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Kibuli Mosque: More Than A Beautiful View

Towering over 1,211 above sea level, Kibuli hill is among the several hills that make up Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The hill is located a few minutes from lake victoria, and if you are at the top you get a beautiful view of the lake shores as well as the city center with its towering structures.

The biggest chunk of Kibuli hill land was owned by the late Prince Badru Kakungulu who later donated the hill to the Uganda Muslim Council where the current Kibuli Mosque, hospital, and schools stand.

The Kibuli Mosque is one of the few old structural landmarks that still stand tall in Kampala, and is also deeply rooted to the history of Islam in Uganda. Islam is said to have come to Uganda in 1844 and was easily embraced by Kabaka Suuna II, who was the then King of Buganda. Kabaka Suuna II encouraged Islamic teachings throughout his kingdom and in no time, the numbers of believers grew. When Kabaka Mwanga II ascended on the throne, there were a few disagreements on some of the teachings and in the long run the kingdom and Islamic leadership were split.

Prince Badru Kakungulu, donated 80 acres of land to the Uganda Muslim Council for the construction of a mosque on Kibuli hill in the early 1930s and the construction commenced around 1937. When the Aga Khan visited Uganda in 1941, he started a campaign to raise UGX 250, 000/- for the construction of the mosque and was able to match up what was contributed which led to its completion.

The mosque was opened for prayers in 1951 and has been standing strong since then, watching over the rest of Kibuli like a guardian angel.

Although not as overwhelming in size as is the Gaddafi Mosque, the Kibuli Mosque has a classic feel to it. The mosque’s architecture will blow you away with a beautifully white washed exterior that seems to glow when the sun hits it just right. The towering minarets shaped like a well sculpted beacon stands tall adjacent to the aged but beautiful army green dorm that is almost covered with early morning mist before the sun rises.

As expected of most Mosques, you will find intricate and well made mosaic design with verses from the Quran strewn on the walls throughout the Kibuli mosque.

Inside the mosque is the prayer area which is called the Musalla, a spacious but bare part of the mosque where the faithfuls come to worship. The Musallah is kept bare because Muslims do not need chairs during prayers but you will find a few shelves alongside the walls. The shelves are known as Rihal and they usually house books as well as Qurans for those who do not have their own.

The most beautiful part of the Kibuli mosque or all mosques is the Mihrab. There is a way it looks like someone took time to paint and make it stand out from the rest of the prayer hall. A mihrab is an indentation that looks like an altar that marks the direction of the Qiblah for the faithfuls to face during prayer.

Mihrabs are usually shaped like a doorway and give you an overwhelming sense of calm when you stand near it. The Mihrab at the Kibuli mosque has a sky blue color to it and is a little larger in size compared to most. It has a small passageway with a mat that is usually reserved for the person leading prayers and above it a round window like opening that brings in sunlight.

Due to the opening of the Kibuli mosque, other busy structures were constructed on slopes of the hill. Although within the same compound, you will find the Kibuli hospital which is one of the biggest in the country and just on the right is a nursery/primary school.

As the sunrises on the city after the last call of the Muazzin, there is a sense of closeness to The Almighty as you stare down at the suburbs of Kampala from the verandahs of the Kibuli. It is a feeling of contentment and peace knowing someone is looking down on you and protecting the city you call home.

Credit: travel.jumia.com


How Non-Tariff Barriers Are Ruining Tourism In East Africa

East Africa as a region trying to integrate is still grappling with non-tariff barriers. These barriers have hampered the development of trade and most recently tourism. Analysts say the five member bloc needs stronger institutions and mechanisms to address challenges that may impede its progress.

In the tourism sector, the usage of the Single Tourist Visa and plans to introduce EAC e-passport are commendable achievements. Indeed there is commitment especially within the private sector to develop tourism sector in the region. 

Stakeholders under the East Africa Tourism Platform are trying to market the region as a single product – Destination East Africa. But with the non tariff barriers this is going to be hard.  

A document released by East Africa Tourism Platform titled ‘Curb Non-Tariff Barriers To Spur Intra-Regional Tourism within the EAC’ laments how most partner states still have introduced non-tariff barriers that obstruct the growth of tourism.

