Kampala Uganda Safety
Kampala is the safe capital city of (East) Africa. Although like anyplace else, minor criminals take the edge of visitors who leave cellphones and belongings unsecured, you will receive all the details you require from your driving guide to ensure a risk-free and incident-free journey. Welcome to the city and slums tour of Kampala. All Ugandans, including those in Kampala, are incredibly warm, kind, and accessible.
The biggest city in Uganda is, without a doubt, Kampala, which has a populace of about 2.5 million. Unlike Nairobi and Lagos, it has not yet become entirely overrun by expansion and congestion.
Furthermore, even at night, Kampala is a reasonably safe city to wander around, a welcome reality for many anxious visitors coming from Nairobi.
Many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), including Vision for Vulnerable Communities Foundations, are located in Uganda, receiving significant financial assistance from the West. There is a well-established scene in Kampala because most NGOs are situated there.
Uganda’s capital city is Kampala. It is located near the Lake Victoria shoreline in the South-Central region of the nation.
Arrive in Kampala City.
You will land in Entebbe, a city 35 kilometers southwest of Kampala, if you travel there by air.
Airport in Entebbe
You will often need to spend USD 50 for the visa application, so be prepared to spend at passport controls with cash (USD or UGX, however, EUR and GBP are also accepted). Credit cards are not accepted there. Find out if a visa is needed before traveling for your particular nationality.
As of December 2020, visas on arrival are still available for most nationalities, but you might need to explain why you did not apply online. Presenting a worldwide yellow fever vaccination proof is typically required, but this is not always in all cases.
You could get from Entebbe to Kampala (1.5 h) by taxi (approximately UGX 60,000). A cheaper option is to take a cab to the Taxi Park in Entebbe (approximately UBX 5,000), where you can find minibusses that go to the Taxi Park in central Kampala (UBX 3,000 one way). Hotel shuttles (e.g., with the Sheraton) are also available.
Buses travel from Nairobi to Kampala (13 h), including overnight options. Companies include Mash Poa and Modern Coast, costing from 2,400 Kenyan shillings upwards.
Means of Transportation in Kampala city
Boda Boda, matatu, and unique rentals are the three primary modes of public transport services. The quickest way is on a Boda Boda, one of the ubiquitous motorcycles in the city. You won’t be in Kampala long before a Boda driver approaches you and advances you. A simple reply “no” is enough; they will leave you alone. Boda Boda operators are risky since they’ll do whatever to get you to your destinations as soon as possible. Be prepared to swerve in front of, across, or even through groups of pedestrians if required. Boda road accidents cause the majority of hospital admissions and traffic deaths in Kampala,
So ride with caution. Boda Bodas typically charge UGX 3,000 to 5,000 for trips within Kampala (as of September 2019). It is vital to ensure the fare before the ride begins. For a safer ride, book a driver through Uber or the SafeBoda app, or look for drivers wearing an orange Safe Boda vest; these drivers are professionally trained and offer helmets for their passengers. Uber rates are significantly cheaper than street hires, with fares ranging from 1,500 to 3,500 UGX around town.
Safe Boda Boda Tours in Kampala
The cycle taxi at several popular border places gave rise to the moniker “Boda Bodas.” At the exiting border check, buses had to let off their passengers, who had to trek to the border checks. Some borders have substantial gaps where no man’s land is present. Therefore, the bicycle cabs would call out to the tired passengers, “Boda Boda,” or “border to border.” Smaller Ugandan communities operate these cycle cabs, but bike taxis have occupied Kampala.
Matatus are a collection of minibusses that travel along essentially predetermined routes around the city and several other regions of the nation. They are misleadingly referred to as taxis in Uganda.
Conductors and the drivers of each matatu would yell the locations of their cars out the windows. Don’t be alarmed if you cannot understand what they’re talking about. If you ask one of them where you’re going, they will either say yes or no. Be prepared to be confined once you enter. The capacity of each vehicle is 14 passengers.
Sometimes it may be more than 14 passengers, but it is increasingly rare due to the increased presence of traffic police on the roads. If you are not enjoying this, the overcrowding commonly only affects the front two rows, and it would be wise to sit in the backseats. Inform your conductor of “Stage” when you get to your location, and the driver will stop the van. There are some staging areas as well, where the operator will halt and wait till the truck can be filled. Just be calm as this could take several minutes. When entering the city by car, the standard fee is between UGX 2000 and US$4000 per person (correct at July 2021).
