A question often asked: Is Uganda safe to visit in 2024?
Typically – Tourists and Travelers want to know: Is Uganda safe for Tourists?
Is it Dangerous to Travel to Uganda? Is Uganda a safe country to Visit for Tourists?
Uganda is considered a safe country to visit in 2024. It is known as one of Africa’s safest, most welcoming, and friendliest countries.
The nation has made significant strides in security and stability, providing a favorable environment for travelers.
While it is always important to exercise caution and take necessary precautions when traveling,
Uganda offers a generally safe experience for visitors. By staying informed about the local laws and customs, following travel advisories, and using authorized tour operators, you can enjoy your trip while ensuring your Safety.
You can find information contrary to what we wrote here. We in Uganda call that “Spewing Buffaloes,” meaning you do not know what you are talking about and are just babbling. As an American living in Uganda, I find Uganda safer than many American cities.
Is Uganda Safe to Visit in 2024?
Yes, Uganda is generally considered a safe destination for tourists, especially those visiting for a safari. Uganda is often considered safer than certain cities in the United States or Europe.
The wildlife reserves and national parks in Uganda, where safaris typically take Place, are well-regulated and have security measures to ensure visitors’ Safety. However, it is important to exercise common sense, follow local guidelines, and take necessary precautions to have a safe and enjoyable experience while traveling to any destination.
Is Uganda safe for Tourists? Is Uganda safe to visit in 2024?
Is it safe to visit in 2023? Uganda is one of the safest safari destinations in East Africa.
Tragedy strikes on October 17-2023, as Honeymoon Couple and their driver are killed in Queen Elizabeth Park
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. 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.
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 Tourists? Is Uganda safe to visit in 2024?
Typically – The Safest Place to be in Uganda is on a Safari
Security measures have been increased in tourist areas in Uganda, including national parks and borders. Drones’ presence of rangers, the Ugandan military, police, and tourism police contribute to enhancing the Safety of tourists.
The overall security situation is generally favorable for travelers visiting Uganda for business, volunteering, or attending conventions.
While it is always important to exercise common sense and take precautions against petty crimes like pickpocketing or scams, these issues can be encountered in many cities worldwide. By being aware of your surroundings, keeping valuables secure, and using common sense, you can minimize the risk of such incidents.
Uganda has taken steps to prioritize the Safety and well-being of tourists, and the increased security presence helps to ensure a positive and secure experience. With these security measures and responsible travelers using their judgment and following best practices, visitors can enjoy their time in Uganda with peace of mind.
Is it Dangerous to Travel to Uganda? Here are Steps you can take to stay Safe on Safari in Uganda!
Uganda is generally considered a safe destination for travelers. However, as with any travel experience, it is essential to take precautions to ensure your Safety. Here are some time-proven steps you can follow to stay safe while visiting Uganda, which can be applied in various destinations worldwide:
1.- Use your Common Sense:
Using common sense and being aware of your surroundings is crucial when traveling to any destination, including Uganda. It is essential to exercise the same level of caution and judgment that you would employ in your own country.
By asking yourself if you would engage in certain activities or behaviors at Home, you can make informed decisions about what is appropriate and safe in Uganda. Keeping a low profile, avoiding flashy displays of wealth, and being mindful of your personal belongings are all sensible practices to minimize the risk of becoming a target for petty crime.
Uganda is often called the “Pearl of Africa,” most visitors have positive experiences and enjoy their time there. By relying on your basic instincts and common sense, you can enhance your safety and have a memorable trip to Uganda.
2. Avoid a Self-Drive Safari in Uganda:
Self-driving in Uganda can be challenging and may not be recommended for visitors, especially those unfamiliar with the local driving conditions and norms.
Uganda has international traffic laws, but enforcement and adherence to these laws by all road users may vary. The high accident rate in Uganda is a concern, and it’s essential to consider the potential risks involved.
In an accident, cultural and procedural differences may add complexity to the situation. It is crucial to be aware of local customs and understand what steps should be taken in such circumstances.
While driving can be enjoyable for some, visitors should consider alternative transportation options in Uganda. Hiring a local driver or using organized transportation services can provide a safer and more convenient experience, allowing you to focus on enjoying your time in the country without the added stress of navigating unfamiliar roads and traffic conditions.
