Nabugoye Synagogue

Eastern Uganda

An unexpected find in this neck of the woods, the synagogue is a simple, yet appealing, rustic red-brick building (with plans to revamp). The Jewish Abayudaya community in the outskirts of Mbale on Nabugoye Hill dates from the early 20th century. Services in English and Hebrew are held on Fridays from 6pm to 8pm and Saturdays at 9am. There's also a guesthouse.

Former military leader Semei Kakungulu founded the sect in 1913, fusing elements of Judaism and Christianity with a disbelief in Western medicine, leading to a fallout with British rulers. During the 20th century the group withstood widespread persecution, particularly under Idi Amin, who outlawed Judaism and destroyed synagogues.

A special-hire taxi from Mbale costs USh30,000; a boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) is USh4000.

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