TOURISM IN KAYUNGA DISTRICT
Kayunga District is endowed with several Tourist attractions ranging from Water bodies such as the mighty River Nile which offers the best white-water rafting in the Country, it’s blessed with beautiful Swamps, wonderful waterfalls, and Cultural Sites. And, most important, the people of Kayunga are one of the friendliest in Uganda.
How to reach Kayunga;
Kayunga has a good Road Network direct from the Capital City, Kampala to the various Tourist destinations. To reach Kayunga from the Centre, you can use the Bombo Road via Mulago to Gayaza Road and connect to Kayunga. You can also use Jinja Road, branch off from Mukono Kalagi Road and connect to Kayunga.
If coming from the Eastern side of the Country, after the Owen falls Dam, turn to the right opposite Nile Breweries and connect direct to Kayunga via Kangulumira. It is on this very route that most of the Tourist Sites like Beaches, waterfalls and Hotels are located.
You can also reach Kayunga by Chartered Air. These are found at Kajansi aerodromes (Airfield). Air transport is playing an increasing role in the promotion of tourism.
Water Transport infrastructure: Kayunga’s surface area also consists of lakes, Rivers and/or swamps. The principal lake and river system include Lake Kyoga, the River Nile and Sezibwa Swamps. Enjoy our Four-Wheeler Modern Ferry on River Nile connecting Kayunga District to Kamuli and other Districts like Jinja, Luuka and Buyende. From the Northern part of the country, you can enjoy cruising on our lake Kyoga especially from the Districts of Amolatar, Apac, Oyam, Nakasongola etc. up to Ntimba in Galiraya.
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Cultural and Historical sites;
Visit the Buganda Cultural Site in Kangulumira along River Nile and the Royal palace of H.H the Sabanyala in Bbaale sub county, Cultural Rocks in Bbaale, Nazigo and Nyiize.
Physical and nature;
Visit Lake Kyoga, the second largest fresh water lake in Uganda found in Kawongo, Galiraya Sub County, the River Nile with its beautiful sceneries stretching from Kangulumira to Budaali in Bbaale Sub county through the Sub counties of Busaana, Nazigo and Kayonza, Rapid falls in Kalagala and Nampanyi as well as Fresh Water sites in Sezibwa and Musamya Swamps.
Kalagala is a place which is full of stories that are mystical. Such stories include spirits of trees and rocks known to the locals as Ssalongo and Nnalongo. In case you are looking to taking a safari in Kayunga, please do not hesitate to visit the mystical falls in Kayunga District. Apart from sightseeing, you will also participate in interesting activities like white water rafting, kayaking, sport fishing. All these activities will be participated in this beautiful place. The most interesting thing you will experience when you reach these falls is the sound of the falls. This will be heard even though you are as far as 400 meters away from the falls. This interesting sound will usher into the vicinity interesting enough to appreciate what the wonder one would anticipate while in this place. The sound of Kalagala falls are punctuated by another soothing sound of the many bird species which are found in the area. The sound of the bird will be heard as you are passing them, when you are heading to the falls. The notable bird species at the site include; herons, sand birds and the blue headed weavers.
The spirits tree at Kalagala falls is very interesting. When you are at the Island found at Kalagala, you will see several of these trees at the site though all of them will be viewed as just normal trees until you will be attracted to have a look at one of them. Of course when you get attracted to one species of tree at Kalagala, you will be definitely puzzled so much because you will need to take a few steps next to the selected tree species to look at.
When you are on the western side of these falls, there is a spirit tree with a backcloth. This is very interesting for you to have a look at. There are two spears that are seen on the entrance with a fire place and this is locally known as “ekyoto”and is loosely translated as a fire place. This is a very important cultural place among the Buganda people and the Buganda tradition as a culture. You will be told to remove your shoes while you are in this place. This is because it will be done in respect of the spirits which are found in this place.
After you have removed your shoes when you are barefooted, you will view spectacular rocks which are referred to as Nalongo and Ssalongo. After you have viewed Nalongo and Ssalongo, a spectacular experience which of course come your way out of the place because you have to trek this in 4 metre tunnel like structure. There is a believe that the local spirits do harbor the tunnel and these things were not created there. These spirits are believed to be placed by people who were supreme over them. When you visit this place, you will have to put money called “amakula” in a small basket which permanently is found at the entrance. This basket is called “ebigali” in the local language. When you are putting money in this basket, you are supposed to ask the gods for anything you will wish to happen in your life and whatever you ask for, it is believed that it will be granted to you by the gods in abundance.
For those who wish to participate in fishing, the waters on the east bank of the Nile are great venues for sport fishing and while here, you will see people lining up and doing this activity and it will be good for your relaxation at your time of convenience. You will participate in kayaking. This activity will take place along the rapid waterfalls therefore, you cannot imagine to miss this out. When you are participating, viewing among the wonderful experiences, you need to be trained with relevant skills. You will also participate in white water rafting, an activity which is related to kayaking. It will be a very remarkable experience to be accommodated at this place.
