Gadaffi Mosque : The magnificent skyscraper mosque is located on one of the seven hills of Kampala. This particular old Kampala hill is rich in history because it is at this spot that the Union Jack was raised by Sir Gerald Portal declaring Uganda as a British protectorate in 1894. The idea for the construction was birthed in 1972 after the formation of the Uganda Supreme Council, an umbrella body that would unite all Muslims around Uganda. At the genesis, the mosques were known as the Old Kampala hill until construction came to a standstill in 1976 between bankruptcy and other issues.
On his official visit to Uganda in 2001, the then President of Libya Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was approached by the Mufti of the time Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje for financial assistance to accomplish the construction of the mosque. The Libyan president agreed and in 2006 the construction commenced which ended in 2007. Colonel Gaddafi officially commissioned the mosque in June 2007 and it was named after him. The famously known Gadaffi Mosque was renamed the Uganda National Mosque after the death of Gaddafi.
Situated on 12 acres of land making the biggest mosque in Africa, it also has 5 domes and the tallest minaret where the muezzin stands while calling out people to congregate during the time for prayers. Its capacity is at 15,000 worshipers, 1,100 in the gallery, and 3,500 in the terrace. This makes it the biggest mosque in East and Central Africa in terms of capacity. The gigantic mosque harbors the residence and offices of the Mufti, conference hall, library, radio station, and University College. It is also the headquarters of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council which is responsible for all Prophet Mohammed believers in Uganda. Here you will get and experience all the history of Islam in Uganda. In a country that has freedom of worship and all multiple religions are available.
The majestic edifice structure is a representation of a careful blend of African and European architecture and majorly the Islamic Arabic culture. One can’t visit Kampala and fail to pass by this great landmark. It is strategically located because one can catch a glance at it from anywhere around Kampala. Climbing the tower at only 270 steps gives you an entire view of Kampala city both uptown and downtown. The mosque is open to everyone regardless of their religion, political affiliation, or nationality.
Visitors, tourists, and researchers are allowed access from Monday to Sunday. Monday- Thursday from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm while Friday it is open after the Juma prayers, 9:00 am-6:00 pm over the weekend. Visiting is open for the entire year however the most appropriate time to visit is during the dry season because during the wet season transportation can be a tug of war. On arrival, you are advised to make your way to the tourism desk where you will be asked to pay a small amount of money before being availed of a tour guide. The females will be asked to veil themselves as per the Islamic customs. You will be led into the inside where you will glimpse at the marvelous art with a detailed explanation from your tour guide. On the visit to the mosque, it’s important to observe and follow the Islamic culture and way of doing things.
For the case of accommodation on you mosque visit, Kampala has a wide range of hotels depending on the financial muscle of the tourist, one can book a hotel online or through a tour operator. Almost all accommodation facilities have restaurants or eating spaces so you will be rest assured your meals are sorted.