“Inconsistent immigration procedures have been adopted across many entry and exit points in the region especially with the handling of yellow fever vaccination cards, restrictions requiring travellers to have invitation letters, the need to show-where the travellers will be staying, delayed on-line application procedures, customs inspection and arrival registration forms; subjecting travellers to cumbersome, checks and delays,”

“Additionally, veiled protectionism has reared its ugly head in the form of levies of high exit taxes, foreign exchange control, and restrictions on the use of credit or cash cards. In the face of these impediments, unflagging efforts should be made at all levels, both national and regional, to remove such threats and barriers to intra-regional travel and tourism.

It is disheartening to note that despite the importance of tourism as a great foreign exchange earner, regional governments are yet to pay as much attention to facilitating travel as they do to in developing other industries. To facilitate intraregional tourism, it is imperative that governmental bodies throughout the region recognize that their role is to facilitate travel and not to stand in its way.

Regional governments need to address non-tariff barriers and ease access to their respective jurisdictions from across the border to the extent that this does not compromise security. Where this is not possible, then there is need for an agreement that does not add unnecessary time and financial costs.” The document explained.

East Africa Tourism Platform further explains the ‘these restrictions fly in the face of the campaign to market the East African Community (EAC) as a single tourist destination. Under the campaign, tourists are urged to apply for a single visa that allows them to visit Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda without border restrictions.

The regional tourism platform that bring together private sector players elaborates the if EAC countries are to benefit from this initiative, they need to resolve some of these non-tariff barriers to the free movement of people and tourists across their borders.

“The best solution would be for regional policy makers to deliberate on non-tariff barriers and ensure they are finally eliminated. With a little goodwill from partner states, these barriers will be easily and amicably resolved and a solution found to satisfy and benefit respective countries and the region. Tourism plays an important role in the economies of the EAC partner states and, considering the competition they face from destinations such as South Africa, they would be better off fighting in the same corner than against each other.

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Ugandan Travelers Prefer 2 Star Hotels

An annual Hospitality Report released by online booking agency Jumia Travel in Kampala has indicated that 43.8% of Ugandan travelers prefer booking 2 star hotels while 29.2% prefer 3 star, 14.6% prefer 4 star, 8.3% book 1 star and 4.1% rather stay at a 5 star hotel.

“Over the past year, a number of two star hotels started offering additional amenities such as WIFI than before plus their locations are suitable for the travelers especially when it comes to business.” Louis Badea, the Country Manager for Jumia Travel-Uganda.

The trend tends to represent pricing fears hotel users have. Two star hotels are relatively cheaper and affordable by Ugandan standards. Commenting on the pricing issue, Badea encouraged local hotels to be flexible in order to attract business.

The report which provides various data and insights into the tourism sector has Kampala as most searched destination and following right behind is the adventure capital Jinja that boosts of whitewater rafting, bungee jumping on the Nile.

Full report here

Job Opportunity: An International Hotel Chain Is Recruiting

With Uganda’s Hotel and Tourism industry slowly growing, hotels are looking for qualified and experienced hoteliers to join their ranks. An industry insider has revealed to us that the competition for Sales Executives whose responsibility it is to look for clients and maintain relationships has heated up. One of the International Hotel Chains is looking for sales executives and managers, and below is the job description.

All the best to the lucky ones.

Job brief: An international hotel chain in Kampala is looking for sales professional to be part of the team to achieve sales target in rooms, food and beverages and events revenue. The successful candidate will be responsible to implement all sales activities and maximize business opportunities in specific area of responsibility by establishing strong relationship with customer and guests.


  • Find business opportunities by identifying prospects and evaluating their position in the industry; researching and analyzing sales options.
  • Maintains relationships with clients by providing support, information, and guidance; researching and recommending new opportunities; recommending profit and service improvements.
  • Prepares reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information.
  • Maintains quality service by establishing and enforcing organization standards.
  • Generating and maintaining customers through sales calls,sales blitz, telephone calls and entertainment.
  • Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed and meeting sales targets.
  • Strong influencing and negotiations skills


  • Degree or diploma in Sales, Marketing, leisure and hospitality or equivalent from a reputed university preferable
  • A minimum of 2 years working experience within the hospitality industry and/or in sales
  • Organizational and time management skills, attention to detail, multitasking, researcher, and customer care skills, negotiator, ability to write reports, sales planner.
  • Computer literate
  • Applicants to send resume only to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 30th March 2017.


