Like any other sovereign state, Uganda has its own recognized currency. Ugandan money is acknowledged by the rest of the world and it is legally used to transact and can be exchanged for other currencies. This blog answers several questions that tourists, especially foreign nationals have concerning Uganda currency.
What is the currency of Uganda?
The Ugandan Shilling is the currency of Uganda. The Ugandan Shilling currency code is UGX and the currency symbol is still UGX.
How does Uganda currency or money look like?
Some people get all the wild and farfetched thoughts when Africa and any country on the continent come to mind. Uganda doesn’t use cowrie shells or any other bizarre item that may come to mind for the transaction.
Coins and paper notes comprise the Ugandan Shilling. Coins come only in 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 shillings denominations. There is for instance no 700 shillings coin in Ugandan money.
Paper notes exist only in 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, and 50000 shillings denominations. There is for example no 40000 paper note in Ugandan currency. If you found one, it would definitely be a fraud.
The lowest denomination in Uganda currency is a 50 shillings coin. And the highest denomination in Uganda currency is a 50000-paper note. The 50000 shillings note has no coin equivalence, and the 50 shillings coin has no paper note equivalence. You can only add various coin and paper note denominations to give you a sum of 50000 shillings or more.
What is the Ugandan shilling exchange rates?
Uganda’s currency rankings show that the most popular Ugandan Shilling exchange rate is the United States Dollar (USD) to Ugandan Shilling rate (UGX).
Currently, the equivalence of 1 U.S. dollar in Ugandan Shillings is about 3770. 1 UGX on the other hand equals to about 0.00026 USD. The exchange rates change daily and every other minute of each day. Foreigners and nationals who deal in currency exchange are advised to have dependable currency converters.
Although the U.S. Dollar is the most commonly exchanged foreign currency in Uganda, other currencies are exchanged too. The British Pound, Euro, Yuan, Yen, Rupees, Dirhams, Canadian Dollar, and the Swiss Franc, are among the currencies also commonly exchanged to Ugandan Shillings.
How can I tell Uganda currency counterfeits?
With high poverty and youth unemployment rates in Uganda, crimes of fraudulence are normal occurrences.
Tourists and foreign nationals are advised to make money transactions at banks and forex bureaus. It is wise to avoid exchanging one’s money on streets and with lone transactors.
Although not very easy, counterfeit notes can be told from the real ones when deliberate caution is applied. Here is how to tell:
- Each paper note has a watermark image of a crested crane with the denomination of that note below its beak.
- Every note bears a thread-like silvery line woven on a section of the paper. It changes into various shades of glittery color when the note is tilted.
- Uganda cash notes are made from high-quality paper that is difficult to reproduce. You can feel it when holding the money.
- Notes have foiled images on each denomination that change patterns when the note is placed at different angles.
- Notes have a see-through section that displays symbols from the front and back simultaneously when held over a light bulb or any bright illumination for examination.
Does Uganda permit the use of credit cards?
The use of credits is legal in Uganda but not advisable. Uganda is especially a cash-driven society, so much so that one can be denied access to the purchase of goods or services if they present their credit card as a mode of payment. Besides a few high-end lodges, hotels, and malls, credit cards are simply rejected in most places.
Also, cases of credit card frauds are prevalent in Uganda as is in other African countries. One’s credit card information can be collected for the purpose of making unauthorized transactions.
Or once billed, the person responsible for cashing the payment may deduct more than they are supposed to. Tourists are advised to move with enough cash to avoid inconveniences.
What about the use of bitcoins?
Bitcoin usage in Uganda is known to be the mother of fraud. With the population barely enlightened on how it works and its benefits, cryptocurrency is yet to be embraced.
Many cases of money laundering and fraud in Uganda have been associated with bitcoin transactions. Because of this, foreign nationals and tourists are advised to prioritize cash transactions over bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies use.
Where do I go to exchange my money once in Uganda?
Currency exchange can be done right from the airport, at any commercial bank in town, and at any of the many forex bureaus spread out in Kampala and its suburbs. Also, most of the big shopping malls and supermarkets have currency exchange units.
The exchange rates normally vary from one bank, unit, or bureau to another. After confirming the current exchange rates using a live currency converter on your device, you can go on to look for a place with the most favorable rates.
Forex bureaus tend to have the best rates as compared to airport currency exchange kiosks and banks, which usually have high and fixed rates. This will help you gain or save a lot of cash especially if you are exchanging a large amount.
Also, it’s not advisable to make money transactions in the night as you may attract some dangerous stalkers.