Cities, towns and the People

Major cities and towns

The major cities and towns in Uganda include: Kampala, Entebbe and Jinja.


Kampala is the capital of Uganda, and is situated some 40 km/25 mi north of the country's international airport in Entebbe (EBB/HUEN). Kampala's name comes from the local name given by the Baganda tribe, kasozi k’empala, meaning 'antelope hill'. The city is, like Rome, built on seven hills at altitudes varying from 1,150 m/3,773 ft to 1,320 m/4,330 ft, from where you can see Lake Victoria. It was founded by a local chief towards the end of the 1800's, and has today a population of more than a million. It is a mix of the traditional Africa, including markets, banana stalls and swarming crowds, and the business centres, malls and five-star hotels of the modern Africa.


Entebbe is mainly known for its international airport, but the town was formerly the capital of Uganda. Some national authorities, and the president's residence, are still found here. Entebbe is situated on the shore of Lake Victoria and has fine hotels and restaurants, lakeside avenues and interesting buildings from the 1930's and 1940's.


Jinja is the second largest city in Uganda, situated on the northern shore of Lake Victoria 80 km/50 mi east of Kampala. It is an industrial city and an important centre for trade. The countryside surrounding the city produces much sugarcane and tea.

The People

The people of Uganda belong to a number of different tribes, and many tribal traditions and customs survive, even though much of today's population considers itself mainly Ugandan. Baganda is the largest tribe. Its former kingdom has played an important role in the Ugandan history. The tribes of the north, close to the border to Sudan, are nomadic pastoralists, just like in northern Kenya. The areas around Mgahinga Gorilla forest Park are populated the farmer tribe Bafumbira, but there is also a minority of Batwa pygmies.
Some two thirds of the Ugandans are Christians. 15 % are Muslims, and about as many confess to traditional local faiths.