When traveling on safari in Uganda, it’s important to have a secure and practical approach to carrying money. By following these tips and practicing common-sense security measures, you can ensure that carrying your money is safe while enjoying your safari experience in Uganda.
The official currency in Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX). It’s advisable to carry local currency for day-to-day expenses and transactions.
While major towns and cities have ATMs that accept international debit and credit cards, they may not be readily available in remote safari areas. Carry enough cash for your trip, especially if you plan to visit more rural locations.
Inform your bank about your travel plans to prevent any issues with card transactions.
Carry a mix of small and larger denominations. Small bills are useful for tips, small purchases, and bargaining.
Money Belt or Pouch:
Consider using a money belt or pouch to keep your cash, cards, and important documents hidden and secure.
Use a secure backpack or bag to carry your belongings. Opt for something with zippers and compartments to deter pickpockets.
Many lodges and camps in popular safari destinations accept credit cards. However, it’s a good idea to have some cash on hand in case of any payment issues.
Tips and Gratuities:
Have small bills available for tipping guides, drivers, and service staff.
Exchange money at authorized currency exchange offices, banks, or reputable hotels. Avoid exchanging money on the street, as it may involve scams or unfavorable rates.
Consider keeping a small amount of emergency cash hidden separately from your main stash.
Keep a list of emergency contact numbers, including your bank’s customer service and your embassy.
Ensure your travel insurance covers lost or stolen money and belongings.
Copies of Documents:
Make copies of important documents, such as your passport, driver’s license, and credit cards. Keep them separate from the originals.
Be discreet when handling money in public areas to avoid attracting unnecessary attention.
In some urban areas, mobile payment apps like Mobile Money (e.g., MTN Mobile Money) are commonly used for transactions. Consider using these apps for convenience.
Local Markets and Street Vendors:
When shopping in local markets or from street vendors, ensure you have smaller bills for easier transactions and to avoid overpaying.