**PLEASE NOTE THAT THINGS ARE NOT FUNCTIONING NORMAL WITH COVID19 AND YOU SHOULD VERIFY THE CURRENT REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVEL INTO THIS COUNTRY**
Visa Requirements – Visa Required
You can read the state department details on Uganda here.
US Citizens are required to have a visa to visit Uganda. When I visited in August 2018 it was an impromptu decision. I applied for my visa online ten days before I wanted to arrive into the country. Thankfully it was a quick turnaround and I received my visa approval email in 2 days.
When I arrived I learned about the East African visa which grants access to Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.
I paid $50 each for Uganda and Kenya, whereas I would have gotten all three visas for the same $100 with the East African Visa.
You can purchase single or multiple entry visa’s. Most people don’t plan to go back to a country in a short amount of time so the single entry visa is sufficient, but if you are nomadic like myself and tend to move around the multiple entry is a great option.
Vaccine Requirements – Yellow Fever; Polio (for children under 5)
Please verify this information on the state department website.
Currency – Ugandan Shillings (UGX)
Local Customs –Uganda is a conservative country so keep a respectful dress code in mind when packing. It’s probably safe to wear shorts for tourist activities like hiking, safaris or boat tours. I didn’t do any of those activities, so I’m just making that assumption based on other conservative countries that I have visited.
Women – It could be considered impolite to wear shorts or pants when visiting the
local community. Most Ugandan women do not wear shorts; they wear skirts or
dresses that usually cover the knees.
Men – You will be required to wear long pants into the Mosque if you visit. Outside
of that there aren’t any specific don’ts.
Local Transportation – Motor Bikes (Boda)
Ride Sharing – Uber and Bolt (Formerly Taxify) are the two ride sharing programs that were available during my 2018 visit.
When ride sharing choose the cash option or plan on waiting to get the right driver that is willing to pick up credit card riders. I had several instances where they accepted the ride and then canceled when they saw the credit payment option.
When using random boda’s negotiate your fare before you get on the bike.
SIM CARD – MTN
BUDGET: The US dollar is pretty strong in Uganda, so most things should be very reasonably priced.
OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: Swahili, English
LOCATION: Uganda is located in East Africa. It is a landlocked country surrounded by the Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Victoria.
ENTERTAINMENT: They love to party in Kampala. There was a variety of nightclubs and dance halls with good music. The restaurants had a nice vibe.
PATIENCE: Traffic in Kampala is tight. I saw a fender bender and both people got out looked at their bumper, shrugged their shoulders and kept it moving. LOL That being said just plan accordingly if you have to be somewhere at a certain time. Boda’s are the main mode of transport because the motor bikes can maneuver through the grid locked automobile traffic. Just keep in mind it may not be the safest mode, so I suggest travel insurance with medical just in case.
SAFETY: Practice common sense! Don’t carry a lot of cash/credit cards & don’t wear valuables. The driver that picked me up from the airport seemed really uncomfortable with me filming when we were driving through certain areas. He mentioned that someone could reach into the car and snatch my phone. There is a lot of news about Ugandan women being kidnapped, beaten and killed. As a solo female traveler I didn’t feel unsafe, but it’s good to keep your guard up and know your surroundings.