Initially Mutesa I, the Kabaka (King) of Buganda, had chosen the area that was to become Kampala as one of his favorite hunting grounds. The area was made up of hills and wetlands. It was an ideal breeding ground for various wild animals, particularly a species of antelope, and the impala, in whose name the city was named Kampala (the area of Impalas).
The city grew as the capital of the Buganda kingdom, from which several buildings survive, including the Kasubi Tombs (built in 1881), the Lubiri Palace, the Buganda Parliament and the Buganda Court of Justice. Severely damaged in the Uganda-Tanzania War, the city has since then been rebuilt with constructions of new buildings including hotels, banks, shopping malls, educational institutions, hospitals and improvement of war torn buildings and infrastructure.
Traditionally, Kampala was a city of seven hills, but over time it has come to have a lot more.Kampala was initially built on seven hills, although this is now the city has spread over several hills and villages beyond Kampala boundaries. The earliest hills included;
- Kasubi Hill, this is home to Kasubi Tombs where the decade’s kings of Buganda are buried.
- Mengo Hill, where the present Lubiri (Kabaka’s Palace) is and the Headquarters of the Buganda Court of Justice and of the Lukiiko, Bugand’s Parliament (Bulange).
- Kibuli Hill, which is home to the Kibuli Mosque. Islam was brought to Uganda before the Christian missionaries came.
- Namirembe Hill, home to the Namirembe Anglican Cathedral. The Protestants were the first of the Christian Missions to arrive.
- Lubaga Hill, where the Rubaga Catholic Cathedral is, and was the headquarters of the White Fathers.
- Nsambya Hill, was the Headquarters of the Mill Hill Mission. It now houses Nsambya Hospital.
- Kampala Hill, (also known as Old Kampala), the hill of the Impala is where the ruins of Lugard’s Fort are. Its also the seat of one of Africa’s biggest mosque. This hill is where Kampala got its name.
The city has now spread to cover many hills including Nakasero Hill, Tank Hill, Mulago Hill is the site of Mulago Hospital, the largest hospital in Uganda.
Facts and Figures
Nicknames: K’la, The Happy City, The City That Never Sleeps, Pearl of Africa (For Uganda too)
Languages: English (main) Kiswahili, Luganda
Location: North East
Size: 180.1 sq kilometers
Division: Kampala Central Division
Kampala is one of the greenest cities in the world with acres of green areas. There is no a problem of air pollution, the air quality is always good through the year.
The Kampala Capital City Authority is the main administrative body that manages the city. It’s headed by the Executive Director, Kampala city has a mayor. Kampala is also the seat of parliament of Uganda, state house and all government ministries.