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Safety and Security in Uganda for Tourists

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Hello,

This is my first post on this website. I usually frequent another site but when I discovered that the Rwanda and Uganda forums were not very active, someone suggested Fodor's. I am glad they did as I have already discovered some really great information.

I have a question about safety in Uganda. My husband and I are American citizens who were about to purchase a trip to Uganda and Rwanda. Our trip would be to go gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in the appropriate national parks near the Rwandan border, along with a possible safari, too, in QE Park. We would fly in and out of Uganda.

I noticed, however, the problems with violent crimes on the US Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Uganda. Rwanda, on the other hand, seems relatively safe. The part that concerned me was how tourists had sometimes been targeted and killed in Uganda, even in the national parks and nice lodges.

On the other hand, I also read that the Ugandan government has taken serious steps in the past few years to protect tourists. My questions are: Is it now safer for tourists to visit, especially Americans? Also, is it safer to travel on the roads between the airport and parks during the day with a car and hired driver?

We recently returned from a wonderful trip to South Africa, of which we almost canceled after reading the US Consular Information Sheet for that country. We soon discovered that the safari lodges in the private game reserves near Kruger National Park and the tourist areas of cities such as Cape Town were very safe for tourists. We felt very safe and secure while there, unlike the "horror" described on their Consular Information Sheet. I want to know if the Consular Information sheet for Uganda is just a series of isolated incidents or a serious concern for the everyday tourist.

We do not want to be falsely alarmed but don't want to be foolish, either. There is a difference.


Below is the link to which I am referring:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1051.html


Here are some excerpts that concern me the most:

"...and in the southwest near the border with Rwanda. Insurgent groups have at times specifically targeted U.S. citizens. They have engaged in murder, armed attacks, kidnapping, and the placement of land mines. Isolated, incidents occur with little or no warning."

and this, but not as much as the quote above:

"On June 27, 2007, two American citizens were robbed and held at gunpoint when the vehicle transporting them to Entebbe Airport was stopped by a group of armed men."

And last but not least:

"The 2007 raid on Butogota is in a district transited by tourists traveling to Bwindi, a popular gorilla trekking destination."

Thanks for any positive, or negative, personal experiences you can provide.

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