Friday, 22 September 2017

EXPLORING THE MYSTERIOUS WALUMBE TANDA PITS IN UGANDA


Are you a cultural enthusiast? Have you ever read the story of Kintu and Walumbe? Have you ever heard about the Walumbe Tanda Pits? Situated in Western Uganda are the Walumbe tanda pits. They are exceptionally Uganda’s most remarkable archeological sites that reward visitors on cultural safaris in Uganda with life time experiences. The tanda pits are believed to offer refuge to Walumbe which means “death”, the brother of Nambi who was the wife of Kintu-the first Muganda who are still respected by most people thinking that they can easily die up on visiting the site due to the mythical stories that link Walumbe to suffering and death. Kintu was the first person and actually the only person on the planet, surviving with his cow and he fed on its cow dung. For tourists who want to explore in depth about the story of Kintu, Nambi and Walumbe, you can visit the Walumbe tanda pits while on your cultural safaris in Uganda. The site incredibly features over 240 pits and two shrines with one entrance that has spears shields, calabashes and fire places that are named after various gods.
THE MYSTERIOUS WALUMBE TANDA PITS
The black African occupants on top of the Nile still keep the memory of the mysterious light skinned people “the Bachwezi.” They entered to Uganda from the North, constructed stone cities and towns, canals were established for irrigation, cut down in some areas in the rocks of the trench and a hole, similar to mine to a depth of 70 meters. The Bachwezi surprised the locals with their knowledge and skills. They flew over Lakes, perched on a sheer cliff and treated all diseases, reported on the events which occurred a “long time ago.”

The legend of the mighty fair skinned tribe featured from nowhere and gone nowhere, passed from mouth for centuries. Thus it is of no wonder that the arrival of the first Europeans in 1862 caused the number of Ugandans, the entire range of feelings-from fear to awe. After all, they went with legendary Bachwezi. The Bachwezi left behind buildings, ruins of which have remained up to date. After the drastic disappearance of this people, archaeologists have explored unique objects that at the time belonged to the era of the BIGGA bla Mugenyi, but the outlook never correlated to those products which have given birth to the tribes occupying Uganda. The mystery is covered tightly and so-called pits Walumbe on the hill tanda in 70 kilometers from the Fort Mugenyi. The language Luganda “Walumbe” denotes death! It is said that one day the God of Heaven Gulu was annoyed at Valume and drove him to the ground. And after, he sent his brother Caikui to kill the unwanted.  Down Walumbe discovered the chase. Then he hides from Caikui and started to dive into the ground. Dive in Caikui. And Walumbe came from under the ground in another area. Never got him Caikui and left death with people.

After that crazy race on the tanda hill, there are over 240 holes now within thick bushes covering the hill and without a guide a visitor can easily fall into the pit. The holes are positioned one after the other in given pattern. They feature about half a meter in diameter. Their depth ranges from 3 to 70 meters. Dug holes in the rocks and go down perpendicularly. These same holes feature in other areas in Uganda. Their age is uncertain but local residents put it that they are “very long time.” The local residents have associated these holes with mythical powers. Once you reach to this mysterious archaeological site in Mityana, you will certainly get a white gate behind which a seemingly dark forested area featuring over 240 circular deep pits, one would about the person who spared the time to digging these pits. Entering the forest via a 5 meter path leads you to an entrance of 2 (two) shrines enclosed in a reed fence. At the gate, you will be informed of not entering with your shoes due to its holiness that is attached to this place. Visitors usually dress black tunics because Walumbe comes to them in black tunic! As you reach to the second entrance, spears, shields, calabashes and fire places that are named after different gods such as Kibuuka, Musoke, Mukasa and Ddungu. While in the fire places, people with various challenges meet for blessings. There is another large fire place with a heap of bark cloth that has always caught visitor’s attention. It is a site where people worship Walumbe who believers refer as Jaaja Bulamu meaning the god of life “Locals come to worship and return when they are happy!” Jaaja Bulamu is offended when you call him Walumbe because he is no longer responsible for the death of people.
THE WALUMBE TANDA PITS

The Sacred corner
One of the 2 shrine enclosures is the most high worship site that features several bulbs around it. People go to mediate and get prophesies from the most high priest. Located about 50 kilometers from Tanda is Nambi Rock where Nambi used to live. The site is a curved rock with a natural source of water that people take to get blessings. Nambi pits are also run by traditional worshipers who get blessings from Nambi or Walumbe. Most visitors come to this site to sight its stunning sceneries around the pits as well as worshiping in the shrines in order to get blessings. Kintu was the first person on the planet and the father of all people. He was the only person on the planet who lived with his cow. Ggulu the creator of all things lived up in heaven with his children who occasionally came down to the earth to play.

