Mbarara is a town in southwestern Uganda and the capital of Mbarara District. It is located approximately 270 kilometers southwest of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda.

The origin of Mbarara is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have been inhabited by the Banyankole people for many centuries. The Banyankole are a Bantu-speaking ethnic group that is part of the larger Nilo-Saharan family. The Banyankole were primarily pastoralists and relied heavily on cattle for their livelihoods.

The name Mbarara is derived from the Runyankole word “emburara,” which means “plains” or “open grassland.” This is an apt name for the region, as it is characterized by expansive savannah grasslands.

Mbarara was historically part of the Ankole Kingdom, which was ruled by a monarch known as the “Omugabe.” The Ankole Kingdom was founded in the 15th century and was one of the most powerful kingdoms in the region. The kingdom was renowned for its cattle, which were highly prized throughout East Africa.

The first European explorers to visit Mbarara were the British explorers John Hanning Speke and James Grant in 1862. They were followed by missionaries from the Church of England, who established a mission in the area in the late 1800s. The missionaries played a significant role in the colonization of the region and were instrumental in introducing Christianity and western education to the local population.

Mbarara is situated at an altitude of 1,970 meters above sea level and has a relatively cool climate compared to other regions in Uganda. The terrain is mostly flat, with some hills and valleys in the surrounding areas. The region is known for its fertile soil and is a major agricultural hub, producing crops such as bananas, coffee, tea, and maize.

The population of Mbarara has been steadily growing over the years and is currently estimated at around 195,000 people. The growth rate is approximately 2.6% per year, which is slightly higher than the national average. The majority of the population is comprised of the Banyankole people, although there are also significant populations of other ethnic groups, including the Banyarwanda, Bakiga, and Bahima.

Mbarara is also home to several natural resources, including gold, limestone, and marble. These resources have the potential to drive economic growth in the region, although their exploitation has been limited thus far.

Investing in Mbarara City, one of the fastest-growing cities in Uganda, can be an excellent opportunity for investors looking for growth and profits. Mbarara City is strategically located in the central of western Uganda, a gateway to neighboring countries of Tanzania, Rwanda, DR Congo, and Burundi. Here are some reasons why one should consider investing in Mbarara:

Urban farming: Shrinking agricultural land due to the sale of land for residential/apartments, commercial houses, and business facilities like hotels and accommodation has made peri-urban lands a hotcake in Mbarara. Investing in urban farming can be an opportunity to feed the increasing population amidst shrinking agricultural land.

Similary, as more and more consumers become interested in organic and sustainably-produced food, there is an opportunity to start an organic farming business in Mbarara. You could focus on producing organic fruits and vegetables, or consider raising organic livestock.

Dairy processing: With its abundant supply of milk, Mbarara is an ideal location to start a dairy processing business. You could consider making and selling products such as cheese, yogurt, and butter, either under your own brand or as a supplier to other businesses.

Cottage industries: One can invest in cottage industries in Mbarara, such as making soap, textiles, furniture, candles, arts and crafts, and juice making. Countries like China have developed because of cottage industries. Cottage industries are key in improving household incomes and employment.

Transport: Investing in transport targeting people commuting to and from the developing areas to work in the city center would be ideal. Buses, Costas, taxis, and special hires can be profitable.

Real Estate: Areas that were predominantly large green open spaces covered with woodlands and farm land with scattered populations and considered remote for the poor and low class are being developed with visible traces of infrastructural development like roads. These areas have attracted increased attention due to competition for urban land usage. These areas are now being developed and similarly, the value and cost of land has greatly increased.

Waste management and cleaning services: The city dwellers will have no choice but hiring service providers to manage their garbage. The emerging infrastructural developments like offices, arcades, malls all these also would require someone to offer cleaning services.

Tourism and hospitality business: Mbarara city is surrounded by a host of tourist attractions that include Lake Mburo National park, Eclipse monument at Igongo, the Ankole long-horned cattle, River Rwizi, Ankole cultural site among others. But also the city is a center linking to countries like DRC Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. So investing in hotels and accommodation can be another opportunity in Mbarara city.

Agro-processing: Mbarara is also a major center for crop production in Uganda. Consider starting an agro-processing business that focuses on turning raw crops into value-added products such as flours, oils, or spices. There are also opportunities to produce animal feed, which is in high demand in the region.

