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Mbarara district is found in the western region of Uganda and  borders Ibanda and Kiruhura Districts to the north; Kiruhura and Isingiro Districts to the east; Isingiro and Rwampara Districts to the south; and Sheema District to the west. The word ‘Mbarara’ is derived from a common type of grass in Mbarara known as ‘emburara’. Mbarara district was the Eastern part of the old Ankole district of the former Ankole Kingdom until 1962. The abolition of Ankole federal and kingdom government in 1967, gave rise to Mbarara District Local Government (MDLG). Following the Coup of 1972, the name Ankole District was changed to Mbarara District, and the township was transformed into a municipality in 1974. The major language spoken is Runyankole.

It has a population of 472,629 As of 2014 and is 269.5km via Mbarara – Masaka road from Kampala.

Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy of Mbarara district. Both crops and livestock raised in the district.

Lake Mburo National Park which was named after Lake Mburo is one of the main tourist attraction in Mbarara, Nkonkonjeru tombs at Kakika, burial site of the last Abagabe (kings) of Ankole, Igongo Cultural Center, River Rwizi and Mbarar airstrip.