Kampala today is a vibrant and lively city with approximately 1.6 million people living on the numerous hills located six miles from Lake Victoria. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. Given its close proximity to the equator the weather is mild, pleasant and generally ranges year-round between 28°C (82°F) and 17°C (63°F). There are two rainy seasons from February to June and again from September to November.
The city sprawls across hills and lowlands and encompasses the Kira municipality – which is technically the second largest city in Uganda. Covering over 20 hills each boasts different communities, neighborhoods with a mix of shops, restaurants, clubs, churches, mosques and markets.
English, Swahili, as well as many local languages are all official although English and Lugandan are most frequently heard. Almost all street and commercial signs are in English. Unlike many other African capitals the streets do have names although they might not be readily posted. Most of the names are derived from locations (e.g. Jinja Road) or politicians or businessmen (e.g. Luwum Street). Additionally, many places and parks retain colonial or Asian names – like Queen Mary’s Gardens or Shimoni Road.
As the commercial centre of the country there is a wide variety of shopping opportunities for every taste and budget. Small market stalls line almost every road selling everything from phone credit to vegetables to clothes or plumbing supplies. Large shopping malls provide higher end products and large open-air markets are scattered through the city.
For more live updates about Kampala check out Kampala Today, a news portal for the city.