A day around Kampala, Uganda

Yesterday, Tuesday 16 June, I decided to do a few things that are out of my interest. I figured, if I will be doing impromptu travelling I might as well keep an open mind. My first adventure was going to visit the equator; I wasn’t sure about this trip as I have very little interest in geography (or whatever topic the equator falls under) but when I read up about it I thought it would be cool to be able to say I was in both hemispheres at the same time. I left my backpackers at 9 am and then got on a boda boda (motorbike) to the new taxi park; this costs 4 000 Ugandan shillings (R16). At the taxi park I got onto a matatu (taxi) going towards Masaka. I paid 10 000 Ugandan shillings (R40) one way but I later realized (after my return) that I was only supposed to pay 5 000 shillings (R20) one way. The trip took about 2 hours- apparently it is shorter when you take a costa (mini-bus) or a bus going in the same direction but then you will pay a little more. When I arrived I walked around a few of the local shops and then sat for lunch before making my way back to Kampala. The prices for clothes and cloths around this area are “tourist prices” so I decided I would save my money for one of the markets in town if I decided to get anything.

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The menu from one of the restaurants
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I ordered a chicken wrap and a coke (11 000 shillings/ R43)
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Evidence
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Official evidence

I arrived back in Kampala around 2:30pm and caught another boda boda to the Uganda National Mosque, formerly known as the Gaddafi National Mosque. As the old name would suggest it was a gift to Uganda by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of LibyaHistory and/or politics are another two topics I try to stay away from when travelling but considering that this is one of the biggest mosques in East Africa I figured I might as well make it a stop. When I arrived I had to pay a fee of 10 000 Ugandan shillings (R40), I was transformed (as the lady at the office put it), given a guide and taken around the mosque and up the tower. Once at the top of the tower I had a 360 degree view of Kampala. According to my guide, the location of the mosque is where the colonizers first settled and planned the town of Kampala. In the picture you can see how the roads lead towards the Mosque, which is situated at the top of Old Kampala Hill. I actually really enjoyed this tour and I was proud of myself for opening my schedule up to things I would not normally do when travelling.

Outside view of the Mosque
Outside view of the Mosque
In the main hall of the Mosque
In the main hall of the Mosque
My guide after explaining the African and European influences in the design of the Mosque
My guide after explaining the African and European influences in the design of the Mosque
The stairs up the tower
The stairs up the tower
One of the views from the top of the tower
One of the views from the top of the tower
Me at the top of the tower
Me at the top of the tower

After the tour I caught another boda boda to the backpacker’s collection point and caught the last shuttle back. When the day began I didn’t think I would have as much fun as I did but keeping an open mind has made me realize that it is a tragedy to limit yourself to what you are interested in when travelling. There is so much to do, see and learn wherever you find yourself. With that said, I am currently googling more things I can do in this beautiful country. Keep an eye out for my next adventure post.

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