Is Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else?

Posted by on August 11, 2020

The Question in 2020-201 “Is Uganda Safe for American Visitors?”

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions: Is Uganda safe for Americans and anyone else in 2020-2021?

Questions Answered that Americans have about Safety and Security in Uganda.

Is Uganda safe for AmericansFAQ – 1: Is Uganda safe for Americans? A fundamental question that Americans ask when they think about visiting Uganda.

“Is Uganda safe for Americans? It is “that search term” that brings many to this page each day. Oddly not many ask Is Uganda safe for Germans, Danes, Belgians, Canadians, Australians, Russians, Chinese, or Indians? 

Is Uganda safe for Americans? In Short, without going into Details, Uganda is Safe for Americans and anyone else. At present, you will find nothing about harm coming to Americans.

There is a warning issued by the American Embassy about COVID-19. It commends Uganda for doing an outstanding job regarding the Pandemic. It also recommends Americans living here like me are aware that there is not the hospital-capacity if the death rate, now nine, rapidly increases.

In regards to safety and security, 99% plus of the Visitors, especially Tourists on a Safari, never have any safety and security issues in friendly and welcoming Uganda.

Why, despite the above, many Americans and others think that Uganda is dangerous. Uganda is a country to be avoided by Americans. Is Uganda a no-go zone for Americans? How do Americans and others get these wrongful perceptions about  Uganda? Is Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else?

Africa, and Uganda, in particular, get a bad wrap in the press. The press in the US is not favorably inclined toward Uganda. Not many US Press Agencies have on-site reporters in Uganda. The news about Uganda is often written outside of the country. Uganda is still under the lingering shadows of Idi Amin.

 Uganda’s image and reputation were not helped by movies such as “the Last King of Scotland” or “Seven Days in Entebbe.” Few saw the heartwarming Disney Film “the Queen of Katwe,” which showed another face of Uganda.
The English writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley was right when he wrote, “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” 

Americans who come to Uganda are surprised as to how wrong they were about Uganda. How safe and secure they felt during their time in the Pearl of Africa. How welcoming, friendly, and hospital Ugandans were.

Is Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else?Uganda is one of the friendliest, welcoming, and hospital countries in all of Africa. Uganda has welcomed over a million refugees in the last few years. African hospitality is deeply ingrained in Ugandan culture.

Here is the feedback we get from clients after their Safari.”I felt safe in Uganda.” Refreshingly different from the ominous self-appointed Uganda doom and gloom experts whose blogs or posts on Travel Forums you might have read.” I was wrong about Uganda,” is what many of our Clients tell us or write to us after they visit Uganda. 

Uganda is unlike you think it is. Most Ugandans are gentle, peaceful, welcoming people. The added plus for English Speaking Americans is that Uganda is the Best English Speaking Country in all of Africa.

I, as an American who first arrived in the Pearl of Africa in 1992, should know about Safety and Security in Uganda.

I feel safer in Uganda than I would in parts of the USA, especially at the present time and the security conditions that seem to have

FAQ – 2: Is Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else in 2020-2021?Is Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else?

The answer is a resounding yes. The US State Department has a level 2 state of security caution for Uganda. That caution is standard for most countries in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Uganda would have had a new “Number of Visitors Record” if the harsh winds of COVID-19 pandemic had not canceled the travel plans of millions around the world. COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, both Ugandans and International ones, have kept the Entebbe International Airport closed. Uganda has done an excellent job handling COVID-19 with now nine deaths.

Aside from the international dangers of COVID-19, Uganda is one of the safest countries in all of Africa. The Crime rates that exist in Uganda, like in all nations, have been drastically reduced during the lengthy COVID-19 lockdown. Uganda will be safe and secure for you to visit when COVID Travel restrictions have been lifted here and in other parts of the world, like in the US.

Yes, Americans are Safe and Secure in Uganda.

FAQ-3: What Safety & Security Advice can you give Americans and anyone else? 

Is Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else?What should I definitely bring to Uganda that will keep me safe?

No, not a weapon. They will not let you into the country with that but good old-fashioned Common  Sense. Common Sense will keep you safe and secure on a safari in Uganda.

Common Sense: What you would not do at home, don’t do in Uganda. Many Travelers seem to throw cautions to the wind in Africa and do things that they would not at home. Resulting in bad judgment and problems for tourists.

Things like never leave your room unlocked. Do not leave your kindle or laptop unattended in a restaurant. Flash no cash. Never leave a drink unattended in a bar.

Ignore that smiling, attractive young woman in a bar. You will soon find out that she is a mosquito girl, and her sting can be worse than malaria.

Don’t be a William Lederer “Ugly American kind of tourist.” Blend in with your surroundings.

Never walk away from a Wilderness Lodge without your driver-guide and ranger. Do not stand at the edge of a waterfall such as Murchison Falls. Put your cash, your valuables, your passport, travel documents, flight information into the Hotel or Lodge safe in a sealed envelope.

Personally, I strongly believe in a low-footprint presence when it comes to traveling. Don’t draw unnecessary attention to yourself. That is plain old-fashioned common sense.

Is Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else?What should I do to prepare for Uganda?

Safety and Security while Traveling is dependent on Travelers knowing before going. You have invested a lot of money in a safari in Uganda.

