Uganda money information and tips
Where to exchange currency in Uganda.
- The best place to exchange currency is in Kampala, if you’re entering Uganda through overland borders don’t exchange currency at border crossing points. I've used various Uganda land borders to enter Uganda and it's so chaotic, several brokers approach you to offer currency exchange services. In most cases the money is fake.
- There are several exchange bureaus in downtown Kampala around the Grand imperial hotel.
Tip: For holders of visa debit cards, you’ll get the best rate from ATM withdrawals. For other debit cards: American Express, Diners, and MasterCard avoid ATM withdrawals, it’s already difficult to find an ATM that accepts these cards in Kampala. Also, the few ATMs that accept these cards will charge you an extra commission.
- The withdrawal limit is between Ush 50000- 60000 per day.
Safety precaution: Don’t leave forex bureaus on foot, there’s a very high possibility of getting robbed. Once you exchange your money, get a taxi ASAP ( Uber is now available in Kampala) or have your driver pick you up.
- Avoid using traveler’s cheques, if you must get an American express traveler's cheque. Ugandan banks will still ask for proof of purchase and your passport before they cash your traveler's cheques.
- Another reason I don’t recommend using traveler's cheques or exchanging currency in banking halls is that banking halls in Kampala are always packed, from personal experience I have to queue for about an hour before getting any services.
Credit Card Payments
- Visa cards and MasterCard are readily accepted, if you use Master card or Diners expect an extra surcharge of 5-6%.
- Cash Payments.
- Most tour companies and Gorilla permit authorities ask for payment in US dollars.
- Avoid paying in dollars at restaurants and shops, you’ll lose money. Tip and pay in Ugandan shillings.
- Tip: Uganda is a paper economy so in most places you’ll pay in cash.
- Western Union and Pesapal (World Remit) are the most commonly used money transfer services. You can send money directly to another person’s phone through western union using an MTN Sim card.