Plan Ahead For Your Easter Holidays

Easter is around the corner, that means there are going to be many deals popping up for the holidays just for you to travel. So why not use this long holiday to get away or do something with the family. We bring you some of the best travel packages for your Easter season around Uganda and discover some gems.

Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge

For Easter, the rates for Ihamba are going down in weeks before the holidays. The lodge offers private accommodation consisting African styled rooms with extensive living areas overlooking the magnificent Lake George. Each room features an en-suite bathroom, a pair of slippers, a working desk and a private deck. The bathrooms boast of large glass windows, offering a unique game viewing of breathtaking Lake George. Since its a drive from the Queen Elizabeth National Park, your Easter might consist of game drives and boat rides on Lake George.

Imperial Resort Beach Hotel

Long drives to the village can get tiresome sometimes, so why not spend your Easter in a little gem off of Lake Victoria in Entebbe? The resort is a walking distance from the Uganda Wildlife Education Center commonly known as the Zoo filled with wild animals. You can book one of the spacious rooms overlooking the victoria before Easter at a huge discount.

Simba Safari Camp

Treat your family to a relaxing trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park this year and catch a glimpse of the famous tree climbing lions of Ishasha. Simba Safari Lodge is located near the national park making it easy for you to have those game drives and forest walks. The lodge has cottages, ensuite family rooms, dormitories with enough space for your loved ones to be comfortable during your stay.

Wild Waters Lodge

If you are looking for a wild thrilling weekend on the Nile, this might just be your place. One of the most visited lodges in the country will give you a rush with the roaring waves of the Nile right next to your room and poolside. For activities, you can choose to go white water rafting, bungee jump over the Nile or maybe just relax and enjoy the soothing sounds of nature around you.

TV and Order In

And if you are one of those people who have decided that Easter is for “me- time,” you can also catch up on your TV programs and stay relaxed with food being brought at your doorstep. Sometimes all we want is a long weekend indoors with the ones we love or alone shedding off the stress of the first quarter of the year.

About Town

For those who will not be traveling, there are a lot of Easter plans happening through Kampala. From concerts, to Easter egg hunts at hotels like the Kampala Serena and discounted movie offers at the Cinemas. Go to the spa, visit a couple  of friends/ family and enjoy every bit of you the holidays.

Credit: travel.jumia.com




Children To Discuss Environmental And Climate Literacy At Conference

Uganda Little Hands go Green and My Kid is a Superstar together with partners are organized the 4th International Children’s Climate Change Conference. This year, the annual one day conference will be hosted by Kampala International School Uganda (KISU) on Saturday 22nd April 2017.

Organisers of conference say they are expecting to bring together 300 child delegates from over 40 schools, different nationalities and backgrounds and representing different countries across the globe. The theme of the conference which aims at encouraging children to preserve the environment will run under the theme ‘Environmental and Climate Literacy’.

Minister Frank Tumwebaze helps pupils plant a tree to launch activities of the conference in 2015

The conference which also seeks to empower youngsters with enough knowledge about the environment and climate change coincides with the global celebration of World Earth Day.

“We have serious challenges regarding climate change, unsustainable use of natural resources, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, forests and farmland. Not to mention the huge inequality still prevailing in several parts of the planet,” an official from Little Hands Go Green said in a statement emphasizing that climate change is a very real threat to economy and a threat to ‘the future of our children, to our way of life’.

Joseph Masembe welcoming Pius Bigirimana, and Irish Ambassador to Uganda Dónal Cronin to a previous conference

Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green has a mission to inspire a patriotic nationwide culture of “Our Environment is Our Future and Our Future is Our responsibility” by creating a mass hysteria of tree planting by children both at school and at home.

“What we are about is sowing the seeds of environmental propriety in the children and teaching them that owning up to and taking care of their environment is their responsibility,” Joseph Masembe said in an email interview.

Pupils take part in a play at one of the previous conferences

“We seek to assign responsibility of ensuring a Green future for all on the children because the future belongs to them. We have pioneered a new wave of change where we are making environmental conservation education cool for kids.

It is not in the National education curriculum so we are creating an extracurricular segment for environmental conservation education by driving children to each plant at least a fruit tree in their homes or wherever they can,” he explained.


Have a Luxurious Trip On A Small Budget

When most people envision traveling, they picture something easy and relaxing with cocktails and picture perfect scenery. Yet before you envision all this, there has to be a plan and a budget. Although you have to remember that you do not need a big budget to go for luxurious trips, here is how. 

