My friend from Kampala have book a house for me, it is in the outskirts of Kampala in small and peacefull place called Naalya. There excist a standards for the houses which could be rented to a foreigners, must have high walled fence with barded wire on top of it and very solid iron doorentrance.
Poor houses do not have fence around, probably because people cannot afford it, but even some houses which aren't looking poor do not have a fence. As I was told, most locals don't like fences around the house, especially not those walled, even if people can afford them. On the other hand, midle class and rich people are building kind of fortified walls around their houses in order to safe hidding themselves behind the walls.
There are residential block-houses in the close outskirts of Kampala which are guarded by the security guys, whom to me doesn't look alike trustfull security. I have noticed that they usually sleep on a doorways.
Facts are bitter but true. Despite Ugandas´ sucess story, as the one and only country that has undertaken the strongest campaign in controlling AIDS; you shouldn´t take chances.
STICK TO SAFE SEX IF AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On any bus or shared taxi in UG on a journey of a reasonable distance you will inevitably stop for a quick break. Sometimes this will be a toilet break other times it will be for food. Even if you stop at a place that is not recognisable as a food stop hawkers will appear from nowhere to shove all manner of food into your face. Sometimes the hawkers will actually board the bus
to sell their goods only to scamper off as the bus begins to move.
I don't mind the odd piece of gonja but I am never keen to have a skewer with bits of liver shoved under my nose.
As well as the precooked food on offer in some of the remoter areas you will be offered fruit. I remeber between Lira and Soroti on a bus being offered a carrier bag full of oranges for 500 UGX.
Ah, electricity is great when it is there but Uganda can have a real dodgy electricity supply. Kampala these days has a pretty much 24 hour electricity supply but once you get out of the capital and hit the smaller towns the supply can be very erratic so it is best to charge phones and cameras as soon as you can as you never know how long you will have electricity for!
TVs are spreading across East Africa like a plague. They are cropping up everywhere they appear in bars, saunas, there is even a huge one by the side of Entebbe Road in Kampala just keep your eyes off the traffic. The last time I entered UG from Kenya there were two TVs in the immigration office one on the punters side and one on the officials side and the young lady who gave me a visa and stamped my passport found a need to keep up with a south American soap opera as she was processing my visa!
As in many other African countries Uganda has a very high rate of AIDS and other STDs. Organisiation such as soft power are involved in educating people. I loved this poster of Condom Man. If its not on its not on!!!!
Itchy and scratchy they are and are also a pain in the backside to get rid of.
Not only found in beds but can easily be spread around from infested clothing so they can be picked up almost anywhere. I have seen bedbugs climbing up the back of chairs in bars in Uganda as well as being bitten by them on a long distance bus journey in the country. If you see some creepy-crawly and think it may be a bedbug but you are not sure squeeze it between your fingers and smell, if it stinks then it looks like you have got bedbugs.
Once when sleeping in a cheap hotel in Uganda I got seriously bitten and the things even got into my pack and so all my clothes were infested with them. For some reason they liked climbing up the inside of my mozzie net and congregated in the top most corners of the net.
I bought an insecticide spray that kills them (not all insecticides do) emptied ALL my clothes and pack into a very large plastic bag/bin bag and sprayed the can into the sealed bag. I waited awhile before I felt safe enough to get dressed again with some bug free clobber and found a new hotel.
Almost all supermarkets around the country will have a few fake notes stuck to the wall behind the counter or near the till. When they are discovered the shops for some reason like to punch holes in them. The bottom two notes I was offered in Capital supermarket in Kampala after I was seen "admiring" them, as a collector of banknotes I couldn't resist the chance of acquiring a few fakes. The top 20,000UGX note I found screwed up in the bottom of a draw on my hotel room.
I was told that a lot of these fakes originate in central Asia; I have visions of an Uzbek guy slaving over his printing press.
To combat the fraud many shops now have those small ultra violet lights that show up figures and marks not visible to the naked eye. Some are easily recognisable as they just don't feel right.
The great thing about Uganda is that you can drive just outside of a town or village and see wild Monkeys. Please do not fee them inside the grounds of nice hotels or inside towns. This just attracts them and they then leave their natural areas. They also eat foods that are really not good for them and they can cause the locals a lot of issues after you have left. Some villagers will happily kill the sweet Monkeys you have attracted into their living areas.
So please keep wildlife live in the wild. Take a good look at these pictures of Monkeys eating rubbish. It doesn't look right does it? Do not feed the Monkeys.
Actually, I haven't seen much police around neither I had any kind of encounter with them. It wouldn't be honest to say that I in person had bad experience with the local police. However, I've seen the way they treat the locals, with no respect at all and lots of arrogancy. Some of my Ugandan friends advised me to avoid the police forces because they all very corrupted.
There are no signs or any customs shelter or pole indicating you are near the border between Zaire (at the time it was called Zaire) and Uganda. Here the border is the Semliki river, which in fact is the Nile before it enters Lake Albert.
The deep dark green colour of the grass indicates wet areas which you do not see when driving and you easily get stuck driving off road (no road here). In the border areas (here easy to identify, as it is the river) many people are travelling from one side to the other and you never know if they are “friendly”, when they visit you if you are stuck there..
Do not stay too long in the area.
Roads in Uganda are not in good condition, and in addition, during the night, most of them are not properly illuminated.
But this is not all... when driving you'll meet many people walking along the roads and cars and trucks stopped. During the day, taking care you can drive more or less safely.. but during the night is extremely dangerous to drive.
My advice: hire a driver, and avoid driving during the night.
Traffic in Kampala is chaotic.
There are not many traffic signs, and just some traffic lights. So, here is the law of the strongest.. that means, that in a roundabout or junction, the one bravest is the one who crosses first.
As consequence, driving here is extremely difficult. So I won't recommend to rent a car here. And if you rent it, try to hire a driver as well. And of course... the best car for driving here is a 4x4.
Be careful going down stairs at campsites in the dark. I had a bit of a tumble and had to visit hospital for x-rays. The docs put me in this lovely stookie which I refued to allow to spoil my gorilla tracking plans for the following week.
Don't I look happy!
we plant the curtains next to the river that
it divides uganda from the congo
there is a beautiful hut and we decide to prepare
the dinner them under.
but as soon as we enter on the ceiling a guest
a black mamba
two hours we have given for inviting to go out him
If you want to stay in a luxurious hotel in Kampala, here it is. The Sheraton is located in some...more
Ternan Avenue, Entebbe, KM, UG
Good for: Solo
I have enjoyed staying in this hotel for 4 nights. Rooms are really spacious and well furnished....more
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