I was in Uganda between the 19 of July 2018 and 14 August 2018. The information and prices were correct at the time of writing.
For daily distances and a brief description of each day follow this link
All prices are in Ugandan shillings except when the charge was in USD.
When I was there the exchange rate was as follows:
1 GBP = 4,902 UGX
1 USD = 3770 UGX
1 EUR = 4,411 UGX
I already had an East African visa covering Uganda which I had obtained as I entered Kenya from Ethiopia.
Entering the country
Entering the country was quick and very straight forward.
I changed my leftover Kenyan shillings at the border. I showed the man the exchange rate online and he agreed to it right away.
In the country I used the ATMs of Spik Bank, they have a reasonable flat charge. Barclays charges were much higher.
Uganda SIM card
I didn’t get one as I was told it was quite a process to register to obtain one. Things change quickly so you may want to have a go.
Food and drink
Fruit and vegetables are plentiful and at very reasonable prices. Huge avocados cost beween 300 and 500 shillings. Chapatti stalls can be found everywhere and one chapatti was 500 shillings.
The national street food is the rolex – a chapatti filled with an omelette with onion, cabbage and tomatoes, they go for about 1500 shillings and are filling and delicious – in some places you can get more sophisticated ones and they can cost around 3000 shillings.
The campsites and resorts have a good selection of food but they are more pricey. A nice meal can set you back 20,000 shillings or more in the Western managed campsites and lodges.
On the Road
The bicycle is one of the main means of transport in Uganda, you will see people with impossible loads on their bikes. Nearly always there is a hard shoulder on the roads used by the bikes.
Like in other countries in the continent you need to be aware of the hierarchy of the road and be ready to get out of the way of any vehicle bigger than you, including motorbikes.
There are two public roads in Queen Elizabeth National Park one tarmaced and the other a dirt road. I took the dirt road and loved it but there was a lot of elephants dung on the path. I was lucky not to encounter any.
Please note what follows is the personal experience of one individual and it does not intend to provide any authoritative account with regards to safety in the coutry or account to recommendation to travel there. We are all different, our attitude to risk and our perception of safety is different too.
Always check your government’s travel advice for Uganda before making your decision.
As a solo older female I never felt unsafe during my time in Uganda even when I was in really remote places. I found people to be really warm, welcoming and friendly.
Be mindful of wildlife if you are crossing Queen Elizabeth National Park and when camping in areas close to water where there may be hippos.
I have listed where I spent the night at each location and the cost. For the exact coordinates check here.
Tororo – Green Meadows Quite upmarket rooms are 150000 shillings but camped for 10 USD in gorgeous landscaped gardens as they were full. Bucket shower with hot water in the staff quarters and access to western toilets. Restaurant food pricey but nice.
Bugiri – Hotel Executive Hotel Nice and clean. 36000 shillings en suite, squat toilet. The cheaper room didn’t have hot water but they brought me some hot water and had a great bucket shower. Mosquito nets
The Haven – Jinja – The Haven – Fabulous campsite. Soft grass to pitch the tent. 7.5 USD. Great showers and incredible views. Food a bit pricey 18USD for 3 course dinner. Bring everything you need if you want to self cater, it is 3 KM from the road and there are no shops around.
Kasaayi – I camped in someone’s front garden – no guesthouses in this area
Kampala – Backpackers hostel and campsite – Nice campsite with grass to pitch your tent – 14000 shillings pppn. Hot water and WIFI. Restaurant on site. Friendly staff
Jizza – Guesthouse – Clean but basic guesthouse – en suite squat toilet and cold shower. Mosquito nets 15000 sh. Friendly staff
Kakungube – Camping in the Police Station – not a particularly nice environment but the police were very friendly – Access to pit toilet.
Mubende – Hotel Nakayima Hotel Clean – en suite -hot water – mosquito nets – 40000 sh for a double room – a Guesthouse round the corner Homeland looked very nice 20000 sh
Kyegegwa – Katente Resort – Clean – en suite -hot water – mosquito nets – 60000 sh for a double room – Camping 10000 pppn access to hot water only if the rooms are not full
Fort Portal 0 by bus Hotel Dutches
Fort Portal – Kalitusi Backpackers – Great campsite. 8 USD pppn. Hot water and WIFI. Really nice food. Friendly staff
Kasese – Guesthouse – Clean and confortable. They asked for 60000 sh for a room that would fit 2 people but negotiated down to 40000 without Bfast. There was a problem with the shower and I got just a trickle so they took me to another place where I had a long hot shower. Very friendly staff. At 11pm the music outside was still going on – I didn’t mind but if you want quiet…
Katunguru – Engiri Game Lodge and Campsite – nice campsite – slow wifi and cold showers but they provided hot water – very friendly staff -hippo in the lawn by my tent in the evening but it felt safe – 20 USD Half board
Enjojo Lodge – camping on grass -10USD pppn – no WIFI – cold showers – not a cheap place for food or drink but beautiful environment. One of the waiters (Adron) helped me get a gorilla tracking permit in Ruhiija. Chris the owner was really helpful
Ruhija – Gorilla Friends Campsite Camping on grass – beautiful views – quiet – hot water – no WIFI – 10USD ppp
Kabale – Kabale Hostel – Friendly place -10000 sh in dorm – no Bfast – hot water or wifi. The owner is a really interesting woman – have a chat with her if you get a chance.
Itambira Island – Byoona Amagara Campsite and resort – Gorgeous island -perfect to chill for a few daysb- 15000 pppn to camp – if you are going to self cater you need to bring everything as there is no shop in the island – cold water showers and no WIFI. To get to the island you need to pay 25000 for a motorboat, the price is for the whole boat and not per person.