Uganda's capital, Kampala, has been a center of activity since ancient times. Made up of seven hills, it is located just a few miles away from Lake Victoria. The Buganda people first settled here, and it was the first base for the British colonizers too. Being the largest kingdom in Uganda, even traders and explorers made it their base.
Due to an active social and political history, the city is dotted with monuments and cultural spots. The economic influx made sure that modern ideas reached here before anywhere else. Malls, shopping centers, and discos can be found here in abundance today. You can set out for a cultural and historical tour of the town, or explore the ultra-modern side of the capital city. Whatever you wish to do, Kampala welcomes you with the best of both worlds.
To get an idea of some of the things to see and do in Kampala, read on. This guide can also provide you with helpful information about purchasing
travel medical insurance or
to protect your finances during your trip.
Kampala's Most Popular Places for Travel
Kampala is generously endowed with something for every interest. And none of the options are any less than the other. But here are our top picks for the most popular places for travel.
Uganda National Cultural Center
Commonly called the National Theatre, the Uganda National Cultural Center has a lineup of drama, dance, music, and films. There are bars and restaurants and even live events like comedy and jam sessions.
Parliament of Uganda
Yes, you can visit the Parliament of Uganda. You can choose to either tour the mesmerizing building, or even watch the parliamentarians in action during certain times. Dress modestly, carry your ID, and head to the Public Relations Department (Room 114) to begin.
Burial site for the royals of Buganda Kingdom, Kasubi Tombs is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you visit there, you'll feel like you are in a village. The hut with the grass-thatched roof gives that feel, but it was a palace constructed for Kabaka Mutesa I in 1882. It was later turned into his burial site.
Craft Village and Craft Center
Located behind the National Theatre and on Buganda Road respectively, Craft Village and the Craft Center are two places where you'll get to see the most colorful crafts. Ranging from prints to baskets and jewelry to pottery, everything is available here. Shop, explore, and talk to the local artists. You can also get something custom made for yourself.
Located in the school district, the Wandegeya Market has a youthful and lively vibe. You'll find salons, boutiques, offices, and even fresh produce here. Also, don't forget to have a bite of Rolex (a type of egg preparation) and TV chicken. These are Kampala's most famous street food items that you cannot miss trying.
Key Guidelines for Travelers in Kampala
So long as you use common sense and caution, Kampala is a safe destination to explore and enjoy. Follow these guidelines to enhance your experience.
Uganda as a whole is in a malaria zone. You should speak to your doctor about taking antimalarial medication before traveling. Also, use mosquito repellent and mosquito nets, especially if your accommodations require you to keep your windows open due to lack of air conditioning.
The extremely low prices of some guesthouses in Kampala can seem like an attractive way to save some money during your trip. However, some of these houses are in undesirable neighborhoods that may not be safe for tourists. It's better to seek lodging in a more established tourist area, even if it costs a little bit more money.
Like in most cities, pickpockets can be present in Kampala. To lessen your chances of being a victim of theft, keep your valuables secure whenever you're in public. Don't leave bags sitting unattended, and avoid flashing expensive jewelry or lots of cash.
The risk of criminal activity can increase at night. After an evening on the town, use a taxi to return to your hotel instead of walking.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers in Kampala - FAQs
No matter how many precautions are taken, any traveler can fall ill. If you're lucky, it will be something mild like an upset stomach that can be resolved with over-the-counter remedies. However, if it's something more serious, medical attention could be required. To receive prompt care, you may need to seek treatment at a private facility. These facilities can be expensive, and without adequate insurance, the cost of the entire bill would be your responsibility. To avoid spending more than you expected on medical care in Kampala, be sure to have travel medical insurance.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Kampala?
The government of Uganda does not require visitors to have medical insurance, but it is highly suggested. Travel medical insurance usually makes up less than 10% of your trip cost, but the amount it can save you could be far more. If you're afflicted with a serious injury or illness in Kampala, the local hospitals may not be equipped to give you the treatment you need. In this case, emergency medical evacuation could be necessary. The cost of evacuation can be extremely high, and is not something you would want to be responsible for paying out of your own pocket. Avoid this financial burden with travel medical insurance.
Why buy travel medical insurance before traveling to Kampala?
Traveling to Kampala can put you at greater risk of contracting malaria, and other vector-borne and food-borne illnesses. You can also be at greater risk of being injured while sightseeing in exciting new locations. While there's no way to eliminate the risk of getting sick or hurt, there is a way to mitigate the effect it can have on your bank account. With travel medical insurance, you can have the financial coverage you need for unexpected medical issues during your time in Kampala.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Kampala - FAQs
If you think there's no chance of your trip being canceled, we sincerely hope you're right. However, it's impossible to be sure. Natural disasters, political unrest, travel restrictions, and even personal illnesses and injuries can strike with little warning, leaving you no choice but to forgo your travel plans. If this happens, you could be in line for a big financial loss if you can't get refunded for your prepaid trip expenses. With trip cancellation insurance, you can put yourself in the best position to receive that refund.
Why should I get trip cancellation insurance for my Kampala travel?
A lot of the money you'll have to spend to take an international trip will be spent before your flight ever leaves the ground. You'll need to pay for your airline tickets up front, not to mention your lodging, tour guides, event tickets, etc. These expenses are usually nonrefundable. If you have to cancel your trip, you may have no way to get reimbursed for your largest expenses if you don't have insurance.
When you are covered by trip cancellation insurance, you can be reimbursed for your nonrefundable, prepaid travel costs if you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason. It can help you recoup a significant amount of money, all for a comparatively small investment.
What should I look for in my Kampala trip cancellation insurance?
Get a travel insurance plan that provides a level of coverage you're comfortable with for travel situations you think you'd want to be protected from. Some of the benefits offered can include:
Before You Travel to Kampala - Do This
You may want to avoid wearing light blue or yellow clothing, as these are the colors of the two primary political parties in Uganda. Although this is very unlikely to cause an issue, it never hurts to be on the safe side.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor before you travel to make sure you have all the proper vaccinations and boosters.
Do your research, and purchase
travel medical insurance or
with the right coverage for you.