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Nakayima Tree, mubende

Nakayima Tree, mubende

The Nakayima tree, which can be found in Mubende Hills, is one of the oldest trees from ancient times. The tree is thought to be 400 to 500 years old and stands roughly 40 meters above ground. The tree was named after the first wife and princess of the Bachwezi king, known as King Ndahura, who had a wife named Nakayima, who was the last Bachwezi’s daughter.

Prince Nakayima, who was previously living on the hill of Mubende, is said to have vanished in this tree, thus the name Nakayima tree. Since then, the tree has been thought to have supernatural abilities of reproduction, healing, and good health. The Nakayima tree is also said to alleviate communal problems and provide blessings.

The tree has large buttress roots at the base, and you can see the hooks of this tree west of the hill from about 4 kilometers distant in Mubende town. The Nakayima tree root system generated three chambers that are said to be bedrooms of the Jjaja Musoke, Nalongo, Jjaja Masaka and Ddahula, and Nalongo.

Nakayima was a tree keeper who served as a liaison between the community and the king. Nakayima could be infected with smallpox and possessed by the Ndahura spirit for a few days, during which time she had the ability to treat the condition.

Before the Bachwezi took over the hill, there was a magician named Kamwenge who came from Mbarara. This magician had two sons who subsequently became local rulers and worked tirelessly to expand their territory. These were replaced by the Bachwezi monarch Ndahura, who took authority and stayed on the hill for a longer amount of time than the magicians’ sons had.

Ndahura passed over control to his son Wamala when he retired near the fort gateway and is thought to have stayed atop the hill.

People who worship the Bachwezi, it appears, pay homage to Nakayima of the Bachwezi dynasty by visiting the shrines. The Bachwezi were demi gods, and the Nakayima tree housed all of their spirits, which the Bunyoro and Buganda people recognized and adored. When the locals visit the Nakayima tree, they will offer sacrifices such as animals, money, and crops in order to get favor and blessings from their gods.


There was a period when people were infected with small pox, and the Bachwezi urged his farmers to stop and wait for the disease to heal, there were no longer clan powers; instead, the Bito dynasty rulers were founded by the Bachwezi monarch known as Mubende, which meant “there is another one.” This did not refer to the monarch or another power, but rather to some other dominating power.

There was a religious battle between the Bunyoro and the Baganda in 1899. The tenant, Nakayiwa Nyanjara, was compelled to leave, and by the time she returned a year later, all seven of their worshiping huts had been demolished, and all of the graves had been defaced. Later, King Kabalega went to Mubende Hill to pray with the Nyanjara.


After a few years, the Mubende hill was granted to Muganda Saza under the indirect colonial administration of the British government in power in 1902. As a result, Nyanjara was forced to relocate to Bugogo, where he died in 1907.

This was the first Nakayima who was not typically buried near the sacred tree in the cemetery.


The seized Nakayima Nyanjara Regalia is reportedly housed at Uganda’s national museum. When she died, her body was carried to be buried on Mubende Hill, and among the treasures in her Regalia were the antique pots. The Nakayima tree is a historical site that may be paired with a visit to the Kibale Forest National Park.

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