Uganda: Tips for First Time Travellers

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Travelling to a new country can be both exciting and frustrating at the same time. To kick out the frustration and ensure you only experience the exciting part, we have come up with 5 tips to ease your experience for first time travelling to Uganda.

  1. Get a Yellow Fever Vaccine

In early 2016, the government of Uganda authorised that all travellers to Uganda get a yellow fever vaccine. A proof of yellow fever vaccination is required to be presented at all Ugandan entry and exit points. If it’s your first time travelling to Uganda, make sure to get a yellow fever vaccine at your local medical centre preferably a week before taking on your trip. Kindly note that you can also get this vaccine at the border points and airports. 

A copy of the yellow fever certificate

  1. Prepare for the Weather

If it’s your first time travelling to Uganda, make sure to check what weather to expect. If your trip to Uganda is scheduled as from June to August and December to February, expect to experience hot and dry weather with temperature ranging from 16-27 degrees Celsius. Carry a sun but, sunscreen and light clothing during this season. Please note that Uganda is a pretty laid-back country, therefore, refrain from wearing too short clothes.

The wet season in Uganda runs from March to May and September to November. If travelling during this season, make sure to budget for an umbrella and gumboots. You don’t really need extra warm clothes since temperatures will still be high. You will also need to budget for a 4*4 car hire if you already don’t have one as most dirt roads are impassable during this season.

  1. Exchange your Monies at a Forex Bureau

The local currency at Uganda is the Uganda Shilling. Travelers to Uganda will use the Uganda Shilling to ride boda bodas, pay taxis, eat at local hotels and basically get an exchange of goods and services.  If travelling by road, be rest assured you will find ‘money men’ at the border points like Busia and Malaba in yellow jackets. You can exchange your money with them but be on high alert during calculations. They can easily tell if it’s your first time travelling to Uganda and give you a raw deal. We highly recommend you to change your monies at a Forex bureau for best rates and transparency.

A ten thousand Ugandan shilling note.

  1. Don’t take Photos at Unrestricted Areas

Please note that it is a crime in Uganda to take photos in government administered grounds. These areas will include border points, police stations, courts and even airports that run both civil and military flights such as the Gulu Airport. Perpetrators will be prosecuted and fined whether it will be your first time travelling to Uganda or not.

  1. Learn a little bit of Luganda

Luganda is the most popular language in Uganda. If it’s your first time travelling to Uganda, we recommend that you learn a little bit of Luganda to allow you to maneuver. Most business people in Uganda will understand basic English but it will be easier for you if you know a little Luganda. Android users can download the Luganda – English translator on google play 

Listed below are basic English-Luganda translations that you might need:

. Sir – Ssebo

. Madam/Miss – Nyabo

. Hi – Ki Kati

. Thankyou – Weebale

. Excuse me – Mowange


We at Jumia Travel wish you happy and adventurous travels to Uganda. Share with us your experience on your first time travelling to Uganda down below. Feel free to also add any key points we might have left out.

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