Uganda is safe for tourists who travel in the care of a reputable tour operator and take the usual precautions to avoid falling victim to tourist scams and petty crime. In fact, Uganda is one of the friendliest countries to visit in Africa, where much-needed tourism is welcomed.

Uganda’s reputation as a popular tourist destination is only marred by its turbulent political history and the ever-present threat of terrorism. However, don’t be put off by alarmist reporting in the media. Uganda has worked hard to rid itself of this negative perception and there has been a significant improvement in all security categories.

The Ugandan Police Force (UPF) continue to drive public safety initiatives that have seen a reduction in crime and have put extraordinary security measures in place to combat the threat of terrorism. You won’t go near the NO-GO areas in Uganda such as the Karamoja region or anywhere close to Uganda’s border with South Sudan which is plagued by bandit activity, violent crime and armed clashes.

Travel to Uganda is focused on the stunning wilderness regions that are home to the last-remaining gorillas in the world and you only fleetingly pass through the major towns and cities of Uganda which obviously have a higher concentration of people and more crime.

Follow your guide’s instructions and be vigilant wherever you go in Uganda and you’ll leave this incredibly beautiful and mesmerising country with nothing more than fabulous memories.


Uganda is a country transformed, although it is still battling with a niggling power struggle which results in sporadic civil unrest, and the ongoing threat of terrorism. The government is democratically elected and having rid itself of its violent past, Uganda is enjoying a period of political stability and economic prosperity.

Uganda gained its independence from Britain in 1962 but then endured a period of brutal military rule under the leadership of a ruthless dictator which only ended in 1979. Election results were violently disputed and a 5-year civil war marred any form of political stability until finally, the current President, Yoweri Museveni, came into power in 1986.

The country also had to deal with a brutal 20-year insurgency in the north which was led by the despot leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA0, Joseph Kony. The LRA operated in northern Uganda with little resistance until 2005 when the Uganda military took significant action to rid itself of LRA. By the end of 2006, the LRA had been completely removed from northern Uganda and has ceased all activities in the country since then.

Today, Uganda enjoys a decent level of political stability and security and the international community applauds its remarkable turnaround. Criminal elements of roving bandits still carry out sporadic attacks on vehicles which is why certain parts of Uganda are no-go areas for tourists. In particular, travel at night in these parts is prohibited.


Acts of terrorism have been carried out in Uganda, but these have been sporadic and not necessarily targeted at foreigners. However, after the terror attack at a hotel in Nairobi, the Uganda government has intensified security measures to protect its citizens and visitors. This includes increased police presence and security checks, in particular baggage checks and car searches in public places and hotels.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the bomb attack in 2010 in Kampala at venues screening the World Cup soccer tournament. Over 70 people were killed and many more injured. The attacks were linked to Uganda’s military presence in Somalia as part of an African Union peacekeeping mission.

As a tourist, be vigilante at all times. Opt to travel with a reputable tour operator which will ensure your safety at all times and avoid places that are prime targets for a terrorist attack. This includes crowded sports events, public bars and musical concerts.


Probably one of the more worrying concerns about travelling around Uganda is its high rate of traffic fatalities per vehicle. Roads in Uganda are not well maintained and not well-lit at night and poorly marked, if at all.

Driving at night is particularly hazardous with vehicles with no lights on the road and broken-down vehicles left unattended. Drunken driving and speeding is also an issue. During the day, pedestrians and livestock walking in the road is a problem, aswell as locals generally not driving well and ignoring basic traffic rules.

Police enforcement of traffic violations is minimal. If you’re travelling in the care of a reputable tour operator you have less to be concerned about because the drivers make your safety a priority and strictly abide by the laws of the road. However, if you’re travelling solo using public transport; you need to be careful what mode of transport you choose and, if possible, avoid travelling anywhere at night in Uganda.



Aerolink is a reputable private aviation company offering flights to Fort Portal, Jinja, Kasese, Kisoro, Murchison National Park, Mweya (Queen Elizabeth National Park), Kidepo National Park and Semliki. Minimum passenger requirement is 4 – 7 travellers, depending on the destination. Passengers are allowed 15 kgs of luggage per person in soft bags.

Fly Uganda

Fly Uganda is the official domestic airline servicing destinations throughout Uganda, including Kisoro, Kihihi, Mweya, Kasese, Fort Portal, Gulu, Kidepo NP and Moroto. Kajjansi Airfield is located 20 kilometres from Kampala, towards Entebbe.


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