Mbarara is located in the Western part of Uganda on the road to Kabale near Lake Mburo National Park. The city has a population of around 200.000 people, which makes it Uganda’s second largest city, Kampala being the biggest.
Originally the district was the Ankole district, but after the coup in 1972 it changed to being the district of Mbarara and it became a municipality in 1974.
Cattle keeping is one of the main industries in the Mbarara district and it is the biggest contributor to the local economy. A family with many cows are considered a wealthy family, with meat and milk being a main source of income. The two major cash crops in Mbarara is bananas and coffee, which is also symbolized on the city shield along with a cow.
Activities in Mbarara
We would recommend staying for a couple of days in Mbarara. You can take a beautiful walk alongside the south-going Rwizi River, or enjoy a day horse-riding or even quad biking. The city is filled with local, African craft shops that are perfect places to pick up your souvenir. Mbarara offers a great variety of eating options, from local Ugandan food to American fried chicken to a more healthy, Western menu. There is something for every taste.
Mbarara is located conveniently close to Uganda’s gorilla trekking forests and Lake Mburo National Park which offers thrilling game drives.
A short 10 minutes drive down the Igongo Cultural centre, a leading recreational complex, will bring you closer to the Ankole cultural experience, where you can tour the Ankole Museum filled with lots of artifacts and history plus traditional regalia. Alternatively a short 20 minutes drive to one of the Traditional Ankole villages can offer you a firsthand experience of how locals live life in this part of the world. Local wine tasting and farm experiences are the epitome of this tour