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Mengo, Uganda

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Title: Mengo, Uganda  
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Subject: Kampala, Mengo, Mutesa II of Buganda, Mwanga II of Buganda, Daudi Cwa II of Buganda, Muwenda Mutebi II of Buganda, Ndejje University, Architecture of Africa, Kololo, Albert Ruskin Cook
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Mengo, Uganda


Map of Kampala showing the location of Mengo

Coordinates: 00°18′06″N 32°33′58″E / 0.30167°N 32.56611°E / 0.30167; 32.56611

Country  Uganda
Region Central Uganda
District Kampala Capital City Authority
Division Lubaga Division
Elevation 1,220 m (4,000 ft)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)

Mengo is a hill in Lubaga Division, Kampala, Uganda's capital and largest city.


Mengo is bordered by Kampala Hill to the north, Nsambya Hill to the east, Kibuye to the southeast, Ndeeba to the south, Lubaga Hill to the west and Namirembe Hill to the northwest. The coordinates of Mengo Hill are:00 18 06N, 32 33 58E (Latitude:0.3015; Longitude:32.5660). The peak of the hill is at 1,210 metres (3,970 ft) above sea level.


Mengo Hill is the location of the main palace (known as Lubiri or Mengo Palace) of the Kabaka (King) of the Kingdom of Buganda, a monarchy that dates back almost 800 years. Mengo has been the main palace since it was first constructed in 1885 by Danieri Mwanga II Mukasa, the 31st Kabaka of Buganda. Measuring 4 square miles (10 km2) in size, the palace is ringed by a six-foot brick fence and has a small airstrip within its walls.

Mengo Hill has played an important role in Ugandan political and religious history. "Mengo" is a Luganda word for grinding stones. Legend has it that ancient migrant communities from Ssese Islands who settled on the hill used these stones to grind their food. It is here that the Buganda Agreement of 1900 was signed between the Kabaka of Buganda and British colonial officials establishing the Uganda Protectorate.

The history of Mengo Hill is also entwined with that of adjacent Namirembe Hill, the seat of the Anglican Church of Uganda, because of the monarchy’s close association with the Church of England. The Bulange, which houses offices for the Kabaka and the Lukiiko (Buganda Parliament), is located at the base of Namirembe Hill. The building was constructed between 1953 and 1958 by Sir Edward Muteesa II, at a cost of US$5 million; a colossal sum at that time. Also located on Namirembe Hill is Mengo Hospital, a private, non-profit community hospital administered by the Anglican Church in Uganda.[1]


Landmarks on Mengo Hill or near the hill include:

  • The main palace of the King of Buganda, the Lubiri.
  • Mengo Senior School - a prestigious public mixed day school.
  • Bulange, the The Parliament Building of the Buganda Parliament (the Lukiiko). Moved outside of the palace to the adjacent Namirembe Hill, to accommodate the size of a modern building in 1958. The building also houses the offices of the Kabaka of Buganda
  • The Kabaka's Lake, a man-made lake approximately 5 acres (2.0 ha), for the personal use and enjoyment of the Kabaka; located just outside the main palace entrance.
  • Mengo Hospital - A 300-bed private hospital, affiliated with the Church of Uganda; located at adjacent Namirembe Hill
  • The Joint Clinical Research Center - Located adjacent to the palace, the medical research center is housed in the Butikkiro, the former official residence of the Prime Minister of Buganda (Katikkiro). This building is one of Buganda's assets that have yet to be returned to the Kingdom.
  • The main campus of St. Lawrence University (Uganda) - Located close to the Kabaka's Lake.
  • The Buildings of the Uganda Court of Appeal
  • Namirembe Hill - Adjacent to and immediately northwest of Mengo Hill. It is the location of St. Paul's Cathedral, the most prominent Anglican place of worship in Buganda

External links

  • The Bradt Travel Guide - Descriptions of Mengo and Environs
  • Official Website of the Kingdom of Buganda


  • Photo of the Buganda Parliament Building (Bulange)
  • Photo of the "Twekobe", the Kabaka's residence within Mengo Palace

See also


Central Region, Uganda

Coordinates: 00°20′48″N 32°36′20″E / 0.34667°N 32.60556°E / 0.34667; 32.60556

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