Welcome to Uganda, where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle.

Here, the mist-covered mountains are home to the majestic mountain gorillas, the Nile River offers thrilling white-water rafting, and the diverse cultures welcome you with open hearts and vibrant traditions.

From the snow-capped peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains to the serene waters of Lake Victoria, Uganda invites you to explore its natural beauty, rich wildlife, and warm hospitality.

Dominant male mountain gorilla in rainforest. Uganda. Bwindi Imp

The Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Uganda is during its two dry seasons: December to February and June to September. These periods offer the most favorable conditions for wildlife viewing, gorilla trekking, and exploring the national parks. The dry weather makes the trails less slippery and the parks more accessible, while wildlife tends to congregate around water sources, making it easier to spot.

However, Uganda’s equatorial climate means the country can be visited year-round, with the wet seasons (March to May and October to November) bringing their own beauty. The landscapes are lush and green, and it’s an excellent time for bird watching as migratory birds arrive. The rainy seasons may have more rainfall, but showers are often short and can be planned around.

What To Know

In Uganda, English is the official language. Swahili also plays a significant role as a lingua franca, facilitating communication across ethnic groups.

For travellers, knowing English is generally sufficient for communication, especially in urban areas and tourist spots, but learning a few basic phrases in Luganda or another local language can enhance interactions with locals.

The currency used in Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling. It’s the official currency for all types of transactions within the country, from markets and shops to hotels and transportation services.

For travelers, it’s advisable to carry some local currency, especially when visiting smaller towns or making transactions in places where electronic payments may not be widely accepted.

While credit cards are increasingly accepted in major cities and at larger hotels and businesses, having cash on hand remains essential for many day-to-day transactions throughout Uganda.

Uganda is generally considered a safe destination for travelers, especially those who stick to tourist areas and follow standard safety precautions. The country welcomes tourists with open arms.

In urban areas, including Kampala, and in popular tourist spots, visitors should be mindful of petty crimes such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, and scams. It’s advisable to keep valuables secure, avoid displaying expensive items, and be cautious when walking at night. Using reputable taxi services or private transport arranged by your accommodation can enhance safety when getting around.

Health-wise, visitors should take precautions against malaria and other tropical diseases, drink bottled or treated water, and ensure they’re up to date on vaccinations recommended for travel in Uganda.

Public transport in Uganda primarily consists of minibuses (locally known as “matatus”), motorcycles (boda-bodas), and taxis. Matatus are the most common form of public transportation, operating within cities and towns as well as on longer routes connecting different parts of the country. They are affordable and frequent but can be crowded and may not adhere to strict safety standards.

Boda-bodas are widely used for short distances and are especially popular in urban areas for their ability to navigate through traffic quickly. While convenient, they pose safety risks if proper helmets are not used and if the drivers do not adhere to traffic laws.

Special hire taxis (private taxis) are available in larger towns and cities, offering a safer and more comfortable option for getting around, though at a higher cost. It’s advisable to agree on the fare before starting your journey.

For intercity travel, larger coaches and buses are available, providing service between major cities and towns. These buses are generally more reliable and comfortable for longer distances than matatus.

Uganda Travel Guides