Ggulu’s daughter Nambi and some of her brothers met Kintu and his cow in Buganda. Nambi abruptly took a liking to Kintu and decided to live and marry him. After her brothers pleaded with her, she went back to heaven with Kintu to ask for her father’s permission to get married. Ggulu was not happy but blessed the marriage after Nambi persuaded him to accept her relationship with Kintu. Ggulu advised Kintu and Nambi to leave heaven secretly such that Walumbe could not know more on marriage till they had to leave. It was feared that Walumbe could insist with them and bring them misery. Kintu and Nambi came to the earth the following morning, taking with them the few items which Nambi had packed and her chicken. While they were descending, Nambi recalled that she had not brought the millet which her chicken would eat. Kintu attempted to persuade her not to go back to collect the millet but still lost. While on her way back, she encountered Walumbe. She didn’t tell him where she was heading to but filled with curiosity, Walumbe insisted on going with her. Kintu and Nambi were then forced to go to earth together with him. His presence on earth brought suffering and conflicts and that how sickness and death began to afflict people on the earth. Tanda pits are the sites where Walumbe traditionally thought to have fallen on earth and to have hidden from Ggulu.

The other part of the myth is that Walumbe claimed one of Kintu’s children as his but Kintu rejected to all him take the child. Walumbe kept on doing so for several years. Stressed he started to kill a single child each day. After a talk with Ggulu, Kaikuzi, Nambi’s brother was sent to assist Kintu and send Walumbe back to heaven. He fought with Kaikuzi till he retreated by digging and hiding within the ground. Kaikuzi gave up pursuing him and requested all mankind to be silent for 2 days to lure Walumbe out. After Walumbe had finally emerged, children cried out at the sight of him and he again went into the pits.

In conclusion, Walumbe tanda pits are still a mystery that only his believer claim to know but locally meant death. Visiting these pits offers breathtaking cultural experiences for cultural lovers on a safari in Uganda.


Friday, 15 September 2017

EXPERIENCE THE MOST MOUTH WATERING FOODS IN UGANDA


Cultural safaris in Uganda are only complete if you tried Uganda’s most mouth watering dishes! Whereas Ugandan cuisine is not all that famous compared to South African, it equally offers the ultimate African dishes and thereafter leaves visitors with a memorable experience. Besides, the popular mammals and exceptional avian safaris, cultural tours are undoubtedly one of most sought after experiences in Uganda. Ever thought what Ugandans eat or wondering about what you are going to have a taste while on a safari? There is a lot more to be experienced on African dishes while on cultural tours in the “Pearl of Africa.” Your experience won’t entirely depend on eating but also practically engage in traditional and modern cooking styles. All the four major regions that make Uganda come with several tribes and therefore distinct dishes.

Below is a list of different Ugandan cuisine that anyone on a tour to Uganda needs to try out!

Luwombo
A traditional dish that features both a royal and a fairly common dish, prepared in the course of holidays. This is believed to have come into scene in 1887 by the personal chef of Kabaka Mwanga-the king who governed the Buganda Kingdom at the end of the 19th century. It comes with beef or chicken as well as vegetables especially potatoes and carrots; covered using banana leaves and steamed to perfection with its adequate salt, cooking oil and spices. It is mostly treated as a special dish due to various reasons some of which include the criteria of presentation, covered in leaves as if it is a gift.
LUWOMBO
TV chicken
Why is it referred as “TV Chicken?” Its name was derived based on the criteria of preparation. Chicken is roasted in a make shift rotisserie oven which for the locals is like a television. It is one of the most famous meals and it is offered almost everywhere in Uganda including the street side vendors. The chicken is roasted well and served with home fries and salad but mostly eaten by campusers. You can access this in wandegeya market or Ntinda shopping center.
CHICKEN
Muchomo
This is derived from the Swahili word “choma” meaning roasted. Muchomo comprises of anything right from chicken gizzards to pork chunks and features as the most accessible meal especially in areas like rugby pitches, road side or restaurants. Usually, the meat is served together with goja that is sweet plantains which on its own can be eaten as snacks.
MUCHOMO
Groundnut sauce
Nearly no Ugandan meal goes without groundnut sauce and the significant reason that it a creamy paste made from sweet red peanuts. Others serve it as soup. In Uganda, it is served with sweet potatoes, matooke, cassava or roasted fish.

