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Uganda Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in Uganda

Practical goods such as toothpaste, soap and batteries should be easy to find across Uganda, with supermarkets in many towns, although travellers are advised to bring goods which they may need, such as medication, from home.

Souvenirs from the country include interesting local musical instruments, woven goods such as baskets, wooden carvings, batiks and ceramics. The best places to buy are in one of the country’s many markets, and there are also opportunities to purchase crafts along the side of the road from stalls or established outlets in well-travelled areas. Locally-produced jewellery, including bangles and necklaces, and packets of local tea and coffee are also popular gifts.

The craft market next to Daisy’s Arcade in Kampala is one of the city’s biggest, with over 30 stalls and there’s also a night market every Friday in Nsambiya on Ggaba Road where you can practice your bargaining skills. 

Nommo Gallery in Uganda’s National Art Gallery, in Kampala’s Nakasero, has a shop selling African arts and crafts. Banana Boat shops sell African crafts and tribal arts, including work from Ugandan women’s groups, from their three shops in Kampala at Garden City Shopping Centre, Plot 23 Cooper Road in Kisementi and the Lugogo Mall.

Try to find time to pay a visit to Uganda Crafts 2000 in Kampala, a non-profit fair-trade shop which sells some unusual, well-made craft items, the proceeds of which go towards helping the country’s disabled and disadvantaged people.

Whilst it’s always fun to barter, remember that many of Uganda’s residents live below the poverty line, so paying an extra dollar or two for goods may make a huge difference to the seller. Be generous wherever you're able.

Shopping hours

Mon-Sat 1000-1800, some shops may close earlier on Saturdays.

Nightlife in Uganda

The main towns of Kampala, Entebbe and Jinja all have a relatively lively nightlife scene, with bars and clubs opening until late.

Kabalagala or ‘Kabs’ is the place to head to party late in Kampala, with many places opening 24 hours, seven days a week. There are also pubs, bars and clubs along the Ggaba Road close to Kampala International University and on the Muyenga Road.

Kampala’s industrial area off Jinja Road also has three big clubs, with good DJs. Wednesday is ‘Ladies’ Night’ in some clubs, where entry is free to women.

Visitors can see traditional music and dance at Kampala’s National Theatre, which also has a musician’s jam session on Monday nights, while La Bonita theatre on Colville Street also has live dance performances. The Ndere Centre at Ntinda has cultural shows by the internationally acclaimed Ndere Troupe and an Afro-Jazz night every Thursday. 

Karaoke is also popular, especially in Kampala, home of Uganda’s first ever karaoke palace, Sabrina’s, and there are also bars to belt out a tune in Entebbe and Jinja.

Entebbe has two main nightclubs, Club XS and Nightriders, while Jinja has the Viewers Nightclub and also a casino, the Nile View.

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