Do not miss to add the Kasubi Royal Tombs while on a Ugandan Safari especially the invigorating Kampala City Tour because while at this Site, you will uncover so much about the history of the Buganda Kingdom.
The Kasubi Tombs, found on Kasubi Hill in Kampala/5 kilometers from Kampala City Center is the burial site for the Buganda Kings and is so far the main and most prominent Spiritual and Cultural Center for the People of Buganda and Uganda as a whole. This Site sits on 30 hectares of the hillside and is majorly comprised of agricultural land cultivated by traditional farming methods. This Site was inscribed to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2002 but 8 years later, they were mysteriously burnt down by unknown people and some of the ,major buildings were completely destroyed by the fires and the cause of the fire is presently under investigation. Currently the site is under reconstruction (which started in 2014) to make it shine as it used to before being burnt and the construction is funded by the Government of Japan. The Kasubi Tombs is one of the 31 Royal Tombs found within the Buganda Kingdom since this prominent Kingdom was established in the 13th Century.
This exceptional Site was constructed as a Palace in 1882 by then King-Kabaka Mutesa I who was the 35th King of Buganda to restore the previous Palace constructed by his Late Father-Kabaka Ssuuna II in 1820. The new Palace later became Royal burial site when he (Kabaka Mutesa) passed away in 1884. Currently, there are four Royal Tombs that contain the remains of four former Kings of Buganda Kingdom that include Kabaka Mutesa I (born in 1835, crowned in 1856 and died 1884), Kabaka Mwanga II (1867 to 1903), who died in exile on the Seychelles Islands and his remains were returned in 1910, Kabaka Daudi Chwa II (born in 1896, took over the throne in 1897 at one year old and died in 1939) and Kabaka Sir Edward Mutesa II (1924 to 1969, died in exile in London and body was returned in 1971 and was father to the Current Kabaka.
The Tombs of these four former Kings are housed in a structure called “Muzibu Azaala Mpanga”-found in the western side of the Site. The house is the main building within the Site, was constructed in a round circular Dome Shape and has stood the test of time (since the 13th Century), and was luckily spared when the Kasubi was gutted by fire. It was constructed from wooden poles, reed wattle and daub covered by a thick thatched dome with straw resting on 52 rings of palm fronds. This main building is one of the three areas that make up the Kasubi Royal Tombs, the others areas include the place/area behind the Tombs and has many buildings and grave yards and the eastern area which is a large area mostly used for agriculture. The gatehouse (Bujjabukula) leads to a small courtyard and the amazing drum house-locally known as “Ndoga-Obukaba” which offers shelter to the Royal Drums and finally the second main circular courtyard known as the “Olugya” that is found on the hilltop and enclosed by a reed fence. The courtyard is surrounded by a number of buildings inform of wives’ houses for the widows of the Kings constructed in a traditional manner. These widows tend to the family graves. The Kasubi Tombs also homes the remains of some of former Buganda Princes and Princesses that are found outside the Royal Tomb.
How to reach the Kasubi Royal Tombs
The Kasubi Royal Tombs are located on Kasubi Hill in Kampala, about 5 kilometers from Kampala City Center on the Kampala-Hoima Road. This about 20 minutes drive without Traffic jam.
In conclusion, the Kasubi Royal Tombs is one of the main cultural sites in Uganda because it is a home to the remains of four former kings of Buganda that include Kabaka Mutesa I (born in 1835, crowned in 1856 and died 1884), Kabaka Mwanga II (1867 to 1903), who died in exile on the Seychelles Islands and his remains were returned in 1910, Kabaka Daudi Chwa II (born in 1896, took over the throne in 1897 at one year old and died in 1939) and Kabaka Sir Edward Mutesa II (1924 to 1969, died in exile in London and body was returned in 1971 and was father to the Current Kabaka. Don’t miss to visit this wonderful cultural site while on a Ugandan cultural safari.