Katogo
Traditionally used as a breakfast dish but can also be par taken at any time of the day. It is fried plantains with some soup mixed with beef, offals or beans and traditionally vegetables. Some times you can walk around a cafe and that strong aroma welcomes you meaning they could be serving katogo.
KATOGO
Ugali
This comes in thick cornmeal porridge similar to that of polenta though made from white maize or mealies and usually prepared to a comparatively stiffer consistency. It is prime local cuisine for most African states. They only differ a bit in the final hardness and if they are prepared by adding dry powder to boiling water or mixture of the cornmeal and water are done first.
UGALI
Snacks
You can also grab some snacks like roasted groundnuts or peanuts that come when they are packed; samosas;-Indian samosas that have been turned into a local dish as chapatti and curry, Rolex which comes with chapatti-eggs-onions-cabbages-tomatoes, pan cakes, bread and eggs and many more.
ROLEX
Fruits and vegetables
When it comes to cultural and traditional food, vegetarians are not left out. You can easily get boiled in the stew or served as side dish especially the amaranth known as dodo, Nakati and many more. Fruits include bananas and pineapples.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
In conclusion, besides wildlife tours, Uganda is also best for cultural safaris. Culture in Uganda isn’t dependent on dances alone but also mouth watering traditional foods. For visitors on safari, they have a wide range of opportunities of cultural foods to choose from or alternatively engage in practical duty to come up with a cultural meal of that community which at the end offers you with thrilling and authentic African experience.



Friday, 8 September 2017

WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THE MIGHTY BAHA’I TEMPLE IN UGANDA


For Kampala city tours in Uganda, the Baha'i Temple is exceptionally Uganda’s best faith tourism site. It straddles on 8.5 hectares on Kikaya Hill, in the outskirts of Kampala. The Bahai faith temple is one of a kind temples in the world! The Bahaullah denotes “Glory of God!” The believers in Bahaullah are referred as Baha'i's. The temple features as one of Uganda’s outstanding churches. Besides, the exceptional birdlife and culture, Uganda also features among the faith tourism destinations in Africa. The temple was founded in 1951 making it the first Bahai community in East Africa. This incredible church has members nearly representing all tribes and this alone makes the church the rarest and hence the perfect site for safaris in Uganda. The Bahai temple and library are found on a 22 acre land with the stunning trees, flowering plants, bushes and beautiful tendered to lawns. It features among the most stunning and pristine green sites in Kampala and worth visiting while on city tour in Uganda
AMAZING BAHA'I TEMPLE IN KAMPALA
The Bahai temple comprises of 8 continental houses of worship that have been established around the globe and Uganda is blessed to be a host to a mother temple in Africa and hence an experiential site to visit while on your city tour in Uganda. The church is accessible by the public and this means that visitors have opportunity to enjoy prayers in the temple while on their safaris in Uganda. As you are at the temple, readings can be done from any scripture. This faith centre is rare in its kind because singing isn’t permitted in the house of worship. Each member enters and mediates on his or her faith; ask for forgiveness and many more things. The religion welcomes all other religions in to their religion. They believe in harmony among people. It doesn’t criticize any other religion that makes them rare and hence a stopover on your tour in Uganda.

The Bahai temple is constructed in a round format with outstanding architecture. The structure stands at 39 meters high and more than 100 meters in diameter at the base with the dome comprised of lace like tiles, rises over 124 feet high and is 13 meters in diameter.