Get the most out of your investment. Get to know Uganda before going. Our website has a lot of information about Uganda. Even our competitors think so. We are the most copied Ugandan Tourist website.

Go to our Book page and read some of the Ugandan books or books about Uganda,

Our site is filled with information about Uganda, including Safety and Security information ranging from Safe Gorilla Trekking to safe ATM visits.

We even have what to avoid in Uganda Page, and many of those things are safe and security orientated. Avoid using a Credit Card is one of the things to avoid in Uganda. Credit Card related thefts are higher in Uganda than in the USA.  Flashing cash – only carry enough money to buy what you want.

How do I stay safe? What are your suggestions?Is Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else?

Try not to stand out, blend in, and do not draw attention to yourself. Be aware of your surroundings. Unlike Kenya, there have been no hotel or shopping center attacks in Uganda. The most exciting thing we have is the police response to opposition politicians.

Be aware of yourself in public places such as hotels, lodges, restaurants, and bars.

Awareness keeps you safe. If you are on foot in downtown Kampala be careful on the streets, market places, especially Owino Market. It is where Ugandans have their earrings ripped off, their backpacks, purses ripped off. 

Avoid public demonstrations, especially opposition rallies in Uganda. The Presidential Election is coming up in 2021, and now underway. 

Dress to blend in. In Kampala and other towns, Ugandans are fond of dressing smartly. You will get more readily accepted if you do likewise. On Safari, wear protective neutral color clothing.

Don’t talk loudly. Leave your expensive things at home, including jewelry, watches. Most importantly, do not draw attention to yourself. Act if you know what you are doing. Your confidence will be seen as a strength.

Leave the swagger at home. Blend into your surroundings. It has worked for me since 1992 without incident.

Why Do Americans feel that Uganda is not safe?Is Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else?

The information that Americans have about Africa, about Uganda is most often incorrect. Life in Africa is not that different from America. The safety portion of Mazlow’s hierarchy of need applies as much to Ugandans as it does to Americans. Though Ugandans can thrive in sometimes chaotic conditions. Though in 2020, Americans are catching up.  

Ugandans rarely receive weapon permits. There are no mass shootings here. Riots are not allowed, and the rare ones are quickly shut down.  Uganda has had no terrorist attack since 2010. There are no guerrillas, only Gorillas. 

Security, police, even Military can be seen most anywhere as you travel in the country. Security has dramatically increased since the kidnapping of the American woman and her driver in 2017.

Park Rangers were trained in 2019 by the American Military, giving them new skills in keeping parks safe for all. Uganda is the only East African country with a Tourism Police. They are at all significant Tourism points, and their sole job is to keep you safe.

African Hospitality in Uganda – Your Security Blanket:`Is Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else?

An African Welcome is not just a verbal greeting. It is welcome that takes on the responsibility for your wellbeing. That is what we do for our clients when on Safari.

The concept of African hospitality begins with acceptance. While with us, while under roof on Safari, your wellbeing, safety, security is our focus.

Uganda is one of the friendliest countries in Africa.  It also one of the most welcoming countries, with over a million refugees from neighboring countries. It is the most culturally diverse country on the planet.

Over 40 languages are spoken here. English is spoken by many, and Uganda is considered the Best English Speaking Country on the Continent, though it might help to learn a bit of Uglish, Ugandan English.

African Hospitality takes on your wellbeing as a responsibility that is not taken lightly by anyone.

US Embassy Contact InformationIs Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else?

U.S. Embassy Kampala-Plot 1577 Ggaba Road, Kampala, Uganda

Telephone:+(256)(0) 414-306-001  Emergency:+(256)(0) 414-306-001 Fax:+(256)(0) 414-259-794

Email: [email protected]  Website: U.S. Embassy Kampala

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

There are no current travel alerts, travel advisories for Uganda. I found misinformation in my weekly check of the Site.

There was a statement that said that Uganda had closed its border with Rwanda. It is Rwanda that has closed its border with Uganda. That closure does not apply to Tourists. The closure is by Rwanda, which does not allow its citizens to cross into Uganda.

The Embassy has issued a caution to Americans living in Uganda about COVID-19. Nine deaths have been registered. Uganda has done an excellent job. Yet, Uganda cannot deal with a full-blown pandemic.   In my opinion, they might be wrong.

Our Take on Safety and Security in Uganda

Our focus has been and is providing Safe, Secure Hakuna Matata- Worry-Free Safaris in Uganda. We Is Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else?know and understand your concerns about safety and security.  We share those same feelings about your safety, security, and wellbeing. 

We put into practice the African Art of Hospitality that takes on the responsibility of providing a safe and secure Safari.

For over a decade, we have provided Safe, Hakuna Matata, No Worry Safaris in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. 

Uganda is one of the safest, most secure, stable, friendly, and welcoming countries in Africa.

Our Driver-Guides are proactive, security, and safety orientated. Their focus is one that is based on Customer Service.

The Safe Outcome of a Safari is more important than income. We want you to enjoy the pearl of Africa and its People without fear.

My personal take as an American about staying Safe in Uganda:  I have been here since 1992. Have kept a relatively small footprint and lived without problems. I feel safe and secure in Uganda…jon.

We have a lot of other Helpful Safety and Security Information for Travelers to Uganda:

Is Uganda safe for Americans -and anyone else? Find out more on our Know Before You Go to our Uganda Page.

Jon Blanc