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Kampala Travel Information

The Basics

Time

GMT +3

Electricity

Electrical current is 220-240 volts, 50Hz. Three-pin, rectangular blade plugs are in use.

Language

English is the official national language in Uganda. Luganda is also widely spoken and is the most common of the numerous indigenous languages.

Travel Health

Travellers' diarrhoea is the most common complaint for visitors to Uganda. Recommended vaccinations include hepatitis A and typhoid. In recent years a Hepatitis E outbreak in northern Uganda killed dozens of people and infected thousands more so it is advised that visitors take precautions if visiting the area. All visitors require vaccination against yellow fever. Cholera outbreaks occur occasionally, but most travellers are at low risk for infection; bottled water is widely available. Malaria and HIV/AIDS are widespread. Outbreaks of the plague and meningitis occur and visitors should insure that vaccinations are up to date. Uganda has also seen an outbreak of Ebola in the past and although not an issue any longer, it is advised visitors be aware. Incidents of sleeping sickness are on the rise, carried by tsetse flies. Limited health facilities are available outside of Kampala. Comprehensive medical insurance is advised.

Tipping

At local hotels and restaurants in Uganda, tipping is not common, but tips of 5 to 10 percent are expected at tourist-orientated establishments. It is customary to tip guides and drivers.

Safety Information

Most national parks are safe to visit and a holiday to Uganda is generally trouble-free. Kampala, the capital, is a relatively safe city, although visitors should take sensible precautions against opportunistic crime and at night. Theft of EU passports has been on the increase.

Due to the risk of banditry and attacks by other rebel groups, and tribal clashes, most foreign governments advise against travel to the northeast of Uganda. Travellers in the northwest near the border with Sudan and the DRC are also at risk of banditry, and travel outside of the main towns is to be avoided after dark.

Areas bordering Sudan in the north, the region known as West Nile in the north west (except Arua town, which can be visited by air), and the Karamoja region of north eastern Uganda are insecure and can pose a serious risk to travellers. Kidepo Valley National Park should be visited by air only. Gorilla trekking excursions that cross over into the DRC should be avoided.

Despite publicity in recent years, there has been no activity by the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda since 2006.

Local Customs

Visitors to Uganda are advised not to take photographs of military or official sites, including Owen Falls Dam. Homosexual practices are frowned upon and public displays of affection should be avoided.

Business

Uganda has one of the fastest-growing economies and is one of the most liberal countries in Africa. Agriculture is the largest sector of the economy and coffee the chief export. Uganda is most welcoming for foreign investment and business is steadily on the increase. Appointments should always be made prior to business meetings. Formal dress attire is to be observed, and the shaking of hands is expected on introduction. Business is usually conducted in English. Business hours are generally 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday with an hour taken over lunch.

Communications

The international dialling code for Uganda is +256. There is extensive mobile phone network coverage over most of the country, and internet cafes are available in most large towns.

Duty Free

Travellers to Uganda over 18 years of age do not have to pay duty on 250g of tobacco products; one litre of spirits or two litres of wine; and 500ml of perfume or eau de toilette, of which up to 250ml may be perfume.

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