BIRDING AROUND BAHA'I TEMPLE
The surrounding is quiet and looking nice and this favors meditation. The beautiful surrounding has distinct species of trees with some birdlife for you to spot while on tour to the temple. The following are some of the birds for you to look out in and around the temple; Grey parrot, Blue spotted wood dove, Double toothed barbet, Speckled mouse bird, Palm nut vulture, Black and white casqued horn bill, Eastern grey plantain eater, Lizard buzzard, the Pied crow, Hadada ibis, Great blue Turaco, Stripped kingfisher, Woodland kingfisher, Ring necked dove, Red eyed dove, Laughing dove, the Common bulbul, Black kite, Rupell’s long tailed starling, Bronze sunbird, Bronze sunbird, Marico sunbird, Scarlet chested sunbird, Fork tailed drongo, Red cheeked cordon blue, White browed robin chat, Red billed fire finch and African green pigeon and many more.

The principles of Bahai temple
Full equality between the sexes
The elimination of all kinds of prejudice
Recognition of the essential oneness of the world’s great religions
Harmony of science and religion
Elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth
Universal education
Establishment of a world federal system based on collective security and the oneness of humanity
A sustainable balance between nature and technology

In conclusion, for any city tours in Kampala, visit the mighty Bahai temple and you will be filled not only with faith tourism experiences but also bird sightings. This temple is one of Uganda’s spectacular sites for any one who is planning his or her city tour in Kampala.


Friday, 25 August 2017

THE WORLD’S SMALLEST CHURCH IN UGANDA


Have you ever imagined about the smallest churches in the world? Are you aware that one of the smallest churches in the world exists in Uganda? If you love faith tourism, then visiting Nebbi district is the best choice for you to catch a glimpse of the exceptional Bethel church. This 18 kilometer drive church straddles on the stunning Biku hill, Northwestern Uganda. Featuring a width of 2.5 meters and height 8 feet makes it one of the smallest worshiping sites in the world which only accommodates a total of 3 people plus the preacher! This church was founded in 1996 by a Korean national Pastor Song and Henry Luke Orimbi the retired Archbishop of Church of Uganda and currently it stands as one of the most outstanding tourist sites in the country.
ONE OF THE SMALLEST CHURCHES IN THE WORLD 
What is unique about Bethel church?
Bethel church is surrounded by 9 prayer points that allow people to pray, praise and to meditate on the word of God. The 1st prayer points lies on top of the hill and it comes with a big cross. The second point is a Lilliputian building made in remembrance of Jesus Christ with 12 windows in the Western and Eastern side reflecting the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ and it is where pilgrims pray for the surrounding nations of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Kenya for spiritual peace and revival. This is also one of the points that provide the excellent views of Namrwodho falls that offers refuge to the elusive shoebill stork, the most fascinating and sought after bird species by bird enthusiasts in Uganda.

The 3rd prayer point is crafted in the map of Africa with 2 entrances, ten (10) windows that represent the 10 (ten) commandments in the Bible. This point is where all the African countries especially the Islamic states gather to pray to God. Whereas prayer points 4, 5 and 6 are placed in spacious quiet garden with point 4 crafted inform of a heart reflecting Jesus Christ’s Love with a cross of 33 stones that represent 33 years of Jesus Christ. Point 5 comes in the shape of arrow head reflecting the youth speed; it consists of 66 windows which represent 66 books of the Bible with 39 windows at the back demonstrating the books of Old testament and 27 windows reflecting the New testament. This point comes with 3 doors crafted inform of a standing man representing those who are well equipped with God’s word.

The 6th point is crafted in an alter shape that is a living testimony which church is a living providing to Jesus Christ’s mission and the rough stones on the cross signify that Christians are living stones. The 7th point is a round structure like the shape of the world and it is found at the back of a towering rock with an open ended cave at its base, and entering into it means one has to crawl from end to another to sight Jesus Christ’s suffering and it is a 5 minute crawl for the visitors through the cave’s darkness horrifying to the extent that one can imagine that the cave can easily breakdown and bury them there. The 8th point of this spiritual healing center contains 12 windows at its entrance reflecting the 12 stones on Aaron’s breast plate that is say the 12 tribes of all the saints.

