Let’s Be Fair: Kampala versus Kigali


Kigali versus Kampala in the Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide

Warm greetings from Lake Bunyonyi and from Kigali, the two places where our team is working very hard from!

We are finalising the sixth Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide, the one that should have been published in December but got delayed due to health problems… But something good has come out of us being late!

A good point.

Kampalans shouldn’t feel that their city is presented unfairly. It’s an undisputable fact that Kigali and Kampala are hard to compare (well, few African cities would look good next to Kigali…) yet that doesn’t mean we need to be mean towards Uganda’s capital.

“But who came up with such a write up about Kampala? Must be a hater,” said a commenter on Facebook.

We currently do have some reasons to dislike Kampala… We are toiling on the map of the city (see below) and that is a huge undertaking eating too many of our hours. Nevertheless, the Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide is a publication meant to be marketing Uganda and Rwanda!

Kampala map for Gorilla Pocket Guide – under construction

Mind you, we are against flowery language and pretence in our publications, and we don’t avoid humour, however, we could perhaps be more sensitive than this:

The city also known as “crazy crazy” Kampala is the party capital of East Africa. A bustling urban sprawl touching Lake Victoria with epic traffic jams and mushrooming shopping malls, Kampala is all the best and the worst an African city can offer.
But not so far from the organised chaos of the Old Taxi Park — an actual attraction — there is serenity in Kampala’s green areas and religious sites. The only Baha’i temple in Africa, the Kampala Central Mosque and the Makerere University campus are three places you should de nitely consider visiting.
Uganda’s international airport lies 40km/26mi from Kampala, next to Entebbe.

This is how Kampala is described at the moment and that may leave room for improvement. Especially when it comes after this text about Kigali:

Kigali is a sparklingly-clean and highly organised city that few international visitors expect to find in the centre of the African continent. Smooth tarmac with countdown traffic lights connects brand-new buildings here, like the Kigali Convention Centre on the right of this spread.
Kigali International Airport is the aviation hub for the Gorilla Highlands region, both on the Rwandan and the Ugandan side.
The must-see attraction is the beautiful memorial museum that bears witness to the genocide against the Tutsis that shook the country in 1994. While it also features similar crimes against humanity elsewhere in the world, its primary message is the power of Rwanda’s reconciliation, resilience and potential.

Help us balance the picture by joining the discussion on Facebook. Deadline: Friday 1pm, Uganda time.

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