Is Uganda Safe for Tourists? Safety in Uganda
I won’t say that Uganda is safe but rather I should say that the country is stable because it has transformed itself from a troubled past to one of relative stability and prosperity countries in Africa.
Uganda is one of the safest countries found in Africa as a continent, the continent has 54 independent countries recognized by African Union as well as United Nations and 0ne ‘1’ recognized by only African Union but not United Nations, making a total of 55 independent countries that make up Africa at large.
Uganda is a landlocked country located in the eastern wing of Africa bordering countries like Kenya in the east, Sudan in the north, Tanzania in the south, Rwanda in the southwest and lastly D.R.C in the west. On national borders, Uganda has deployed army officers that are always on the lookout for whosever sets foot and moves out of the country due to the instabilities that having happenings previously in the neighboring countries like Sudan and Congo.
UGANDA’S POLITICAL EXPERIENCE
In the past, the country has experienced hash governance from different political personals or parties since independence in the year 1962. One of the big blows that hit Uganda hard is when it went through a rebel violence in the northern Uganda which was led by Kony under the Lord’s Resistance Army ‘LRA’, he carried out massive killings, raped women, kidnapped children and adults forcing them to join the resistance and even ordering the victims to kill their own families. The LRA was chased out of Uganda in 2008, but there is still a negative image of the country due to political constraints. This happened for quite a long time and later peace was restored in Northern Uganda. A number of political stabilities arise once in a while from the opposition parties but the governments do all that is possible to put the situation in place.
A lot has been said about Uganda’s health conditions and many travelers are afraid to come to Uganda because of whatever is said for example Ebola, Cholera and the famous “Malaria’. For Ebola and Cholera, I should say the health ministry has done its best to eradicate communities on how to fight these killer outbreaks. Encouraging clean hygiene throughout people to prevent such outbreaks.
Malaria is the biggest problem in Uganda and Africa, in general, is still facing. But also the responsible ministries have done their part, for example, providing enough drugs to health facilities, also supply treated mosquito nets to communities and encourage people to sleep under treated mosquito nets.
When it comes to the traveler’s part, accommodation facilities, lodges in national parks are all advised to have treated mosquito nets for their visitors to sleep under. For those that can’t bear with Mosquito nets, they have mosquito replants, for example, Mortein doom.
WILDLIFE AND NATIONAL PARK SECURITY
Regarding security, one of the necessities, once a client sets foot in Uganda, is! Different tour operators normally give what I call an Emergency contact where a visitor gets to fill in case of an Emergency. And with that form I can guarantee my visitors some bit of safety, i.e. we can always be able to connect with the client’s immediate person.
While in National parks during activities like game drives, nature walks and gorilla trekking as well, it’s mandatory that visitors are provided with trained and armed rangers to protect the visitors just in case the animal’s charge or react to the visitors. In addition accommodation facilities (lodges) in national parks and close to national parks, are protected by trained and armed police officers.
RATE OF CRIME
The crime rate in Uganda I should say is relatively low all throughout Uganda. Moderate crime rates can be found in the central part of Uganda i.e. Kampala, for example, pickpockets, Conmen (Baffle) that take advantage of the innocent visitors. Regarding these, the government has established various police posts in different areas of the city and Uganda at large and also deployed crime preventers in communities that watch out for people’s safety.
Recently the government of Uganda emphasized all of its nationals to have National id’s and in one way these have helped to bring down the rate of crime in Uganda whereby criminals can no longer disguise themselves in various identities.
Uganda is a very free country and interesting when it comes to nightlife. Most of the tourists or visitors fall in love with Uganda when it comes to the nightlife since people party a lot and at times it can become hard for one to differentiate between night and day in Uganda. Various communities in Kampala and the neighboring outs karts are deployed with police officers that are always monitoring people’s safety and look out for criminals.
When it comes to transportation from one place to another at night, they always recommend what we commonly call special hire taxis, Uber and safe bodas. Of recent, one with a smartphone can have these applications installed on to their phones and be able to secure safe transportation at night wherever they are. When it comes to accommodation facilities where the tourists stay, these places are protected by Nightguards or police officers.
DISASTER AND ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS
In regards to the environmental hazards Uganda is among the most gifted countries, it has not so far had any environmental disasters that have affected it severely as side floods that happen in Kampala once in a while due to heavy rains but in regard to this Kampala City Council Authority has constructed drainage systems that have reduced the floods. A side floods, another may be the bad roads, but this is common while in the wild. Since roads in national parks are not tarmacked, at times tourists face had to time while accessing the parks but in order to avoid these, we emphasize and advise tourists to have 4 wheel drive safari cars in order to ease the accessibility and safe travel.
Tourists or visitors that get an opportunity to come to Uganda get the chance to have the good treatment of the Ugandan people. People in Uganda are very friendly and welcoming, Right from the person that meets you at the airport, to the hotel and your guide throughout your entire visit. People that you meet in the community are very flexible and are always willing to help in case you approach them politely. For visitors and tourists that are always on the move around communities and hear people scream out words like “Mzungu”, these should not keep you wondering, this word means a white person and they are always excited to see them.
While on community encounters, people are always excited to see visitors and this is evidenced when these people entertain visitors with traditional music, dance and drama with themes of welcoming them to their communities.
With Uganda being a developing country it has best in transforming itself to a relatively safe and peaceful place for one to visit, be it any kind of visit and if something has been backing you down to visit the Pearl of Africa, something related to Uganda’s safety. I should call it false, tourists or visitors safety in Uganda Is a number one priority more so when you travel with a reputable travel agent. Not only does it apply for tourist travelers but all kinds of travelers that come into Uganda the government takes for responsibility for their safety.