Ultimately, prioritizing your Safety and well-being should be paramount when deciding whether or not to drive in Uganda.
There are many reasons why a self-drive safari borders on insanity in Uganda. However, we are increasingly advertising vehicle rentals, leaving the driving to a tour company with experience like us. Read more here about self-drive.
3. Use an accredited Tour Operator for your Safari in Uganda:
The Safest Place in Uganda is on a safari that takes in the country’s safe national parks, wildlife reserves, and other tourist destinations. When you use an accredited tour operator member of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators, you visit Uganda with a local taking you around the country.
Your Ugandan Driver-Guide does not need a GPS device; they know Uganda. Your Safety and well-being are on everyone’s mind and everything to make your visit memorable.
If you are looking for a Ugandan Tour Operator with your Safety in mind, consider Kabiza Wilderness Safaris. We have offered Hakuna Matata No-Worries Safaris since 2008 in Uganda. With us, Safe Safaris is the Norm and not the exception. Read more about the right tour operator here.
4. Follow the Park Rules and the Instructions of the Ranger leading you:
If you want to stay safe visiting Uganda, follow the park rules. On hikes, climbs, boat safaris, and gorilla or chimpanzee treks, follow the instructions of the Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger.
Your Driver Guide knows what is best to keep you safe and secure. We take more extraordinary precautions here than you would get visiting many National Parks in other countries.
If you are going white water rafting, you must follow the instructions. Mishaps are a rarity, and I have not read of an accident on a white-water rafting incident.
Most problems occur for those who visit Uganda without a guide. Recently, three Saudis drove through Murchison Falls Park without a driver-guide on a self-drive, and one of the men got out of the car and was trampled to death by an elephant. Read more about Rangers here.
5. Stay in safe and secure Lodges and Hotels:
Stay in safe and secure lodges and hotels while visiting Uganda. Midrange and Luxury Lodges, such as those we use for our safaris in Uganda. Motels and hotels have 24/7 security on the premises.
Security for Lodges consists of earned guards or other security personnel.
You do not read about security breaches at lodges in the Ugandan press. Budget Hotels may not have adequate security in Place. Midrange and luxury lodges will spend the extra money that security costs for their guests.
Security at Lodges and Hotels exceeds your security level in the West.
6. Do not wander off from Lodges within National Parks:
Do not wander from your lodge without an armed guide or Ranger for your Safety. You are in the African wilderness, where animals roam that could harm you.
A few years ago, a Dutch tourist wandered off from her camp, never to be found again, even though extensive searches were conducted for weeks.
Walking on your own, away from a lodge, can be dangerous. You are now near lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, hippos, and much more. Go with an armed Ranger.
7. Keep Passports and Return Tickets Safe:
Do not carry a passport while away from your Hotel or lodge. Put your valuables, including access, into the Hotel Lodge safe in your room or at the front desk. Valuables at the front desk are safe and should be placed in a sealed envelope.
Please make a copy of your passport, including the Visa. Take it with you on activities away from your Lodge or Hotel. Y
You will need personal identification for activities such as Gorilla Trekking. This is used to verify that you are the person named on the permit.
The issue is not that people will rob you of documents, though that can happen. You want to protect your documents from any loss, including theft, misplacement, etc.
Vital Documents to protect include any prescriptions from your doctor, credit cards, and more. Keep your Documents safe and secure.
8. Do not flash your Cash:
It is best to carry your money in the front pocket to put your hand over it, not a back pocket that can easily be stolen.
Do not wear the various belted packs for money and valuables worn outside your garments. The belt can easily be cut, and the bag stolen.
Do not flash your Cash. Pull out what you need and pay. Never carry substantial amounts with you. Keep Cash and any other valuables in your Hotel safe. Flashing money makes you a target in cities and towns.
Be cautious at ATMs where you have people around you besides Security Staff from the Bank. If someone volunteers to help you, decline the offer.
Remember to Keep your Money out of Sight. Do not count money in the car while stuck in a traffic jam in Kampala, especially if your windows are down.
9. Keep your Jewelry at Home:
Take inexpensive Jewelry with you (you can buy some lovely items here in Uganda at a low price). Gold chains and Jewelry, such as earrings, can be torn from you, causing injury.
