Practical Travel Tips and Advice for Women Traveling in Uganda – Rwanda
The Top Travel Tips for Women Travelers to – Uganda – Rwanda – Know Before You Go
It is all about “Know before you Go.” First Time Africa Visitor will find our Top Travel Tips for Women Travelers to – Uganda – Rwanda – to begin African Travel in General and African Travel for Women is not as dangerous as it is made out to be. Uganda and Rwanda are two of the friendliest, stable, safe and secure countries in Africa and you will find travel in either country quite safe, especially if you are on a Safari.
The African Travel Horror Stories that you might encounter on the Internet, for the most part, are anecdotal, often the person did not follow practical, Common Sense, cultural, safety and security advice and was on a do-it-yourself Safari which can often turn out a recipe for a disaster.
Best Travel Tip – let us plan your safari for you and with you – planning your time in Uganda and Rwanda with what you want to do and see. Personalized with you in mind, your likes, dislikes, preferences for activities such as Gorilla – Chimpanzee Trekking, Wildlife, Parks, Hikes, Climbs, Cultural Encounters, Village Stays and more.
The second Best Tip is to travel with a companion, it works out to a lot less money, especially if you are going on a Safari in Uganda or Rwanda.
Uganda and Rwanda – two of the safest and most countries in Africa. Get to know the Pearl of Africa and the Remarkable Rwanda before you go.
Here are some Top Tips for Women Travelers to – Uganda – Rwanda – Tips that you might find helpful for your safety, well-being, mostly your Enjoyment in the Heart of Africa.
If you are in a city such as Kampala, Uganda or Kigali, Rwanda you will find that most women dress up quite nicely and are quite fashion conscious even if they are for the most part wearing quality and affordable second-hand clothing from North America and Europe. The emphasis would be on dressing up smart with a conservative touch during the daytime, at night in a nightclub, bar, things change radically.
Shorts are not a good choice for women because it offends some African and leaves the wrong impression (with Ugandans or Rwandans).
Jeans, dresses, skirts, Khaki trousers are fine and do not cause any cultural problems. Even with a bathing suit, it is wise to stay a bit on the conservative side of things.
Dressing in town is different from dressing going on a safari in Uganda or Rwanda.
Keep the expensive Jewelry – Watches at home:
Avoid wearing gold jewelry, necklaces, gold or diamond earrings, expensive watches and the like.
Custom jewelry that you might have picked up at a good price in the west can be stolen – even Ugandan or Rwandan women encounter this problem in crowded places.
You can buy some lovely earrings – bangles, necklaces locally and at the same time benefit a Ugandan or Rwandan family through your purchase.
If you are on a safari with us – such thefts will be a rarity since your driver-guide will make sure that you are safe.
The main Thing – keep your expensive Jewelry at Home.
Keep Money out Sight and out of Easy Reach of Others:
If you are wearing slacks or jeans put your wallet, money in the front of pockets and put your hand over it if you are walking downtown Kampala or Kigali, especially in crowded settings such as marketplaces.
When purchasing something, paying in a restaurant, bar, for a taxi, do not flash a wad of money, but just enough to pay for the service or product. You do not want to attract the attention of a potential thief.
If you are using an ATM in Uganda or Rwanda make sure that the ATM is behind a door for your privacy and safety, an armed guard will normally be outside.
Keeping your Purse – Bag Safe:
It is a good idea to put your bag over your shoulder but also put your hand over the purse itself and holding it to your side so that no one can readily grab it and you have lost your purse and often, more importantly, the contents ranging from cash to your personal identification such as passport – airline tickets and more.
It is good to always have a scan or copy of important documents in the case that they are lost or stolen.
A daypack can be good to have, as long as you can hold onto the straps to protect it from being stolen.
Be wise – though it is safe to walk on your own – go with a Ugandan or Rwandan to be on the safe side of things.
Do not carry it with you, but a copy of it, keep it in a safe and secure place in your lodging. The same applies to any other identification and keep your credit cards at your lodging.
I have known people where their passport was lost in a form of transport and they had to go through the tedious task going to their embassy and in some cases, your country may not have an embassy in Uganda or Rwanda which makes the replacement of a passport more tedious.
You can print out a copy of your passport at home and bring it with you, visa can be done here on arrival at one of our local shops.
Protect your passport at all costs.
Walking on your own – Never act lost even if you are:
For the most part, it is fine, especially in the daytime at night it is not recommended, just as a precaution, walk with someone, preferably a Ugandan or Rwandan. Avoid walking through a slum and stay on the main roads.
Never act lost even if you are. Acting as if you are lost makes you a potential victim of a theft attack.
Enter into a shop – or get on a Boda-Boda Motorcycle Taxi and they will take you to your destination (even though below I recommend avoiding a Boda-Boda Motorcycle Taxi or Moto-Taxi in Rwanda which like a Boda-Boda in Uganda is a motorcycle taxi.
Remember that thieves are on the lookout for someone who seems lost, that is why you never act lost even if you are.
Avoid using Boda-Boda Motorcycles – they do not use helmets and use perilous ways to get around jam-packed Kampala. They are also the number one reason for emergency rooms admissions due to high rates of accidents. The taxis which are mini-buses and the main form of transport in much of Uganda and Rwanda are better, but bring small Ugandan or Rwandan currency – just to be safe. Do not use your Smart Phone, Tablet, Laptop in Taxi – Matatu and on a bus hold on to it.
