Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya all belong to the East African community that is found in the sub Saharan part of Africa. They have all seen different cultures that have been experienced especially during the colonial rule to date and all these have been recorded and stored for the generations that did not experience it to see it through the eyes of history.
The cultural sites are some of the few tourist attraction sites that have seen quite a large number of people coming into these countries just to get a glimpse of the wonderful history that was made in the countries. In this article we are going to look at some of the cultural sites that are found in the different countries.
Uganda as a country is filled with very many cultural sites that depict how far the country has come and where it is at the moment. We won’t be able to look at all the cultural sites in the country but we will discuss a few of them and when you visit Uganda, you will be able to see other cultural sites.
The Royal Kasubi tombs
The Royal Kasubi Tombs is located in Kasubi a few minutes away from the capital city of Uganda Kampala is where the Kings of Buganda are buried. It is a burial ground to four kings of Buganda and is a spiritual place to most of the Baganda people. There are several rituals that are carried out in the place by the different people and it is one of the most visited cultural sites in Uganda.
The first king to be laid at the Kasubi tombs was Mutesa 1 and he was the 35th Kabaka of Buganda. When a Kabaka died, he was laid down in a sanctum where his jawbone that was considered to be holding spiritual powers was kept at a different spot and these sanctums are still well kept and taken care of.
When you are entering the Kasubi tombs, you are required to remove your shoes as a sign of respect to the Kings. There will be a guide who will take you through the tombs showing you the different kings and how they lived their lives. You will also be able to see the different royal regalia that was used by the former kings and when you are moving out of the tombs, you have to do it backwards as you cannot show your back to the kings also known as Kabakas in the local language Luganda.
Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru
Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru is located in fort portal and it is loosely translated as the Breast of Nyinamwiru. The story behind this is that the king of Toro Bakuku arranged a marriage with a certain chief for his daughter Nyinamwiru but she refuse. Upon her refusal, the king ordered for her breasts to be cut off so that no one else would marry her and that’s how the Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru were formed. Thousands of people travel long distances to come and see stalactites that look like breasts dripping breast milk.
Namugongo Martyrs shrine
Namugongo shrine is located a few minutes away from the city Centre and it is where several Christian converts were killed because they had refused to denounce their religion. These men were killed by Mukajanga on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga and they were burnt alive. The shrine was separated into two sides that is the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church and when one visits the shrine, you get to know more about Uganda during that era. See Cultural tours in Uganda
As part of the East African countries, Tanzania also has many tourist attraction sites and these include cultural sites too. There are a few historical sites in Tanzania and some of these have been noted below all you need is to pack a bag and come experience other cultural sites found in the country.
The Askari monument
The Askari monument is located in the heart of Dare salaam. It was opened to public viewing in 1927 and it is a representation of all the soldiers from Tanzania who went and fought in the world war one. Many lost their lives during the war and this was one of the ways in which they are remembered. Visit the area and gaze upon this cultural site.
The Stone Town
Stone Town is located in Zanzibar and it is one of the tourist destination for many in Tanzania. It was built during the colonial era by the different ethnic groups that lived on this coastal town. This famous coastal town has a lot of tourist attraction sites like memorial sites that were built by the Europeans, Arabs, Persians and Indians, museums that show how these people lived in harmony at the coast and their vast different cultures, beaches and many more. Stone town will leave you with enough knowledge about the culture practiced at this coastal town.
The National museum and house of culture
The museum opened up in 1940 to the public and it has a lot of history about Tanzania that you should not miss. It also houses the remains of the first man that were found at Olduvai Gorge, royal regalia that was used by former kings and the various items that show the history of Tanzania from the struggle of power during the colonial times to the time that independence was gained.
The Kondoa rock art site
The Kondoa rock site is an archeological area where over 150 caves and shelters that are natural are found. The paintings on the rocks are believed to be dated way back to the Bush men area and were made by a brush like instrument. The paintings are of animals, children, hunting scenes and medieval instruments that they used. They give you an insight on how the earlier people lived in the area.
