Shopping in Kampala
Practical goods such as toothpaste, soap and batteries are easy to find across Uganda, with supermarkets in many towns, although travelers are advised to bring any more unusual goods which they may need, such as medication, from home.
Souvenirs include interesting local musical instruments, woven goods such as baskets, hats, wooden carvings, batiks and ceramics. The best places to buy are in one of the country’s many markets, and there are also opportunities to purchase crafts along the road sides on the major routes to the tourist destinations as well as in the established craft shops in Kampala.
Locally-produced jewellery, including bangles and necklaces, and packets of local tea and coffee are also popular gifts in the shops as well as along the way sold by hawkers.
The craft market next to Daisy’s Arcade in Kampala is one of the city’s biggest, with over 30 stalls and Nomo Gallery at Uganda’s National Theatre, in Kampala’s Nakasero, has a shop selling African arts and crafts. Banana Boat shops sell African crafts and tribal arts, including work from Ugandan women’s groups, from their three shops in Kampala at Garden City Shopping Centre, Plot 23 Cooper Road in Kisementi and the Lugogo Mall.
Try to find time to pay a visit to Uganda Crafts 2000 in Kampala, a non-profit fair-trade shop which sells some unusual, well-made craft items, the proceeds of which go towards helping the country’s disabled and disadvantaged people.
Whilst it is always fun to bargain, remember that many of Uganda’s residents live below the poverty line, so paying an extra dollar or two for goods may make a huge difference to the seller. Be generous wherever you’re able.
Most shops operate from 8 am to 10pm though bigger shopping centers like Nakumati and Garden city operate 24 hours. There are also 24 hour shopping facilities at the airport where one can shop what to use while in Uganda after arrival.
Nightlife in Uganda
The main towns of Kampala, Entebbe and Jinja all have a relatively spectacular nightlife, with bars and clubs opening until late
Kabalagala is one of the best places to party late in Kampala, with many places opening 24 hours, seven days a week while the city suburbs of Nakulabye and Wandegeya have been known for their vigorous night life, with chicken roasters, Chapatti and Rolex makers and busy bars.
Prominent night clubs in Kampala includes Club Obligato, Venom, Guvanor, Club Silk, Amnesia, Cassablanca, Bubbles, and the newly opened club Ambiance
Visitors can see traditional music and dance at Kampala’s National Theatre, which also has a musician’s jam session on Monday nights, while La Bonita theatre on Colville Street also has live dance performances. The Ndere Cultural Centre at Ntinda has cultural shows by the internationally acclaimed Ndere Troupe and an Afro-Jazz night every Thursday.
Karaoke is also popular, especially in Kampala, home of Uganda’s first ever karaoke palace, Sabrina’s, and there are also bars to belt out a tune in Entebbe and Jinja.
Entebbe has two main nightclubs, Club XS and Nightriders, while Jinja has the Viewers Nightclub and also the Nile View casino.