Do you have worries on how to stay safe in Uganda on a tour? Are you scared of embarking on this journey alone? If yes, then worry not. Uganda is one of the safest countries in Africa. However, just like in any major cities, you will have to be careful. When you visit this Pearl of Africa, here are safety travel tips to ensure you enjoy your visit;
1. Plan for accommodation
When you plan to tour Uganda, get a travel agent to help you book a secure hotel in Uganda. This will ensure that you stay in a safe and clean hotel and in a good location close to your intended destination.
2. Blend in and don’t act lost
The easiest way to stay in a new country or city is to blend in. As much as you will get stares (especially if you’re white) try and learn some few words in Luganda language.
Do not act lost even if you are. Just get into one of the many taxis or boda bodas available and tell them where to take you. You can ask a police officer for directions or go into a shop and inquire. Be sure to always trust your instincts.
3. Keep your valuables safe
Money. Do not carry too much money on you while you are visiting the cities and towns. Carry enough money for the day and leave the rest safe in the hotel room. Also ensure that you keep your money in a front pocket where you can put your hand on it, and not in a back pocket or in a backpack. This is to avoid the pickpockets who might try to steal from you.
Passports and Return Tickets. When you travel to Uganda, it is advisable that you keep your passports and return tickets very safe. You can make a copy of your passport then leave the original in your hotel room. If you are on a safari to one of the Uganda national parks such as Bwindi National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park, you can carry the documents in your backpack for safe keeping.
Jewelry. It is advisable to keep all your assets such as gold chains or expensive watches safe. You can choose to leave them back in your hotel, or buy hand crafted Ugandan jewelry to wear on top of your accessories. If you have a leather strap watch, tighten it to avoid it being torn off from your hand.
Cell phone and camera. Protect your cell phone and camera, by not carrying your mobile phone in your hands but rather put it in your pocket. Do not place it on the table in the restaurants, as there is a high chance of forgetting it or someone stealing it. Also keep your camera safe while taking pictures by having your camera roll strapped on your hands
4. Avoid walking at night
When you are a solo traveler in a new country, avoid walking at night. Just like it is not safe to walk at night or take food from strangers in your home, so is when you travel to Uganda. To avoid being mugged, do not walk in dark alleys or at night. Stay safe in the comfort of your hotel room.
5. Dress appropriately
The major cities of Uganda such as Kampala are quite modernized, thus there is no issue about dressing. However, if you go to small towns and villages, it is advisable to avoid shorts or short skirts. This is just to avoid too much attention which is a bit annoying and also to show cultural respect.
Finally, when you travel to Uganda alone, do not worry as this country respects visitors and tourists as they are good for the economy. The Tourism Police also regularly monitors tourist’s spots to ensure they are safe. Welcome to Uganda!