Is Uganda a safe place to travel?
I was deluged by this question when I shared my travel experience with people. My answer to them was “Yes! It is”.
Historically, Uganda was once an unrest place. The economy of the country collapsed somewhere between 1971-1979. People these days often carry a perception about Uganda as a dangerous place to go. They portray an image of street riots, armed robberies, violent crime, fights among different races – which is untrue.
It is definitely good to know the history of a country before traveling. But it is also important to know that it was their past and you should see them to what they have revived to.
Uganda may not be the safest place on earth. It does have its safety and security issues just like many other countries. The government of Uganda has improvised safety situations to enhance tourism in Uganda.
Travelers to Uganda must take some basic precautions, nothing different from those you consider while going to any foreign land.
Consider staying in a hotel close to main roads, which has a doorman round the clock; robberies are still common in most parts of Africa. Secure your valuables in the safe, provided by the hotel.
Sienna Beach Hotel in Entebbe is safe and is located on the shores of renowned Lake Victoria. Sienna Beach Hotel offers inexpensive rooms. It has remarkable security round the clock.
Kampala, the capital city of Uganda has a wide range of hotels to choose from, however, if traveling on a budget you may choose to stay in Hotel Sojovalo, this three-star hotel offers good service and has rooms from USD 70.
Avoid venturing out on streets alone at dark
This goes without saying, in any country it is not advisable to be adventurous enough to wander on dark or low-lit streets alone, this could invite you to be a victim of any form of assault. Stick to public places. And know the fact that solo travel doesn’t mean to be always on unanimity.
Hire a taxi or a driver through your hotel
Hiring a taxi is the safest option to go around major cities in the country. The road conditions are not great. Locals have rash driving habits and roads are poorly lit during nights. Hence it’s not recommended to rent a self-driven car.
Try public transport matatus (minibus) and bodaboda (scooter taxi) at least once during your stay. It would be a unique experience. Matatus are commonly used only in East Africa, they are usually overcrowded.
Get to know what to see and how to reach there
Doing a little research before landing in any country would be of great help. More than doing a safari, you will have an amazing time exploring everything else that this beautiful country has to offer.
Jinja is popular as it is the source of the river Nile. It is an unmissable attraction. Spend an evening partying at the Spenna beach. Tour the Bwindi National park, known for its Gorilla tracking.
Don’t avoid Uganda; it has a lot to offer
Don’t ponder your safety concerns and skip Uganda, just because you have heard or read somewhere that it’s unsafe.
I backpacked alone in Uganda and felt totally safe. In fact, I felt like I was being pampered by locals for being a visitor in their country. Every other person I met was friendly and was extremely hospitable. I was often referred to by locals as “Muzungu” (white in complexion).
Good To Know
Entebbe offers a serene atmosphere. It is on the bank of Lake Victoria. The air is clean and unpolluted. Kampala, the capital city, is bustling and cramped with motorists and street hawkers. Kampala is considered to be the most populated city in Uganda.
The United Nations has its base set in Entebbe for many years, for the ongoing missions in the Congo DR, Sudan, including Darfur and Burundi, has now been elevated into the global body’s main operational peacekeeping base in this part of Africa.