Staying Safe while enjoying Kampala’s Nightlife
Kampala Nightlife – Safety and Security – Tips and Advice – Be smart, Stay Safe while visiting Bars in the Nightlife Districts Like Kabalagala.
Kampala Nightlife – Safety and Security – Tips and Advice: Most every bar of any size has security at the door, there are bouncers, you might be scanned, patted down, endure – it is for your safety and well-being. Once inside – it is another world – it is Kampala from mild and wild and there are guidelines – tips and advice you should follow in order be safe and have a good night on the town in the city that never sleeps – Kampala.
Kampala’s nightlife, especially in the Kabalagala Nightclub district is known all over Africa and attracts people here, Rwandans, Kenyans, South-Sudanese, and Tourists flock here for a night on the town in Kampala and the bars do not close at 2 am like in the West but stay open until dawn and beyond, some stay open for 24 hours a day, no wonder Kampala is the city that never sleeps.
The music is loud, mostly played by a DJ – not too many bars have live music, though it is becoming more fashionable.
The main thing is to stay safe and secure while out on the Town – hitting Bars and Nightclubs in Kampala.
Kampala Nightlife – Safety and Security – Tips and Advice for you to enjoy Kampala’s Bar and Nightlife nightlife without problems.
Going out for a night on the town in Kampala begins with a practical dose of plain old common sense.
Alcohol has a tendency to sweep the common sense away, that is why it is a practical to never go out alone, have a non-drinker drive and avoid some of the things below.
Common Sense – you are on another continent, the atmosphere is exciting, alcohol is flowing and it is easy to throw cautions to the wind while out on the town in Kampala.
Conmen and women abound with all kinds of con-stories – say no.
Do not leave your hotel room without taking Common Sense with you.
Avoid Mobile Phone Loss and other valuables:
Smart Phones left casually on a bar table become targets, you can be diverted, look for your phone and it is gone. The Sim card is removed and you have just lost your phone. If you are going to the toilet, never leave your phone on the table of a bar, even at a restaurant.
Put your mobile phone in your pocket where it is out of sight. Leave your purses in your hotel, in their safe or your room safe. Do not take chances with valuable things.
A Mobile Smart Phone is expensive in Uganda and seen as a status symbol, when one sees it on a table – the need and greed factor sets in and you can be out of yourphone.
Do not flash money around:
When going out on the town, take some shillings (no dollars) with you and take out one note at a time-preferably not out of your wallet. Do not use US dollars, UK pounds, Euros when going out, the rate of exchange will be atrocious in bars and nightclubs – plus it draws more attention to you and what you have on you – making you a potential target. Wallets should not be left in your back pocket but put in the front pocket of your trousers or jeans where it is harder to extract.
Several Bars now have ATM machines, but it is best not to use them since that goes along with flashing money around and you will draw unnecessary attention – not a good idea.
Don’t leave drinks unattended:
People put things into drinks to get whatever they can from you while you are passed out.
Such things are found regularly in the press – this applies to almost anywhere – not just at night – eventaking a drink or food from someone on a bus is a no no – even the American Embassy site cautions against taking food or drink from someone on a bus – simply because people were robbed while passed out.
In some bars – a waiter or waitress will cover your drink, however that is not good enough, don’t leave your drink unattended. In better nightclubs, the waiter will cover it and keep an eye on it.
Those mosquito girls (sex workers):
They can be very good-looking, have a wonderful yet sad story, speak excellent English (even University graduates turn to Prostitution) but they do have a very high rate of STD’s – over 50% of them have STD of one kind or another. Then there is AIDS and HIV..over 40 some percent of them are HIV positive – some know their HIV Status, but need the money.
The prevention slogan here is ABC. Abstention, Be faithful, Condoms. I hope that you get the message, the safest way is to abstain – limit your alcohol intake. Stay wise in spite of the tempting young women who may give you more than what you bargained for.
You can also get robbed by mosquito girls, cell-phone, wallet, money, credit cards, everything gone and that lovely girl you met is not to be found.
