The Nightlife Scene in Kampala – from Mild to Wild
A quiet Ugandan Pub to the Inferno of Capitol Pub past midnight – Uganda’s night does not end until well past into the next day.
Few Cities across the African Continent can rival the Nightlife of Kampala-not just on weekends but almost every night. Kampala – The City that never sleeps
Ugandans enjoy going out and going out they do. The Bars stay open until morning and the party continues all over Kampala. There is a party somewhere in Kampala and I am sure you will find it, just follow the music. Nightlife is relatively safe because of bouncers in the bars and clubs and Ugandans for the most part are simply friendly and hospitable. A body search takes place when entering most night spots.
Take a special for hire taxi from your hotel. Do not take a boda-boda motorcycle taxi late at night. Below are some places where foreigners frequent when going out at night. Coming home, take a special hire taxi. In town you can use Yellow Taxi which is metered, the rest of the time negotiate and bargain. Start at half the price, and go up from there, laugh and smile a lot.
There is a bar wherever you turn in Kampala – some are open 24 hours a day. Some cater to the Ex-pat Communities and visitors to Uganda while others simply to anyone coming through the door. The Music is loud and the beer flows freely, see our Nightlife Safety and Security page.
- Al’s Bar in Kansanga: This landmark place used to be the busiest place in town at night, but with the closing of Half-London next door and music that is no longer the Rock n Roll of the past, ex-pats have shifted to other venues and Al’s Bar has sold – there will be legends about it for years to come – but it is no longer what it was according to those that know.
- Capitol Pub: After midnight you cannot find a seat or a place at the bar, and most foreigners new to Uganda go through culture shock of some kind while visiting Capitol Pub. The music is loud enough to make the fabric of your shirt vibrate, the place is filled with women and men looking for women, the booze flows freely, the sodas are nice and cold, because they have been in the frig long enough until you come along and everywhere people are dancing the night away. The music is a blend of African and mostly American Hip Hop and some oldies thrown in. There are quite a few pool tables at which you can play a game or two for a reasonable price if you are not dancing. Capital Pub is part of the Kabalagala Night scene where parking is an impossibility after nine pm. Bradt guide for Uganda rates Capitol Pub with a shock value rating of 8.
- Other Kalagala Bars: The Kabalagala area – used to known as home to Capital Pub, however in recent times it is an ever evolving scene with new bars, nightclubs opening up, old ones coming down. Take a for-hire taxi here and at the end of the night or the next morning take one home. It is good to come here with a Ugandan who knows the area. Stay on the main road leading up to Muyenga and you can easily experience the various nightspots along the Strip – Kampala’s version of Paris Pigalle, Hamburg’s Reeperbahn, Frankfurt’s Kaiser Strasse or the Red Light District of Amsterdam. It certainly is not the place to have a quiet evening and meaningful conversation but lots of visitors to Uganda love it. Along this 1 kilometer strip you can venture in and out of various bars including the De Posh and Timeless who have made their mark on the nightclub scene in Kampala. There is also lots of food in outside of the bars, and everywhere you will meet women, men might forget that many of those most attractive women are mosquito girls and the sting will give you a bit more than a simple case of Malaria.
- Rock Garden at the Speke Hotel: A mixture of Afro-Rock, Hip-Hop both African and Indian style with a few American songs tossed in. Just plan on standing. Another place to dance in Kampala. A stage where people dance to strobe lights, you can get a pizza at Mamma Mias (pizza needs improvement) next door and enjoy meeting people from every continent. Lots of ladies of the evening, you can also find lots of them stand on the adjoining street waiting for customers, be wise – beware – AIDS is real here in Uganda and so are countless of STD’s.
- Bubbles O’Leary: A transplanted Irish Pub, literally speaking, this is an authentic Irish Pub. A popular expat hangout, live music
- Steak-Out: DJ music, pretty good steaks, pool tables and a lively atmosphere. I had a neighbor who was a DJ there…went with him one night and the Police came because of noise pollution and carted the sound system away in part…somehow they kept going after the police left at a slighter quieter volume.
- Club Obbligatto: Located on Port Bell Road: This is where on the weekend you find Uganda’s best Band and longest running Band, the Afrigo Band. A must see musical group. You will love them.
- Punchline: Located across the street from Capital Pub’s rear entrance on Gabba Road. It is a huge place with lots of space for outside dancing. The music is great, my neighbor a Kenyan is a DJ day a few days a week, interesting place to say the least. The night I watched my neighbor doing DJ duties the place was packed to the gills and a line at the entrance to get in. Lots of students from KIU not doing their homework but out playing and dancing.
- Club Silk: Club Silk has several dance floors, great music, theme nights and there are several bars. It also has a VIP section called Silk Royale where things are a bit more up-market for those with that extra bit of cash. Located in the Industrial area on the way to Bugologi.
- Ange Noir: Like Club Silk has spacious dance floors and it has a VIP section called Ange Mytique with very different facilities for up-market clients. Music is also great here and live events take place at times. Located in the Industrial area on the way to Bugologi.
Kampala is the city that never sleeps, that stays up all night until the next day…nighttime activities abound…enjoy our nightlife with a bit of care and caution- the above is just a representation of the variety of nighttime places found in the big Banana – Kampala…from the Pearl of Africa…jon
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