Eastern Ugandan Cultural Trail

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 13 days

Immerse yourself in Uganda’s culture on this once in a lifetime experience. Uganda’s population is as diverse as its region: from Buganda trail to Karamajong cultural villages in Northern Uganda, visitors will find it tough to choose which community to experience. Every Kingdom and community has its own cultural tale to tell and that’s on this tour we will give you a taste of these authentic communities. There is so much to do and explore at these communities and visitors will learn how to farm, learn how to brew and drink a local brew, milking a cow, making ghee, learn about these kingdom’s history, enjoy a local game as well as making a traditional dish. Visitors will come as tourists and leave as locals.

Day 1
Arrival at Entebbe International Airport
Pick up from Entebbe International airport and our guide will drop you off to your accommodation for Dinner and Overnight at the hotel or at homestay.
Day 2
Buganda Trail First Half

After breakfast, start with a visit to the Kasubi tombs; a royal burial ground for the kings (Kabaka’s) of Buganda kingdom. The Kasubi Tombs located 5kms from Kampala is a huge dome-like structure that houses the remains of four former Buganda kings: Mutesa 1, Mwanga 2, Daudi Chwa 2, and Edward Mutesa 2. It was constructed in a traditional fashion with thatch poles and reeds, housing a variety of artifacts that belonged to the kings. The descendants of the king’s wives look after the site. Visit the Kabaka’s lake, a manmade lake that was dung by the Baganda on the orders of king Mwanga,he wanted to create a cannel that could his palace to lake Victoria. And Naggalabi Coronation site is a very important place in the Buganda kingdom,it is the historical heart of Buganda,it is here the kingdom was birthed at the dawn of 14TH century and it is here that every king of Buganda is been crowned. This has happened for over 700yearsthere are unique things to see at this site these include the “nalwoga pond”, where for the event is got from. The grass thatched houses and the “Muwafu tree” which acted as court where the kings’ settled disputes. Relax for lunch break at your hotel.

After lunch proceed to Katereke prison ditch that was constructed by the late ssekabaka kalema who was an Islamic sympathizer to imprison all his brothers and relatives who were potentials to ascend to the throne. He controversially ruled Buganda in 1880 after exiling kabaka mwanga from his kingdom. Two months after mwanga’s exile kalema ordered for the arrest of all princes and princesses who he suspected to be his rivals.Many were rounded up and exiled to katereke and then proceed to Wamala tombs housed in an attractive traditional thatched domed building which are the burial site of Ssekabaka Muteesa 1, the 29TH king of Buganda kingdom who invited missionaries to Uganda. It was during his era that the Arabs and notable explorers arrived to Uganda and opened to the outside world. Dinner and overnight at the hotel or Community based accommodation. B.L.D.

