Is a Question Asked: Is Uganda safe for Australians to visit on a Safari?
Is it Safe for Australians to go on Safari in Uganda?
What about the Australian Travel Advisories about Uganda?
Is UganSafeafe for Australians on a Safari? Australians are a unique breed of Travelers, and they are in a class, and only Canadians are a close second. Australians can adapt to Africa like no others.
They are the last to complain about dusty roads, the potholes that are a part of the African Journey, or the distances.
Australians are most appreciative of what awaits them in the Pearl of Africa. Despite the gloomy and erroneous Travel Advice, the Australian Government published about Uganda on their Smart Traveller Website.
Australian Travelers, unlike, do not ask us questions about in Uganda. Despite the Australian Government Smart Traveller Uganda Page having the following Headline, ” Exercise a high degree of Caution.”
Australians on Safari in Uganda have not encountered Safety and Security problems on their Safari. However, the Australian Government, which has a non-the-grounded embassy in Uganda, thinks traits citizens should not be in addition to Gorillas in Uganda. Yet Uganda is the only one of them. Ee.
Though Australians do not ask about their security, we still felt that we needed to put the Australian Government’s Travel Advisories into perspective. To give Australians the reality on the ground in Uganda without spin.
Australian travelers are essential to us, and we wanted to address issues they erroneously addressed on the Uganda Smart Travellers Page.
Australia does not have an embassy in Uganda. Unlike the US or UK, they lack the staff and resources to make a proper security assessment team in Uganda.
Most of the Travel Advisories below have been erroneously in place for over a decade. Australia has a Consulate in Uganda, which an Honorary Consul heads.
The Consulate provides necessary consular support (not including the issue of passports). Thein Kenya provides full consular assistance to Australians in Uganda.
Is UganSafeafe for Australians on a Safari? Over 20% of our clients come from Australia, and none have had a security problem while on Safari in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.
When it comes to not knowing the reality on the ground in Ugan, the words of Aldous Huxley come to mind: “To travel is to discover that everyone (including the Australian Government) is wrong about other countries.”
Is Uganda safe for Australians to visit on a Safari? Let’s Find out!
Australian Smart Traveller Site: Reconsider your need to travel within 50 kilometers of Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the Mgahinga Gorilla Park, and the Murchison Falls National Park, because of the risk of Banditry and attacks by armed groups.
Our Response: Many Australians have either not read the advisory or have chosen to ignore it. There are no armed groups, only gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park, and no Guerillas. Guerillas are active across the border in the Kivu province of DR Congo.
For twenty years, Gorilla Trekking has been safe and secure in Uganda, and the Ugandan Army is patrolling the border with DR Congo.
We do Gorilla and not Guerrilla Safaris. There have been no armed guerrilla groups inside Uganda since Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army fled into DR Congo. Guerilla Trekking is one of the safest tourist activities in all of Africa.
Please Note: Uganda is the only Mountain Gorilla Destination with no recent Guerrilla activities in or near its two Gorilla parks. The same cannot be said for Rwanda and DR Congo.
About the Smart Travellers, there is a Banditry risk in Southwest Uganda, which is a ludicrous and inappropriate claim contrary to reality. Banditry refers to acts of robbery and violence in areas where the rule of law has broken down, contrary to what awaits you in Uganda. We ask you to do a Google search by typing Banditry in Uganda 2023. For further information on gorillas and tracking safety, click here.
Attack on Tourists on October 17 -2023, in Queen Elizabeth Park on a Game Drive
On October 17, 2023, a heartbreaking incident occurred in Queen Elizabeth National Park near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). David and Celia Barlow, a British and South African couple, along with their Ugandan guide Eric Ayai, were killed during a safari.
Please note: There was no armed ranger with the group of three,
The Ugandan government has attributed the responsibility to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an extremist group. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has claimed responsibility, referring to the victims as “three Christian tourists” who were allegedly killed with machine guns.
