Kampala nightlife is the most vibrant perhaps in Africa and going by the mood, it's constant through out the year and goes on till dawn. You will be spoilt for choice with lots of bars and night clubs to choose from.
Kampala is generally peaceful and by far compared to the other cities I have visited, very welcoming to visitors. You should have no trouble finding a place to enjoy a cold Ugandan beer and/or dance to the latest tunes. I have put together a small sampling of places to go to after dark here for you to try out;
Go by the alphabet? OK! Lets do that for now but I know as the excitement flies in, we will definitely go off...
Fancy some bit of bowling? Located at the garden city complex, this is the place to be especially on Saturday night; good music, nice bar. With a group of friends, you could quite easily do with some bowling as you wind-down the weekend.
Alligators is a karaoke bar and after a few drinks, with pumped up courage and a bit of stamina left, you can walk to the microphone and do one of your favourite songs - don't worry about how you sound...you will barely know what is going on save for those listening to your crocked voice!
A lot can be said about this place. Located in Kansanga - a Kampala suburb, it established itself, over the years as a prominent landmark that attracted lots of revellers. Unfortunately, it seems to have passed its glory days with many preferring to find entertainment else where. Unless you are the kind that wants to rediscover history, I have my reservations on this one. You could still catch something but may be only till just after midnight.
This spot truly defines Kampala nightlife - it just never goes to sleep! If you are the kind that loves your drink and dancing, then this is it! It's located in kabalagala - one of the suburbs that decorates Kampala's night scene.
The music is quite loud here and is a blend of top of the chats Ugandan tunes with a mix of some old school and American hip hop. The bar has a good assortment of drinks which keep flowing for as long as no one seems to call it a night. The dance floor is fully parked with men and women dancing away to the wee hours of the morning.
If you plan to drive, parking will be a problem unless you are there before 9 pm and the parking fee will be relatively expensive compared to the other place. It's therefore better to take a taxi.
It is a leading choice for foreigners looking to enjoy Kampala nightlife. Located in kololo, Bubbles is a typical Irish pub - gives you the feeling of 'an Irish man in Kampala'... well not exactly, it's just the taps and the constant flow of Stouts and Ales missing. It tends to drift into a club on the weekends - which I would understand since it's very hard to keep the music away (that is just the Ugandan influence!) but otherwise, nice cold drinks, decent food, pub grub and open till the early hours of the morning.
ROCK GARDEN at the Speke Hotel
You will have to check out this trendy cocktail bar right in the heart of the city at the Speke Hotel. Its layout is the unusual open space with a spacious dance floor that is constantly full depending on the rhythm of the night. Rock Garden can draw a crowd especially on the weekends when you can hardly find any space to sit at the bar but you will find plenty of seating away from the bar - Good place to be on Friday and Saturday.
...And just one thing before I leave the Rock Garden - just a caution; as you enjoy your Kampala nightlife; this place is well known for prostitutes not just inside but even on the adjoining waiting for any opportunity to come along. Therefore be wise, hello! Be cautious, HIV/AIDS is still very much in Uganda let alone the other STDs you could pick up.
STEAK-OUT (The wooden Steak house)
Steak Out has stood the taste of time and I can't seem to find another place than this spot that is truly Ugandan; the ambience and the followers - you won't find that many ex-pats but if you want to join Ugandans on a night out, then this is the place. Good Music, food (hmm...I might have my reservation on this but that's just me), pool tables and good assortment of drinks. It is a nice place to meet friends after a long day's work.
Located in the industrial area, Club Silk is a perfect example of Kampala nightlife with its in-vogue, alternative approach.
It's the perfect place for those that are serious about dancing; It even has different theme nights - while one night you may dance to the usual techno, disco or trance music, the next night could be reggae/ caribbean or African dancing! It is a favourite place for university students and with its always surprising style; it really isn't shocking that Club Silk is a popular night-time spot. You will love it!
ANGE NOIR Discotheque
Ange Nior which am told means 'black angel' in French may leave you wondering what to expect but this spot is ever a new and refreshing experience; another place for those who are serious about dancing. It has a cosy feeling and the ambience is good with good quality music.
It's been there over the years gracing Kampala nightlife and every time I walk in there, it's got a new feeling to it. It is popular with the local celebrity crowd - you could easily spot a Ugandan music star - celebrity for that matter, on a Friday night if you manage to keep your eyes open all night long!
The amazing bit about this place is that it has got a club within a club - actually 2 clubs; Ange Nior executive wing and Ange Mystique (which also has a members only section).
... And the proprietor never ceases to bring some thing new to the Kampala nightlife - just next door is GUVNOR discotheque; only opened in 2010, this new extension gives you a totally different taste of the night. But there is more ... good news in fact; if you are part of the 'been there, done that and seen it all' and life seems to have taken a twirl after your 40th, GUVNOR 40+ (the very latest extension) will ably cater for your 'good old days' mood.
NEW CLUB OBBLIGATTO
Formerly the 'little flowers'on Bombo road, this spot is the new home to the Afrigo Band (probably Uganda's best band of all times)- which is a testament to its popularity. Club Obbligatto can pull crowds especially on Friday and Saturday when the band plays live - this is a must see and believe you me, you will love them ... And talking about Afrigo band, it incarnates my love for Ugandan music - You will love it; Read more here ...
... Oh boy! I have not even told you about the Ndere Centre (for an evening to watch the traditional dance troupe), Club Rouge, Kampala Casino (for those that love gambling), T1 club and lots more... This is just a scratch on the iceberg; there is just a lot Kampala nightlife offers. You've got to explore!
Let me know what new places you find out there ...
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