Watches worn while walking on the streets in Kampala can also be easily stolen. Use a leather band that you can secure for your look.
Avoid expensive watches, and if you are wearing one, have one preferably with a leather strap that can be tightened and safely worn.
Buy some local Ugandan-crafted jewelry and support a local artisan and their families. You will safely keep your expensive items at Home. At the same time, make a difference in Uganda by purchasing local hand-crafted items.
If you are on Safari with us, this is another caution you do not have to worry about. Still, for added Safety, we recommend keeping expensive Jewelry at Home.
10. Protect Photographic Equipment from Thieves:
Cameras are expensive here, about twice what they would cost you in your country of origin. It is a valuable object and becomes a temptation for someone to steal it.
Please keep it in a bag strapped to you. When taking a picture, hold it with both hands and roll the strap around your hand so no one can take it from you.
Never loosely put a camera on the shoulder on a strap. The same goes for binoculars if you take them into town. Keeping them safe is always the rule of the day – that is better than being sorry later.
On a Safari itself, like Gorilla Trekking, use a waterproof daypack. Remember. Cameras are expensive in Uganda and are a temptation to a street thief, and you will not have such a problem on a safari with a driver-guide.
If you are bringing binoculars, use them only on activities that might be necessary, such as birding, game drives, etc.
11. Protect your Mobile – Cell Phone:
Keep your Mobile cell phone in your pocket and do not carry it in your hands. If you hold it in your hands, someone may burn your hand with a cigarette, resulting in you dropping the phone, which is taken.
Please do not put it on a table in a restaurant or bar; someone might just come and grab it – Stay safe.
Mobile phones are stolen daily in Uganda – hold on to them tightly. The theft of a mobile phone is one of the most common, and the thief removes the SIM card and sells it to someone.
Thieves especially seek Smartphones and will steal them even in a restaurant. Never put your mobile phone on a table when going out.
Mobile Phones are necessary for most Travelers to
12. No Nighttime Travel and Walks:
Keep walking at night to a minimum; it is usually safe on a crowded street, but it is best to be with a Ugandan or someone who knows the country and its ways.
If you are on Safari with us, you can arrange for your driver-guide to accompany you.
Do not walk alone in most neighborhoods to be on the safe side – what you would do at Home, do here while visiting Uganda.
You do not hear of many cases where Visitors to Uganda are robbed or harmed. Still, it is best to be wise and intelligent to avoid walking at night in a town you do not know.
Driving at night is something that we avoid with our clients except between Entebbe and Kampala for arrival or departure. The reason is drunk drivers and something prevalent in Uganda.
13. Never act lost, even if you are:
That may sound funny, but when one behaves and looks lost, they make themselves vulnerable and a potential target for thieves. If you are lost, ask a police officer, or go into a shop and ask for directions. And you will find people most helpful.t
If you are on Safari with us, your driver-guide will ensure you are not lost and bring you safely back to the Hotel.
Thieves always look for people who seem lost and disoriented. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going – ask the right people, and you will be fine.
Thievery is common in Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja, and other towns and cities. Carry minimal belongings with you and keep them back at the Hotel. You do not want to make yourself a target.
If you are lost, take a taxi, for-hire, or even a Boda-Boda motorcycle back to your Hotel. Just do not act lost, even if you are.
14. A Safe Night Out on the Town in Uganda:
Going out is usually safe in Kampala, and we suggest you go with a local to stay safe. If you are on Safari with us, your driver-guide can show you the city that never sleeps in Africa, Kampala.
But keep your drink close to you and watch that no one puts something in it.
There have been incidents where people have been robbed after being drugged. It takes place in bars or hotels.; these are isolated incidents.
Experience the Kampala night in the city that never sleeps with a Ugandan. Much safer, and they will know how to respond to various situations.
Do not purchase Ganja – Marijuana, Mira, an amphetamine chewed, nor imported drugs such as heroin, crack cocaine, and the like – you ask for trouble. Read more about Kampala Nightlife – Safety – Security.
The chances of you being kidnapped are one in a million. Uganda is on the US State Department’s List of Countries where kidnappings occur, and it is also listed as a country on the “B List,” meaning exercising caution. Kenya and Ethiopia are also on the list. In both countries, hijacking and kidnapping by terrorists are more common.
