Is Uganda safe to travel?
One of the questions that probe the minds of most tourists before deciding to travel to Uganda is whether or not the country is safe. Here is the answer to the big safety question:
Are citizens of other countries safe in Uganda?
Uganda is one of those countries that are very hospitable to foreigners. Acts of terrorism and abuse against foreign nationals are unheard of in Uganda.
Like they would in other countries, foreigners should take the necessary safety precautions while in Uganda like; avoiding lone walks in the dead of the night, keeping an eye on their personal property, and not getting entangled in morally compromising situations.
As long as tourists do not violate any of the country’s laws and regulations, they are sure to have a great time.
The Capital (Kampala) hosts about 41 embassies and high commissions of other nations. In the instance where foreign tourists encounter a challenge the local police cannot deal with, they can always turn to their embassies for assistance. Tourists can consider Uganda safe to travel.
Are there cases of terrorism in Uganda?
Though the country has registered a few cases, Uganda has not experienced aggravated terrorism. The most recent terrorism attacks include the 2010 suicide bombings carried out by the Al-Shabab militant group in which 74 people died and another 70 were injured.
The government has taken several countermeasures to counteract terrorism attacks. There are strict security checks at the airport, all ports of entry and main entrances at commercial and public buildings.
As a safety measure, there is a tourism police force deployed at all national parks and tourist destinations. Terrorism should not be a reason for tourists to fear traveling to Uganda.
Is there civil unrest in Uganda?
Uganda has had its throes of civil unrest. Through the years acts of terrorism and aggression have been wrought against the government.
The most eminent are; the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgence led by rebel Joseph Kony. The war raged on for years and ravaged the northern region until the government forces finally succeeded in driving the guerrilla group out of the country.
The other is the 2014/15 uprising in southwestern Uganda. Tribal gunmen armed with machetes and spears attacked the districts of Kasese, Ntoroko, and Bundibugyo, killing civilians and police officers.
As a countermeasure, the government has deployed military forces at all probable locations of civil unrest outbreaks.
For years, the country has had rest from uprisings, and tourists have had the time of their life exploring the numerous attractions in the various regions of the country. Yes, Uganda is safe to travel.
Are there any prevalent disease outbreaks and pandemics in Uganda?
Malaria is a prevalent pandemic in Uganda, especially in rural areas. Tourists are advised to deliberately avoid mosquito bites and travel with antimalarial drugs.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is a mandatory requirement for tourists before they are allowed into the country. This is because Uganda lies in the yellow fever belt.
Other endemic diseases and outbreaks include; typhoid, tuberculosis, measles, hepatitis B, influenza, and cholera.
Travelers are advised to take necessary vaccination, deliberately practice proper hygiene, and avoid intake of contaminated food and water. This way, Uganda is safe to travel.
What about environmental hazards and natural disasters?
Through the years Uganda has suffered pangs of drought, earthquakes, floods, and landslides. Flooding occurs in low-lying areas and affects over 500,000 people on an annual basis.
To avoid being victims during flooding and landslides, tourists are advised to avoid the areas of Bundibugyo, Bulambuli, Bududa, Butaleja, Sironko, and Kasese during the rainy seasons. The disasters do not normally cover entire districts but occur mostly in remote locations.
Uganda’s earthquakes and flooding are nothing to compare with more terrible occurrences in most countries. Occurrences of environmental hazards are on a very small scale and should not be an impediment for tourists intending to travel to Uganda.
What is Uganda’s crime rate?
Uganda has a relatively high crime rate. Cases of crime are specially registered in the capital city (Kampala), on its streets, suburbs, and inner cities.
Common occurrences include; home burglaries, pickpocketing on streets, robbery, ATM and credit card skimming, snatch-and-grab; criminals on foot and motorcycles target high traffic areas, they grab phones, handbags, gadgets and accessories of unminding passengers.
Tourists are advised to keep all car doors and windows locked while in traffic. Securing hotel and accommodation doors with locks both in the day and night is advised.
To counter crime, police stations where victims can report crime have been set up throughout the city and its suburbs, and police officers are deployed in seemingly security compromised spots in the various parts of the capital. With all the measures put in place to ensure the safety of both citizens and foreigners, Uganda can be considered safe to travel.
How does Uganda fair when it comes to traffic and road safety?
Road safety in Uganda is the responsibility of every pedestrian and driver. Tourists are advised to look out for themselves while on foot and when driving.
Several of the roads are not in very good condition. Also, once in a while you find a broken-down vehicle in the middle of the road, a stray animal may randomly enter the road, cases of drunken drivers getting arrested by traffic police is a common occurrence, and many drivers and riders don’t follow traffic lights.
While in Uganda, foreign nationals should take extra caution like everyone else’s life on the road depending on them. With extra caution when on the road, Uganda is safe to travel.