Restaurant or food stand: Given Mbarara’s rich agricultural production, there is ample opportunity to start a restaurant or food stand that focuses on locally-sourced ingredients. You could specialize in traditional Ugandan cuisine, or offer a more fusion-style menu that incorporates global flavors.

Tour guide service: Mbarara is situated in a region of Uganda that is rich in natural beauty and wildlife. Consider starting a tour guide service that takes visitors to see the area’s national parks, game reserves, and other attractions.

Mbarara is located in a region of Uganda that is known to have significant gold deposits, so starting a business related to gold mining and processing could be a promising opportunity. Here are a few ideas to consider:

Gold mining/Processing: The first step in starting a gold-related business would be to acquire mining rights and obtain the necessary permits and licenses. You could then consider hiring workers and purchasing equipment to extract the gold from the ground. Once you have extracted gold from the ground, you will need to process it to make it ready for sale. You could consider setting up a gold processing plant that cleans, separates, and refines the gold into bars or other forms for sale to buyers.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. As with any business, it’s important to conduct thorough research and analysis to determine what will work best for your specific circumstances and goals. Good luck!

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Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. It’s an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming, especially for first-time homebuyers. If you’re planning to buy a home in Uganda, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a smooth and successful home buying experience. In this post, we’ll share some tips for first-time home buyers in Uganda.
  1. Determine Your Budget

Before you start searching for a home, it’s important to determine your budget. This will help you avoid falling in love with a home that is outside your price range. Consider your income, expenses, and debts to come up with a realistic budget. You can also get pre-approved for a mortgage to determine how much you can afford to borrow.

  1. Research the Location

When buying a home, location is everything. Research the neighborhoods you’re interested in to ensure they’re safe, convenient, and have access to essential amenities such as schools, hospitals, and markets. You can also check the crime rates in the area and the future development plans for the neighborhood.

  1. Work with a Reliable Real Estate Agent

Working with a reliable real estate agent can save you time and money in your home buying process. They can help you find homes that meet your criteria and negotiate a fair price. Look for an agent with experience in the local market and a good reputation.

  1. Get a Home Inspection

A home inspection is a crucial step in the home buying process. It will help you identify any issues with the property before you buy it. Hire a professional home inspector to check for structural issues, plumbing, electrical, and other potential problems.

  1. Plan for Additional Expenses

Buying a home involves more than just the purchase price. You’ll also need to plan for additional expenses such as closing costs, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and maintenance costs. Make sure you have a clear understanding of all the expenses involved before you make an offer on a home.

  1. Don’t Rush

Buying a home is a big decision, and you should take your time to ensure you make the right choice. Don’t rush into buying a home just because you feel pressured to do so. Take your time to evaluate your options and make a decision that is right for you and your family.

In conclusion, buying a home in Uganda can be a rewarding experience if you take the time to plan and do your research. Remember to determine your budget, research the location, work with a reliable real estate agent, get a home inspection, plan for additional expenses, and don’t rush into a decision. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to owning your dream home in Uganda.

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Build a House or Buy a Complete One: Weighing the Pros and Cons




One of life’s most significant decisions is whether to build your own house from scratch or purchase a pre-built home. Both options have their unique challenges and benefits, and the choice you make can profoundly impact your life. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of building a house and buying a complete one. We’ll also draw insights from various articles to provide you with a comprehensive view of the decision-making process.

