Located on one of the hills in kampala, the Kasubi Tombs site is an active religious place in the Buganda kingdom. It’s a burial ground for the previous four Kabakas.
History & Culture
The first Kabaka to be buried at Kasubi was Muteesa I, the 35th King of Buganda. The dates of the reigns of the Kabakas are only precisely known from Ssekabaka Suuna II, who ruled from 1836 to 1856.
The Baganda belong to the Bantu speaking people and date their political civilization back to the 13th century A.D. According to oral traditions, the first Kabaka of Buganda was Kintu.
He is said to have come with his wife Nambi, whose hand he won by performing heroic deeds at the command of her father Ggulu, the god of the sky.
Kasubi is a sacred religious site for the royal family, a place where the Kabaka and his representatives often carry out important rituals related to Ganda culture.
The Kasubi tombs hill is divided into three main areas: the main tomb area located at the western end of the site, an area containing buildings and graveyards located behind the tombs, and a large area on the eastern side of the site used primarily for agricultural purposes.
The entrance to the site is a beautifully built gatehouse called Bujjabukula. According to Ganda tradition, the guards who control access to the site hide behind a see-through woven reed screen, to keep watch round the clock in order to control access.
This gatehouse was constructed using wooden columns supporting a thatched roof, with walls made of woven reeds. The Bujjabukula leads to a small courtyard which contains a circular house in which the royal drums are kept, the Ndoga-Obukaba.
A tour inside the tombs, from this forecourt, one enters the main courtyard (Olugya), enclosed by a reed fence and several houses built for the widows of the Kabakas and for other ritual purposes.
The entrance into this courtyard is a striking experience as one immediately faces the main tomb building known as Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga, which is the architectural masterpiece of this ensemble.
Route to the tombs
The Kasubi Tombs site is located on Kasubi Hill, five kilometers from Kampala city center, along the Kampala-Hoima Road.
At the top of the hill, turn left onto Masiro Road and follow it to the entrance of Kasubi Tombs, which is marked by a thatched hut. The trip is approximately 15 minutes from Kampala.
The Kabakas at Kasubi
Four Kabakas (Bassekabaka) are buried at Kasubi tombs, namely:
• Muteesa I (1835-1884)
• Basamula Mwanga II (1867-1903)
• Daudi Chwa II (1896-1939)
• Fredrick Walugembe Muteesa II (1924-1969)
Finally, the kasubi tombs is a key part in the Buganda Kingdom culture