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Kampala was founded on seven hills, like Rome in Italy. Today it covers a larger area and its territory includes around 30 hills. Kampala has always been the centre of Buganda kingdom and it started to look like the modern days when the British colonizers arrived in the country. They started to develop Nakasero Hill and there they established their administrative offices. These days Nakasero Hill is the commercial and administrative heart of Uganda where we find the House of Parliament, The State House, and most of the foreign embassies.
Kampala takes its name from the Luganda term: "Kasozi ka impala": the hills of the impala antelopes, since these animals lived abundantly on the Mengo Hill, around the palace of the Kabaka, king of Baganda people: Mutesa I.
In recent years, Kampala has become to be one of the most important cultural centres of all East Africa and it remains a pleasant city with a very low crime rate compared to the nearby capitals like Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam and it allows travellers to enjoy the Ugandan hospitality completely.
In and around Kampala there are many interesting places:
- The Kasubi Tombs, built on the old Nabulagala Hill and they shelter the remains of the last 4 BUganda kings (Kabaka): Suuna II, Mutesa I, Daudi Chwa II e Edward Mutesa II. The tombs are attended by their wives' descendants. Many kings' wives and different sisters and relatives are buried at Kasubi but not inside the main tomb reserved only to kings.
- National Museum of Uganda is the oldest in East Africa and perhaps the best one. Its ethnographic collection on Ugandan tribes is very important together with its collection of African musical instruments. Some of them can be played by visitors too. The National Museum of Uganda is one of the few to run a section on African history before the colonial age.
- Wamala Tombs, not far from Kampala, situated on the top of a hill, are more ancient and smaller compared to the Kasubi Tombs. They maintain the usual traditional shape of a circular hut. Inside the tomb there are finds of that age belonging to kings like spears, shields, drums and other musical instruments. Near the tomb there is the old royal palace and the tomb of mother of king Suuna I, Namasole. His descendant still lives at Wamala and takes care of the tombs.
- Buganda parliament together with the royal palace of Mengo, were built with a colonial style, and give the idea of the ancient glory and power of the Buganda kingdom. Near the royal palace of Mengo, in 1888, king Mwanga built an artificial lake where today it is possible to observe different species of birds.
- Baha'i temple. In Kampala, on the hill of Kikaya, there is the only Baha'i temple of all Africa and it was built in 1962. Its gardens range on 30 hectares of land. The temple can host up to 800 people.
- Ssezibwa falls, one of the preferred places by the Kabaka Mwanga and Mutesa II, are tied to old local legends about 2 twins. Even these days it is possible to attend some traditional cerimonies. Unfortunately, they don't happen at fixed time and so very hard to forecast. Near the falls there are small shrines dedicated to different spirits: Mukasa (spirit of water), Ddungu (spirit of hunting), Musoke (spirit of rainbow) and fertility.
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