If you don’t want to experience the thrill of the bodas or don’t have time, go for a taxi, matatu, sometimes known as special hired, are widely accessible at many central sites. Though some cabs have meters.
UGX 50,000 per kilometer for travel within Kampala; UGX 60,000 per kilometer for the journey to/from the airport. The car rental taxi firm (phone; +256705152084) is reputable and provides 24-hour assistance. As of December 2020, prices are accurate.
What to visit while in Kampala City
- The Museum of Uganda.
- The Kasubi tombs, including the Buganda Kings’ graves, were popular tourist destinations. However, a disaster in March 2010 severely damaged these.The Kampala Slum that include: Bwaise, Katwe, Kamwokya and Katanga
- Nommo art gallery
- National Theatre
- Cathedrals – Rubaga and Namirembe
- Uganda National Mosque, Old Kampala. Completed in 2006, the mosque is known as the Gaddafi Mosque (Libya funded the mosque). There are official guides at the entrance, which would bring you around the mosque and up the minaret (great views of the city) for 15,000 UGX.
- Kabaka’s Palace, Mengo. The seat of the Buganda king. It is impossible to enter the palace, which is used for official functions. Still, there are guides (35,000 UGX) who would show you around the gardens, describe the history of the Buganda kings, Milton Obote and Idi Amin, and walk you down to a bunker used as a torture chamber by Idi Amin.
- Wamala tombs, notably those of Kabaka Ssuuna 11, where some of the early Buganda rulers’ remains were interred (1836-1856). He had 148 marriages and 218 children over his lifetime.
- On Kikaya hill is the Bahai Temple.
- Ugandan Parliament.
What to do while visiting Kampala City
- Raft the Nile’s beginnings. Nile River Adventure, Adrift, and “Nalubale Rafting” are the three organizations that provide these services. Since the development of a hydropower dam flooded the previous rafting region downstream of the River Nile, rafting has been discontinued (as of October 2011).
- Bungee jump near Jinja, dunking your head in the headwaters of the Nile.
- Jet-boating along some of the minor rapids on the Nile.
- Go on an ATV safari via numerous little settlements near the Nile’s sources.
- After flames engulfed the Kasubi tombs, UNESCO designated the shrines of the Namugongo Martyrs as a world heritage site. It is a dark tourism destination in Uganda that is now open to visitors.
- Before traveling to Bwindi National Park in the southwest, make your reservations for a gorilla trek at the Ugandan Wildlife Authority (in Kololo).
- A 4-hour journey to Mburo National Park, where sightings of hippopotamuses, zebra, gazelles, crocodiles, birds, and warthogs are guaranteed.
- A trip to the Ngamba Island Chimps Sanctuary near Entebbe, where you can observe chimpanzees being eaten, which is more amusing than it seems. At 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., boats depart from the area near the zoo; the cost is $70 for a 4-hour roundtrip trip.
- Explore the Botanical Gardens, seashore, and zoos in neighboring Entebbe.
Where to shop groceries while in Kampala City Market
One of the biggest markets in this African zone is Owino. The numerous stalls that line Owino’s anarchic alleyways sell an incredible variety of goods, including handcrafted irons, second-hand American clothing with pricing tags still attached, a dizzying selection of African cuisines, and more you can think of. Negotiation results in lower prices for everything at Owino.
Any Boda or cab driver knows how to get you to Owino, which is close to Kampala’s city Centre. Be ready to navigate a dense maze of merchandise and people. Another important market is Nakasero, which is easier to get to from Kampala Road and is ideally suitable for a (calm) stroll.
Compared to Owino, Nakasero Marketplace is much more intimate and charming, and it is excellent for fresh produce.
Visit the craft marketplace on Buganda Highway or the larger craft market opposite the national theatre close to the Garden City complex. If you need tailored clothing, there are various tailors on Buganda Rd. opposite the craft marketplace. Additionally, the posh cafe 1000 Cups of Coffee is a popular Mzungu hangout if you’re exhausted after shopping.
Opposite the National Theatre, on Dewinton Road, there is a tourist market with crafts (nearish Nakumatt).
