Uganda's FAQs

The country covers an area of approximately 241,038 square kilometers and has a population of over 42 million people. English and Swahili are the official languages, with Luganda being the most widely spoken local language.

General Information

Uganda, also known as the “Pearl of Africa,” is a landlocked country located in East Africa. It shares borders with Kenya to the east, Tanzania to the south, Rwanda to the southwest, the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and South Sudan to the north.

Kampala is the capital city of Uganda, with a population of over 1.5 million people. It is a vibrant city with a mix of modern and traditional culture, offering a range of activities and attractions for visitors.

The local currency is the Ugandan shilling, and the country operates on East African Time, which is 3 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+3).

 
 

How do I apply for a Visa?

All foreign nationals require a visa to enter Uganda. Visas can be obtained online or on arrival at Entebbe International Airport or at the land border crossings.

Visa fees vary depending on the type of visa and the nationality of the applicant. The most common types of visas include single entry visas, multiple entry visas, and East Africa tourist visas.

To apply for a visa, visitors need to fill out an application form and provide supporting documents such as a passport, a passport photo, and proof of yellow fever vaccination. It is important to note that some nationalities may require additional documentation or longer processing times for their visa application.

Visitors should ensure that their passport is valid for at least six months from the date of entry and has at least one blank page for the visa stamp. It is also recommended to carry a copy of the visa and passport at all times while in Uganda.

How do I blend in while am there?

Uganda has a rich cultural heritage, with over 50 different ethnic groups, each with their own traditions and customs. Visitors should respect and appreciate the local culture during their stay.

In Uganda, it is customary to greet people with a handshake, and sometimes a hug, especially among close friends and family. It is also important to use proper titles when addressing elders or people in positions of authority.

When visiting religious sites or cultural events, visitors should dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering. It is also polite to ask for permission before taking photographs of people or places of cultural significance.

Ugandans are generally reserved and soft-spoken, and visitors should avoid raising their voice or using aggressive body language. It is also important to be patient and flexible as schedules and plans may change unexpectedly.

Finally, visitors should be aware that homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, and any public displays of affection, regardless of sexual orientation, are generally frowned upon.

How do I pay for goods and services?

The official currency of Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX), which comes in denominations of 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000 shillings, as well as coins of 500, 200, 100, 50, and 10 shillings.

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in major towns and cities, but cash is still the preferred method of payment in most places, especially in rural areas. ATMs are available in major cities, but visitors should note that they may not always accept international cards.

Foreign currency can be exchanged at authorized forex bureaus, banks or hotels, and visitors are advised to keep their receipts to facilitate the re-exchange of any unused shillings upon departure.

Tipping is not expected in Uganda, but is appreciated for exceptional service. A general rule of thumb is to tip between 5% to 10% of the total bill at restaurants or for services such as haircuts or taxis.

My Health and Safety

Visitors to Uganda should take certain precautions to ensure their health and safety during their stay. Here are a few important tips:

  1. Vaccinations: Visitors should ensure they have up-to-date vaccinations for yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and rabies, as well as take malaria prophylaxis medication before and during their stay.

  2. Food and water safety: Visitors should drink only bottled or boiled water, avoid ice cubes, and be cautious when eating raw fruits and vegetables or food from street vendors.

  3. Transportation safety: Visitors should exercise caution when traveling by boda-boda (motorcycle taxis), as they can be dangerous. It is also important to wear a helmet and use reputable taxi services.

  4. Wildlife encounters: Visitors should never approach or feed wild animals and should always follow the guidance of park rangers when on safari.

  5. Security: Visitors should be aware of their surroundings and avoid walking alone at night, especially in urban areas. It is also important to keep valuables secure and to use hotel safes when available.

What communication mediums are available?

English is the official language of Uganda and is widely spoken throughout the country. Other languages spoken include Swahili and Luganda. Visitors should have no problem communicating with locals, especially in major towns and cities.

Internet and phone services are readily available in major towns and cities, and most hotels and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi. Visitors can also purchase local SIM cards for their mobile phones at reasonable prices, but they will need to be unlocked to use them.

Postal services are available but can be slow, so visitors should plan accordingly. International courier services such as DHL and FedEx are also available in major cities.

Still have Questions?

Planning a visit to a new country can be challenging but we happen to have a local team in Uganda that are happy to respond to all your queries.

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