What you need to know

Mbarara is a town in the Western Region of Uganda. It is the main municipal, administrative, and commercial center of Mbarara District and the site of the district headquarters.


Mbarara is about 290 kilometres (180 mi), by road, southwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. Mbarara is an important transport hub, lying west of Masaka on the road to Kabale, near Lake Mburo National Park. The coordinates of the Mbarara central business district are 00 36 48S, 30 39 30E (Latitude:-0.6132; Longitude:30.6582).


In 2002, the national census estimated the population of the town at 69,400. The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) estimated the population at 82,000 in 2010. In 2011, UBOS estimated the mid-year populatiation at 83,700. In August 2014, the national population census put the population at 195,013.


English, inherited from the colonial period, and Swahili, which is regionally important, are official languages. Include second-language speakers, there are more speakers of Swahili than English in Uganda.

People around Mbarara in Ankole District speak Nkole.


Currency in Mbarara, is Shilling (UGX )

Image result for Shilling (UGX ) banknotes


MBARARA GENESIS Early Travellers in Ankole and the Founding of Mbarara by an African, Asian and European Initiative. by David Weekes, (2014) ISBN 9780956550149 describes its founding in 1899 on an old royal site which had been abandoned.

Growth and expansion

Mbarara came from behind and developed to surpass Entebbe, Masaka, Gulu, and Jinja as the second-largest town in Uganda after Kampala and also second to Kampala in importance, industry, and infrastructure, 3rd largest town in Uganda by population after Kampala and Kira and the fastest growing town in Uganda followed by Gulu.

Starting with 2000, modern buildings have been established including malls, arcades, plaza, and hotels. Modern hospitals have also been constructed including Mbarara Hospital, which is now a National Referral Hospital, Mbarara Community Hospital a private hospital located in Kyamugorani, Kakiika Division, and Mayanja Memorial Hospital located in Nyamityobora Kakoba Division.

On 7 August 2015 the Uganda cabinet approved Mbarara Municipality alongside other 5 municipalities to be granted a city status. As of 14 August 2015, the town is waiting for the approval of the parliament and the President.


  • Mbarara University of Science and Technology – One of the six public universities in Uganda.
  • Uganda Bible Institute.
  • The Mbarara Campus of Uganda Martyrs University.
  • The Western Campus of Uganda Management Institute
  • Bishop Stuart University – A private Christian University, affiliated with the Church of Uganda
  • Ntare School – A boys-only, boarding middle and high school
  • Mbarara High School – A residential boys-only middle and high school


Mbarara Airport – A public airport, located about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi), by road northwest of town

Mbarara Bypass Road – A 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) bypass road, currently under construction, circling the northern half of the city.