June 13, 2024

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5 Amazing Cultural Sites To Visit On Self Drive In Uganda

Uganda‘s culture is made up of various heterogeneous ethnic groups divided into Bantu & Nilotic speaking people. Strategically separated by Lake Kyoga, the Bantu dominate east, central, south and western Uganda while the Nilotics occupy the north and northeastern parts of Uganda. Home to over 56 tribes, Uganda is among the most culturally diverse countries in Africa ready to give you a feel of true local traditions and way of life.

Uganda’s culture is very wide covering traditional music, dances, cuisine, clothing, religion, sport, building styles as well as beliefs & norms. The best way to experience and learn more about the culture of Uganda is self drive or driver-guided tours with the former being cheaper & flexible while the latter is much safer, more comfortable and more informative option.

If you are planning to self drive Uganda this season and wondering which places will give you a full feel of Uganda culture, the 6 cultural sites will give you an insight of some of the top traditional Kingdoms and local communities in Uganda.

1-Kasubi Tombs

Uganda’s most prominent Kingdom; Buganda is home to numerous cultural sites mainly located in the center of Kampala city but there is none as popular as the Kasubi tombs ( Amasiro). Declared a UNESCO heritage site in December 2001, Kasubi tombs are burial grounds for four of Buganda Kingdom’s Kings locally known as Kabakas as well as members of the royal family. Once ravaged by fires in 2010, the Kasubi tombs have be reopen for tourism since last year allowing cultural enthusiasts learn about four of the most popular Kings in Buganda namely Mutesa I (1835- 1884), Mutesa II (1867- 1910), Daudi Chwa II (1896- 1939) and Sir Edward Mutesa II (1924-1971). A self drive tour around Kampala city is the best way to explore Buganda kingdom’s other attractions including Kabaka’s lake, Palace & Coronation grounds among others

2-Uganda Martyrs Shrine

Internationally known as the Basilica of the Uganda Martyrs, this shrine is another very popular cultural site in Uganda located in Namugongo approximately 17.5 km northeast of Kampala city. Each year on 3rd June, thousands of pilgrims flood the Martyrs shrine to commemorate the death of 22 catholic converts to Christianity who were killed in 1886 under the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II during a religious struggle for political influence in the Buganda royal court. The 22 Catholics were beatified by the Catholic church in 1920 and finally canonized in 1964 by Pope Paul VI in Rome.

3- Mparo tombs

Another popular cultural site you should visit when you self drive Uganda is the Mparo tombs; the royal burial site for Omukama Kabalega II plus Kings & Royals of the infamous Bunyoro-Kitara empire. Seating on six acres of land in Mparo village along the Hoima-Masindi highway, the Mparo tombs comprise of round grass-thatched huts with reeds and wooden doors guarded by the Royal guards day and night. You will also get a chance to see the monument built when Sir Emin Pasha met with Kabalega for the first time to persuade him to accept British rule.

4- Sezibwa falls

Situated in Mukono 32 km east of Kampala along the Kampala-Jinja highway is Sezibwa falls; a popular Buganda heritage site popularly visited by die-hard Baganda and King and royals seeking for blessings and miracles as they believe the falls have supernatural powers. Tourists on a Uganda self drive trip love to visit this site not only for its beautiful scenery but also for other exciting adventure activities in store including rock climbing, bird watching, primate tracking and camping.

5- Uganda Museum

Established as early as 1908 by the British protectorate government, the Uganda Museum is the oldest museum in East Africa and another good place to learn more about the culture of Uganda. The museum which displays ethnological, traditional life and natural-historical collections is located 5 km northeast of Kampala city center on Plot 5 along Kira road. Some of the popular cultural items on display include traditional musical instruments, dressing, hunting equipment, ancient weaponry, archeological excavations, and ceremonial practices. There is a cultural village situated just behind the museum for visitors who would love to sample the local way of life of different tribes and buy souvenirs that include milk pots, baskets, beads, ceramics and leather works among others.

Honourable mentions

Ndere Cultural Center, Karambi tombs, Bigobyamugenyi, Kabaka’s Lake, Isingiro Center, Wamala tombs, Nakayima Tree, Bahai temple & Nkonkonjeru tombs.

If you are planning to self drive Uganda and would love to get a full feel of the country’s tradition, then you can add the above cultural sites to your itinerary. Just rent a car in Uganda today by simply sending an email to info@ugandacarrentalservices.com or call us now on +256-700135510 to speak with the reservations team.

Bryan Muhoozi

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