|Elevation||3,900 ft (1,200 m)|
|Population (2011 Estimate)|
Masaka is a town in Central Uganda, lying west of Lake Victoria. It is the chief town of Masaka District. Besides being the headquarters of Masaka District, the town is the regional headquarters and largest metropolitan area in the districts of Lyantonde, Sembabule, Lwengo, Bukomansimbi, Kalungu, Masaka, Rakai, and Kalangala.
Masaka lies approximately 140 kilometres (87 mi) to the southwest of Kampala, on the highway to Mbarara. The town lies very close to the Equator, as can be seen from the latitude values. It was Uganda's second-biggest town for a long time. Today this status has changed, as the city was largely destroyed in the Uganda-Tanzania War of 1979 and again in the 1981-1986 civil war that removed Obote from power for the last time. The coordinates of the town are:0° 20' 24.00"S, 31° 44' 24.00"E (Latitude:0.3400; Longitude:31.7400).
According to the 2002 national census, the population of Masaka was about 67,800. In 2010, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), estimated the population of the town at 73,300. In 2011, UBOS estimated the mid-year population of Masaka at 74,100.
Most of the people are farmers with both cattle and other crops. Masaka used to be the highest producer of the indigenous banana food (locally referred to as Matooke). Other economic activities include:
- Meat & Fish Processing
- Furniture Manufacturing
- Manufacture of Footwear
- Manufacture of Baked Products
- Cattle rearing
- Manufacture of beads
from scrap paper
One of the economic activities in Masaka is "gathering grasshoppers" that can potentially earn a collector over US$20,000 (UGX:50 million) annually. (US$1 = UGX:2,500)
The landmarks in Masaka or close to its borders include:
- The headquarters of Masaka District Administration
- The offices of Masaka Town Council
- Masaka Central Market
- The headquarters of the Mechanized Division of the Uganda People's Defense Force
- Muteesa I Royal University - Established in 2007, in memory of the late Kabaka Muteesa I Mukaabya who reigned over the Kingdom of Buganda between 1856 until 1884.
- The Western Campus of Kampala University (KU)
- St. Henry's College Kitovu - An all-boys, boarding, secondary school with a student body in exceess of 1,000
- The headquarters of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Masaka
- Lake Nabugabo lies 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the east to downtown Masaka.
- Bukakkata, a port on the western shores of Lake Victoria is located 24 miles (39 km) east of Masaka.
- Ssese Islands in Lake Victoria - Masaka is the nearest large city from Kalangala, the largest town in these islands.
- The offices of Love in Action (Uganda) - An NGO working in the area Noor road
- Camp Ndegeya - Sculpture Park and Campsite, located in Ndegeya Village 5Km from Masaka Town
Other points of interest
Other points of interest within the town limits include the following:
- River Of Life Church & Orphanage. Owned and ran by Christian Locals and English Mission workers. Who regularly partake in Community, Prison and Hospital outreach.
- Branches of banks and financial institutions including Barclays Bank, Centenary Bank, DFCU Bank, PostBank Uganda, Bank of Africa, Stanbic Bank, Tropical Bank, Equity Bank, Crane Bank, Opportunity Uganda Limited, Pride Microfinance Limited and Uganda Finance Trust Limited
- Masaka Currency Center – a currency storage and processing facility owned and operated by the Bank of Uganda, Uganda's Central Bank.
- A branch of the National Social Security Fund
- The Ambiance – a large nightclub
- Angelina Bookshop - a well stocked bookshop
- Bukunda-Kyannamukaaka – the Home Trading Centre of the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi
- Aidchild's Ten Tables and Terrace Club restaurants, benefiting orphans living with AIDS, founded by Nathaniel Dunigan
- Fields, Megan (December 2009). "Masaka: Big Shoes, Small Feet". Wordpress.com (Megan Fields Blog). Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- "Map Showing Kampala And Masaka With Distance Marker". Globefeed.com. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- "Estimated Population of Masaka In 2002, 2010 & 2011". Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- "Location of Lake Nabugabo". Lake Nabugabo Resort. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- "Bank of Uganda Maintains A Currency Center In Masaka". Bank of Uganda. Retrieved 17 April 2014.