The Olduvai gorge
Olduvai Gorge located in Tanzania is where the oldest remains of mankind were found. The existence of mankind in Olduvai was seen by the presence of skulls that were found in the area, the paintings on the different rocks that are found in the area also show the existence of man in Olduvai. A visit to the area will show how man came about.
The ruins of Kilwa kisiwani
The ruins of Kilwa kisiwani were built by the Europeans during the colonial era between the 13th and 16th century. It was a stopover place for many merchants that dealt in Chinese porcelain, gold, silver, Persian earthenware, Arabian merchandise and many more others. A visit to the area will take you back in time to the trading era and you will feel the different cultures that are were practiced by the different ethnic groups.
Kenya is a coastal country that has a rich history and culture. The vast culture that is found in the country is due to the different tribes in the country. There are roughly six historical cultural sites in Kenya that have been recognized internationally and when you visit this place, you will get to see the Kenya’s culture coming to life.
The sacred mijikenda Kaya forests
The villages in the area were formed in the 16th century and were filled with a lot of people although they were abandoned during the 1940’s.-They consist of eleven forests that are separate from each other and it contains numerous abandoned villages that are taken care of by people known as the elders. The cultural traditions that were in the area have never been abandoned and when you visit the area, you will realize that the culture has been preserved by the council of elders. Visit the place and experience its uniqueness from the rest of Kenya.
The Lamu old town
The Lamu town was constructed during the colonial times and it is the oldest coastal town in Kenya. This old Swahili settlement has been preserved and one would think that it was built just yesterday. The settlement was constructed using mangrove timber and coral stone and the simplicity of how the town looks like will blow you away. Many Muslim festivals have been held in the town and it is the best place to learn more about Islam and the Swahili culture that is common in Kenya.
Fort Jesus in Mombasa
Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese in 1593 and it was constructed as a defense barracks for the Portuguese army that wanted to take control of the Kenyan coast trade. Fort Jesus is seated on a 2.36 hectares and the fort was built in the renaissance era format and a visit to the place will show you history of Kenya during the colonial era and how the Portuguese also lived at the Mombasa coast.
Rwanda is one of the few African countries that prides herself with the unique culture that is found in the country. The Rwanda people have a beautiful culture that is showcased through music and dance and it is one off the top tourist attractions in the country. As a country Rwanda has been through a lot and most of the country’s history is kept as treasures in the different cultural sites that have been listed below.
The Ndaba rock
Ndaba rock is just two hours from Kigali the capital city of Rwanda and it has a beautiful history which is why most people go to see the marvelous rock. It is believed to have dripped of honey in the past and many locals used to collect the honey for their home consumption and use. The people would gather to help each other using ropes so that they could easily collect the honey but one day a hunter disappeared and never came back and many people believed it was greed. A climb up the rock with a guide telling you more about the honey dripping rock is worth the cultural visit.
The genocide memorial centers
Rwanda experienced the genocide in 1994 and many Tutsis lost their lived due to the power struggle that was in the country. After the genocide many memorial centers were set up in remembrance of those that lost their lives in the struggle for peace and these are located in the different parts of the country. The different genocide sites include the Nyamata memorial site, Kigali genocide memorial site, Bisesero memorial site, Gisozi memorial site and many more others. And once you get to these sites, you are given a brief background of what happened before you experience it personally.
The National arts museum Rwesero
The museum is located in Nyanza where the palace of the king Mutara III Rudahingwa was and it has different art craft that depicts the vast culture in the country through paintings, sculptures and other traditional embroidery that is sold at the museum. A guide will take you through the different things that are shown in the museum including genocide events.
The king’s palace
The king’s palace is also located in Nyanza and it is a place one must see when they visit Rwanda. You will find many royal regalia that was use by the king during his reign like drums, spears, beads and many more others. Visitors to the palace are allowed to take as many photos as they want and they are also allowed to put on the crowns of the former kings and queen for a moment and they also get to join in the cattle rearing that is done with the help of the guides found in the palace.
As earlier on stated, there are more cultural site that can be found in the above countries but we have just had a glimpse of what you can find when you visit any of them. There are other numerous cultural sites and all these show different things that will interest you if you give it a chance and visit any day.