Cheap Destinations

Yes, it is a thing. You can actually find so many travel destinations that will not drain your savings. When you go through through Google, a number of countries in Africa and islands on the Pacific and Atlantic ocean have lodgings that can go for as low as $50. 

Discounted Packages

Before you jump for everything, try scouting the internet for discounted packages that are always popping on travel websites. These packages usually have lower rates compared that cater to transportation, food, accommodation, and activities; meaning you will pay once and relax your way through the holiday. 

To Fly Or Not To

It is not a must that when you are traveling over the border you have to take a flight. Did you know that instead of spending over $300 for flight to and from one of the neighboring countries, you could just take a bus that will cost you as low as $60? Mind you, lately, bus companies have luxurious coaches with leg room, wifi, and charging pots for you on your trips. 

Peak Season

It might seem like everyone is traveling during this season but it is the best time to travel since almost every hotel has a huge campaign they are pushing to fill up rooms. You will find good hotels with a 50% discount for a room you could barely afford before that. 

Drive Yourself

It can be quite tiring when you have to drive from Kampala to Mbale on your own; but if you plan to switch with a passenger, it can be a fun road trip. Driving your own car saves you money used to hire a driver or even a van when moving with a big group. Use this money to book a spa day because you deserve it. 

Travel Campaigns

Since 2015, there have been more than five major travel campaigns initiated online by companies and individuals. An example would be Khoi Khoi, Ug Travel Month, and Intimania where you pay a minimal amount of 250, 000/- and spend a weekend away. The trips always involve a big group of people headed to places like national parks for a weekend and most of them sleep in tents. The amount paid usually caters for everything; music, food, accommodation, and alcohol. 

Bed & Breakfast

You do not have to sleep in an expensive hotel to get a feel of luxury. Thanks to technology, you can now stay in a beautiful and less costly place called a B&B. They are usually rooms in someone’s home that are rented out and you can search online for many of them in your travel destination. 

Budget Airlines

A number of airlines, offer cheap flights through the African continent that can go as low as $200. You can look through travel advisors and booking websites to compare and contrast some of 6the prices before you rush to book. 

Credit: travel.jumia.com




Tips For Traveling While Pregnant

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful miracles of nature and with a bundle of joy on the way, you are always going to be handled with care. Of course, just because one is pregnant does not mean they should not go about their business, it only means now you have to do everything else with extra sense of care.

It is now common for most expectant couples to go for a “babymoon” before the baby comes; meaning there will be traveling involved. So how does one travel with special cargo on board? 

Opt Domestic Destinations

Especially when you are a few weeks away from delivery, traveling near home is a better plan than flying off somewhere further. Traveling within your country means that when the baby makes a surprise appearance, you know where to rush off to during the emergency. 

Stay Hydrated

Being that temperature levels in pregnant women always seem to be a little higher than normal, it's important that you hydrate wherever you go. Carry water or juice on you but avoid fizzy drinks since they usually contain caffeine which is not recommended for pregnant women. Good hydration is essential in helping to replenish amniotic fluids and breast milk production. 

Time Your Travel

If you are going to travel, plan it according to what stage of the pregnancy you are in. The first trimester usually comes with crazy storms that leave you too weak but it varies in many women. Use the second trimester to enjoy yourself, plan a trip and relax before you become too heavy to move about. 

Choose Your Destination Well

If you are jetting off to a far off place or just traveling within, make sure the destination has emergency medical services at all time. Ensure the weather is also suitable for you and your pregnancy (not too hot or too cold). You need to weigh if the trip is worth it and why you are going to that destination in the first place. 

Plan Ahead

Incase you are in your last months of pregnancy, be ready for anything. Not all babies arrive at their scheduled time, some come early and others a little later. Carry your prenatal card with you, and a few baby things to be on the safe side.

Snack Away

Do not be embarrassed to snack your way through the holiday. Everyone knows that you are eating for two or more so, pack healthy snacks to keep those hunger pangs and cravings away. 


Don’t restrict yourself especially when you are flying since you need to stretch. Leave the window seat and take the one next to the corridor since it gives you legroom and doesn’t inconvenience your neighbor during those frequent bathroom runs. 

