Nakayima Tree

Nakayima Tree is found in Mubende. This is ancient witch tree, the base of which has a large buttress roots, it is sited on top of Mubende hills about 4km out of the town. This is a 2.13 m hill with a flat table top where the ancient palace once stood provides an excellent view of Mubende town and the surrounding area. The 40-metre high tree is estimated to be about 400-500 years old and serves as a shrine of the spirits of Nakayima, the first wife of the Bachwezi King Ndahura. The shrine is visited by people playing homage to Nakayima or Bachwezi a dynasty said to have supernatural powers. The tree is believed to be the spiritual home for the Bachwezi goddess respected by both the Baganda and the Banyoro. The traditional believers give sacrifices in form of coins, paper money, animals and other items to “win” favours of good health, wealth, love and all sorts of earthly success from the Bachwezi goddess as the Bachwezi were highly assumed to possess strong supernatural powers. The tree is therefore believed to be the spiritual home for the Bachwezi goddess respected by both the Baganda and the Banyoro. Nakayima Shrine is alleged to also said to host the spirit of Ndahura, a former Bachwezi king.

Nakayima Tree Uganda
Uganda President, Yoweri Museveni meeting locals at Nakayima Tree in Mubende District.

Nakayima Tree is a good spot for stop by travellers on their way to Kibale National Park for Chimpanzee Tracking safaris, Fort Portal or Rwenzori Mountains National Park. A stop at this enormous tree can last between 30 minutes to 1 hour as your go through the history of the place.

Although it is one of Uganda’s lesser known tourist attractions, Nakayima Tree is gradually turning into tourist site. At the site, there is a guide who stays on top of the hill responsible for giving tours of the area and explaining the cultural and historical significance of the tree.

The tree looks old and large with a very distinctive look to it. As you are there, you see people who gather to pay their respects and make offerings to sacred spirits who live in the tree. Each section of the tree is associated with a different spirit and there are spirits for different aspects of life, and depending on which one you need to call upon, you leave a small offering at that section of the tree.