The luxury mall in Kampala is called Garden City. Suppose you’re looking for an Internet café, a Forex office, a coffee shop, pricey shoes, a European supermarket, a tour operator, a movie theatre, and more all under one roof. In that case, Garden City is the place for you. A nice change from Kampala’s busy center may be found in Garden City. Similar to Garden City, although a little more upscale, is Nakumatt Oasis.
Other European markets outside Garden City like Shoprite Checkers, Uchumi, and Nakumatt in Lugogo on the Jinja road.
Another significant, contemporary store, Game, is just next to Shoprite and sells DIY supplies, camping furniture, torches, batteries, and other items. A cafe serving chicken and chips, a gift shop, a few banks, a phone store, etc., are nearby.
- Uganda Crafts 2000 Ltd., Plot 32-36 Bombo Road, ☎ 256 775152084, open from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. The first fair trade craft store in Uganda is called Uganda Crafts. it
- Has been assisting underprivileged craftspeople since 1983. Although we are most known for our buckets, we also carry a wide variety of unique Ugandan goods such as jewelry, sculptures, musical equipment, cotton fabrics, and products made of bark cloth. Take goods from Rwanda, Congo, and Kenya. We paid our craftspeople on time and adequately since we have received fair trade certification from the International Fair-Trade Association. Kasumba Square Mall was built to relieve traffic and provide products and facilities to the public since Kampala is growing into a crowded city because of the fast population increase. It is on the western outskirts of Kampala at the intersection of Busega Roundabout and Northern Bypass Highway.
You’ll notice advertisements for tiny, one-room eateries (some of which are called “pork joints”) wherever you want to go. You’ll need to inquire about the options since most establishments lack menus. Meat (often beef), rice, beans, and matoke are typical choices (steamed green bananas, served mashed). Fish, chips, and chicken are everyday meals that can be found in the majority of metropolitan eateries and the countryside. These meals range in price from 5000 to 10,000 UGX and come in different serving sizes. To avoid being caught off guard later, inquire about the upfront pricing. The average cost per item is 500 UGX, though prices can change. Costs for sodas and mineral water will also increase. It’s possible to enjoy matoke with peanut sauce.
The well-known “Rolex” makes a great street snack. It consists of an omelet, cabbage, and tomato inside a chapati (a type of pancake). Pay between 1000 and 2500 UGX as expected. Roast chicken, goat, and beef are among the different street foods. Typically, this is served with either chip, a salad, or both. The price per unit ranges from 800 to 1500 Ugandan shillings. The best deal is with toasted corn or maize if you’re seeking something healthier while still wanting to enjoy the pleasure of street eating. The white corn is sold for 500–600UGX per cob. Since maize is a widespread plant in Uganda, freshness is assured. The merchants typically set up shop next to a resource of maize plantations.
- Bhagwat Restaurant is a tiny vegan eatery overlooking Nakasero Markets Square. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 7000 UGX worth of good, plentiful thali. If you request, we’ll accommodate vegans.
- Govindas, an ovolacto vegetarian restaurant on Dewinton Road next to Nakumat, serves a midday thali for 15,000 UGX and a wide selection of Indian meals. Famous to the nearby Indian population. Additionally, they offer sandwiches and vegetable pizzas. There is also a good selection of Indian sweets.
- The Food Technology Department at University charges 7000 UGX for a delicious meal of “local food.”
Garden City. Jinja Road is a fantastic location for a range of cuisines.
- Lebanese, Indian, Italian, and other cuisines are among the selections available in this retail center’s food court. The masala dosas prepared in the food section are pretty delicious. You choose your meal from a menu, not a regular food court, and the waiter brings it to your table. On the rooftop of Garden City, there is a decent steak restaurant and Nawab, an excellent Indian eatery.
- Oasis Retail Plaza’s Cafe Javas locals and expatriate hangout great service. Excellent coffee and delicious, substantial brunches. Free wireless internet. Start at 6 a.m. and closes at midnight.
- Garden City Basement, New York Kitchen. It has a variety of genuine New York-style cuisine products.
- Chinese Fang Fang. Good Chinese cuisine. Kampala has some of the best Chinese food around.
- Just Kicking, Kisementi Shopping Center, excellent selection of international and bar food, BBQ on the weekends.