The ceiling has 7 (seven) beams representing the 7 rainbow colors that also reflect God’s covenant not to destroy the world with floods again; the Eastern window provides views of the cross that is placed on the top, at point 2 a sight that offers the Christians a chance to always search for Jesus. The midpoint is set purposely for spiritual healing for people and the church whereby persons who come to the site meet God in a unique way, get vision for their future and to become bold soldiers for the Gospel. While in your safaris in Uganda, endeavor to visit site for your spiritual healing and you won’t be the same.

Regardless of its size, the church still took about 79 bags of cement for it to be constructed and it was built in such away that it takes a minimum of at least 500 years prior the weakening of the foundation.  


Lastly, Bethel church is a breathtaking tourist site that anyone planning his or her safaris shouldn’t miss out in life. It was established primarily to offer spiritual healing for people and for them to meet God in a special manner. Visiting this smallest church offers tourists with life time experiences! Including this church in your itinerary is the best option for you to realize endless memorable encounters. You can add it in your safari especially if you plan to visit tourist destinations in West Nile, Murchison Falls National Park-Northwestern Uganda.

Friday, 18 August 2017

SPECTACULAR FORT PATIKO


Founded by early explorers, is a spectacular Fort Patiko in Northern Uganda that offers tourists with yet another incredible opportunity to explore not just the structural out like of the fort but also its historical background. Cultural safaris in Uganda are more than just music, music, handcrafts but also exploring exceptional historical sites!! Fort Patiko is beauty; it comes with stunning mountains and hills with rare vegetation cover in its surrounding area. It was during the 1800's that Arabs had stormed into East Africa in search of trading opportunities whereby they went passed Ocecu (Gulu). The Arabs at that time wouldn’t have had any better slave harbor and trade connections. They had to descend to Ocecu hills and established 3 square shaped huts to serve for ammunition, ivory and foodstuff and hides and skins. Slaves were prime resources during Arab transaction and several were caught from Northern Uganda, Gondokoro in Sudan and many other places. Ocecu Mountain turned to be a sorting site for slaves. Healthy looking ones were forced to walk from Patiko via Sudan passed the Red Sea and transacted in Egypt. The trip to the slave’s main markets also wasn’t a joke! They carried the looted millet, sim sim, ammunition and ivory. Besides, they were also subjected to beatings and firing squad/beheaded especially those who became weak.
FORT PATIKO
Baker and Birth of Fort Patiko
Fort Patiko also popular as Baker Fort is located 25 kilometers North of Gulu, 1.8 kilometers from Ocecu hill which is referred as “Got Ajulu where “Julu” in Acholi denotes raise and Got means Rock or hill or mountain. “Let’s nurture (Julu) our people so that our clan isn’t wiped away.” Due to this, the mountain has long been known “Got Ajulu.” As Britain kept expanding its colonial interests across Africa, promoting slave trade was one of their primary missions. So Sir Samuel Baker was delegated by the Queen of England to overlook the same mission. Although Britain could colonize Uganda in 1894, by 1863, Baker and chief of Patiko “Rwot Kikwiyakare” met and discussed the slave trade danger in the place. Sir Samuel Baker and his wife frequently visited Patiko. In 1864, they were explorers looking for geographical prizes of which Speke had mentioned but never featured on the world map. Went to South from Gondokoro on the Nile Sudan, they crossed Patiko, before locating Lake Albert and the Murchison falls and returning using the same route. At the time Patiko was the southernmost outpost of varied enclaves from which Egypt’s Turkish rulers and their mercenaries plundered slaves, cattle and ivory. In 1872, Baker came back from Egypt with Nubian soldiers, crossed through Bunyoro to quash the Kabalega resistance against the British and headed to Patiko. He took over the slave harbor, expelled at least 250 Arabs and after fortified the area that today it is famous as Baker’s Fort Patiko. It is surrounded by 6 mountains of Ajulu, Ladwong, Abaka, Akara and Labworomor to the north and Kiju in the south.
The Fort is an ideal tourism site but unfortunately it is still underdeveloped. Baker had established his fort in the area previously used by Egypt slave traders. The fort centre on the huge Koppie comprises of numerous separate rock-out crops and a number of large boulders. 3 mortared stone establishments still stand on the central plateau. None of these were Baker’s residence but stores for grains. Mud houses stood below the Koppie in place of leveled ground. These establishments have long gone but encircling defensive ditch remains, 100m in diameter, in plan curved into opposite ends of the Koppie like the ring on a bull’s nose. This ditch was reinforced with a wooden palisade with access via a small thriving gate house with narrow doorway and riffle ports. There are also some fissures between the rocks, holding cells in which men and women were separately confined prior to sorting on nearby rock plateau, the passage between 2 boulders in which rejected wretches we led to be speared to death and tossed off the Koppie for the hyenas.

