The Buganda Royal Mile, locally known as the “Kabaka’njagala Road” meaning “the King-loves-me” is a straight path connecting the Buganda royal palace and her parliament (administrative seat). The name Kabaka’njagala came into existence because the road was aligned with huge candlenut trees (kabaka’njagala in Luganda) that Kabaka Mutesa II distributed to his subjects to plant. Fifty-two (52) candlenut trees were planted, each representing a clan in Buganda Kingdom.

The candlenut tree (Aleuritesmoluccanus) is a native plant in Asia, especially China where it is used for varnish, food, and in other places, as a property-line manager — because their silvery under-leaf made the trees visible and easy to distinguish from a distance. Here in Uganda, candlenut tree seeds are used as an improvised toy to play a marbles game locally known as “Dool”.

Twekobe, Buganda’s Royal Palace

Along the Royal Mile, you will see the Buganda courthouse. It is a custom in Buganda that the king’s palace and the courthouse face the same direction because the Baganda believe that the King’s spirits walk in a straight line so there should be no obstacle in the King’s way.

The Buganda parliament was initially confined within the palace premises and its seating was carried out under a big tree, later upgraded to a small room. While in exile in Scotland in the 1950s, Kabaka Mutesa II admired the architectural design of the Scottish parliament.

He promptly obtained a copy of its plans and used them to build the current Buganda parliament in return. He also picked up the idea of the Royal Mile, which is a long historical road that connects the Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, brought it to Buganda and created a Royal Mile that is exactly one mile to connect the Buganda Royal Palace to the parliament.

Bulange, Buganda’s Parliament

Just halfway between the royal palace and the parliament is an interesting roundabout where only the Kabaka is allowed to drive through. This roundabout is not a mere ordinary place but a place highly respected with significant symbols of different meanings in the Buganda kingdom.

The Kabaka’s roundabout has a special cleaner to keep it clean, a gate that is always kept locked with a guard on a stand-by to open when the Kabaka is nearing to go through it and close after.  With this arrangement of the Kabaka passing straight through the roundabout, he attained the name “Lukoma Nantawetwa” meaning “the king does not go around the roundabout”.