Our Advice for Staying Safe and Secure Visiting Uganda
Is it Dangerous to Travel to Uganda? The Reality about Safety & Security beyond the News
Is it Dangerous to Travel to Uganda-Staying Safe and Secure while Visiting, Uganda? The Pearl of Africa is one of the safest countries in Africa. Is Uganda Safe? A resounding “yes,” is the answer. Uganda is most likely safer than your country, especially if you are on a Safari.
Tourists visiting Uganda will not experience what tourists have experienced in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, or Portland.
Uganda has not defunded the Police. It has added the Tourism Police to add another layer of protection for visitors, tourists, and safari-goers.
You might think you know about Uganda, but the reality is that most do not know Uganda I know as an American living here. Aldous Huxley said it bet when traveling to a new country. “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about Other countries.”
When we say goodbye to our clients at the airport, we often hear, “Uganda is so different from what I imagined. I cannot wait to return for another safari.”
Is it Dangerous to Travel to Uganda? Uganda is one of the safest safari destinations in East Africa. Additionally, in April of 2022, it will be one of the safest Covid Pandemic travel destinations worldwide.
Is it Dangerous to Travel to Uganda during the Covid Pandemic?
Uganda Covid Pandemic Status -April-27-2022
Uganda is open for business. Visitors, Tourists, and Safari goers. Uganda has put out the welcome mat and removed incoming and outcoming PCR Tests for fully vaccinated visitors to the country.
On April 27th, only two hospitalized Covid patients were released. The new infections recorders are encouragingly low, while other neighboring countries face another wave of Covid.
Uganda has received accolades for how it has handled the pandemic. Many do not realize that Uganda’s experience with the fight against HIV-Aids, Ebola, and Marburg virus prepared them for the Covid pandemic.
The Pandemic is not over, but we are learning to live with it in Uganda. Safaris are carried out according to Covid guidelines that have your safety and Ugandans and Primates in mind. Gorilla and Chimpanzee Permits are available, and we would love to begin planning your Safari.
Staying Safe and Secure Visiting Uganda – Tips and Advice – Information
Is it safe to Travel to Uganda in 2220?
Staying Safe and Secure Visiting Uganda. Uganda, at present, is one of the safest African Destinations for Travelers.
Security has been increased for Tourists. At Parks and the border, drones are used. Security Presence such as Ranger, Ugandan Military, Police, and Tourism Police is beefed up. We have taken steps, most of which we always followed, with a few new ones being added to make Tourists on Safari safer.
Suppose you are coming on business as a volunteer conventioneer. In that case, you will find no problem besides what travelers can find in many cities worldwide, such as pickpockets’ conmen. Those things are easy to deal using by using common sense.
We suggest that you read our popular page about what things to avoid in Uganda.
Never act lost, even if you are:
That may sound a bit 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.
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 can be torn from you, such as earrings, causing injury.
Watches 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 that you do not have to worry about. Still, for added safety, we recommend keeping expensive Jewelry at Home.
Keep your money out of sight:
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 money. 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 ATM Machines where you have people around you besides Security Staff from the Bank. If someone volunteers to help you, decline the offer.
Rember to Keep your Money out of Sight. Do not count money in the car while being stuck in a traffic jam in Kampala, especially if your windows are down.
Passports and Return Tickets:
Do not carry a passport with you 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 put into the front desk safe 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. There it 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.
Protect your Documents
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 with 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 where they might be necessary such as birding, game drives, etc.
Protect your Mobile – Cell Phone:
Keep your Mobile Cellphone 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, and the result is that you drop the phone, and it is taken.
Please do not put it on a table in a restaurant or bar, and someone might just come and grab it – Stay on the safe side.
Mobile phones are stolen daily in Uganda – hold on to them tightly. The theft of a mobile phone is one of the most common thefts, and the thief removes the Sim Card and sells it to someone.
Thieves especially seek Smart-Phones, and they will steal them even in a restaurant..never put your mobile phone on a table when going out.
Mobile Phones are a necessity for most Travelers in order to stay in touch with home.
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 ways.
If you are on Safari with us, you can arrange with 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 that 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.
In February of 2014, President Museveni signed the more substantial anti-gay bill into law. 97% of Ugandans concurred with his decision. Uganda had been in the news for five years about the anti-gay bill. It affected Uganda’s image globally, even though it is one of 38 African Countries and over 80 worldwide with strong anti-gay laws.
What does it mean to a gay traveler wanting to come to Uganda? In Uganda, there is no public affection between any gender. There is no promotion of same-sex attraction and only discreet behavior that does not draw attention to a visitor to Uganda.