- The Lawns Restaurant & Lounge Bar, Plot 34, Impala Avenue, Upper Kololo Terrace, Kololo, Kampala. Ph: +256 414 250337;
Web: Email: [email protected] Includes a massive selection of exotic treats from all around the continent. The only eatery in Uganda serves the entire game meat selection. Starters cost between 14,000 and 25,000UGX, and the main course costs between 18,000 and 40,000UGX. The wines range in price from 30,000 to 150,000UGX and contain a few South African and European options. The cuisine is outstanding, and the atmosphere is excellent.
- Sheraton Kampala, Paradise. Includes a mix of European and Indian meals. The main meal costs between 20,000 and 40,000UGX. The wines range in price from 40,000 to 150,000UGX and have a few South African and European options.
- The Serena Hotel is located right below the Sheraton. Has a wide range of creatively prepared South Asian and African foods. Without alcohol, a full supper for two will cost roughly 200,000UGX.
- Khazana Khana, One of the best (and priciest) Indian restaurants is this one: It is located in Kololo on Acacia Avenue, near the Protea Hotel.
- The Mamba Point is the best and most expensive Italian restaurant here. 22 Akil Bua Road, Nakasero, Philippines; phone: 031-256-3000. Even if the pizza shop on Lumumba Avenue is one of the greatest in town, be sure to head to the Italian restaurant on Akil Bua Road instead. Casino at the Great pyramids, If someone other is paying, you should go here. Except for the Serena, it is pricier than almost everywhere. In terms of continental/fusion cuisine, it offers better meat and pasta than luxury hotels like the Sheraton or Serena. It’s beside the golf course on Yusef Lule Road.
- Chinese restaurant Fang Fang, of the top Chinese restaurants. There are two in Kampala, one of which is connected to a hotel and has a patio. They keep two white bunnies that jump on the grass in the extensive patio area. If you give them a carrot or cucumber, they’ll tolerate kids caressing them.
Drinking Points in Kampala City
Never ingest tap water. Brands of spring water you can rely on include Blue Wave and Rwenzori. If you want to go out, you can because you will feel safe here; just use basic logic; Ugandans are pretty gregarious. There are numerous clubs, including Cayenne and Club Bubbles.
Visit “Just Kicking” Bar in Kisementi, which takes some time from the downtown center, for a leisurely drink with an international customer base. On weekends and anytime a significant football game is broadcast, it becomes extremely lively. Or go to The Lawns Restaurants & Lounge Areas if you like a serene atmosphere. The gorgeous outdoor lounge bar is available at The Lawns. Try one of their many cocktails or wines with some fantastic starters.
Although the U.N. claims Uganda has the top alcohol usage percentage in the world, official statistics don’t reflect this significant problem because most alcohol is distributed on the streets. Don’t be deterred by this; the city is still secure despite this undesirable designation.
Coffee. Some of the most incredible coffee, good espresso, and ground coffee, can be found at Ban cafe in Nakumat (Oasis). Another excellent option at Nakumat is Cafe Javas. As of September 2011, Nice African Coffee in Lugogo provided a good variety of meal options and fantastic coffee concoctions. Includes breakfast, lunchtime, and supper menu with the burger, steaks, and other items, but has the appearance of a coffee house and outside seating, fish, baked chicken, salads, etc.
Juice in Dewinton Road is an excellent juice cafe next to Govinda’s. It offers a wide variety of beverages, along with some herbal cures.
For a walking city and slum tour, contact Syrill Kizza at +256 705152084. Any location of your choice, such as retail centers, bars, temples, cafes, galleries, craft fairs, trenches, etc., will be visible.
Accommodation in Kampala City
- The Lodge Kampala is a three-star hotel in a moderate atmosphere. Situated in Lweza off Entebbe Rd. Single costs USD 40 and double USD 50.
- Outside the city center, Backpackers in Kampala is a well-known gathering place for travelers. They provide a variety of accommodations, including a nice bar with chilled rooms, a pool room, and a big verandah. Here you can rest and can enjoy book reading. The HotelHotel is situated on 3 acres. Everyone with a laptop can connect. Thanks to the free wifi internet and fast downloading speeds, there are some internet cafes; there are numerous tables in the spacious bar area where you can place orders from their kitchen or relax. Great location!
