Uganda has diverse religious or spiritual sites and most of these sites belong to the various religious denominations in Uganda. Something amazing about Uganda is that most of the spiritual or holy places can be visited during a city tour because these sites are situated near Kampala City. So while on safari in Uganda, below are some of the popular sites you can visit.
The Martyrs’ Shrine, Namugongo
This spiritual site is located in Namugongo area found in Wakiso district about 11km from Kampala. It is a very distinctive holy place to most Ugandan Christians and other countries. The shrine’s exterior is made of copper pillars about 100ft in length, this makes it very attractive.
It was established years ago in remembrance of thirty two young men that were murdered brutally following the orders of Buganda Kabaka called Kabaka Mwanga II. The reason for their murder was because they refused to renounce Christianity just like the king had ordered and because of that they were tied and burnt to death on 3rd June 1886.
For this reason, on every 3rd of June each year, tens of thousands of Christians from around the world gather at this site to pray, and honour their beliefs in remembrance of the martyrs’ lives. They start making pilgrims from different parts of the country especially in the last weeks of the month of May, most of them are spotted along the highways walking on foot. By doing this, they believe that their walking is rewarded with blessings by God.
There is also a Martyrs’ museum, a man-made lake that you can see while in Namugongo. There is also another Martyrs’ shrine found in Munyonyo in the outskirts of Kampala.
St. Paul’s Namirembe Cathedral
It is located on Namirembe Hill in Kampala. Many refer to it as Namirembe Cathedral and it is the provincial cathedral of the Anglican Church of Uganda. It is the oldest among other cathedrals in Uganda, its first building could accommodate about 800people and was built in March, 1890. And after that the church was rebuilt several times, in 1892, 1895 and 1904.
However the current church’s construction started from 1915 – 1919. You can see this church while in various places in Kampala, and when you get to it physically, the view is so spectacular and while there you can have amazing views of Kampala and its outskirts.
There are also burial grounds for people like Bishop Hannington who was killed brutally in 1885 and Albert cook who founded Mengo Hospital.
The Baha’i Temple
This temple was constructed over 50 years ago and it’s the first to be established and hence the mother of the Baha’i faith in Africa. It is situated off Gayaza Road approximately 4miles from Kampala on Kikaya Hill sitting on 52 acres of land.
It was built from 1958 to 1961 as a nine sided building. Many visitors who love spectacular views and those on spiritual tours are attracted to this site. For those who love “alone time” to pray or meditate, this temple’s surrounding is the best you could go to.
The temple is always open from 9:00am – 5:00pm daily. Visitors who would like to know more can visit the temple for a Sunday Service at 10:30am. So if you plan on having a city tour, you can’t miss out on visiting this temple.
The Rubaga Cathedral
Its full name is St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral found on Rubaga Hill approximately 3km from Kampala. It is an ancient cathedral and the Catholic faith headquarter. This cathedral is a significant place for worshipers mainly Catholics, some non-Catholics. It is also important for religious, educational and health sectors in the country.
Rubaga Cathedral receives very many visitors throughout the year because of its spectacular Roman architecture and spectacular views. Outside it are burial grounds with the remains of the first African Archbishop and the Bishop of the Kampala diocese.
Uganda National Mosque
This is the largest among East African mosques, it is also popularly known as the Old Kampala Mosque. It is located about 2km from Kampala on Kampala Hill. It was established in 2006 and opened officially in 2007 and accommodates about 19,600 people.
The Mosque was firstly named Gaddafi Mosque after the Late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi who gave it to the Muslim faith as a gift but this name was later changed in 2013 to Uganda National Mosque after his death because the new Libyan government wasn’t taking care of the mosque under the former name.
It has various facilities such as meeting and conference facilities, it is also the where the Supreme Mufti’s office is found. The mosques is very outstanding mosque offering amazing city views and other parts. So while on a city tour in Kampala, visit this mosque.
This is a Judaism community in Uganda found outside Mbale Town in Eastern Uganda. The term Abayudaya is a Luganda word meaning ‘Jews or people of Judah’. These very devouted people who observe the Shabbat and keep the Kashrut.
They have a population of 3000 people living in different villages, they practice growing of coffee and speak different languages such as Lusoga, Luganda, Lugishu, Lugwere and Hebrew for those who went ahead to learn it.
It is said that Semei Kakungulu was their leader, he was a Military Muganda man however they refer to themselves as Jews because they want to. While in this community, if interested you could go ahead to volunteer and work with the people here to learn more about the Jewish way of living.
Tourists of the Jewish faith can be sure of having a good time while here. There is also an opportunity of visiting most coffee plantations and learn on how it’s grown, harvested and processed. On top of this, visit the Sipi Falls in Kapchorwa or go for a hike on Mountain Elgon.