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Uganda: Kasubi Tombs

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Kasubi Tombs | Uganda | Africa

[Visited: February 2011]

A friendly Ugandan girl was nice company on my way to Kampala that morning, and she arranged a boda-boda to take me directly to the Kasubi tombs. Once on the back of the motorbike, I felt exhilarated: the weather was nice, people sympathetic, I was on my way to a place I had never been. Once we had left the terrible traffic mess of central Kampala and the air started flowing through my hair, it all gave me a feeling of freedom. All too soon, we arrived at the entrance gate of the Kasubi tombs, my first goal of the day. Looking like a sturdy hut with thatched roof that can be seen in other places in Africa, I soon realized that this structure was much stronger and of high quality.

Picture of Kasubi Tombs (Uganda): BujjaBukula or Gate House of Kasubi Tombs

I was met by a tall Ugandan who presented himself as a guide, and who walked me to the ticket office. In an adjacent room, he explained the history of the Bugandan kingdom and the former Kabakas, or kings, all of which had their special stories. The guide proved very capable of making a complete novice like me understand the fascinating history of the kings of the Bugandan kingdom. It made me see what enormous developments the Bugandan kings had seen since the first king ascended to the throne in 1835 and how they all reacted in a different way. Since Uganda achieved independence in 1962, the position of the Bugandan king has obviously changed; my guide also explained me about the various political leaders the country has known since.

Picture of Kasubi Tombs (Uganda): Sturdy interior of the Gate House

After the introduction, someone outside dressed in traditional attire was playing a drum as people entered the courtyard. They appeared to be royals as well. Consequently, my guide took me to the Ndoga Obukaba, the Drum House where the royal drums are kept. For every occasion, like the birth of a royal, a wedding, funeral, etc., there is a different drum. We were able to have a look inside, and the drums looked awesome: some of them more than a hundred years old! My guide also explained the way the buildings are made, using reed, bamboo and sticks making for lasting buildings. As I expected to be able to enter the main courtyard, my guide explained that this was, unfortunately, not possible after the awful fire that had destroyed the main building where the actual tombs of the former kings were located. He also explained all the irreplaceable items that had been consumed in the flames. From a distance, I could see the ruins of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga of which nothing remained. People were kneeling right in front of it. Right then and there, I decided to come back here once the main building will be rebuilt.

Picture of Kasubi Tombs (Uganda): The Royal Drums stored in the Ndoga Obukaba
Picture of Kasubi Tombs (Uganda): The ruins of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, the main building of the Kasubi Tombs
Picture of Kasubi Tombs (Uganda): Drum house of the Kasubi Tombs complex
Picture of Kasubi Tombs (Uganda): Bujja Bukula, the gate house of the Kasubi Tombs
Picture of Kasubi Tombs (Uganda): Royal residences in the Buganda compound

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Kasubi Tombs (Uganda). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Kasubi Tombs.
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