The Ugandan government has pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice and has announced a successful joint operation by the military and intelligence agencies. This operation resulted in the elimination of the ADF squad responsible for the attack. The captured ADF commander is expected to face trial. The military spokesperson, Deo Akiiki, revealed that the apprehended militia leader was found in possession of the belongings of the slain tourists and the ID card of their Ugandan guide.
The ADF has a history of opposition to the Ugandan Government since the 1990s but was previously defeated by the national army. The group subsequently retreated into the DRC, where it engaged in illicit activities such as timber, gold, and agricultural product trades. Four years ago, the ADF pledged allegiance to ISIL and was designated as a “terrorist organization” by the Ugandan Government.
It is important to note that this information is based on details available until September 2021. For the most recent updates on the security situation in Queen Elizabeth National Park, it is advisable to refer to reliable news sources or official government statements.
Our hearts go to the families of the Honeymoon couple and the family of the Ugandan driver. Uganda is doing its best to catch the perpetrators and ensure this incident will not be repeated.
Response of the Ugandan Government to the October 17 attack on Tourist Couple on Honeymoon and their driver.
Ensuring safety in Uganda is a top priority for both tourists and Ugandans. The Government, along with agencies like the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda People’s Defense Forces, and the Police, has taken significant steps to create a secure environment.
Transparency is key. The Government provides accurate and detailed information about incidents, including relevant affiliations or motivations, to foster understanding and enable appropriate actions.
Collaboration with law enforcement and security forces is vital. Proactive intelligence gathering, increased patrols, and advanced security technologies are implemented nationwide to prevent and respond to potential threats.
Community engagement is encouraged. Strong relationships between local communities, law enforcement, and tourism stakeholders promote reporting suspicious activities and sharing vital information.
Ongoing training and capacity building for security personnel ensure they are equipped to address security challenges swiftly and effectively.
International cooperation plays a crucial role. Partnerships with other countries and organizations facilitate intelligence exchange and collaboration to counter radicalization and terrorism.
The ultimate goal is to create a safe environment for all. Uganda is committed to proactive measures, refining security strategies, and adapting to emerging threats.
By implementing these comprehensive measures, Uganda aims to provide peace of mind to its citizens and visitors, ensuring a welcoming and secure destination for everyone.
Is Uganda safe for Australians to visit on a Safari? The No Spin Reality
Follow the Rules in Uganda’s National Parks and Preserves:
Parks are under the jurisdiction of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, gardens are well-regulated, and the rules are strictly enforced. Besides Uganda Wildlife Authority’s rules, we have added some of our own to keep you safe and secure on your Safari in Uganda.
No movement on foot without an armed Ranger escort outside of the Park; stay with your driver-guide
- No Driving in parks from 7:30 pm until 6:30 am.
- No, they are wandering away from a Lodge located in the Park or at the edge of it. There are wild animals, plus it avoids contacting poachers.
- No Game Drives without an armed ranger on board the vehicle
- Have at least a copy of your passport in a daypack for all activities.
- For boat safaris, we encourage the use of a life vest.
- On a Family Safari, never let children be unattended.
- Dress for the occasion – Gorilla, chimpanzee trek, hike, volcano climb – follow our suggestions. They are for your well-being.
- Use a porter whenever available, such as for Gorilla Trekking.
- Do not wear camouflage clothing – it gets unnecessary attention and is not recommended.
- Sitting on top of vehicles during Game Drives is not allowed for your safety.
- Nocturnal Game Drives are only conducted with Uganda Wildlife Vehicles except where UWA authorizes a lodge to do so.
Is Uganda safe for Australians to visit on a Safari? The No Spin Reality
When going on a safari in Uganda, remember that no one can guarantee your safety. Wildlife encounters and travel in natural environments always carry inherent risks. To stay safe, follow experienced guides and reputable tour operators such as KSabiza Wilderness Safaris.
Research and choose operators prioritizing safety measures, and adhere to park rules and maintain a respectful distance from wildlife. Consider travel insurance for emergencies. Prioritize your safety by making informed decisions, being cautious, and following professional guidance.