Is Uganda safe to visit?
Uganda is a welcoming travel destination for independent and self-drive travellers and a safe country to visit.
In this blog, we inform you about the up-to-date safety situation in Uganda and advise on road safety, crime, and general safety so you can enjoy a carefree holiday in Uganda
Safety in Uganda
Generally, embassy reports on travel in developing countries tend to be overly cautious. In the case of Uganda, it is disheartening to see that specific incidents are highlighted with little respect to the local context, resulting in a distorted view of the actual safety situation. Our professional and personal experience of Uganda has always been that of a safe country to visit and explore with friendly locals and a welcoming atmosphere.
Unfortunately, Uganda has faced a few terrorist attacks in areas of western Uganda. These random attacks were carried out by ADF, a rebel group operating from Eastern DRC, thriving on the rivalry and unrest in the Ugandan-Rwanda and DRC border. Although it is very sad, we hope people can put these events in perspective. Many countries in the world, including European countries, have faced terrorist attacks. Does this mean you are not visiting, let’s say, Paris, Brussels or Prague anymore? Or let's compare safety in Uganda with the USA. Many cities in the US are disturbed by weaponized gangs. A phenomenon that is unheard of in Uganda. Still, people don’t depict the US as an unsafe place to visit, and the Embassies don’t advise against travelling to the United States. But when there is an attack near the border with DRC, Embassies advise against essential travel to any part of Uganda.
We can only hope that terrorists and sensational media reporting never hold people back from doing what they love: travelling. Tourism is usually one of the first economic sectors hit hardest as tourists shy away, whilst many depend on it for their livelihoods.
Crime in Uganda
Regarding crimes in Uganda, we recommend you use your head and be street-smart. Recognize that you're travelling in a country where the general population may have less financial means. To minimize the risk of theft, always park your car in secure areas, leave valuable items, such as diamond rings, at home, and avoid leaving valuables exposed in your hotel room. While hotel theft is generally not a major concern, it's best to take precautions just in case.
Roadtrip Africa has been exploring Uganda by road for many years now. You should be safe driving in Uganda, and the experience is fun and rewarding as long as you take your time, be aware of potholes and avoid driving at night. Check our Driving in Uganda section for more self-drive travel tips and safety advice.