- The Bugolobi restaurant Red Chili Hideaway. Camping, dorms, and cottage lodging are affordable, sanitary, and secure. A popular hangout for travelers. They have a great garden, a spot to hang out, free internet, and generally speaking. It’s a fantastic area to meet other travelers and exchange knowledge.
- Hotel City Square, plot 42 Kampala Road (near Constitution Square), contact number: 256414 251451. Arrival time is until 11 p.m.; departure by 10 a.m. The most amicable position in Kampala, facing the lush gardens of Constitution Square, is at a recently restored, comfortable, and safe Hotel with beneficial employees. The personnel is friendly, and there is hot water in the rooms. A fantastic restaurant with a first-floor view of the plaza serves comfort cuisine (such as hamburgers, etc.) and delicious local specialties like “matoke” and fresh fish for $25–USD 35.
- Prestige Hotel Suites, Plot 9 Lumumba Avenue, Nakasero, Kampala, ☎ +256 717820100 ([email protected]). checkin: 12pm; checkout: 10am. Located next right to the Central Business District. It has a swimming pool, lounge, bar, free parking, and 24 /7 reception. Free and speedy wifi is also available. Its charges start From USD80 per person per night.
- Kololo’s Protea Hotel in Kampala. This brand-new HotelHotel offers 4-star elegance and 5-star services and is 35 kilometers from Entebbe Airport. There are 11 suites and 59 rooms with private bathrooms and air conditioning; restaurants, bar, satellite T.V., and air conditioning. Nearby tennis and squash courts, a gym, etc., contain a Business Center, wireless internet access, a currency exchange, round-the-clock room service, and a reception.
- Hotel Africana, Plot 2-4 Wampewo Avenue, Kampala, Uganda, +256 414 777500. Well-known mid-range hotel with plenty of parking, a pool, a gym, wifi, and apartments; close to large (Nakumatt, Uchumi) shopping malls; however, on the weekend of a concert or wedding, it may be not quiet. Only HotelHotel with a fully functional mosque on site.
- The Hotel Ruch is located in the heart of the city, near the Sheraton. The Hotel has a bar and attractive gardens that are kept up well. Wifi is accessible on-site. Low rates make this a good value for the money.
- The Fang Fang Hotel in Kampala is reasonably priced, with clean rooms, air conditioning that is accessible, hot running water, and a fantastic Chinese restaurant on the site (with a lovely garden setting). Recommended. Ideally situated close to UWA offices.
- Amina Garden Place in Kampala’s Kololo district. Excellent, spotless, and secure lodging.
- Kololo’s Golf Course Apartments. Don’t be confused with the more expensive Golf Course Hotel close by. Around £100 per night for very excellent accommodations. Has a tennis court, a pool house, a gym, and a sauna. Fully furnished kitchens for self-catering. Daily cleaning, laundry, and maid service. Beautiful green surroundings away from noisy roads, Room rates are reduced to $80 per night for several NGOs and other entities. Prices drop to $1800 (non-discounted) or £1525 for stays of one month or more extended (discounted). December 2010 pricing accurate.
- Speke Hotel, City Center, Kampala’s City Center. Different from Munyonyo’s luxurious Speke Resort. It is situated on a major thoroughfare where nighttime prostitution is practiced. But that doesn’t lessen this place’s appeal in the least. The rooms have clean wooden flooring, tidy bathrooms, air conditioning, and wifi. The HotelHotel offers a pizza restaurant, an Indian restaurant called Khyber Pass, and a Rock Garden Cafe bar. ATM service is available inside the HotelHotel, and VISA cards are recognized. Its Prices start from USD 115 a day (2012 prices) (2012 rates).
Where to go for Splurge in Kampala city
- Golf Course Hotel ([email protected]), Plot 64-86, Yusuf Lule Road. This brand-new HotelHotel is close to the Garden City Complex. It offers spacious apartments and bedrooms, cutting-edge amenities, a sizable and opulent pool, and tranquil views of the tropical golf course.
- Kampala Serena Hotel+256-414-309000 is another five-star hotel just a little further down the road from the Sheraton. Provides contemporary, roomy rooms. The Hotel’sHotel’s grounds include a swimming pool, a sizable garden, a fitness club and some restaurants and cafes. The well-known shopping centers on Yusuf Lule Road are not far from the Hotel. Pricing per night starts at $150.
