Finally I returned to Africa. This great continent is like a magnet for me and I wish to return to its heat, its coolness, its deserts, its green jungles and savannahs. Its great animals are in my dreams, Kilimanjaro is a still unreached goal and its cities make me curious and its people make me happy.
I was on a trip to Masai Mara National Park and gorillas in Uganda and few things there between. I will write about the whole trip later. One of th stops we made on the way, during the trip was Kampala and in Kampala the Kasubi Tombs of kings of Buganda. That’s right, Buganda. Buganda is a subnational kingdom within Uganda. On the way to Kampala we saw wonderful sunrise, we saw people transporting bananaas to a market on their bikes. We passed tea plantations, lots of them.In the market they were picked up by a truck. We saw small shop selling tomatos and pineapples. We stop at a place like that, where we got some pineapples for the lunch. Jany wanted to get two or three tomaos, he got about five kilos, maybe more.
In Kampala we stayed there in a noisy camping, called Red Chili. The camping site was OK, there was wireless internet in the bar and a pool. But the place was crowded with people that wanted to party, so it was noisy and maybe not so good if you wanted to sleep. Thanks heaven for earplugs.
Kampala is the capital of Uganda. It’s a big city, a bit chaotic, ugly and charming at the same time. We didn’t spend so much time there, but enough to go to a coffee shop and a market. Both were better than good. Ugandan coffee is truly nice and the market had some really nice crafts. I bought a mask for my collection and a comb.
We travelled by minibuses, called matatu, together with locals. It was an interesting experience, in a good way. We travelled through poor neighborhoods and better ones. The poorer ones were packed with sheds, people, vibrant and full with life. The poverty was obvious and painful, children looking in garbage, dogs running around. It was some sort of organized chaos. We were told that there are about three million people in Kampala plus those living in that kind of places. There were butcheries with meat hanging outside, there were stuff everywhere, the streets were narrow and dusty.
And then we went up on a hill to Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi. This is the site of the burial grounds for four kabakas (kings of Buganda), and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. On 16 March 2010, some of the major buildings there were almost completely destroyed by a fire, the cause of which is under investigation. The site id being rebuilt.
Our gouide told us history of this amazing place, history of the kingdom of Buganda and history of Uganda. He showed us pictures of the kings. The kabakas buried at the site were:
- Muteesa I (1835–1884)
- Mwanga II (1867–1903)
- Daudi Chwa II (1896–1939)
- Sir Edward Muteesa II (1924–1969).
Suddenly we realized how little we actually know about recent history of this huge continent and this country. O rguide told us also about Idi Amin, how’s he got the power, the pretty good start and how monstruos he became. The history very much alive.
We walked out in the area and looked at the tombs, looked at the houses and were told that desendants of the kings and their wives still live here. The heritage site is very much alive. We saw a women in great African dress with vibrant colors walk across the courtyard, we saw a guy with a goat, we saw children.Even if it is a museum, it still is home of people. The view from the hill was of the entire Kampala. The sunsets must be magnificent from here.
After visiting the tombs we went back into the city for some lunch. We found a place on top of a building with a pretty nice view of the city, sat down and ordered sandwiches. The waiter came back few minutes lter telling us that they don’t have sandwiches, only goat. Never had a goat in my life, but this was too strange situation to try it. But the guys in our group decided for goat anyways. Well, the story doesn’t end here. After a while the waiter came back with a womderful question: “Do you want a dry or wet goat?” The difference was that both were stew, but one was cooked with veggies, the other without. I tried the wet goat from Jany’s plate and it was OK. We survived the lunch, one experience richer.
Kampala is a city, maybe a little charming, but still a city with traffuc, dust and lots of things happening, but not to much nature to enjoy. If you pass it, go visit the tombs. The site (take a look at the link) is worth it. How many globes? This is hard. Visually, maybe three, the history told by the guide: five, view from the hill: four or five. My grade is four globes out of five.