Culture discovery tours offered by Ssamba Safaris bring you closer to unique cultures and traditions of people of Uganda. Ssamba culture discovery tours are tailored to take you to the various undiscovered cultural sites, traditional communities and very historical places in Uganda.
Uganda has one of the highest diversity of cultures, traditions and beliefs. With a reasonable number of ethnicity groups, languages, foods and traditional norms, the culture discovery tours will definitely be an awesome experience.
Ssamba Culture Discovery Tours lets you experience Uganda’s history and a great origin right from the pre-colonial Uganda up to the post independent Uganda. The tours include visiting the ancient shrines, kingdoms and palaces, a thrilling narration about these historical sites sometimes organized at an evening camp fire.
Ssamba Culture Discovery Tours will also lead you to explore Uganda’s national museum and community museums to learn more about the historical tools and numerous artifacts that were used in the past. That is from the pre-cambrian ages to the recent past.
The day tours also lead you to explore a variety of historical monuments and statues scattered across the country representing great personalities, historical events and many other significant situations in the nation’s past. Our cultural tours give you the chance to explore the real Uganda and learn about the wide, fascinating culture of the tribes in Uganda.
The Uganda Museum
The Uganda Museum (founded in 1908) in Kampala has exhibits of traditional culture, archaeology, history, science, and natural history. A display of Uganda’s cultural heritage where one can see ethnological and natural-historical exhibitions. It is a vivid reminder of the country’s colorful past.
The Museum has different sections including: Traditional music section with the traditional musical instruments and a live performance is available for the visitors. Archaeology section with the parts of Stone Age and Iron Age where you will be able to see the stone tools which were used 1,000,000 years ago. Independence pavilion of science and industry having transport (7th car in Uganda), communication (model of the 1st telephone in East Africa).
Ethnology with the things of recent history like the first printing press in Uganda. Ethnography providing the visitors with the touch of cultures and peoples way of life. Paleontology with the fossils aged about 20,000,000 years ago. Also discover the distinct species of mammals like Long- horned buffalo and the Indian Elephant. Outside the Museum is the Living museum (Cultural village) that exhibits the ways of lives of Ugandans as it represents the whole of Uganda.
Uganda Martyrs Shrines
The Uganda Martyrs Shrine is situated in Namugongo about 30mins drive from Ssamba Homestay. Before his visit to Uganda in 1993, Pope Paul VI had canonized the 22 catholic martyrs and considered them as saints in the Catholic Church. The current Pope, Pope Francis visited Uganda recently and as well paid a visit to this popular site, Namugongo shrine.
For their refusal to renounce Christianity, 45 young converts of the Catholic and Anglican faiths were on the fateful day of June 3, 1886 burned to death by Kabaka Mwanga II’s orders, the then King of Buganda –at Namugongo. As a tribute to them, a shrine designed by Swiss architect Justus Dahinden was built in 1973 at the site the martyrs were murdered.
Namugongo martyrs shrine is a worthy tribute, an architectural landmark, with rich historical touch and a sound religious monument. A multitude of pilgrims throng this place from all walks of life on 3rd June every year to memorize and pray for the martyrs, and this is a day to pray, repent and memorize the benevolence from the almighty.
Nnamengo Hill Cultural Site
Ttonda Palace (Palace of Creation) or officially known as Nnamengo Hill Cultural Site in Kyampisi just 10 mins drive from Ssamba Homestay. The palace houses important artifacts like a hewn rock chair and bed believed to have been used by first people in Buganda.
On the top of Namengo hill are four grass-thatched huts constructed to symbolize the birth of the Buganda kingdom. Placed next to them is a rock gong and a stone hewn game board game. The caretakers of the palace claims that Buganda kings must visit the site annually for blessings and guidance.
The small forest on the hill has numerous bird species, as well as Vervet monkeys. The site also has many species of butterflies and insects, as well as smaller mammals such as squirrels.
Ssekabaka Kintu Palace
Dindo is a rocky hill located in Kasawo, Mukono about 45 mins drive from our accommodation and is believed to be the home of the first Muganda man, Kintu according to the Legend. As you draw close to the palace, there are reed enclosures that connect to the entrance.
Like all centres of cultural importance, visitors here are asked to removed their shoes as the palace is considered “holy ground. The caretaker will take you through Kintu’s history and how he arrived at this site. It is believed he arrived from the East just as the legend goes and well on the eastern side of this rock is a human footprint and that of an animal.
Kato Kintu was the first Kabaka (King) of Buganda Kingdom and, could have been the first man living in the geographic region that is Buganda today. The exact period of the Kintu’s existence is not known, but could be as old as the earth which is said to have been in existence for millions of years.
On these rocks are also Kintu’s bed with rocks to symbolize his pillows, his royal seats from which he oversaw the kingdom, and further oluzzi (well) Nasolo, from which Nambi and other palace dwellers fetched water.
You will be taken on a guided tour of Kintu’s homestead, from his throne, kraal, bedroom to where his wife Nambi’s kitchen was and her well, Nasolo that can only be sighted from a far. Its a good go to place for anyone that enjoys anthropology and would love to dig deep into Buganda’s historical heritage.
Buganda Culture Experience
Mengo Palace (Lubiri) was built in 1885; Mengo Palace (Lubiri) is the historic official residence of the Buganda king. Following a 1966 military coup, the palace’s subterranean storage tunnels were used to incarcerate political prisoners. Although the palace’s classic facade has been restored, chilling reminders of the Idi Amin dictatorship remain in the grounds.
In Buganda, it was customary for a new king to choose a hill where he would build a new palace. This palace would become the new capital of the Kingdom and the King was free to rename the place as he so wishes.
Though the main palace is not open to the public, visitors are welcome to explore the grounds and visit the former torture chambers, with tours available at reception. Notable features include a perpetually-burning ceremonial fire that’s only extinguished upon the king’s death; the Kabaka Collection, which offers visual insight into the Buganda Kingdom; and the dungeons, where handprints and messages of despair are testament to the atrocities committed by Amin and his secret police.
Things to Know Before You Go:
- Mengo Palace plays an important role in the turbulent history of Uganda.
- Women wearing trousers or shorts can borrow a wrap from reception.
- Spending time at the former prison can often be emotionally distressing for visitors.
- Mengo Palace (Lubiri) is connected directly to the Bulange building by the Kabaka Anjagala Road, making it an ideal stop on a historical city tour.