Is Uganda safe to visit? Safety information & tips for your visit to the Pearl of Africa

Uganda is nicknamed the pearl of Africa, a name that was given by Sir Winston Churchill when he first visited. The attractions in Uganda live up to that reputation in every way.

From personal encounters with mountain gorillas to the animals in the savannahs as well as exploring the various landscapes and varied cultures. Uganda is a perfect blend of Eastern Africa wilderness as well as Central African Jungles. This makes the wildlife, landscape, culture extremely unique and attractive.

rwenzori vegetation
Mount Rwenzori, Uganda's highest peak rises from the rift valley floor.

That notwithstanding, it is important to know whether you will be safe on your visit to Uganda. Well, let's get right to it.

Is Uganda Safe for Tourists?

To simply state it, Uganda is very safe for tourists from any country in the world. Uganda is one of the safer African countries and has enjoyed peace and stability since the LRA rebels were pushed out of northern Uganda in 2006.

Ugandans are very friendly and welcoming people who will make the biggest impression on you after your visit. We have some numbers that will very easily put the point across.

  • Uganda hosts about 1.7 million refugees and is a pioneer in integrating and giving them full rights. (source: Norwegian refugee council - NRC)
  • Around 15,000 British nationals visit Uganda each year - trouble-free. (source: FCDO - gov.uk)
  • Uganda is safer than Thailand and the USA based on Global Peace Index (GPI) data from 2020 

Is Uganda Safe for solo females

Solo female travellers can visit Uganda and travel as freely as anyone or a group of people. Since most travellers in Uganda use the services of tour operators, you won't be alone and the company of your guide will provide added safety.

As a self-guided solo female, you have to prepare well and have a well-planned schedule for your activities. 

Is Uganda Safe for LGBTQ persons

Uganda's law doesn't recognize or protect the rights of persons in the LGBTQ community. This means that public displays of affection are best avoided. You will generally not encounter any form of PDA even for heterosexual couples.

While these attitudes might make you reconsider a destination wedding or honeymoon, there is still a lot to see and do on other types of safari. It is unlikely that someone will ask about your sexuality since that is a personal business. It is not a requirement for entry, and it might not come up for your entire stay.

People working in the tourism industry might have more progressive attitudes since they have a wider interaction with many people from all around the world.

Staying Healthy in Uganda

Beyond security, your health is a big part of your safety. Staying healthy while visiting a new place is an important way of making sure your activities and experience go on without any hitches. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Consult your doctor about taking anti-malarial drugs
  • Sleep under a mosquito net
  • Carry your regular medication
  • Be careful about street food, especially if your stomach is very sensitive
  • Carry sunscreen and a hat for the hot sun
  • Don't drink tap water, it is not treated for drinking

Here is our article with some insights on how you can stay healthy on an African safari.

Safety tips for Uganda

While Uganda is a very safe place to visit, you should take some common-sense precautions to keep yourself and your valuable safe. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Don't take part in political demonstrations
  • Don't walk alone / unguided in sketchy parts especially in towns
  • Keep your valuables - like jewellery at home or at the hotel you are staying at.
  • Keep a copy of your travel documents
  • Follow the instructions and guidance of your tour guide

Final Thoughts

As one of the safer countries in Africa, Uganda is a very easy and enjoyable place to visit for the various attractions.

As with any country, security and safety are always changing situations, and we advise you to check on the ongoing situation especially when the dates of your trip draw closer. The easiest way is to visit your country's travel website for official government advice.

If you are using a Ugandan tour operator to handle your movements, they can also provide you with the current information. We'll try to keep this information as up to date as possible for you.

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