Makerere University, a hidden city on a hill

Makerere University us the largest University in Uganda and the most recent University rankings places Makerere University in the fourth position in the list of the best Universities in Africa.

The name of the hill, “Makerere”, has a great ice breaking story behind it, the tale so interesting to tell.

Legends put forth that the hill acquired its name when one of the Buganda kings stayed the night out with his concubine and forgot to slip back to the palace before dawn kissed dusk.

Realizing that it had dawned, the king exclaimed, “Gano Makerere!” to mean, it has dawned, thus the name Makerere.

Buganda, convinced by Nsibirwa the then katikiro of Buganda, donated Makerere hill for the construction of Makerere University, thus in 1922, Makerere University was born. It has since then, amassed a great wealth of history in the world of education, architecture, culture and politics for the 97 years it has existed.

This great wealth of history coupled with producing brilliant individuals has made Makerere stand out high. Most Arfrica’s best leaders such as Julius Nyerere, Joseph Kabila were groomed by the University.

Among the numerous tourist attractions that Makerere University has, are the old buildings that are dated as back as the 1920’s like the main building commonly known as the Ivory Tower.

Part of the prestigious infrastructure is the newly renovated and redesigned entrance of the main gate.


Makerere university main gate
Newly designed Makerere University main gate: COURTESY PHOTO

The University has 9 residential halls that accommodates students and the statutes that stand for their values and ideologies on each hall are eye captivating.

The different cultural symbols, material that was used and the structures of the halls are ancient tracing back to the colonial era.

Mitchel hall
The rat is the icon for Mitchel hall: COURTESY PHOTO

Away from the buildings, the University boasts of  its nature that is so friendly to both human, birds and animals

The forests and all kinds of old tree species harbor birds like the morobou storks and hadada ibis that sing coarsely adding a mood to the environment.

Marabou storks at makerere university
The Marabou storks at makerere university: COURTESY PHOTO


Makerere has also big spacious library with variety of African literature that can be used in research,  study tours and other scholars interested in the materials that are kept in the library.

The library also has beautiful art pieces displayed with different messages and stories behind them. The library has been enhanced with technology but still exists in a beautiful old building which is a very interesting touch.

Makerere main library
The Makerere main library: COURTESY PHOTO

The grandeur of Makerere University cannot be exhausted, one can only speak of the few among the many attractions that the University promises and has.

According to Dr Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke, the communications and international relations manager Makerere University, Makerere needs to reposition itself so as not to miss out on these opportunities presented by promoting Makerere University as a major tourism destination.

Makerere University, if promoted as a tourism destination will benefit quite a number of parties in different ways.

There is an even brighter future for Makerere University in the country and world wide, if it improves its position in the tourism industry. Dr Kiggundu Musoke on the future of Makerere as a tourism destination.

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