika in Mbarara District, Nkokonjeru tombs is the burial grounds for the last two Kings of Ankole (Omugabes), Edward Solomon Kahaya II and Sir Charles Godfrey Rutahaba Gasyonga II. Several royals were also buried in this place. External to the main tombs are about 9 graves of other royals.
Nyero Rock Paintings
Situated 8 kilometers west of Kumi town on Ngora Road in Eastern Uganda, Nyero rock paintings are so amazing for sight-seeing. This is an early Iron Age stone site and the paintings on the rock are found in three rock havens. A portion of the paintings on Nyero Rock symbolize animals, canoes and concentric circles. The Nyero rock paintings are claimed to have been modeled by the early people who settled in the area.
Naggalabi – Buddo Coronation Site
The Naggalabi – Buddo Coronation Site is located on Budo Hill in Busiro County, Wakiso District, about 16 kilometers from Kampala. This is a place where the Kabakas of Buganda (Kings of Buganda Kingdom) are enthroned from in a traditional ceremony. It is also believed that Buganda Kingdom was born in this particular place around the 14th and 15th centuries.
Situated on top of a hill with exceptionally beautiful surroundings, Wamala Tombs holds the grave of Kabaka Suuna II, a Buganda King who ruled Buganda Kingdom in the middle of the 19th century. Kabaka Suuna II was the first king to admit outside traders into Bugunda (now called Uganda). It’s claimed he had over 148 wives and 218 children. Wamala Tomb is very unique among other tombs and very magical as well.
Nnamasole Baagalayaze and Kanyange Tombs
Located in Kagoma along the Kampala – Bombo highway, The Nnamasole Tombs holds the body of Nnamasole Kanyange, the mother to Kabaka Suuna II who is buried at the Wamala Tombs. Nnamasole Tombs are not far away from Wamala Tombs, they are located just on top of a hill facing a valley to Wamala Tombs. Nnamasole Tombs also holds the bodies of other mothers to Buganda Kings (Kabaka). Just like other tombs, the tombs are a very vital place for rituals and ceremonies. It contains a sacred drum used to request the presence of Kabaka Suuna II’s spirit.
Ndere Troupe Cultural Center
The name Ndere is derived from the Luganda noun “endere”, which means a flute. Ndere Troupe Cultural Center is located in Ntinda and probably one of those places you can enjoy traditional dancing, cuisines and culture from in Kampala. This place attracts a big number of tourists and also offers accommodation services. It’s a place to be.
Igongo Cultural Center
Positioned about 13 km from Mbarara Town on the Mbarara – Kampala highway, Igongo Cultural Center is one of those places you would love to be in while in western Uganda. The cultural center lays on the grounds of a former palace of the Ankole kingdom. When you arrive at the center, you will be welcomed by a beautiful view of the gardens and a nice looking setup that holds a museum, a crafts shop and a restaurant.
Itaaba Kyabanyoro is a very relevant traditional site the history of the Ankole kingdom. This spot is exactly where the very last king of the great Bachwezi dynasty, Wamala modeled the sacred Bagyendanwa royal drum. The Bagyendanwa is one of the most important royal regalia in the Kingom of Ankole up to today. Itaaba Kyabanyoro is situated just a few kilometers from Mbarara town, along the Mbarara – Kabale highway at a place called Kinoni Rwampara.
Katereke Prison Ditch
The Katereke Prison Ditch recites a timeline of a violent and brutal savagery time that was full of betrayal in the history of Buganda Kingdom. It recites King Kalema, a king who imprisoned and slaughtered all his 30 brothers and sisters (princes and princesses) in the year 1888 for fear of dethroning him. Katereke Prison Ditch today is a tourist site that attracts many tourists. However, the surviving earthworks remind of the savagery period when the destiny of Buganda Kingdom wasn’t clear and predictable.
If you feel any important cultural site has been left out, please email us on: email@example.com and we shall add it on the list.