Nature Palace Botanical Gardens

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Uganda - Kampala

Institution Code: KAMPA

International Agenda Registration: Yes

BGCI Member: No

A Medicinal Plants plot
A Medicinal Plants plot

About the Nature Palace Botanical Gardens

The Nature Palace Botanical Garden (NPBG), found in Uganda (East Africa) is a Community Development and Well-being-focused garden administered by Nature Palace Foundation. The garden has special emphasis on medicinal plants that are very essential to the welfare of poor communities in terms of known medicinal values. In 2005, NPBG was registered as a participant in the world-wide implementation of the International Agenda in support of Plant Conservation, Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Development.

In 2005, NPBG won an a grant from HSBC Bank Plc to implement the 'Poverty Alleviation and Health care Promotion through Conservation'(PHP-C) project. Under this project NPBG is strengthening community collaboration in conservation and developing a preliminary national list of threatened plants while documenting Indigenous Knowledge on Medicinal Plants. As a result of this project, there is more and closer collaboration between the Botanic Garden and the neighboring communities. A strong Community Conservation and Development group emerged and they are involved in the cultivation as well as promoting conservation of indigenous medicinal plants. The group is also involved in processing herbal formula for sale to other people in the community and beyond thereby improving on their income and livelihoods.

For more information about the PHP-C project please contact David at:

Traditional Medicine Day, 31st August

Uganda joins other African countries to mark the African Traditional Medicine Day on every 31st of August.

This day is very important for African countries since close to 80% of the population in Africa continue to rely on traditional medicine for healthy delivery. The day also underscores the need for conservation of Medicinal plants.

Nature Palace Foundation is involved in Conservation of Uganda’s biodiversity with special interest in Plants with Medicinal properties (which of course most have). We are happy to see the increasing appreciation of the contribution of Medicinal plants to the well-being of the population, especially the poorer, and unfortunately, broader layer of the population.

Main Address:
Nature Palace Botanical Gardens
PO Box 29455
256414 Uganda

Telephone: +256-772-625963
Primary Email:

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: David Nkwanga Kintu
    Curator's Name: David Nkwanga Kintu
    Plant Records Officer's Name: Olivia Muyomba
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 4
    Educational Staff Number: 2
    Research Staff Number: 2
    Administration Staff Number: 3

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: Yes
    Status: State: No
    Status: Educational: Yes
  • Date founded: 2000
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 12 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 5 Hectares
  • Total Area: 17 Hectares
    Latitude: 0.3133
    Longitude: 32.5713
    Altitude: 0.00 Metres
  • Additional Locations
  • Satellite Garden Names: Mabamba Bay Nature School located at Mabamba Ramsar site (Wetland of International Importance)

Features and Facilities

  • Seed Bank: Yes
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: Yes

Plant Collections

  • Special Collections:NPBG makes plant collections of rare and threatened species with special interest in medicinal plants. Medicinal values of conserved plants is documented and Communities are encouraged to cultivate these species in order to foster multiplication and community involvement in their conservation. The Garden also has a programme for controlled exportation of plant specimens to other botanic gardens. For example 'Encephalartos hildebrandtii' which has been referred to as 'a living fossil' and other specimens. For more information please contact David at

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Medicinal Plant Programme: Yes
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: Yes
    Reintroduction Programme: Yes

Research Programmes

  • Plant Breeding: Yes
    Conservation - Biology: Yes
    Data Management Systems and Information Technology: Yes
    Ecosystem Conservation: Yes
    Education: Yes
    Horticulture: Yes
    Sustainability: Yes
    Agriculture: Yes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: Yes
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: Yes
    Education Programme: Yes

Poverty Alleviation and Healthcare Promotion through Conservation (PHPC)


Utilising local knowledge of native medicinal plants to improve livelihoods, promote community participation in plant conservation and counteract loss of plant resources through habitat destruction.


              •     Conserving threatened native flora

              •     Improving community access to medicinal plants

              •     Establishing home herbal gardens

              •     Supplementing household incomes


Since its initiation in 2007, Nature Palace has worked with the Twekembe Development Association to involve community groups in educating tourists and non-local Ugandans about native medicinal plants.

