Kampala-City Tourist attractions in central Uganda
Kampala, capital of Uganda

National parks, waterbodies, wildlife reserves, mountains, forests, swamps, and cultural sites make up the tourist attractions in the central region of Uganda.

There are several tourist attractions in central Uganda. A lot of them are spread out through Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and surrounding regions. These are the places that earned Uganda, its name the Pearl of Africa.

The tourist attractions in the central region of Uganda consist of national parks, water bodies, wildlife reserves, mountains, forests, swamps, and cultural sites. You decide where you want to visit first. 

The best thing is that they’re close to each other so you won’t have to travel far. The most you can travel is only a one-day trip. 

Let’s get straight into them.

Ssezibwa falls in Mukono

Ssezibwa Falls are important to Buganda (1)
Historically, culturally, and religiously, the Ssezibwa Falls are important to Buganda. PHOTO/TRIPADVISOR

Ssezibwa Falls is located in the District of Mukono, 32 kilometers from Kampala, on the main road between Kampala and Jinja. 

The Ssezibwa falls are caused by water rushing through a small crack in the rocks and falling quickly into a sizable pool.

Before going to the source of the Nile river for activities like whitewater rafting or bungee jumping, you must visit Ssezibwa falls. Ssezibwa is a locally used expression that means “something infinite.” 

For the Baganda people, the Sezibwa falls are a significant cultural and spiritual place. 

Some of the activities one can do at Ssezibwa falls include, swimming, nature walks, hiking and climbing rocks, and photography. 

You can also do village walks in Ngogwe, Madudu, Wamala, and Kungu. They are villages close to the falls. This can cost about UGX 10,000 per person. 

Kampala City Center

Tourist attractions in central Uganda

To experience the tourist attractions in central Uganda, you must visit Kampala. It’s the capital city of Uganda. You can go on a walking tour or a vehicle ride. However one of the finest ways to explore Kampala City Center is by taking a walk. 

It is not only a city but also a district, situated in the Buganda Kingdom. About 1,659,600 individuals made up the entire population as of 2011.

And, due to the city’s proximity to the equator, the climate remains warm throughout the year which is a good thing. 

Additionally, the city of Kampala was once centered on seven hills, but it has since expanded and grown to cover over twenty-two hills. There are lots to see and experience here, making it a terrific destination to explore.

For party-goers, you’d be happy to know that Kampala is a city that never sleeps. There are lots of bars and restaurants open 24 hrs every day.

On a walking tour of Kampala, you can see the old taxi park, the Owino market, and the local crafts, vegetable, and food markets.

Namugongo Catholic Martyrs Shrine

Shrine Namugongo Kampala (1)
The shrine is located in the Kira municipality’s Wakiso district, just off the Kampala-Jinja highway. FILE PHOTO

One of the most popular Christian pilgrimage sites in Africa is the Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo

It was built to honor the 22 Ugandan martyrs and saints who died between 1885 and 1887 at the hands of Kabaka Mwanga II, the ruler of Buganda.

The shrine is situated in Central Uganda’s Wakiso District’s Kira Municipality. Northeast of Kampala City, on a road, is around 15 km (9.3 miles).

Uganda Martyrs Museum 

25 young men, 13 Anglicans, and 12 Catholics, who were court pages to King Mwanga II of Buganda on June 3, 1886, were burned alive at Namugongo for refusing to forsake their Christian faith.

Joshua Serufusa-Zake (1884–25 June 1985), then the Sabaddu of Kira Sub-County, was the first to recognize the Uganda Martyrs’ Museum, Namugongo (Namugongo Shrine). 

At the Namugongo location, where the present shrines were later erected, he constructed the museum.

The Uganda Museum

In the Ugandan capital of Kampala stands the Uganda Museum. It displays collections of natural history, ethnology, and traditional life in Uganda. 

Following Governor George Wilson’s order to acquire “all things of interest” in Uganda, it was established in 1908. 

The Uganda Museum has collections of weapons, archaeology, entomology, playable musical instruments, and hunting and shooting gear.

Uganda Reptile Village

The Uganda Reptiles Village can’t be missed among tourist destinations in central Uganda. It is situated along the Entebbe-Kampala road near Abaita Ababiri. Over 20 species of reptiles reside in this reptile settlement.

It all started with a man from Uganda by the name of Yasin Kazibwe. He founded this community of reptiles in 2002. 

Yasin, a former speed boat captain, had a passion for preserving reptiles and was well-versed in their care. He worked to educate the public about the need to protect and conserve these reptiles and show them that they are not harmful. 

The government’s community-based program to eradicate poverty granted Yasin Kazibwe permission to launch a reptile project.

Reptiles including cobras, Gabon vipers, Nile monitor lizards, boomslangs, chameleons, and leopard tortoises will excite you when you visit.

Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre

Entebbe Zoo, also known as the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC), is one of Uganda’s most visited and well-liked tourist destinations. It provides a wonderful introduction to the country’s incredible wildlife.

The Center successfully combines what looks like a zoo and a safari park. The majority of the animals are housed in large enclosures that mirror their natural environments.

Gaddafi National Mosque

Gaddafi National Mosque

The Uganda National Mosque is one of the tourist attractions in central Uganda that is worth visiting. It’s a mosque that can be seen atop Kampala Hill in the city of Kampala.

The mosque was built as a gift to Uganda by Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. He also wanted the Moslem community to benefit from it. 

Although Uganda has several mosques, this one is unique. 

Baha’i Temple

baha'i temple uganda

The first Baha’i House of Worship on the African continent is located in Kampala. It has grown to be a well-known landmark of the city since its completion in 1961. 

All persons are welcome to congregate in a spiritual setting at the Baha’i House of Worship.

Lake Victoria 

Lake Victoria is one of the reasons Uganda is called “The Pearl” It is one of the largest lakes in the world and is recognized for its breathtaking beauty, lush tropical islands, lovely coastal hotels and resorts. 

With more than 200 different varieties of fish, Lake Victoria is a popular spot for fishing tours in Africa.

It’s also home to large populations of hippos and crocodiles. While visiting Lake Victoria, you can take a broad ride and visit the famous islands. 

These are the Ssese islands, Bugala island, Banda island, and Ngamba Island which is a Chimpanzee sanctuary.

Mabira Forest

In Uganda’s Buikwe District, halfway between Lugazi and Jinja, is the Mabira Forest. It is a rainforest area with a total area of 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) and 300 square kilometers (120 sq mi). 

Since 1932, it has been preserved as the Mabira Forest Reserve. Numerous endangered species, including the monkey Lophocebus Ugandae (Uganda mangabey), call it home.

Mabamba swamp

One of the best wetland birding locations in Uganda is Mabamba Bay Swamp. It’s well-known for the Shoebill, which is the country’s most sought-after bird. 

Birding visitors and nature enthusiasts flood this place to watch birds. On the northern bank of Lake Victoria, west of Entebbe is where you’ll find Mabamba Swamp.

Ziwa Rhino Wildlife Ranch

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is an exclusive, non-profit animal sanctuary in Uganda. 

The sanctuary, which was created in 2005 to help reintroduce Southern White Rhinos into the wild. It’s s the only location in Uganda where people may see these threatened animals in the wild.

Conclusion

There are countless tourist attractions in the central region of Uganda as you can see. Should you travel to central Uganda, you must visit the locations we’ve shared. 

They’ll give you a true picture of why Uganda is called the Pearl of Africa.

Other places that are worth visiting but aren’t on the list include Kabakas palace, Kasubi royal tombs, Ndere cultural center, and Bujagali Hydropower Plant.