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Kampala History, Uganda

If you talk to one of the locals about the history of Kampala, a phrase that you are likely to hear is seven hills.  In fact, Kampala has often been called The City of Seven Hills in many different contexts and while the city has grown to such a size that it incorporates more of the rolling hills into its borders, the seven hills motto is still one that you will see at many different points should you decide to visit the city.  Kampala is quite a hilly place and it is from the original pre-British rulers of this particular region that the seven hills motif came.

Before the British came, Kampala was not actually a city, but rather an area for hunting and feasting under the monarch of the area.  This monarch enjoyed hunting in Kampala and before it became heavily populated, it was actually the source of many of the different eating, grazing and reproductive grounds of many of the mammals in the area.  In fact, it is quite possible that if Kampala had been built somewhere else, this particular geographical region might have trumped the areas of Kenya that are now the most popular safari grounds in Africa.  That little note aside however, the important thing to realize is that the origins of Kampala and the hill motif comes from a pre-British time before the city existed and this area was used as a grounds for hunting by the monarchy that ruled over the lands at the time.

Eventually however, the city of Kampala was founded (still in pre-British times) and it eventually grew to become the capital of the monarchy of the area.  This was just before the turn of the 20th century and there are many buildings in the city of Kampala that are still around from that particular point in time.  Uganda has fought wars with some of its neighbors since then however (most notably with Tanzania in 1978-1979) and a lot of the infrastructure from that period has been lost.  This has turned out to be a boon in disguise however, as it propelled a lackluster government into creating newer and better buildings to replace them and in effect giving Kampala a face-lift in both residential and industrial regions.

The end result was to create a modern metropolis buzzing with activity and youthful energy, while at the same time allowing some of the historical flair of Kampala to remain in monuments and buildings that are visited each year by tourists such as you.

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