- Ternan Avenue, Sheraton Kampala Hotel, +256-414-420000. The Sheraton is the top luxury hotel in town and has just undergone renovations. It is located on beautifully landscaped grounds.
- Resort at Speke. A good retreat from city life may be found in Munyonyo, about 10 kilometers from the city right and center by the shoreline of Lake Victoria. Numerous animals can be seen in and surrounding the resort.
How safe is Kampala city in terms of Crime?
Although many people consider Uganda the safest vacation spot in Africa. So many travelers visit the place without experiencing any issues; Crime is still an issue in Kampala, so travelers should be on the lookout. Several safeguards can be taken because there are similarities to the violence in Kampala that targets foreigners. Never left the bag open or unsecured. In public places like malls, resorts, cafes, and markets, swift and clever criminals are infamous for stealing purses, cellphones, and other belongings from bags and pockets in Kampala.
Keep belongings out of pockets when putting a jacket on the back of a seat in a restaurant, and keep your bag visible. Some travelers on public transportation have complained that after storing their luggage under the seat, either part of their baggage has been taken or their baggage has been removed. As a rule of thumb, your purse is in danger if you can’t see it.
Theft committed by “grab and snatch” is a significant crime problem in Kampala. Visitors’ bags have occasionally been targeted by thieves who rapidly speed by their victims and steal their belongings. These catches and snatches are also carried out on motorcycles, or “Boda Bodas,” as they are popularly known.
Consider walking on sidewalks against the flow of traffic rather than with it to prevent losing your belongings in this way and any possible future trauma from such a robbery.
Keep jewels and cash at a minimum, and keep your baggage close to you.
In Kampala, violent robberies can also be a problem. However, these crimes are typically committed at night. So, even while traveling in a group, it is preferable to avoid going out alone at nighttime and steer clear of poorly lighted roads altogether. Use a cab if possible at night, and make sure it’s one that your resort has suggested.
Although hotel theft is uncommon in Kampala, it is more likely to happen at smaller establishments outside the city.
Additionally, several isolated incidents of visitors have been assaulted in bars and eateries.
It’s significant, therefore, not to agree to take food and drink from strangers.
How safe is Kampala at night?
A range of nightclubs, pubs, and eateries that are well worth visiting can be found in Kampala’s vibrant nightlife. However, nighttime is when violent robberies and assaults are most likely to happen in Kampala, raising safety concerns.
Try to hire a trustworthy cab that has been suggested by your resort or tour operator and avoid strolling alone at night.
How secure is Kampala for women tourists?
While pickpocketing and other non-violent crimes frequently target both men and women, violent assaults in Kampala are recognized to entail sexual violence occasionally. Female travelers must therefore exercise extra caution, especially at night.
It is not a bad idea to venture out alone at night. Choose a cab that has been suggested by a hotel or tour operator. Ask the manager to call a taxi for you if you are dining at a hotel rather than flagging one down on the street.
Are LGBTQ visitors to Kampala safe?
Being LGBTQ is against the law in Uganda, so LGBTQ visitors to Kampala and Uganda must exercise extreme caution.
In this nation, discrimination toward LGBTQ persons is pervasive, and attacks against them are frequent. In reality, 96 percent of Ugandans surveyed in two different Pew Research surveys conducted since 2000 expressed opposition to homosexuality.
Terrorism in Kampala
Though it is not very likely, there is still a chance of terrorist activities in Kampala. A 2010 dual suicide assault that left 76 dead demonstrated the danger posed by the terrorist organization Al-Shabaab, which has its headquarters in Somalia. That threat still exists due to Uganda’s continued participation in AMISON’s operation in Somalia.
Be cautious because there have been terrorist strikes nearby at malls and sporting events. It’s essential to pay attention to the safety alerts that the Uganda Security Force frequently issues.
How safe is it to travel to Kampala?
Despite Uganda and Kampala having a reputation for being among the safest travel destinations in Africa, take precautions. In Kampala, criminality is still a significant problem, and violent assaults are always probable. While most visitors to Kampala have a positive experience, you should still take extra security measures like those listed above to safeguard yourself and your belongings.