The Uganda shilling is the currency used and it is available in denominations of 50,000/=, 20,000/=, 10,000/=, 5,000/=, 1,000/= for notes and 500/=, 200/=, 100/= and 50/= for coins, each with spectacular features. Foreign currency transactions should only be carried out in commercial banks and licensed Forex bureau. It’s important that you change some little money at the Airport in Entebbe or in Kampala before your trip.
Kampala exchange rates are very good as you can shop around! Credit cards are not widely used but larger hotels may accept with some hefty charges.
Money Tips for Uganda Visitors
Clients are advised not to carry too much money around. Our safaris are all-inclusive and except for a need to tip, buy souvenirs and a few meals in towns, there may be nothing else in relation to your safari that you need to buy. It is best to budget for around US$30-50 a day as a reasonable minimum. Kampala is well serviced with banks. International Banks in Kampala include Stanbic, Allied Bank, Barclays, Standard Chartered, and Tropical Africa Bank. The unit of currency in Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling (Ush). There are coins in the following denominations: 50, 100, 200, 500; and notes in the following denominations: 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000 in circulation concurrently with British Pounds Sterling, US Dollars, German Marks, Swiss Franks, French Francs, Euro.
There are no restrictions on importation or exportation of currency into or out of Uganda, although any monies over US$5000 may be declared to customs officials. Licensed Forex Bureaus can be found in all major urban areas and are abundant in Kampala. Money can be exchanged from some international hotels and banks in cities. It is best to consult your guide for advice on the licensed and trustworthy money exchange agents. Individual Agents and forex bureaus will gladly exchange. It is safest to carry US Dollars. When changing travelers’ cheques a valid passport may be required, and the exchange rate for these could be less than that for real money notes. Some agencies may ask for your Sales Advice Slip. It is also important to note that small denomination bills of US$1, 5, 10, and 20 are changed at a substantially reduced rate, as are torn and soiled notes. This can be as much as a 5% difference or more.
Most hotels, restaurants, banks, travel agencies and the bigger shops will take credit cards in Uganda. Most of the bigger banks and hotels will advance local currency against a credit card. The most commonly accepted credit cards are VISA, MASTER CARD, DINNER’S & AMERICAN EXPRESS.