To reach the site, branch off from Kangulumira Town via the sub county headquarters to Kalagala village. You will view these falls from different locations, for example; you can view the falls from the Buganda Cultural site, or from the Community managed site or from the Wild waters site.
Vegetation and Wild flora
Visit the thick forests along the Nile River. Enjoy the beautiful trees along the Nile River especially along the stretch from Kirugu/Maligita to Kalagala falls as you also enjoy the sounds of the beautiful birds. To have a full view of the forest, visit the wild waters site on the Island.
Culture and Societies;
The “United Nations of Uganda”. Just visit Kayunga, you will agree with that phrase. Kayunga is a home to 54 Ethnic tribes with Baganda being the majority. This therefore means that the District has a diversity of Cultural and societal norms. Each tribe is free to practice its cultural norms as long as they do not conflict with the laws. Our villages can facilitate tourism because many villagers are hospitable and eager to welcome (and sometime even host) visitors.
The most common and known cultural practices in Kayunga are “The Kwanjula” of the Baganda tribe and the Imbaalu of the Bagishu.
The Kwanjula ceremony is where a girl introduces her fiancé to her parents so that they allow him become part of the family members.
The Gishu culture is probably one of the most notable in Kayunga, its major highlight being the kukhala imbalu (male initiation into manhood by way of circumcision), which takes place from the August of every leap year to 31st December.
Our Local Food;
It’s always one of the best attractions to sample the local cuisine and Kayunga is no exception to the rule. Enjoy a variety of tasty dishes to learn more about the Kayunga culture. Fish feature prominently on the menu due to the number of water bodies in the District, such as tilapia with a peanut sauce. In addition to fish, meat stews are a popular food. Many of the different tribes in Kayunga have their own traditional dishes, but the cuisine revolves around potatoes, cassava, Pumpkins, vegetables, chicken, pork, fish, bananas, and yams.
Entertainment and recreation.
Enjoy "the Imbalu" dance of the Bagishu from January to December every leap year. Visit the Kuku Community especially in Busaana Sub County and enjoy “Murye” the fantastic Kuku Cultural dance. These dances are arranged on order. Do not hesitate to enjoy these Dances while in Kayunga.
The district boasts of the mighty River Nile which has favored development of Recreational and Hospitality facilities along the Nile River. These include;
Isimba Hydro Power Site in Busaana.
Located in Nampanyi village, Busaana Sub County, Isimba dam has proved one of the Tourist attractions because of its magnificent scenic view. Enjoy viewing the Nile from the upper side as water forces its way into the turbines. This site is visited almost daily by visitors/tourists from all over Uganda. However, visiting this site requires you to first make an appointment with management (Contractor-CWE). The site has nice facilities like houses for workers, Restaurants, a well-equipped Supermarket, an Automatic Teller Machine (Stanbic Bank), etc.
- · Kipling Hotel best known for its beautiful and modern grass-thatched Apartments. The hotel is located in Bukasa village in kangulumira sub county.
- · Baobab Cottage on the Nile
- · Saranac Beach best known for Boat Rides. It is found in Bukasa Village, Kangulumira Sub county along the mighty River Nile. If you are looking for a place to relax, don’t hesitate to come here. The beach has modern recreational facilities like swimming pools for both Adult and Children. It has other children’s play Equipments like swings etc.
- · Mayor’s Gardens in Kayunga Central best known for daily entertainment.
- · Cape Gardens in Kayunga West best known for its cool environment surrounded by beautiful tree species. Enjoy the cool air from the surrounding Sezibwa swamp as you sip your drink.
- · Nazigo Forest Hill Gardens. Located on the Upper side and overlooking Nazigo Town, this place has the best and wide Gardens in terms of space. It has a complex where one can have a workshop, meetings, wedding etc. Its location on the hill makes it wooh. It has good Accommodation and lodging facilities in terms of Rooms.
- · Wild waters.
This is the best and modern 5-Star Hotel along the Nile River in Kayunga District. It is located on the beautiful Island on the Nile River. It is best known for activities like Water Rafting. It has modern hotel and lodging facilities and the surrounding environment makes it waaw. It is surrounded by different species of trees making it habitable even in the dry season. While there, you can enjoy the songs of the different bird species as you nature walk through the small forest on the Island. To reach the site, branch off from Kangulumira Town via the sub county headquarters to Kalagala village where you will find a big sign post of Wild Waters.
· Buganda Cultural Site-Kalagala
This tourist site is also located in Kalagala Village near Wild Waters. This site is commonly visited by people who come to perform their traditional Rituals of the Baganda culture among which include; asking for forgiveness, asking for riches, asking for husbands and Wives, etc.
The Site also has Caves which are believed to house the Baganda Guardian Spirit.
· Kasana-Mbulamuti ferry;
Kayunga District is blessed with a modern Ferry which connects Kayunga to the Busoga Districts of Kamuli, Buyende, Luuka, part of Jinja, etc. Do not hesitate to have a ride on our 4-wheeler modern ferry as you have a tour of our cool River Nile. You will also enjoy the scenic view of Isimba Dam from downstream the river as you cross to Kamuli.