Thursday, 10 August 2017


Cultural safaris in Uganda are described as “Authentic African Experiences of life time!” With over 60 varied tribes, makes it a “melting pot” of cultures. Cultural experiences in the Pearl of Africa are best described by the distinct traditional and cultural dances, music, lifestyle, traditional practices, history and exceptional Kingdoms (represented from all the 4 regions in Uganda). When it comes to cultural encounters in East Africa or Africa as a whole, Uganda should not miss out in the bucket list while planning your next safari holiday! The Kasubi Tombs site is such remarkable place of a kind not to be missed to visit while in a holiday in Uganda. The tombs site is traditional burial area for the Kabakas of Buganda where all the 4 Kings of Buganda were buried and incredible Baganda dances are performed before visitors.

 Location of Kasubi Tombs Site
These mighty tombs are situated on Kasubi hill in Kampala, 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre. Kasubi Tombs site is found along Kampala-Hoima route. Through Makerere University route to Nakulabye, turn on the right to Hoima road, approximately one kilometer and then turn on the left where you view the Kasubi Hill. The entrance to the tombs is usually along Masiro road. Kasubi was initially called Nabulagala. Kasubi straddles with 30 hectares, while accommodating enormous traditional and agricultural practices.

In 2001, the Kasubi Tombs were recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main issue of the hilltop of Kasubi was the palace of the Kings of Buganda that was originally constructed in 1882 and it was at that time that the palace of Kabaka Mutesa 1, which was later, changed into royal burial grounds for the Kabakas of Buganda in 1884. A house known as Muzibu Azaala Mpanga where all 4 royal Kings were all buried. The Muzibu Azaala Mpanga is a main structure, established in the round circular dome shape. It has stayed since the 13th century. The structure is made of wood, wattle, grass thatched, daub and reed. The Muzibu Azaala Mpanga features most of cultural and traditional beliefs, history, spirituality and identity of all that are intangible. The powerful Buganda Kingdom is recognized for its extraordinary and thriving architectural examples ever since the 13th century. Not only is the site a cultural area for the Baganda in Uganda, it is also a popular site which attracts more than 50000 visitors annually making it one of the most economically valuable sites in the country.

Traditional and cultural values that are attached to Kasubi Tombs
The Kasubi Tombs are divided into 3 major sections; the major section is comprised of tombs in the western side of the site, an area with structures and grave yards that is behind the tombs and in the east, a vast section that is majorly used for farming. The tombs site is an area where traditional and cultural practices have been conserved and therefore take on the most active role for religious practices especially for the Royal family in the Kingdom with rituals being performed on regular basis, significant to the Buganda culture. The tombs site also represents an area where communication links the spiritual world and it where they are kept.

Tragedy that fell on the Kasubi tombs
Unfortunately, bad lack fell on the might Kasubi cultural site in March 2010 where the site was set into fire something that has remained a mystery. The fire destroyed the core building in which the tombs are found. However, in 2016, the tombs were re-instituted and still there is ongoing renewal to improve its status. The main challenge with conservation largely lies in maintaining grass thatched roofs in their better conditions. Whereas the thatching techniques are still well mattered and the thatch is present, preserving the roofs need continuous efforts in terms monitoring and replacement of decayed grass. Kasubi Tombs site is also affected by other threats, of which is the shape of the roof that has changed for years, secondly, the roofs are also affected by changing climate that cause more humidity than in the past.

In conclusion, Kasubi Tombs site is an incredible place where all the 4 Kings of Buganda were buried. It is a culturally valuable site for the Baganda in Uganda. The Baganda are Bantu speaking people and date their political civilization back to the 13th century AD. The Kasubi Tombs site is not only a burial site for Buganda Kings but also an area to explore the renowned Baganda cultural and traditional beliefs, history, spirituality, dances and music performances that never leave tourists bored.

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