Five free grounds in Kampala to chill at when you have nowhere else to go and little else to do

(Craft It’s new foreign correspondent in Kampala)

#1. The Sheraton Kampala Gardens
“That’s not a place for people like us,” we sometimes think.

Because we see a line of flagpoles, on occasions, flying flags of countries we’ve never heard of, like Nauru, or we hear of people from countries whose names we can’t pronounce, like Liechtenstein, staying there, we stand back and fail to experience the coolness of our own environment.

Don’t let the fenced up area of the hotel intimidate you. Walk through the checkpoint with confidence and stroll to the revolving waterway in the middle of the gardens.

It’s open to the public for free.

#2. The KCCA Employment Service Bureau
This was supposed to be the residence of the Executive Director of KCCA.

A smashing building with a waiting room the size of a mini-hall, a terrace at the top overlooking Kampala Club, a perfect spot to be the boss, a compound half the size of a football pitch, she decided to hand it to the youth of Kampala.

It’s bubbly, with energetic youth sharing ideas and building partnerships under the shade of its trees.

It’s where you go to get some experiential learning to help you through the murkiness of a job hunt.

#3. Garden City Open Roof
A boy wearing a T-shirt with the words, “Daddy is Cool” is riding around the water fountain on a toy horse. His mother has a grin, clapping and telling him she’s proud of him. He’s no more than four years old.

He’s distracting me.

I’m seated on this public bench, looking at the flow of water as it rises up the fountain and drops into a sparkle of elegant swirl, no droplet missing its position. I can’t hear the playful slide of children’s feet behind me.

I’m in a bubble of meditation amidst a buzz.

#4. City Square Gardens
You’re on Lumumba Avenue and the ground is steaming.

There’s a mirage on the tarmac, it smacks your eyes with its sharpness. You block the reflection with your left arm and turn your face to the right.

The sun is shooting its rays at your head. You feel like Rango after getting a beat-down, with a dry and bent neck. Your legs are caving in on you and every breath you take is blazing in your nostrils.

You turn to The Square road and drop your butt on the fresh and green of City Square, relieved.

#5. Nsibirwa Hall Grounds
I didn’t want to put you off but the truth is, those grounds are called, “The Grave Yard.”

No, there aren’t skeletons and skulls hidden under the grass. You won’t find crosses and gravestones with “Rest In Peace” messages.

Impis Rugby Club uses that name to assert their authority and to frighten their opponents. It’s their home turf. They don’t give two shits when opponents step on that pitch. But they’ve lost too many games there and have no glory to count on anymore.

These grounds have the cool of trees, what you need to breathe.

Tuape blogs at

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