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14 TIPS TO TRAVEL SAFE IN UGANDA

 

USE YOUR COMMON SENSE

Alright, then let me start with the most obvious tip to travel safe in Uganda:

Use your common sense.

Whether you’re a solo female traveler in Uganda or not, using your common sense should be your number one safety tip. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If it feels unsafe, it probably is.

All safety tips your mom told you when you were young also apply in Uganda. Don’t go with strangers, don’t travel when it’s dark, leave your valuable at home, let someone know where you’re going (we’ll get back to this tip). Don’t walk around showing off your wealth. Basically any list of solo female travel safety tips also applies to Uganda.

KNOW WHICH PLACES TO AVOID

I said before and I will say it again, locals are your best source of information when it comes to answering the question

Is Uganda safe to visit?

Make sure you’ve asked them which places to avoid both at night and during day time. For example, the north of Uganda has been a bit unstable in the past, so before you travel there make sure you know about the current situation. The same applies to the border with Congo, and certain neighborhoods in Kampala. I can’t tell you now which places to avoid, because they will have changed the next time you read this.

So my advice, use local information to answer the question of whether the area you want to go is safe to travel or not.

 TAKE GUIDES

Once you’ve asked a local whether Uganda is safe to travel or not, they may tell you that certain areas are only safe with guides, or safer with guides. Don’t take that advice lightly.

The guides or rangers make sure you don’t get lost and that you don’t get attacked by wildlife.

And I know that I am writing a post answering the question of whether Uganda is safe to travel, but I also want to give you all the information.

There has been a case of a Woman and her guide being kidnapped in the Ishasha section of Queen Elizabeth National Park back in 2019. Luckily they got out of it unharmed, but I still feel like I had to be honest, that even with a guide there’s no guarantee. But I guess there never a guarantee that you’re safe.

DON’T GO SOMEWHERE ISOLATED

I guess this Uganda safety tip is along the line of using your common sense. But isolated places can potentially be dangerous, because (guess what) you’re isolated. And bad doers can do bad without anyone being able to help you.

In other countries, if you see a waterfall or a beautiful lake somewhere remote, you might just go off-road, and go for a swim by yourself. In Uganda, I would advise you to not just go to such a remote place alone without a local or without telling someone about your plans. Which brings us to my next Uganda safety tip.

TELL SOMEONE OF YOUR PLANS

I think I have already mentioned this Uganda safety tip a couple of times, but always let someone know what you’re going to do that day.

This solo traveler safety tip is also not limited to Uganda but applies to every country. If you’re by yourself there is no one is looking out for you, meaning that if you don’t return, no one might notice. So make sure you’ve told someone what you’re going to do that day, whether it’s a friend at home, the reception or another traveler, I don’t care.

 GET A LOCAL SIM

Being able to call for help in cases of emergencies is definitely an important way to stay safe. So make sure you get a local sim card as soon as you arrive in Uganda. In my frequently asked questions about Uganda, I explained that MTN has the best network in Uganda, so I would advise you to get that.

Besides being able to call whenever you need to, having access to the internet will also help you stay safe in Uganda. It will help you to look up things, such as accommodation or directions if you’re lost or if you don’t trust the person who is helping you.

And sim cards in Uganda are quite affordable, so it’s definitely a safety tip that I think is worth investing in.

THE EMERGENCY NUMBER IN UGANDA IS 112

Now that you’ve got a local sim card to stay safe in Uganda, it might also be useful to know which number to call in case of an emergency, whether it’s the police, an ambulance or a firefighter you should call:

I always make sure I have got the emergency number written somewhere, or at least I make sure I know it when I’m traveling in another country. Because at the time of an emergency, you generally don’t have time to look it up.

 DRESS CONSERVATIVE

Alright this Uganda safety tip may apply more to solo female travelers in Uganda, as I think men in Uganda and other parts of the world dress comparable.

However, women in Uganda generally dress more conservative so longer skirts and shirts covering their shoulders. It doesn’t mean you have to change your wardrobe completely before going to Uganda, but people generally show less skin than Western people would. So dressing conservatively will definitely help avoid stares. Although, you will get stares anyway.

But unfortunately, showing more skin as a woman may be interpreted as provocative.

 WEAR A RING

Another Uganda safety tip that applies more to women than men. I’ve talked about it before when I told you about the things no one tells you about traveling in Uganda. But I’ve never had this many proposals in my life as when I traveled in Uganda. I never had any bad experiences with Ugandan men, and after I said no they were never pushy or angry.

However, if you want to avoid getting such attention, wearing a ring will help them see that you are already taken.

 PEOPLE OFFERING HELP OR A TOUR GENERALLY EXPECT A TIP

I know this is not really a Uganda safety tip, but I did want to share it with you anyway because I think it is useful to know in advance.

When someone offers to take you around the area or their giving you directions, they may expect you to give them a tip for that information.

Or they will take you to their craft shop (or their wife’s craft shop) for you “have a look around”. In other words, buy a souvenir. Remember the 9 things no one tells you about traveling in Uganda? Well, being invited to a lot of craft shops is one of them, and often this is after they’ve helped you with something.

 

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