Many holiday makers wonder whether Uganda is a safe destination to visit. Given its immense attractions including the mountain gorillas, many travelers would like to visit Uganda to track these great apes on gorilla tours. However there are several travel advisories that warn against traveling to some areas within Uganda.
Current Travel Advisories
There are a number of local and international media houses that are releasing stories to the effect that there are specific possible terrorist groups planning to carry out attacks in Uganda, targeting highly populated areas particularly in Kampala Capital City.
A few weeks ago, the US mission in Kampala received information from various sources, and issued an emergency warning indicating possible terrorist threats on specific locations where high class people, including US citizens, take time off to relax in Kampala, and that an attack may take place at any unexpected moment. In the same report, it was mentioned that a number of planned events that are expected to attract large crowds had been cancelled mainly at hotels in Kampala and stadiums. The US Embassy has however not yet released any further details regarding the issue.
The Ugandan people’s defense force spokesperson Paddy Ankunda said the warning was strongly believed to be linked to the Al-Qaeda-backed Islamist’s, who have carried out major attacks in Kampala in the past. He also added that the threat was “low level”, and may be due to the involvement of Uganda in Somalia, as it is known that Uganda is a key contributor to the African Union’s AMISOM force battling the Al-Shabaab inside Somalia.
Uganda and other neighboring countries in the region, and many others all over the world including the United States of America face the daily threat of terrorism from such groups as the Al Shabab and the Allied Democratic Forces, and have put in place effective counter terrorism measures, especially in Kampala city, Uganda’s Capital and at other vital installations such as Entebbe International Airport so as to ensure that the terrorist groups do not succeed in any of their attempts to carry out attacks on innocent people.
The Uganda Police, together with the different security agencies in the country, have continuously, and on a daily basis put a lot of emphasis and focus on the threat of terrorism and evaluate any kind of information relating to any possible attacks on the country.
The general public, especially the travelers to Uganda and in particular the tourists visiting Kampala Capital City, Entebbe, National parks, and other tourist attraction sites that there is no need to worry about anything with regards to security. Uganda, the Pearl of Africa is the most secure place to be in East Africa and your safety is the number one priority of the Government and all the agencies related to security. Our armed forces, police and intelligence are on full alert in all public places and tourist attractions to ensure that tourists continue enjoying every bit of their tour holiday in peace.
However, even with this safety reassurance in the country, it is everyone’s responsibility to be vigilant at any moment, and it is advisable to go ahead and report any suspicious items like bags, polythene paper, lying in any premises without any owner, any suspicious individuals and activities to the nearest police station, security officer, or Local Council official.