Criminals, not terrorists, kidnapping an American Woman and her driver. They are awaiting trial.
Avoiding being kidnapped must be done with attitude, blending in, not publishing on social media, your travel itinerary, and more.
New Safety Measures: No game drives without security are recommended by the Uganda Wildlife Authority but not required. With us on Safari, it is mandatory. Read more here
16. Are GBTQI+ Travelers Safe visiting Uganda:
In many of 2023, the new anti-homosexual Bukk became law. Uganda, like many African countries, has had anti-gay laws in its book that the British Colonial government handed down. In Uganda, 97% of the people have anti- solid LGBTQI+ feelings. Those feelings became enforced when the US or the European United attempted to have Uganda adopt its cultural mindset.
Uganda is in the same Place the US, Australia, the UK, and much of Europe were in during the 1950s. In the 1950s, the US Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, questioned me before receiving permission. The US has evolved, and to the dismay of many Ugandans who drive by the US embassy during June will fly, the Gay Pride flying high.
Uganda, Africa, and the | West are oceans apart on this cultural issue. In Uganda, it is during Gay Pride month that on June 3, Marty’s Day is a solemn day where the lives of 45 martyrs are held up as an example. Many of these Martyrs refused to renounce their faith and give in to the sexual advances of Kabaka Mwanga.
LGBTQI+ visitors continue to travel here for primate trekking while keeping a low profile. One can soon expect a statement from the Uganda Tourism Board regarding LGBTQI+ travelers. Uganda remains one of Africa’s friendliest, most welcoming, and hospitable countries, accepting visitors culturally different from themselves. Read more here.
Is Uganda safe for Tourists? Is Uganda safe to visit in 2024? Uganda Tourism Police and other security measures for Visitors:
Visitors and Tourists to Uganda are respected and seen as a source of income for the country, and every effort is taken to protect them. Not only is there the Police Army, but the Tourism Police also monitors regular tourist spots.
On top of that, you have the Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers in Game Parks and Wildlife Reserves. Both Ugandans and visitors very much respect them. They are also armed, and one of their tasks is to protect visitors.
On Gorilla and Chimpanzee treks, there are even armed escorts who take protecting you seriously.
The Tourism Police Officers are found in central parks all over Uganda. The Number of Tourism Police Officers has increased in recent times. Additionally, the Tourism Police act when a fake tour operator has conned a tourist. Read more here.
Is Uganda safe for Tourists? Is Uganda safe to visit in 2024?
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.
- 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 prohibited 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 Tourists? Is Uganda safe to visit in 2024?
Can anyone Guarantee your safety on Safari?
When going on a safari in Uganda, remember that no one can guarantee your safety. Wildlife encounters. Criminal elements and travel in natural environments always carry inherent risks. Follow experienced guides and reputable tour operators such as KSabiza Wilderness Safaris to stay safe.
Research and choose operators prioritizing safety measures, adhering to park rules, and maintaining a respectful distance from wildlife. Consider travel insurance for emergencies. Prioritize your safety by making informed decisions, being cautious, and following professional guidance.
Safe Safaris are the norm and not the exception. Your safety and well-being is on everyone’s mind.
Traveling, no matter where it takes you, has risk factors. We do our best to reduce them.
We are fully committed to keeping you safe and secure on your Safari in Uganda.
Kabiza Wilderness Safaris is fully committed to ensuring your safety, security, and well-being during your Safari in Uganda. We prioritize the security of our clients and take all necessary measures to provide a safe and enjoyable experience.
Our team is highly experienced and knowledgeable about the local conditions and protocols. We stay updated on the latest information from the Uganda Wildlife Authority, security agencies, and other relevant sources to ensure our clients have the most accurate and reliable information.
We strictly adhere to safety guidelines and rules set by the authorities and enforce them during our safaris. Our drivers and guides are trained professionals who always prioritize your safety. We maintain close communication with security forces and have established protocols to address potential risks or emergencies.
Rest assured that when you choose Kabiza Wilderness Safaris, you are in the hands of a dedicated team fully committed to providing a safe and secure safari experience in Uganda.