Since the late 1980s, Uganda has rebounded from civil war and economic catastrophe to become what is now a relatively peaceful, stable and prosperous country. Most expats living in Uganda are journalists, diplomats or aid workers employed by NGOs. However, since the discovery of oil, Uganda’s economic prospects have improved and its expat population is steadily on the rise.
Expats living in Uganda usually settle in the capital, Kampala. While the cost of living in Uganda is relatively cheap in comparison to the USA and Europe, certain things are more expensive than one would expect of a developing country. For instance, renting property in a safe expat neighbourhood in Kampala will cost two or three times as much as elsewhere in the city. However, most expats choose not to compromise on safety and security.
Despite terrorist threats, there have been no major attacks since 2010. Most crimes committed against expats in Uganda are opportunistic and common crimes are burglary, muggings and credit card fraud. It is best to exercise caution and avoid walking city streets at night.
British influence is evident throughout the country and English is the country’s official language. While there are a lot of local languages spoken in Uganda, expats will find that there isn’t much of a communication barrier here. Furthermore, the Ugandan people are famous for their brilliant hospitality and welcoming nature.
Expats will need to invest in a comprehensive health insurance policy before moving to Uganda as treatment in private hospitals can be expensive. Malaria is an issue in certain parts of Uganda and expats planning on living or working in rural areas are advised to take preventative measures.
There are a number of international schools in Uganda's capital, but fees are high; expats should therefore try to negotiate an allowance for this within their contract of employment.
Moving to Uganda is not for the faint-hearted and expats are likely to miss certain home comforts. However, those who do take the opportunity to relocate to Uganda will be treated to an unforgettable experience and a chance to interact with friendly locals while enjoying spectacular landscapes, a mosaic of cultures and exciting wildlife.