Three community groups have participated in strategic planning; identification of priority plant species; and development of a demonstration herbal garden and a corresponding visitor education programme.

Activities include distribution of planting material among community members; training in propagating and financially valuing medicinal plants; education and awareness activities; and cultivation of home herb gardens.

Learning about medicinal plants © Nature Palace Botanic Garden


 Learning about drying medicinal herbs © Nature Palace Botanic Garden


PHPC has successfully improved community-botanic collaboration in Uganda’s plant conservation programmes. At a local level, the project promotes social cohesion, encouraging community members to work together to tackle common challenges.

Wider environmental and social outcomes include increased protection of threatened plants, improved local and country-wide awareness about medicinal species, and increased local responsibility for these species, due to their enhanced role in livelihoods. Additionally, the project appears to have resonated with local women (accounting for 80% of participants), thus providing a potential source of empowerment.



PHPC has evolved into a long-term sustainable initiative. It is anticipated to remain a continuous partnership between Nature Palace and the local community.


 Demonstration medicinal garden © Nature Palace Botanic Garden
Medicinal plants dry in the sun © Nature Palace Botanic Garden
Dried herbs © Nature Palace Botanic Garden
Herbal soaps made with medicinal plant extract © Nature Palace Botanic Garden




David K. Nkwanga, Executive Director, Nature Palace Botanic Garden

HSBC Investing in Nature (through Botanic Gardens Conservation International)





Community-based Adaptation and Plant Conservation through Waste-to-Energy Recycling


Part of Nature Palace Foundation's Adapt Plus initiative, this project provides alternative cooking energy and organic manure for communities, substituting environmentally-damaging charcoal and firewood with recycled bio-waste. 

  •    Promoting community resilience 
  •    Saving plant species
  •    Improving community health 
  •    Reducing pollution


Duration: January 2010 to January 2014




A simple project with far-reaching benefits: climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, community collaboration and economic gain through sustainable livelihoods. Nature Palace works with Pamoja Cleantech and The Renewable Energy Incubator of Makerere University to deliver training, education and support to participating communities.

So far, Nature Palace has trained two local and two non-local groups in making and using fuel briquettes (flammable “bricks” of organic matter) as an alternative to traditional three-stone cooking stoves.  Still widely used, the stoves cause frequent injuries and harmful indoor pollution from wood smoke and charcoal fumes.

Another key objective is addressing poverty and boosting livelihoods in poor suburban communities. Nature Palace creates links between participants and suburban markets, supporting commercial production and sale of briquettes as a profitable and cohesive community-wide enterprise.



 Community members learn about briquettes © Nature Palace Botanical Gardens



Communities which are less reliant on non-renewable energy have increased adaptability and capacity to cope with climate change, protecting their natural resources and creating high potential for carbon trade as a long-term income-generating option.

Encouraging families to switch to cleaner, more efficient bio-waste and briquettes improves community health. Additionally, it aids social empowerment and productivity by negating the need for women and children to expend time and energy gathering firewood, also a contributor to local deforestation.



Briquette stove © Nature Palace Botanical Gardens




The project has successfully addressed deforestation and conservation; indoor pollution and community health; empowerment of women and suburban poverty in Kampala.

Nature Palace delivers community-based conservation education and training, encouraging social cohesion and development by enabling communities to run profitable briquette businesses. As a result, more households are adapting to use bio-waste briquettes instead of the firewood, charcoal and traditional stoves associates with widespread deforestation, pollution and health risks.



 Community engagement © Nature Palace Botanical Gardens


Nature Palace has made plans for community groups and interested private entrepreneurs to carry on the project as an income-generating enterprise which continues to meet communities’ social and environmental needs.





David K. Nkwanga, Executive Director, Nature Palace Botanical Gardens

Makerere University Renewable Energy Incubator

HSBC Investing in Nature (through Botanic Gardens Conservation International)