Fort Patiko is constructed with stones and had headquarters for the officers, soldiers and the stones for food and ammunitions straddle on top of a hill in Gulu. Initially built by the slave trade, it is a place where slaves and ivory gathered throughout East Africa were kept and at times sold by the Arab slave traders. Baker and his successors, Gordon and Emin Pasha settled in the area between 1872 and 1888 and effectively used it in their campaign to stamp out the trade in humans that frequent into the place. When Baker arrived in the place on 6th March 1872, he found that the slave hunter called Abu Saud had founded his headquarters. This was Baker’s second visit to Patiko since 1864 when he came with his wife Florence as a private explorer on his way to Bunyoro where he became the first European to view Albert Nyanza. Bakers arrived with 212 soldiers, 400 porters, 1078 and 194 sheep. He was accompanied using his wife and nephew Lieutenant Julius Baker of the royal navy. He returned from Bunyoro where he was not successful as he was rejected by Omukama Kabalega and found when the fort had been attacked by Abu Saud’s officers but Bakers officers. Baker’s army also tried to fight back. On 28th August his men started to dig a defensive that was 8 feet deep and wide and in front were the sharpened wooden stakes. The ammunition store on the rock roofed with earth from the anthills to make the fire proof and composed of an internal and outer room for the guards. The stores established for millet and sesame were perhaps grass thatched but there is no record of the materials used for the establishments.

The site that is enclosed by Baker’s defensive ditch is the same as the area now enclosed because after some time around 1874 under gen Gordon, the ditch was expanded to the north more doubling the defended area. It is still possible to sight the line of the ancient landmark that is the original northern limit of Baker’s defenses. The encircled area must have been fully occupied with his several hundred soldiers and porters and the numerous grindstones scattered around the encircled place and Ocecu hill remind one that there must have been several women there as well to grind the corn and help in cooking.

Sights to observe
Fort Patiko stunning surrounding comes from its dotted small, scattered, cropping rocks, sit 3 square shaped and roofless huts that Arabs used at a time to store their loot. A safari to this historical site will reward you with amazing experiences. The Bakers themselves are assumed to have stayed in 2 houses at the bottom of the rocks along the southern part of the enclosure were huts for unmarried soldiers and the married quarters were on the west near the Baker’s private quarters. It is asserted that none of the rooms at the fort was Baker’s room as said. The officers’ liens were along the east part and via the center of the camp was a route heading from recent entrance to the north gate. The varied pits and mounds spread around the place perhaps the remains of the huts and the pit latrines. Currently, inside the fort there are 2 rooms of almost 10 square meters each. One of the walls has “Fatiko 1872-88” established by Sir Samuel Baker, occupied by Gordon and Emin.” It is believed that Baker miss spelt Patiko and ended writing as “Fatiko” instead of Patiko.

West of the fort, there an open, flat rock where screening of the slaves was conducted. The healthy and docile could be retained whereas the sick and the stubborn would be killed on spot 200m southwest of the fort’s compound. At this point, the slaves were either led or had to face the firing squad depending on the kind of the crime. Dark spots that are assumed to be the blood stains can still be sighted on the rocks and marks made by axes as the slaves were beheaded. South of the fort there are 2 huge caves that acted as prison cells.


In conclusion, Fort Patiko is an incredible historical site that offers opportunity to visitors to explore what transpired at a time when explorers, missionaries and slave traders frequented into Uganda and East Africa at large especially for slave trade. The area is still underdeveloped but the place is visited by visitors. It also harbors amazing vegetation in its surrounding. Developing it into a better tourist destination will increase safari holidays in Uganda.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

THE MAGNIFICENT KASUBI TOMBS SITE


Cultural safaris in Uganda are described as “Authentic African Experiences of life time!” With over 60 varied tribes, makes it a “melting pot” of cultures. Cultural experiences in the Pearl of Africa are best described by the distinct traditional and cultural dances, music, lifestyle, traditional practices, history and exceptional Kingdoms (represented from all the 4 regions in Uganda). When it comes to cultural encounters in East Africa or Africa as a whole, Uganda should not miss out in the bucket list while planning your next safari holiday! The Kasubi Tombs site is such remarkable place of a kind not to be missed to visit while in a holiday in Uganda. The tombs site is traditional burial area for the Kabakas of Buganda where all the 4 Kings of Buganda were buried and incredible Baganda dances are performed before visitors.