The traditions of Uganda and most African nations’ held values are merely different or compared to what Western Nations were like years back.
A Ugandan court has since rescinded the law, and it has not been reinstated.
No Immigration Person at Entebbe International Airport will ask you while obtaining your Visa if you are gay.
Top Tips for Women Travelers:
A woman traveling on her own is relatively safe. In Uganda, a firm “no” to some flirting by men will usually stop any further annoyances.
You may be proposed to take it as a compliment, and a firm no thank you once again.
Women Travelers are pretty safe in Uganda by adding a few precautions to your travels in Uganda.
Uganda is a safe and secure country, and that includes women.
Suppose you are on a safari tour with Kabiza Wilderness Safaris. In that case, you are more than safe since your driver-guide will do whatever he can to ensure your well-being while in the Pearl of Africa.
Most of all, use your head-keep aware and watch each other. Most of all, think – Would I do this at Home? If you do not do it, there-don’t do it in Uganda.
Keep your guard up when on your own, along with common sense. 99% of visitors love their time in Uganda, and common sense is all that is required.
Your basic instincts will keep you safe and sound in Uganda; common sense can be your guide.
If you are on your own, stay aware of your surroundings. We find that you are safest when you keep a low profile. Do not flash around money; do not attract all the attention to you.
Enjoy your time in the Pearl of Africa.
Common Sense – Do not Leave Home without it.
Forget driving yourself in Uganda. The Four Tops had a hit in the 60’s – Only the Strong survive – that applies to self-driving in Uganda. If you want to rent a vehicle in Uganda and drive yourself across this country…my advice – forget it – that Uganda has the second-highest accident rate in Africa.
Yes, Uganda has International Traffic Laws; the problem is that not everyone follows them. If you have an accident, you have all the cultural issues and what you should do under such circumstances.
Driving for many is a joy, a pleasure, and it can be a nightmare for visitors in Uganda, and there are just too many local variants.
There are many reasons why a self-drive safari borders on insanity in Uganda. However, increasingly are advertising rentals for vehicles, and leave the driving to a tour company with experience such as ourselves.
Going out is usually safe in Kampala. We suggest that you go with a local in order 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.
Kampala Nightlife – Safety – Security
Safe Safaris are the Norm, not the exception:
Tourists in Uganda who are on Safari and not traveling on their own are safe. Tour companies do everything within their power based on experience to keep Safari participants safe.
A safari tour of Uganda is your best and safest way to enjoy the country. We at Kabiza Wilderness Safaris specialize in reliable, Hakuna Matata – Worry-Free safaris.
Safaris in Uganda with an accredited tour operator have proven to be a safe and sane experience for travelers.
The safest place to be in Uganda is on a Gorilla, Chimpanzee Wildlife Safari. On wildlife game drives, gorilla and chimpanzee treks, hikes, boat rides you with experienced, highly trained, and armed Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers.
Should something happen in Kampala or another city in Uganda, it does not affect the Safari Goer.
The chances of you being kidnapped are one in a million. Uganda is on the US State Department 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, did kidnapping an American Woman and her driver. They are awaiting trial.
Avoiding being kidnapped must do in part with attitude, blending in, not publishing on Social Media, your travel Itinerary, and more.
New Safety Measures: No game drives without security, recommended by the Uganda Wildlife Authority but not required. With us on Safari, it is mandatory.
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 measure is taken to protect them. Not only is there the Police Army, but also the Tourism Police that monitors regular tourist spots.
On top of that, in Game Parks and Wildlife reserves, you have the Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers. 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 go into action when a tourist has been conned by a fake tour operator.
Is it Dangerous to Travel to Uganda-Staying Safe and Secure Visiting Uganda?
Uganda is one of the safest places to visit in all of Africa.
Am I Safe and Secure Visiting, Uganda? As an American living here, I feel very secure. Still, like anywhere else in the world, it is best to take some precautions – and we assist you with that.
The safest way to visit Uganda is by taking a safari with a reputable company such as Kabiza Wilderness Safari. Enjoy Staying Safe and Secure in Uganda. Follow some simple advice, and you will be fine.
Uganda is maybe just a bit safer than the country you come from. We have had no terrorist attacks, no drive-by shootings – one cannot stress enough – follow the simple advice given here…
Reality: Uganda is most likely a safer and more secure country than your country of origin.
Lastly, consider exploring Uganda with Kabiza Wilderness Safaris, creating Safaris for over a decade since 2008.