We have all heard at some point that it is unsafe for one to travel solo to another country especially a country in Africa. To be quite honest there isn't any place around the world that will offer you 100% safety.
Most of the time people disregard advice given to them and take matters into their own hands and offend many cultural norms or even rules of a country. This often leads to disastrous stories.
The best way to avoid having a nasty trip is to know where you are going and to be open to new experiences.
Uganda is generally a safe country to visit all year round. The people are friendly and ready to help anytime. However here are a few things that you should know before traveling to Uganda.
Uganda was voted the best English speaking country in Africa by the World Linguist Society. As English is the official language of Uganda it is safe to say that it is the language that is taught in schools, used in offices and generally around the country.
If you were worried that you will not be able to communicate with anyone whilst here then you can put your doubts to bed. Even the most uneducated man is able to understand and construct sentences in English.
Uganda is a diverse country with over 50 tribes that have their own customs and language. Imagine that! Please do respect them so that you don’t fall victim to cultural insensitivity. Many of the customs are easy to follow and these can keep you out of trouble especially with elders.
It is safe to say that food in Uganda is delicious, especially our street foods. However I would advise all travelers to ere on the side of caution when they meet street food. Even in restaurants be careful of the salads that they serve along with your meals unless it is a reputable place.
There are many modes of transport that are available to you. Some of the popular means are taxis and boda bodas which are cheaper. Boda boda are motorbikes that ferry people around the city. They are not recommended for tourists because they can be highly dangerous and don’t offer helmets to passengers.
However if you find yourself on one feel free to let the rider know if you are uncomfortable with his riding want him to reduce speed or drive more carefully. If you prefer more private means then you can opt for cabs or special hire (as they are commonly known) which are good for making your way around town.
For a safari or if you prefer to self drive you can check out different reputable companies like Alpha Rent a Car where you are even provided with an experienced guide to help you get around town and on your safari journeys.
Electronic gadgets are one of the most stolen items. But if you are responsible and careful you will be able to avoid getting robbed. For example in taxis keep your phone in your bag especially if you are seated next to a window.
If unable to abstain at least close the window before you pick up your phone. This goes for jewelry as well. Don’t wear your expensive stuff as it can be taken from you. Alternatively you could buy locally made jewelry from the many shops around the country.
The clothes that people wear here are a bit on the conservative side. This can be seen most especially during the daytime. The shortest outfit you will find is an inch above the knee. Anything mid thigh can be construed as offensive to many.
The night time is an entirely different story. This is the time that people are more daring in their outfits. You will be able to find all kinds of styles and lengths from leggings to short shorts.
For women a night out might be seen as strenuous but it isn't. Most of the time you will receive flirtations from suitors and a marriage proposal here and there but a smile and a firm no will usually keep the suitor at bay.
A picture of your significant other real or not can also come in handy. It is always advised to go out with at least one local friend, preferably one who doesn't drink. If that isn’t the case you can hire a cab to get you home safely. Invest in one.
It is advised to get a sim card so that you are able to communicate with your loved ones at home and your friends around the city. A sim card goes for less than a dollar. There are many mobile networks to choose from like MTN. Airtel, Africell among others.