Day 3
Buganda Trail Second half
After breakfast, we will embark on our tour with the visit to Bulange kabaka’s parliament and after we will take a royal mile walk to the Kabaka’s palace known as Lubiri, or Mengo is the palace of the King of Buganda. It was built in 1885 and measures in impressive 4 square miles. Our guide will pick you from the Royal place. See the fire place locally known as” ekyoto ggombolola” which is lit by those from Nakisinge clan, this fire never goes out. The fire symbolizes that kabaka stays in the palace and he is still on the throne, it is twice a day at 5am and at 5pm.it is mainly lit by the mutuba tree and it will only go out when the kabaka has passed on or no longer sits on the throne. You will see military machinery used by fallen presidents Idi Amin and Milton Obote when they attacked the palace in 1966, see a weather beaten Rolls-Royce one of Kabaka Muteesa’s prized possessions and Idi Amin’s underground torture chambers and take you to Namirembe & Rubaga Cathedrals. From Namirembe, you continue to Namugongo Martyr’s Shrine where over 30 Ugandan Catholic and Protestant men were burned to death on the orders of the Kabaka Mwanga for their refusal to renounce their faith. The Church of the Namugongo Martyrs has been constructed near the site, and is the focus of pilgrimages. Today, June 3rd is a public holiday in Uganda to commemorate the executions. Wind off the day with the visit to Bahai temple, the only temple of the Bahai faith in Africa. Return to your hotel for Dinner & Overnight or at Community based accommodation. B.L.D.
Day 4
Jinja and Busoga Kingdom Tour (80KM)
After taking breakfast, our guide will drive you to Jinja. En-route we will visit the Ssezibwa Falls; ssezibwa is a local idiom implying” something endless”. According to the Buganda legend, hundreds of years ago, a woman called Nakangu; from the fox clan was expected to give birth to a set of twins but instead gave birth to two rivers – two streams, it is believed locally that he spirits of Nakangu’s unborn children, ssezibwa and Mobeya still inhabit the river and it was once customary and habitual for any muganda passing by its source by its source at Namukono, some 20km further east to throw a handful of grass or stones into it for great fortunes in life. Lunch break in Jinja town and after we will proceed to the Kyabazinga’s palace of Busoga Kingdom and old colonial buildings in the town.  Dinner and Overnight at the hotel or Community based accommodation. B.L.D.
Day 5
Kagulu Hill – Jinja
The next morning we go visit Kagulu hill, which is located in Buyende district, some 130 km from Jinja and is a mystical wonder to see. The hill is believed to be the first migration and settlement centre in the region (for Basoga of Bunyoro origin led by Prince Mukama).  It is the remaining and visible landmark of the cultural value of the region. With over 3048m (10,000ft) above sea level, Kagulu stands out majestically in the smoldering sun- like a princess. It is a rocky hill covered by shining peaks that kiss the sky when viewed from a distance and that give a thrilling experience for hikers. Dinner and Overnight at the hotel or Community based accommodation. B.L.D.
Day 6
Jinja-Mbale aka Imbalu city (143KM)
Early morning after breakfast, we will head to Mbale. Mbale has its unique attractions and cultures not found anywhere else in the country. These range from the traditional circumcision ceremony of all young males as a way of ushering them to Manhood, there is the Bull fighting in Bulucheke Village that attracts thousands of visitors every weekend, this activities dates way back to the 1940’s when it was introduced in the area, the amazing sites of the Sipi falls in Kapchorwa, hikes up the Mt. Elgon and Wanale Hills among others. Arrive in the afternoon, check in your hotel, have lunch and relax. In the evening we will visit Mutoto Circumcision site is located within Mbale Municipality. Place where the annual tribal circumcision ceremony is launched. Return to the hotel for Dinner and Overnight at the hotel or Community based accommodation. B.L.D.
Day 7
Mbale – Jew Community (10KM)
The following morning, we will visit the Jew community known as Abayudaya in the local language. With a population of some 2,000 followers they reside in nearly a dozen villages in eastern Uganda near the provincial city of Mbale. Though neither genetically nor historically related to other ethnic Jewish peoples, they are a deeply devout people recognized by both the Reform and Conservative movements of Judaism. Only the members of Putti Village consider themselves Orthodox, but they have yet to be officially recognized as such. Lunch break and later in the day we will visit Semei Kakungulu Tombs located about 5 Kilometers off the Mbale-Soroti road. Semei Kakungulu was the founding father of the Abayudaya. Converted to Christianity by British missionaries in the 1880s, he eventually found spiritual truth in the Old Testament, and later he accepted the tenets of the Five Books of Moses. Dinner and Overnight at the hotel or Community based accommodation. B.L.D.
Day 8
Mbale to Kapchwora Sebei community Visit (65.7KM)
We will depart Mbale early morning after breakfast and drive to Kapchwora. On arrival, we will take a short visit to an amazing community visit to Sebei tribe.  Sebei is an ethnic group of Uganda and Sudan. They speak Sebei, a Nilotic language. This group was famous for female circumcision a practice that has now faded out. Many members of this ethnic group occupy three districts of Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwa found in Eastern Uganda. Their territory borders the Republic of Kenya, which is a home to more than five million Kalenjin, a large ethnic group to which the Sebei belongs. The Sebei, now known mainly as Sabiny, speak Kupsabiny, a Kalenjin dialect spoken by other smaller groups of Kalenjin stock around Mount Elgon. You will get an opportunity to interact and bond with this unique tribe. Dinner and Overnight at the hotel or Community based accommodation. B.L.D.
Day 9
Kapchwora- Kumi (95KM)
Awake to a morning calm breakfast and depart Kapchwora to Kumi. The drive takes about 2 hours and on arrival we will check in your hotel and the afternoon after lunch visits Nyero rock paintings. It is an early Iron Age site and the rock paintings are found in three rock shelters. Some of the paintings represent animals; concentric circles, canoes and these paintings symbolize early settlement in this area. There are similar rock paintings in Kaberamaido, Karamoja, Pallisa, Ngora and Dolwe Island in Lake Victoria. Return to your hotel for Dinner and Overnight at the hotel or Community based accommodation. B.L.D.
Day 10
Kumi to Moroto (224KM)
Early morning breakfast and enjoy your ride to Moroto Town is located in the land occupied by the mainly nomadic Karamoja who move from place to place looking for pasture and water for their cattle.  Karamoja areas are mainly dry with rainfall not exceeding 800 millimeters per year.
The Karimojong have a rich traditional way of life and have been quite reluctant to change it’ many have remained resistant to change no matter the force trying to change them, after all in a desert-like land, the Karimojong have survived for centuries, and they are very proud pastoralists. They are sometimes referred to as the Ugandan Masai due to their outward appearance that resembles that of the Masai pastoralists. After checking in your hotel, our guide will walk you to Karamajong communities just to have a quick introduction about the community setting. Dinner and Overnight at the hotel or Community based accommodation. B.L.D.
Day 11
Karamojong experience
After breakfast, drive you will have a direct experience of the daily life in Karamoja and you will bring with you the appreciation gift for the community. Visit the typical homestead aka Manyattas, milk cows, make a traditional meal and perform Edonia” a real Karamojong traditional dance. In the afternoon return to your loge for Dinner and Overnight at a hotel or Optional to spend a night in Manyattas within the Karamojong community.
Day 12
Departure –Moroto-Kampala (460.7KM)
At 6:00hrs, we will depart Moroto and head back to Kampala. Our first stop will be in Mbale where we will have our lunch and then proceed to Kampala. We will also stop at Jinja for photographic experience, bathroom breaks and stretching. Arrive in Kampala late in the evening; drop off at your hotel for Dinner and Overnight at your hotel.
Day 13
Craft Markets-Ndere Cultural show
In the morning you will join our guide on a shopping spree visit Kampala African craft markets including Buganda road, Banana boat, and the one behind national theater. We will wind off the evening at Ndere cultural centre and witness Uganda’s Cultural Ambassadors. The multi-award winning Ndere Troupe has been gracing stages for almost 25 years with high quality performances that have resulted in worldwide appreciation and fame. Ndere Troupe has also made memorable experiences for countless people and organizations by performing at the different milestones in their lives.