Mbale City

Mbale is a city in Eastern Uganda. It is the main municipal, administrative and commercial center of Mbale District and the surrounding sub-region.

May 20, 2022 - 22:24
Jan 21, 2024 - 09:10
Mbale City

Mbale is approximately 225 kilometers (140 mi) by road, northeast of Kampala, Uganda's capital and oldest city, on an all-weather tarmac highway. The city lies at an average elevation of 1,156 meters (3,793 feet) above sea level.

The city also lies on the railway from Tororo to Pakwach. Mount Elgon, one of the highest peaks in East Africa, is approximately 48 kilometers (30 mi) north-east of Mbale by road


According to the 2002 national census, the population of Mbale was about 71,130. In 2010, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) estimated the population at 81,900. In 2011, UBOS estimated the mid-year population at 91,800. In 2014, the national population census put the population at 96,189.


The dominant tribe in Mbale is the Gisu tribe. The Bagisu or Bamasaba  of Uganda are a tribe inhabiting the slopes of Mount Elgon, covering the eastern districts of Mbale, Sironko, Manafwa, Bulambuli, and Bududa, with Mbale being the center of Bugisu civilization.

In 2019, the Cabinet of Uganda resolved to award Mbale city status, effective July 2021. In November of the same year, the Cabinet revised the date of city status to July 1, 2020.

History of Mbale

The growth of Mbale dates as far back as the colonial period as part of the Bukedi block under the British collaborator Semei Kakungulu. By the time of independence, it had been split to form the Bugisu district. In the early 1980s, bugisu district changed its name to mbale district, comprising a municipal council and  the rural mbaleto, which opened up some administrative posts in the Serere, Gweri, and Soroti areas. Part of Kakungulu’s team camped near the rock at Soroti, chosen for its strategic location on defence and availability of water from the nearby streams. Under the organized and able rule of Kakungulu’s men, local inhabitants were forced to clear the forest, and within a few years, a large area had been cleared and a considerable amount of settlement had taken place.


The climate of the district is modified by the large swamp area surrounding it. The rainy season is March to November, with a marked minimum in June and marked peaks in April to May and August to October. December and January are the driest months. Recent rainfall has been unreliable and unpredictable, hence affecting the activities of people, e.g agriculture, livestock rearing, etc.

Points of interest in MBA

  • headquarters of Mbale District Administration
  • The offices of Mbale City Council
  • Mbale central market.
  • Mbale Municipal Stadium.
  • The headquarters of the 3rd Division of the Uganda People's Defense Force
  • Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, a 400-bed public hospital administered by the Uganda Ministry of Health
  • CURE Children's Hospital of Uganda is a 42-bed private neurosurgery hospital owned and administered by CURE International
  • Uganda Christian University College is headquartered at Mukono UCU, formerly Bishop Tucker Theological College.
  • The Busitema University Faculty of Health Sciences is the medical school of Busitema University, a public institution of higher education.
  • The main campus of the Islamic University in Uganda.
  • The Mbale Campus of Uganda Martyrs University is a private university whose headquarters are located in Nkozi, Mpigi District.
  • Mbale School of Clinical Officers.

Attractions in Mbale

  1. Sipi falls
  2. Nyero Rock paintings
  3. Mount Elgon


Accommodation In Mbale

There are quite a number of accommodation facilities in Mbale town for upmarket and budget business and holiday travelers .


  • Mount Elgon Hotel, 30 Masaba Rd. Price start from US$40; Tel: 0454 433454
  • Mbale Resort Hotel; Bungokho Rd. Price start from US$68, Tel: 0454 433920
  • Wash & Wills Country Home, 37 Mbiro Rd. Price start at US$25; Tel: 0772 518675


  • Mt.Elgon View Hotel
  • Mbale Travellers Inn
  • Landmark Inn, 2 Masaba Gardens, Wanale Rd. 80
  • Apule Safari Lodge (5 Naboa Road )
  • Kayira Complex Hotel
  • Mable Resort Hotel
  • Mount Elgon Hotel
  • The SunRise Inn, Plot M45 Nakhupa Rd., Senior QuartersPlot M45 Nakhupa Rd., Senior Quarters
  • Olive Leaf Hotel
  • Protea Hotel Mbale, 50 Bungokho Rd./64 Bumboi Rd
  • Ridat Hotel, Bufumbo Rd.,Wanale
  • Hotel Restville, Plot 43, Bumboi Road, Busamaga, Wanale Division.
  • Wash & Wills Country Home, Plot 37, Mbiro Rd.
  • Hotel Eldima, Plot 35 Republic Street, in the town center


How to get to Mbale

This town lies about 235 km from Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. There are several minibuses that run to Eastern Uganda daily from Kampala taxi parks. Passengers can board from the Nakawa Taxi Park (a few kilometers from the city center) to head on this smooth and lovely journey through Mukono, Jinja, and Iganga towns. Bus companies such as Elgon Flyer (Colville Street), Teso Coach, and Galaxy Coaches also carry out business daily.  The Post Bus leaves Kampala at 8 a.m. every day except on Sundays.

It is an estimated 3-hour drive from Kamapala City to Mbale Town.

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