The night of fun ends in empty pockets. In the local newspapers there have been reports where prostitutes use chloroform rubbed on their body and when the man passes out – all valuables are taken. Recently I heard of an account where a Ugandan businessman came to the front desk of his hotel wrapped in a towel – while he was taking a shower she had taken his clothes, suitcase, laptop, mobile phone – best advice – if you are looking for a nice Ugandan lady as a friend – go to church, office, cultural event.
Take a Special Hire Taxi:
If you are bar hopping, or on a pub crawl as some foreigners like to do, hire a special for hire taxi for the evening and let the hotel negotiate the price for you, they will get a cut, but it will be lower than if you negotiated.
You need to be careful since many for hires give commissions to hotel staff, so ask a wait staff person what the price should be. Be sure that the driver is a safe and sane one.
We will do so for clients on safari with us, hopefully on the last day of their time in Uganda – since it will allow them to sleep until they are ready for departure back home. Our driver guides will be with you in the bars for your safe keeping and watch over things and of course they will drink sodas. The Ugandan police now conducts nightly drunk driving stops and it is not worth it to drink and drive in a foreign country.
Uber Taxis now operate in Uganda.
Take a Ugandan with you:
Especially if you have never been to Uganda and Kampala before. It is best for you to take a Ugandan along for your night on the town.
He or she can certainly keep you out of potential trouble. It may cost you a few more shillings, but your evening will be more enjoyable and safer with someone who knows their way around, knows the Ugandan Culture and mindset – and he or she can give you insights that otherwise, you might miss.
Having a Ugandan along will make it a much more enjoyable evening since most Ugandans know as to how to avoid problems, understand safety and security when it comes to Kampala’s bar scene.
Security at Nightclubs – Bars:
Security at Bars and Nightclubs at larger establishments is actually good – all guests are scanned or patted down –This is done by private security companies in many cases and they are armed, at times there might even be two or more depending on the bar size.
Bouncers are on duty – Armed Security and more is done to keep the places relatively peaceful in order that clients can enjoy themselves.
Tourism Police is now also making the rounds to some Bars and Nightclubs and you will also find police checking various bars for any illegal activities such as drug use. Bouncers inside of the bars are no-nonsense kind of guys that quickly stop any situation not conducive to other clients.
Ganja or Marijuana:
Ganja as it is called here can be bought anywhere. You can smell it here a lot. A recent visitor, who used to do pot told me he could smell it just driving along the roads at night.
You can buy it most anywhere, but the police also have noses and can smell it if you are smoking it and it can create a problem for you, do not partake.
The minimum fine is usually 80,000 shillings, more for a westerner. It can also mean overnight in jail. It is against the law, do not take any even if offered. Sorry if you are from Colorado or Washington State where Marijuana has been legalized, here it is illegal.
There is also the amphetamine Khat, also called Mira or Mairungi in Uganda – stay away from it though it is not illegal to use, it is a stimulant that is chewed in Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and elsewhere.
Crack Cocaine and or Heroin may be offered to you, simply decline.
Night on the town for Women:
It is usually quite safe, a few friendly advances may be made, but a woman on the town is usually just fine, but take a Ugandan along just to be safe.
Dress as you would going out in your hometown, the Ugandan woman will often dress on the provocative side (though in daytime conservatively), high heels are the order of the day, revealing dresses, short skirts, skimpy hot dresses and less.
On your night out you might receive a few marriage proposals – but you can always smile and say no-thanks, they are mostly semi-serious and with smiles all-around.
Best to have a Ugandan along for the evening or be in a group, much safer for you.
Enjoy Kampala safely at night -its bars and nightclubs – it is the African City that never sleeps – no other African City has a nightlife scene like Kampala – yet it is wise to take some precautions such as our Kampala Nightlife – Safety and Security – Tips and Advice – it will be a much more enjoyable Time for you.
Our Advice to you if you are on safari with us, do not spend the night out on the town but stay in your hotel, have a good dinner, some drinks and get the rest that you need before an early start for your safari.
If you have any questions about staying safe and secure on a night on the town in Kampala – please ask us.