Building a House: Challenges and Benefits

  1. Challenges:
    • Time and Patience: Building a house can be a time-consuming process. You may encounter delays due to unforeseen construction issues, permits, or weather conditions. The construction timeline can easily extend, testing your patience. Building a house is a job. Even if you don’t do the actual building construction yourself, you need to monitor what is going on, track the budget, make decisions about everything from plumbing fixtures to paint colors to what type of tile you want at the entry way.
    • Cost Overruns: The initial budget for building a house may not always match the final cost. Hidden expenses can surface during construction, making it essential to have a financial cushion.
    • Decision Fatigue: Building a house involves making numerous decisions, from design and materials to fixtures and finishes. This can be overwhelming for those who are not experienced in construction.
  2. Benefits:
    • Customization: One of the most significant advantages of building a house is the ability to design it according to your preferences and needs. You have the freedom to choose the layout, style, and materials, ensuring that your home perfectly suits your lifestyle. As long as you are controlling the initial construction, building new is better. Exterior sheeting, insulation including all interior walls and ductless aircons, WiFi, water heaters, new electrical with lighting sensors, rain bird showers, alder wood cabinets and granite throughout, it’s a lot better.
    • Easier to spend on what you can afford: Another advantage of building one’s own home is that they pay for only what they want, whereas buying an existing home may have features such as garage, store and verandas which one may not necessarily need and they will pay a premium for them even if they don’t want them.
    • Energy Efficiency: New construction allows you to incorporate the latest energy-efficient technologies and materials, reducing long-term energy costs and environmental impact.
    • Higher Resale Value: A well-designed and properly constructed custom home often has a higher resale value compared to an existing house.

Buying a Complete House: Challenges and Benefits

  1. Challenges:
    • Limited Customization: When buying a complete house, you must accept the existing design and layout. It may not perfectly align with your preferences or needs, requiring potential renovations.
    • Hidden Issues: Pre-owned homes may come with hidden problems, such as structural issues, outdated systems, or maintenance needs. These can lead to unexpected expenses.
    • Market Availability: Finding the right house that fits your budget and preferences in a competitive real estate market can be challenging. It might take time to locate the perfect home.
  2. Benefits:
    • Immediate Occupancy: Buying a complete house allows you to move in quickly, avoiding the lengthy construction process. This is ideal for those with time constraints or those who prefer not to deal with the hassles of building. The nice thing about buying an already built home, is that the time – you don’t have to wait. You may already find all the things you want in a house already built, and be able to move in right away.
    • Known Costs: You have a clear picture of the total cost when purchasing an existing house, with no unexpected construction expenses. This financial transparency can be a relief for many homebuyers.

      Also buying a house would as well be economically viable especially in these current times where financial institutions have started giving out mortgages to their clients who may want to own homes. And from economies of scale, it makes it slightly cheaper depending on the mortgage period since you can enter your house even on partial payments.

      People think the price of developed properties is expensive, but the cost of an acre of land in a prime location around Kampala or Wakiso for example can be sold for over Shs. 280,000,000. Some individuals cannot buy unless a developer buys and maximizes the land.

    • Historical Charm: Older homes often have unique features and character that can be appealing. They may be located in established neighborhoods with a sense of community.
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Should You Build Rentals to Sell or Rent Them Out in Uganda?



Uganda’s real estate market has been experiencing significant growth in recent years, driven by a housing deficit that is expected to reach 3 million units by 2030. For those considering investing in real estate through rental apartments, a crucial decision awaits: should you build these properties to sell or rent them out for long-term income? In this blog post, we’ll explore the factors that can help you make an informed decision.

Market Analysis:

The housing deficit in Uganda is a pressing issue, estimated to be between 2.1 million and 2.4 million housing units. With a population of approximately 37.7 million and an average household size of five people, the demand for housing is substantial. In the capital city, Kampala, 7 out of 10 households rent their dwellings, making the rental market a prominent part of the real estate landscape. Notably, 6 out of 10 apartments in Uganda are one-room houses, commonly known as “Mizigo.”

Financial Analysis:

Accessing mortgage financing in Uganda remains a challenge, with only 1 percent of Ugandans having access to this option. Rental pricing plays a pivotal role in the decision-making process. According to experts, Ms. Baziwe suggests that affordable rental prices for households typically range between UGX 50,000 to 100,000. Meanwhile, Mr. Agaba, the former president of the Real Estate Agents Association, notes that dominant rentals range from UGX 100,000 to 250,000, with higher-end properties rented between UGX 300,000 and 450,000. People who can afford more often prefer to build their own houses.

Legal and Regulatory Information:

The Ugandan real estate market has faced challenges due to a lack of sufficient legal framework. However, the new Tenants Bill 2023 aims to address these issues. With the new bill, both landlords and tenants can expect clearer guidelines and dispute resolution mechanisms, potentially improving the rental market’s stability.

