Unfortunately the national parks of Uganda are not as frequently visited as those in nearby Tanzania and Kenya. The reality is that Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, is far safer and friendlier than most cities in the continent. Most Uganda hotels are located in Kampala. Winston Churchill visited Uganda in 1907 and rightfully called it the ‘Pearl of Africa’.
Most Uganda hotels are located in Kampala. Winston Churchill visited Uganda in 1907 and rightfully called it the ‘Pearl of Africa’.Uganda offers its rich tapestry of natural wonders to nature lovers as well as experts such as botanists, lepidopterists and ornithologists.
In Uganda, you can choose from a wide range of excellent hotels – from the upmarket, the middle market to the budget. Reservations for accommodation should preferably be made in advance (see Uganda Hotels Guide). To ensure you get the right Uganda hotels in each city and town to best complement your needs, take a look at our interactive Uganda map and Uganda accommodation guide. You will also find some of the many fabulous Uganda attractions listed on the map.
Climate / Weather
Uganda is sunny and green all year round with two distinct rainy seasons stretching from March to May and September to November. However rain can occur anytime. The temperatures average 21 – 29 C
Crime & Theft
Like many places, Uganda is not without crime, especially the urban centres. So leave valuables in the hotel safe. Be wary of pick-pockets in crowds, do not wear gold chains and other conspicuous jewellery. And don’t leave objects unattended in a parked car. Report any incident to your hotel and the nearest police station. It is wise to make photocopies of important documents such as passport, plane/bus tickets, etc – they may facilitate replacements if you lose your papers.
Uganda is generally warm so there is no need for warm clothing during most months. Some nights are cold though, and humidity is high. You are therefore advised to carry light cotton fabrics.
The following contacts are available 24-hours:
Police: 999 for landlines and 112 for mobile phones.
International Air Ambulance (IAA): 256-312-200508
AAR Health Services: 256-312-263071
A valid passport is mandatory for entry into Uganda and visa requirements sometimes change so check before travel. A single entry visa fee of $30 is payable at the entry point. Citizens of some countries (mostly Commonwealth countries those with reciprocal agreements with Uganda) are however exempted. Check with your travel bureau and or the nearest Uganda mission to know in which category you fall.
There are numerous internet cafes in the urban centres. Major hotels have internet facilities within while recently, internet ‘hotspots’ have been provided at various locations especially in coffee bars and restaurants in Kampala. All you need is to plug in your laptop and you are online.
English and Kiswahili (adopted recently) are the official languages. Luganda is, however, widely spoken in the central part of the country. Kiswahili is predominant in the east and north, and parts of the west.
A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required before entry. Visitors should take malaria precautions. It is advisable to drink bottled water which is available throughout the country rather than tap water. Most first aid drugs are available off the counter in pharmacies and drug stores. Other drugs however require a doctor’s prescription note. Many clinics/health centres in urban areas operate 24-hours. Most, however, close at 5pm.
The Uganda shilling is the legal tender in Uganda. There are many bureaus from where one can exchange currency. There are no restrictions on money transfers I and out of Uganda. Banking hours are 8.30am to 4.00pm. A few banks operate up to 5pm.
Uganda is well served with a modern GSM mobile phone network operated by three companies; MTN-Uganda, Celtel, Uganda Telecom,Waird,Orange and Smile. Landlines exist in major towns as do public phone booths.
Uganda is within the East African time zone which is 3 hours ahead of GMT
Safety & Security
For many people, the name Uganda is synonymous with Idi Amin. However, Uganda is free of Idi Amin who died in 2003 and Uganda is far different from what it was during his regime.
The political climate of the country is largely stable and visitors are welcomed warmly. People have overcome the hard times and are hospitable towards all. ‘Hello Mzungu’ is a greeting you will soon get used to while exploring Uganda. Ugandans are a truly wonderful community of people.
Visitors to Uganda will be delighted by the many treasures just waiting to be discovered and adventures to be had in every corner of Uganda.