KASUBI TOMBS SITE
 Location of Kasubi Tombs Site
These mighty tombs are situated on Kasubi hill in Kampala, 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre. Kasubi Tombs site is found along Kampala-Hoima route. Through Makerere University route to Nakulabye, turn on the right to Hoima road, approximately one kilometer and then turn on the left where you view the Kasubi Hill. The entrance to the tombs is usually along Masiro road. Kasubi was initially called Nabulagala. Kasubi straddles with 30 hectares, while accommodating enormous traditional and agricultural practices.

In 2001, the Kasubi Tombs were recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main issue of the hilltop of Kasubi was the palace of the Kings of Buganda that was originally constructed in 1882 and it was at that time that the palace of Kabaka Mutesa 1, which was later, changed into royal burial grounds for the Kabakas of Buganda in 1884. A house known as Muzibu Azaala Mpanga where all 4 royal Kings were all buried. The Muzibu Azaala Mpanga is a main structure, established in the round circular dome shape. It has stayed since the 13th century. The structure is made of wood, wattle, grass thatched, daub and reed. The Muzibu Azaala Mpanga features most of cultural and traditional beliefs, history, spirituality and identity of all that are intangible. The powerful Buganda Kingdom is recognized for its extraordinary and thriving architectural examples ever since the 13th century. Not only is the site a cultural area for the Baganda in Uganda, it is also a popular site which attracts more than 50000 visitors annually making it one of the most economically valuable sites in the country.

Traditional and cultural values that are attached to Kasubi Tombs
The Kasubi Tombs are divided into 3 major sections; the major section is comprised of tombs in the western side of the site, an area with structures and grave yards that is behind the tombs and in the east, a vast section that is majorly used for farming. The tombs site is an area where traditional and cultural practices have been conserved and therefore take on the most active role for religious practices especially for the Royal family in the Kingdom with rituals being performed on regular basis, significant to the Buganda culture. The tombs site also represents an area where communication links the spiritual world and it where they are kept.

Tragedy that fell on the Kasubi tombs
Unfortunately, bad lack fell on the might Kasubi cultural site in March 2010 where the site was set into fire something that has remained a mystery. The fire destroyed the core building in which the tombs are found. However, in 2016, the tombs were re-instituted and still there is ongoing renewal to improve its status. The main challenge with conservation largely lies in maintaining grass thatched roofs in their better conditions. Whereas the thatching techniques are still well mattered and the thatch is present, preserving the roofs need continuous efforts in terms monitoring and replacement of decayed grass. Kasubi Tombs site is also affected by other threats, of which is the shape of the roof that has changed for years, secondly, the roofs are also affected by changing climate that cause more humidity than in the past.


In conclusion, Kasubi Tombs site is an incredible place where all the 4 Kings of Buganda were buried. It is a culturally valuable site for the Baganda in Uganda. The Baganda are Bantu speaking people and date their political civilization back to the 13th century AD. The Kasubi Tombs site is not only a burial site for Buganda Kings but also an area to explore the renowned Baganda cultural and traditional beliefs, history, spirituality, dances and music performances that never leave tourists bored.

