Just like any other African state, Uganda is no exception as far as crime rate is concerned. However much there are a few crimes that take place in Uganda, the country is generally safe to visit.
There is a huge disparity between the haves and have-nots in Uganda. The former regime government’s exploitative economic policies led to widespread poverty, which bred crime, and the cohabitation of the rich and destitute has led to an informal redistribution of wealth through robbery. While no plan is foolproof, there are common-sense tactics to reduce your likelihood of being targeted.
Avoid wearing flashy jewelry, keep your camera packed away until you want to use it, and opt for a place to stay with 24-hour security guards. ATMs in Uganda are a hot spot for robberies, so when you need to withdraw money, look for an ATM in a busy city center or mall. If possible, withdraw money during the day. Never accept help from anyone when withdrawing and immediately put the money in your wallet.
While other African countries are famous for carjacking, the incidence of this kind of crime is totally not heard of in Uganda. Most tourists to the bustling city will find the traffic very manageable and the roads very normal and easy to drive at thus end up considering rent a car.
Outside of Kampala, the biggest threat on the road is reckless, aggressive drivers. If you rent a car in Uganda, know the rules of the road. Uganda drives on the left side and measure speed in kilometers per hour. Be wary of minibus taxis that are often driven by unlicensed drivers. Their rates are fixed, so drivers try to maximize profits by getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Many do not heed speed limits or traffic signs.
Safety of Women
Uganda is not very prone to rape and women assault and so neither a tourist are targeted, and the vast majority of violence toward women occurs in the townships. Still, women visitors to Uganda shouldn’t worry at all Ugandans are totally hospitable and civilized. Ugandans living outside the cities tend to be conservative, both in mindset and dress. Outside of urban areas, women should cover up to avoid unwanted stares. Many Uganda women travel alone on minibuses, trains and in their own vehicles, but visitors–both men and women–are wise to travel in groups.
While mosquitoes will bite during the sticky summer months, most of Uganda is malaria-free. If you are planning a trip to Murchison falls National Park or other wild areas in the northern part of the country, malaria pills are a good idea. If you decide against the pills, bring repellent and cover your ankles and wrists. The only other health risk is HIV, with more than a quarter of Uganda infected. If you plan to engage in sexual activity, bring protection.
Private hospitals in the urban centers of Uganda offer first-world medical care. If you are visiting remote areas, it’s wise to purchase travel insurance, which generally covers the cost of a helicopter ride if you need to be flown to a city for treatment. Adrenaline junkies beware: Many travel insurance plans do not cover adventure sports like mountain biking, water rafting, bungee jumping or even hiking. If you forgo travel insurance, check with your home insurance provider to see if any hospitals in Uganda are covered. Keep their names and phone numbers with you when you travel so you can direct ambulances.