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Is it safe to travel to Uganda this year?

Tourists view giraffes in Uganda’s Kidepo National Park.There is adequate security at all Ugandan parks and very few incidents to worry travellors.

SPECIAL FEATURE | Security related issues are some of the things that are very hard to discuss without being impartial. Our perceptions are often informed by the negative news stories that make most of the headlines around the world. For a country like Uganda, it is hard for foreigners to consider it safe. Besides the bad history, any terror threats and attacks are often used as a more justifiable reason not visit the country.

But around the world, each country has its own share of security related issues. Every time you see a lock on the door, it is a reminder that the people in that community cannot be trusted in regard to respecting boundaries; if they did, there would not be any need for locks and wall fences.

Asking about security in Uganda before considering it your next safari destination is important. But if you genuinely wish to go on a safari in Uganda, then Embassy travel advisories should not be used as the only yardstick during your decision making.

Embassies often offer the best travel information but their main focus is comparing the structures that exist in a given country against their idealistic structures.

Though the Embassies travel advisories are usually biased in that regard, it is always good to check them out. On top of what the travel advisory will offer; here is what you need to know about safety in Uganda before booking your next Uganda safari.

It is Safer Travelling during day?

Generally speaking, unless you are travelling with a local; it is not recommended to travel at night in Uganda. If you have to travel, always leave your valuables locked somewhere. Most of the crimes in Uganda happen after dark.

There is not enough police to prevent most of the crimes that happen at night. With the help of the locals, you can get informed about the different dark spots in the community; that is, the places you should avoid.

Gun Violence?

It is common to see armed personnel in Uganda. But it is not common to hear of gun violence in Uganda. However the Congo-Uganda border villages have continually been a point of contention. It is one of those places that you might have to avoid if you can.

Since the Queen Elizabeth national park terror attacks, the national parks in the border districts always have heavy military deployment. This means that you ought to be more vigilant while outside the national park than when you are inside the national park.

It is also important to know that;

Though the UK travel advisory still stresses on the security situation in the southern sector of Kibale National Park, the Kibale Corridor Game Reserve including the Fort Portal – Kamwenge / Fort Portal – Mbarara Road, it is important to take caution while traveling within that route.

The areas immediately south west of Kasese Town as well as Queen Elizabeth National Park and Semuliki National Park are also areas where you need to take caution while exploring Uganda.

Despite Bwindi Impenetrable forest being close to the Democratic Republic of Congo border, the thick forest is still safe for tourism purposes. Things to do such as gorilla safaris are conducted daily across all the sectors of the famed National park.

Won’t animals attack me at night?

If you spend a night in the national park, there are number of animals that will likely visit the lodge or campsite in the middle of the night. These include hippos and hyenas. Campsites always have the camp fires to deter the animals. It is often safer to spend the night in lodge or opt for rooftop tent camping during your Uganda safari.

Is gang rape common in Uganda?

Gang rape is not common in Uganda. But it happens once in a while more so if you are fond of walking alone after dark. Gangs are not very active during the day. They are mainly active once the bars get busy.

Gangs are popular in congested places. For your personal safety during a Uganda safari adventure, stick to travelling in a group. Never walk alone at night. It highly recommended not to leave the bar before 5am.

Is racism common in Uganda?

Racism is not common in Uganda. But if you are a white person, people will always steer at you. This usually makes many people uncomfortable during their Uganda safari but it is what it is. People are not used to seeing white people in their neighborhood.

Last but not list, things will be unfairly priced for you if you are a white person visiting Uganda. It is always wise to buy stuff from supermarkets where the prices are already fixed and not up for bargaining. In other places such are fruit markets, you will need the help of a black person to buy things at a fair price.

Is Uganda Safe for Women Travelers?

It is very safe for single women travelers to explore Uganda. The Pearl of Africa is quite safe for travelers including female solo travelers. There is nothing to worry about during your travel and stay in Uganda. If you fear traveling alone, it is important to plan your Uganda tour with a local tour operator or opt for a guided safari. The tour guide will make you feel safe and most Uganda guides are professional, well trained and well mannered.



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