Staying Safe while enjoying Kampala’s Nightlife
Wise and Safe Choices while enjoying Kampala’s Nightlife
Uganda Nightlife Safety 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
I am always amazed how many visits my pages and posts dealing with Kampala Nightlife receive – It is reasonable safe if you take certain safety and security measures. Rarely do you read about a Westerner incurring problems while out at Night enjoying the city that never sleeps. However one needs to be wise and head off any potential problems, annoyances and the like. Enjoy Kampala.
Tips to make your night out enjoyable, yet safe:
- Cell phones and other valuables: Leave your cell phone in your pocket. For women, no purse, keep things on you-wear jeans with pocket. Never put a cell phone on a table – you are saying goodbye to them. Even watches – use the kind with a leather strap – since that such watches are harder to rip off – or simply leave your watch at home.
- Do not flash money around: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 your 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.
- Do not 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 – but taking 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 have bee robbed while passed out.
- 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…40 some percent of them are positive. The prevention slogan here is ABC. Abstention, Be faithful, Condoms. I hope that you get the message, the safest is to abstain. You can also get robbed by one of them, 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. Visitors to Uganda and HIV – AIDS
- Take a Special Hire Taxi:If you are bar hopping as some foreigners do, hire a special for hire taxi for the evening and let the hotel negotiate the price. 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 driver.
- Take a Ugandan with you:Especially if you have never been to Uganda and Kampala before – it is best for you to take a Uganda along – 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.
- Security at Nightclubs – Bars: Security at Bars and Nightclubs at larger establishments is actually good – all guests are scanned or patted down – 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.
- 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, it can create a problem for you, so again, 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.
- 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 conservative – you might receive a few marriage proposals – but you can always smile and say no-thanks.
- Safety and Security Advice: For more information on staying safe while out at night see the Staying Safe in Uganda Post.
Enjoy Kampala at night – it is the African City that never sleeps – no other African City has a nightlife scene like Kampala – yet is is wise to take some precautions – certainly do not drive yourself – the Ugandan Police is now out at nights with sobriety check-points and after midnight half of the people on the road are drunk – Ugandans consume more alcohol per capita than any other nation in the world and they have held this dubious record for about 4 years – Have a non-drinking driver with you and keep him happy with sodas and a nice tip…enjoy…from Kampala…jon
“The Kingdom of Uganda is a fairy tale. The scenery is different, the climate is different and most of all, the people are different from anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole range of Africa….what message I bring back….concentrate upon Uganda – The Pearl of Africa.” Winston Churchill (My African Journey – 1908)
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