Museums; If you want to know a lot about Uganda’s history and heritage one of the best places to visit would be the Uganda museum that is located in Kitante. This is the biggest museum but is not the only museum in Uganda. There are two other museums operating, one in Moroto and one in Kabale. It is under the ministry of tourism, wildlife and antiquities and under the department of Museums and Monuments. The Museum has sections like Stone Age which explains life from stone age up to present day especially the hunting and surviving techniques, history which explains the change of governments and change of power from chiefdoms and Kingdoms to a central government system, ethnography, plants, firms and industry, music section and the living museum outside the main museum. It was first opened in 1962 by Obote on Independence Day. There also about 20 private museums in Uganda which are not under the Uganda Museum like the Buganda Museum as one of the cultural museums. This place can be visited on a city tour alongside other places because you would not take a whole day here unless you are doing a research tour of the museum.
Uganda has many religions but the most common are the Christianity, Islam and the African Traditional Religion where people believe mainly small gods and ancestral spirits. African Traditional Religion was the predominant religion before the coming of Arabs and the missionaries. In the central region the Baganda mainly worshipped small gods for various purposes. Later on the new religions came in and people were convinced and the converts also helped to increase the number of people believing in other religions.The origins of many of these can be seen on a city tour for example if one wants to know about the origin of Islam, it is available in Kibuli because it was the first mosque to be built in Uganda in 1951 by land that was donated to the moslems by Prince Badru Kakungulu. Kibuli Hill now has a hospital, a school, training centres which show a lot of growth within the Moslem Community in Uganda.
Christianity can also be represented by the many churches and Cathedrals that are on the hills in Kampala and many parishes across the country. The Uganda Martyrs Shrine, the Namirembe Cathedral, Rubaga Cathedral are areas that represent the history and growth of Christianity in the country.
Uganda has over 65 tribes but there have been so many intermarriages these days that the coming generations are children of intertribal marriages. Inspite the many tribal changes there are places in the country that represent the origin, beliefs and ways of various tribes. The different tribal places to visit;
The Twekobe, the Kasubi tombs, Buganda Parliament and Ssezibwa Falls; The Baganda have various places you can visit because they are the habitants of the central region. The Twekobe also known at the palace of the Kabaka was built by Ssekabaka Mwanga II in 1885. The palace inside looks exactly like the Birmingham Palace but only a few people are allowed to enter who include the royal family and Buganda officials and they have to have been summoned by the King. In Buganda every King decides where his palace will be built and Mwanga II was attracted to the area in Mengo where the palace stands because it is the Nkaawo hill on which members of the Nvubu clan kept their grinding stones (Emmengo). These grinding stones were used by members of the Nvubu clan to grind herbal medicine. Mwanga decided to construct his palace at Nkaawo hill before the grinding stones were shifted. However, when the palace was completed, it immediately started facing a lot of problems. Mwanga was advised to collaborate with members of the Nvubu clan to transfer the grinding stones to Mbazi in Kyaggwe. It was from these grinding stones (Emmengo) that the name Mengo was adopted. The twekobe is located exactly one mile from the Buganda Parliament and is directly opposite the home of the Katikiro which now houses the joint medical research centre. This palace was raided by Idi Amin in 1966 and also torture chambers were constructed which were mainly used by the central government them to torture criminals.
Kasubi Tombs were the burial grounds for Kings in Buganda. They are recently under construction because they were burnt down in 2010. The Tombs have the history of all the Kings of Buganda and are located on Kasubi hill.
Ssezibwa Falls located in Mbalala after Mukono and these particular falls are believed to have been born. The woman who gave birth to these falls is called Nakkangu. When you visit the falls, you can see the place where she knelt while giving birth to these falls. There is a shrine right by the falls which many people especially women who want to have children or those who have had twins come and honour the spirit of the twins who were born into falls.
Mparo Royal tombs;
These tombs located in Hoima Masindi route are the burial place of Mukama Kabalega who was believed to be the King of Bunyoro who resisted colonialism. He was buried at this royal site mainly because Kings in Bunyoro are buried in their palaces. This place represents the traditional culture of the Banyoro and some of the people still come to this site to seek ancestral wisdom. Inside the huts there are items used by the Banyoro like the baskets, spears, knives, drums, shields, pots among others. These tombs are guarded by royal guards and are maintained by heirs and people related to the royal family in Bunyoro. You can also find the spot where King Kabaleega met Emin Pasha in 1871. This is one of the many traditional sites for the Banyoro. One can get a lot of history on the Chwezi- Bito Dynasty from these Mparo Royal Tombs.
Amabere ga Nyinamwiru (falls);
Scientifically known as stalagmites and stalactites, these fascinating features that look like breasts are believed to be the breasts of a woman named Nyinamwiru who cut off her breasts in protest. Her father Bukuku who was a Chief in the Batembuzi Dynasty refused her to marry a man the man she loved so she decided to do this in anger and frustration. These falls are found in Kabarole about 10kms from Fort Portal Town. This place can be visited during a tour in Fort Portal before or after visiting Kibaale National Park.
Nyero Rock Paintings;
These amazing rock paintings found in eastern Uganda in Kumi District in a small town called Nyero, bring out the communication and life of the iron and Stone Age. These amazing writings on the wall in form of diagrams and symbols are evidence or creativity over 300 years ago. They are believed to have been used by a tribe of fair skinned men and to have been used as the preferred means of communication in those times.
Home of Edirisa;
This is a place in western Uganda in Kabale that has a museum for the Bakiga. In this museum there are tools used by the local people in the huts like spears, buskets, pots, cooking utensils which are found in the typical Kikiga home. The Home of Edirisa has a number of community initiatives and also other activities can be done alongside visiting the Bakiga Museum like the community visit to the Batwa pygmies and a canoe ride.