Location Considerations:

When deciding whether to build rentals for sale or long-term rental income, location is key. Market research is essential to identify target demographics. For example, single houses tend to thrive in city centers or near educational facilities, while 3-roomed houses with compounds are preferred in the outskirts of the city in areas like Nalya, Namugongo, and Entebbe.

Pros and Cons:

Building Rentals to Sell:

  • Pros: Immediate lump-sum profit, reduced involvement in property management.
  • Cons: Limited long-term income, potential capital gains tax.

Building Rentals to Rent Out:

  • Pros: Steady, long-term rental income, potential property appreciation.
  • Cons: Initial investment in property management, occasional vacancies.


Conclusion and Recommendations:

In conclusion, the decision to build rental properties in Uganda ultimately depends on your financial goals, risk tolerance, and market analysis. If you prioritize immediate profit and have a higher risk tolerance, selling may be the right choice. However, if you seek steady, long-term income and are willing to manage properties, renting them out could be more suitable.

It’s crucial to stay informed about legal changes, market trends, and location-specific factors when making this decision. With the new Tenants Bill 2023 addressing regulatory issues, the rental market may become a more attractive option for long-term investors.

Remember that both options have their merits, and it’s advisable to consult with real estate professionals and conduct thorough research before making your final decision.

Additional Resources:

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Nembabazi Real Estate Ltd is your one stop partner for your Real Estate needs.


Welcome to Nembabazi Real Estate Ltd, your trusted partner for all your real estate needs in Mbarara City and beyond. We take pride in offering a wide range of real estate services that cater to both buyers and sellers.

Our Services:

  • Buying and Selling: Looking for the perfect piece of land? We specialize in commercial, residential, and farmland transactions, ensuring you find the right property for your needs.
  • Property Management: Trust us to handle the complexities of property management, so you can focus on what matters most to you.
  • Rentals: Need a house or office space for rent? We have a variety of options to suit your preferences and budget.

Visit Us Today!

🏢 Location: Iqra Building, Rooms 15 and 16, Ntare Road, Mbarara City.

📞 Contact Us:

  • Phone: +256 702 050 601
  • Phone: +256 771 091 122
  • Phone: +256 758 331 705

🌐 Social Media Handles:

Explore our services and discover the perfect real estate solutions tailored just for you. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, rent, or manage property, Nembabazi Real Estate Ltd has you covered.

Don’t miss out—Visit Us today and make your real estate dreams a reality!

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It is Important to Survey the land before you Purchase it.

Hello our esteemed clients!

As a trusted Real estate company, we want to share some valuable insights with you about the importance of surveying the land before making a property purchase.

What is Land Surveying?

Land surveying is a crucial process that involves measuring and mapping a property’s boundaries, topography, and features. It ensures that the property’s legal description matches its physical reality, providing you with a clear understanding of what you’re buying.

Knowing Your Property Boundaries

A professional land surveyor will accurately establish the exact boundaries of the land you intend to purchase. This knowledge prevents potential disputes with neighbors over encroachments and ensures you are aware of any existing easements that might impact the property.

Understanding the Topography

Surveying allows you to understand the terrain of the land better. This information is vital, especially if you plan to build on the property. It helps you determine whether the land is suitable for your desired construction, avoiding unexpected challenges down the road.

Verifying Legal Descriptions

Surveying confirms the property’s legal description provided in the title documents. This verification is essential to ensure that you are buying what you believe you are buying. It protects you from any title-related issues that may arise in the future.

Revealing Potential Issues

A comprehensive land survey can uncover potential problems that might not be apparent during a regular property inspection. This includes issues like encroachments, unrecorded easements, or zoning violations that could impact your future plans for the property.

Saving You Money

While surveying may seem like an additional cost, it can save you significant money in the long run. By identifying potential problems beforehand, you can negotiate with the seller to address issues or adjust the purchase price accordingly.

Securing Your Investment

Purchasing a property is a substantial investment. A proper land survey ensures you are fully informed about what you’re buying, minimizing risks and uncertainties associated with your investment.

Before finalizing any property purchase, We strongly recommend investing in a professional land survey. It’s a small step that can make a significant difference in your buying experience and protect your investment in the long term. If you have any questions or need assistance with the surveying process, feel free to reach out to me. We are here to help!