Slow Down

Before you got pregnant, you might have been engaging in a number of activities. This time, do not mind sleeping through the day by the pool or just doing yoga whilst everyone else is off doing something adventurous. Enjoy this lone Mummy and baby time. 

Enjoy Yourself

Whatever holiday you choose, enjoy yourself. Look for activities that will work well with your condition and make memories. 

Credit: travel.jumia.com



Jumia Travel Expands to New Destinations

Jumia Travel is further solidifying its global presence in the hotel, travel, and tourism ecosystem, unveiling new continental and international destinations. The company has registered an inventory of more than 30,000 hotels in Africa and over 300,000 worldwide; only four years since inception in 2013.

These include new properties in popular destinations in Africa including South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia, as well as outbound destinations including Dubai, London, New York, Paris, and Mecca among others.

Guaranteeing continued quality of service, Jumia Travel’s boss Paul Midy says, “We have the requisite capacity to offer our partners global visibility, and to our customers, solutions for all their travel needs anywhere in the world.”

The move is directed at enabling more Ugandans to expand their travel horizons both domestical and internationally. As part of the initiative, customers will have access to travel packages to the new destinations; with 24/7 local customer service and expertise as well as flexible payment options including Mpesa, payment on arrival, and credit cards.

The packages will consist of hotel stays, return flight tickets, tours or excursions upon request and availability. They exclude Visa processing fees, travel insurance, among other activities not mentioned above.

Travelers are increasingly shifting focus from generic products to more customized and personalized experience. We are therefore working closely with our hotels and other OTA partners to provide our customers with tailor-made worldwide travel options,” added Midy.

The first package focuses on Dubai as an outbound destination for African customers during the upcoming Easter holidays.Jumia Travel recently launched its flights services, adding to its efforts to create a one stop travel shop across Africa. Jumia Travel (travel.jumia.com) is Africa's No.1 online travel agent, allowing you to get the best prices for more than 30,000 hotels in Africa and more than 300,000 hotels around the world.



Rwanda, East Africa’s Fastest Growing Travel Destination

Rwanda is a little hidden nation in East Africa that has grown from what used to be the youngest to one of the biggest destinations in the region. The landlocked country is sandwiched between Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi and is part of the East African Community. A legislative body governing the East African as a way to bridge unified development through the region.

Over the years, Rwanda has become a force to be reckoned with.

Gorilla Trekking

As one of the biggest selling points for the tourism campaigns in Rwanda, gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Parks in the Northern part of the country has become a very lucrative attraction for incoming traffic. Mountain Gorillas in Africa are only found in Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC.

Growing Economy

There is nothing more appealing than a country whose economy is growing faster than expected, people get curious about what is leading to that. In most cases this attracts many “business tourists/” investors keen to study all the major factors contributing to the growth.

Infrastructural Growth

The Rwanda of 1994 is far more different than the 2017 one; from the well constructed roads and planned regions to the lush countryside. Rwanda is sparing no chances when it comes to creating ease of accessibility and lighting up the country.

Beautiful Culture

The people of Rwanda are warm and inviting which makes it easy for visitors to want to know more about the cultures of Rwandans. A vibrant deep rooted culture which shows in the bright and beautiful colors, how people dress or even some of the best crafts you can find and one of the most famous dance traditions being the graceful Ntore dance.

Political Stability

Rwanda has been under the leadership of Paul Kagame since 1994 when he came into power, since then elections have been held and outcomes have been embraced with instability. The general view of the nation is that of peace loving people and visitors are assured of being safe.

Monumental History

Even though the country went through one of the most horrific genocides in the history of Africa, Rwanda has turned the Rwandan genocide into a positive point in their history. The Kigali Genocide Memorial Center serves as a memoriam for the lost lives and a teaching point condemning senseless killings and xenophobia.

Hospitality Industry

With almost all the biggest hotel brands setting up shop in Rwanda such as the Radisson Blu, Kempinski, Park Inn, Serena Hotels the hospitality industry in the country is a step ahead. This includes the unveiling of the Kigali Convention Center in 2016 that was built to accommodate some the many international conferences that take place in Rwanda.

Business Tourism

This can be defined as when individuals are still working and being paid, but are doing so away from both their workplace and home. Business Tourism is growing in Rwanda due to the many Investment opportunities as well as the hundreds of  conventions and conferences taking place in Kigali.

Credit: travel.jumia.com

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  • 24 Mar 2016 28°C 22°C
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