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Travel Advice Uganda

British ConsulateMost visits to Uganda are trouble free as 15,000 British nationals visit the county each year. The FCO has advised that it is best to stay away from the the north eastern parts of Uganda with the exception of trips to the Kidepo Valley National Park. The area is deemed to be unstable. The National Park you should visit by air and not by road as there is a high threat of terrorism. The last foiled attack was in September 2014.

Crime

Crime is Uganda being burglaries are mainly done by using chloroform gas. Getting drugged and robbed at a bar as well a bag snatching does occur but not very often. Don’t carry large amounts of cash on you and don’t wear expensive looking jewellery in public. When driving or in a taxi always ensure that the car doors are locked and windows shut. Smash and grab crimes are not uncommon.

Tribal clashes in the Karamoja region (North East Uganda) has left the area pretty lawless. This is an area you do not want to travel in by road. Road ambushes are common as well as small arms. Gun shots in this area is not uncommon.

In the North and Western areas of Uganda such as in the towns of Lira, Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Arua you are not advised to travel as the conflict in the DRC does spill over into he area. The Rwenzori mountains area is also dangerous as not good for travel. You are advised to stay clear of these areas. The Bundibugyo, Kasese, and Ntoroko districts are also very dangerous with violent conflicts last arising in July 2014.

The Kidepo Valley National Park is dangerous and you are strong advised not to go on Gorilla treks as it crosses over into the DRC. Crime also occurs on the ferries on Lakes Albert and Victoria and you advised to take care in these areas. The ferries are also most days overloaded and many have died due to accidents.

Local Customs

In February 2014, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was passed and even though it has been overturned. You are best advised not to ‘be camp’ while outside as it is still illegal and not tolerated. Also always keep a copy of your passport page and visa on you at all times if you are leaving you passport in the safety deposit box of your hotel.

Visas

You are best served obtaining a visa at the Ugandan Embassy in your country. You can get a visa at the airport however the immigration officer can issue you with an entry based on his own will being between 2 weeks and 3 months which he will write in by hand next to the entry stamp. Overstaying your visa is a criminal offense. UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted on entry into the country. You can ask at the British Embassy in Kampala for more advice. If you have traveled from a country with Yellow Fever then you need to ensure that you have been vaccinated and you have a certificate to show this.

Health

Drink boiled water while in Uganda. Medical facilities in Uganda is very limited and assistance at an accident scene is minimal. Ensure that you have travel insurance while in Uganda with a Medivac option. If you need an ambulance you need to dial 999. There have been many disease outbreaks over the past 3 years in the country and you are best served visiting your GP 2 months before you trip for any inoculations. Note that 7.2% of the population is HIV positive.

Money

Note that travellers’ cheques are accepted only in the large towns.  Carry travellers’ cheques or cash in US dollars. US dollars dated earlier than 2001 and notes smaller than US$50 are usually exchanged at a less favorable rate

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