Motorcycle transport in Rwanda is called Moto-Taxi- Rwanda enforces laws such as wearing helmets including for passengers. Moto-Taxis are registered and licensed as such. Moto-Taxis are a bit safer than in Uganda where anything goes.
Buses – are not the best way – their high and excessive speeds has cost a lot of fatalities. If you do take a trip with one – avoid any food or drinks given by a fellow passenger – people have been drugged and robbed right on the bus. Avoid night travel in between towns even by bus – a bus was stopped in Northern Uganda and all passengers were robbed at 2 am in the morning.
The Safest Way to get around Uganda or Rwanda is on a Safari with a Tour Company such as ourselves with Driver-Guides who will make your time in Africa – Safe and Enjoyable.
Kampala is known as the City that Never Sleeps where the party goes on 24/7. The bars do not close at 2 am in the morning like in the West.
It is usually safe for a woman to go to a spot and you usually do not have any problems, but to stay on safe side, stay in the company of others, once again have a Ugandan join you – especially a non-drinking driver that knows his or her way around to various places and will abstain from alcohol. We can provide a driver for you.
Kigali is a bit more subdued than Kampala when it comes to nightlife and unlike Kampala – Kigali is a city that does sleep and there are fewer nightclubs to choose from than in Kampala.
Ugandan Women will dress up from mild to wild, often on what would be considered the daring side. In Kampala, quite a few of the women will be Mosquito Girls – Prostitutes.
Kigali, Rwanda is much calmer, Bars actually close there.
How to defuse Flirtation Attempts:
As a woman, you may encounter an occasional attempt by a male at flirting, but that can happen anywhere in the world and it does happen here. A smile and a “no thanks” will usually resolve the situation in a friendly manner.
You may get a subtle or not so subtle marriage proposal, again a smiling, “no thank you” will do the trick. Remember that 90% of attempts at flirting are harmless – simply keep your sense of humor.
A picture of your “husband” – real or make belief might come in handy. This is a common practice Women Travelers use in destinations around the world.
In both Uganda and Rwanda you might receive a proposal for marriage, a one-night tryst – receive them with a smile and a no.
There are some practical things you can do about your well-being while eating out such as avoiding any street vendors since their hygienic ways may not be the best. I have some friends who eat Rolex all the time – not the watch but Rolled Eggs in a chapati with vegetables – a very popular Ugandan dish that was innovated by some University Students and has spread all over Uganda and even restaurants in Kigali – Rwanda.
In Rwanda, you do not have street vendors as you do in Uganda – in Rwanda you have to go to a restaurant and once again they are more regulated than in Uganda.
Avoid eating salads, or raw cabbage on your plate unless it is a good restaurant or hotel, avoid those buffets heated only by a small candle where the curries and other things will spoil. With juices ask if the water has been boiled and no ice-cubes, just to name a few.
Vegetarians and Vegans can survive in Uganda and Rwanda.
Obtain a local mobile phone for 8 to 25 USD with sim card and stay in touch with home and also with Ugandans and Rwandans if you are in Rwanda – MTN is the leading phone provider in both Uganda and or Rwanda. Incoming calls – no charge.
Sending money to you in Uganda and Rwanda has become easy, you can use WordRemit and even PesaPal from a person sending via the Internet to your cell-phone here via MTN Mobile Money – a most practical feature.
For Safety – add contacts such as the hotel you are using and some Ugandan or Rwandan friends. If you are on a safari in Uganda or Rwanda be sure to add the number of your driver guide
A Smart Phone will also keep you in touch with home via the Internet – you can purchase an MTN Social Bundle and be on Facebook for next to nothing.
Solo-Travelers in Uganda or Rwanda. People do it with mixed results. The attempt to go on a Safari by bus, back of a pickup, a ride from a tour company vehicle.
Each year we do a reasonable number of Solo Safaris, primarily women. The cost is higher, the benefits far outweigh the cost.
You can have your personal driver-guide who will keep you safe and sound on a solo safari in Uganda or Rwanda.
We create a safari itinerary with your input and you are off to exploring Authentic Africa in the heart of Africa, Uganda or Rwanda.
Solo Safaris, Solo Travel in Uganda – Rwanda for many it is worth the extra cost.
If you like to go on a Safari in Uganda or Rwanda. Here is some great information, tips, and advice for you to plan a safari that fits just you.
We have taken many women travelers on safari in Uganda or Rwanda with the just driver-tour guide that introduces you to Uganda and Rwanda.
From Primates to wildlife – there is much to do and see in either country. You stay in the lodges and hotels of your choice, do the activities that you would like and here you have all the information that you need for that just right African Safari.
Rwanda and Uganda two of the best countries for an African Safari.
Uganda is Africa – traveling to Uganda can be a most enjoyable time – many who come here lack information and insights into Uganda. Before you come to Uganda get to know about it – we have hundreds of pages that do just that.
Start with the above link and begin to enjoy your journey here – enjoy Uganda – the Pearl of Africa and Rwanda – Land of a Thousand Hills.
Before you arrive in Africa – get informed about the country you are visiting before you arrive.
The key to a successful trip is to be in the know before you come.
Important Travel Requirements are found on this page such as Visas to Uganda and Rwanda, Yellow Fever Requirement and more.
Top Travel Tips for Women Travelers to – Uganda – Rwanda are found here – as we come across new areas to address we will post them on this page. Uganda and Rwanda area friendly, safe, stable, and secure countries, especially on a Safari – Enjoy your Time in the heart of Africa.