Friday, 4 August 2017

HITTING THE KABAKA’S TRAIL IN UGANDA


Do you love cultural encounters? Are you looking for the most exciting cultural safaris in Africa? Have you heard about the Kabaka’s Trail? Cultural safaris in Uganda are by far the most sought after experiences by tourists. With over 56 distinct tribes that are all confined in this country, visitors are never left out choice when it comes to cultural encounters. Uganda is often referred as a "melting pot" of cultures!! Hitting the Kabaka’s Trail forms another incredible experience that visitors should not miss out while in your cultural safaris in Uganda. While you plan to have a gorilla safari to the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Southwestern Uganda, adding Kabaka's Trail experience to your list is worth as it rewards visitors with unforgettable experiences of life time. The Kabaka’s Trail was initiated in November, 2001 and it provides tourists with the rarest safari experience on Uganda’s abundant cultural heritage as shaped by the regions Kings and their descendants. This trail connects to various cultural sites that are all within the reach of Kampala Capital City, central Uganda. If you are situated in long distant areas, the Kabaka's Trail is accessible within 40 minutes while driving. Take a journey down to the source of the Nile or any of the 10 beautiful national parks in Uganda but never forget to sum up your trip with the Kabaka’s Trail experience. 

Activities to participate in while in Kabaka’s Trail experience
The Kabaka’s Trail offers tourists opportunity to explore in depth the facts about Buganda’s history which also comes with exciting cultural dances, music performances, get a hand into craft making or listen to the stories, spiritual healing, traditional herbal medicines and traditional food preparation, among other exciting activities that are worth exploring while in the trail.
TRADITIONAL DANCES
Cultural sites to be visited on Kabaka’s Trail
There are numerous heritage sites to be explored while on Kabaka’s trail. 

Kasubi tombs site:
The culture of Baganda is preserved in the palace before it is cemented as culture by the Ganda people. Visiting the heritage sites is very important as it reminder of varied cultural values and lifestyles of Ugandans since many have long forgotten about this remarkable culture. However, the sites are still undergoing renovation and restoration but this doesn’t stop visitors from paying a visit to this place. Kasubi tombs site which is located on Kasubi Hills, Kampala. The tombs site is the most lively religious site in Buganda Kingdom. The Kabaka is unquestioned symbol of spiritual, political and social state to every muganda. The Kasubi tombs site is also a burial ground for Buganda Kings and all the 4 Kings were buried in this site. This makes the site an integral place for Buganda's Cultural hierarchy in which ganda rituals are performed. Kasubi tombs are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Uganda.
TRAIL TO KASUBI TOMBS
As you head to Queen Mother’s Tomb at Kagoma, you will be welcomed by a thrill of drums as these energetic Baganda hit them loud and then continue to Wamala Tombs where Suusa 11 is sited. Katareke provided the Komera/prison ditch that Kabaka Kalema used to imprison and execute rival heirs to the throne.
KABAKA'S TRAIL TO WAMALA TOMBS
Buddo is at the centre of Buganda Kingdom and has been the traditional coronation site for 700 years. Naggalabi Buddo site is located along Masaka route-Buddo Hill. This historical site is an area where the Kabakas of Buganda are coroneted and there are local guides to take visitors throughout the process in which the Kabaka are succeeded in the Kingdom.

Mpererwe holds a tomb for Kabaka Mwanga’s mother and this makes it a cultural centre to explore the detailed history of the Kabaka and the trail. Ssezibwa Falls is a spiritual site where sacred black River water is situated. The falls is a popular site for traditional healing and it is established in a place of exceptional naturalness. Interestingly, this site is often used for royal relaxation in the entire history of the Kingship in Buganda.

The Kabaka’s Trail is also supported by the Heritage Trails Projects partnerships with the guardian communities of the sites, together with the Kabaka Foundation, a Non Governmental Organization which plays a role in establishing the capacity of the people in Buganda region for sustainable community development in the kingdom which in turn enhances the quality of life of locals in Buganda. Other organizations include Action for Conservation through Tourism (ACT UK) and the Uganda Community Tourism Association (UCOTA). The revenue that is got out of tourism activities is always channeled towards the preservation of the site and to assist the local community.


In conclusion, Kabaka’s Trail offers visitors opportunity to explore Buganda’s cultural and traditional practices and lifestyles. Visitors have a wide range of exciting activities to engage in while in the trail some of which include craft making, story telling from Buganda elders, exploring Buganda history, traditional dance and music performances as well as spiritual healing. Pay a visit to heritage sites like Kasubi tombs, Wamala Tombs, Katareke site, Kagoma Tombs and Naggalabi Buddo site among others. The Kabaka's Trail is the best way for you to begin or end your safari holiday in Uganda!! Besides, there are several Cultural Heritage Trails to be developed throughout Uganda and this will enhance cultural experiences for visitors in the country.