Kampala - Post Report Question and Answers

What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

The traffic and horrible roads, the lack of any infrastructure or public services, the constant power outages, the expensive and unreliable internet. - Jan 2024

The med unit will provide meds BEFORE you travel for the inevitable e.coli/food or water illness. - Jun 2022

The following is what I learned through my experiences : Rich red soil will come into your house and will change white color shoes, clothes, bedding turns to beige or light brown. We switched kids’ socks to all dark colours. It was made known prior to my arrival that people are usually late for appointments and it is very true. “Almost there” can be three hours away. Many locals (for me, most Uber drivers, and some safari guides, friends we met) will tell you very sad situations. Some expats have a certain stereo-type view of other expats. People who think they have authority will practice that entitlement over you, including police, airport agents, federal police especially if you are a woman. We were told that you could get anything, but things ran out from store shelves, so it is important to bring things you absolutely need. Surge happens, kitchen appliances will break even with step down transformer. Do not put anything important on the ground to protect them from broken pipes and flooding in the house. It is hard to find a good place to get things fixed or made. Having a low expectation of it may not be fixed or last long even if you pay so much money helps. Local shops will say they can do it, but it may not be true. It is better not to go to the same place three times. Quality does not remain the same. If things break in your house, it may not be fixed for a very long time. It can be a couple of months to a year and a half. Make sure you use the service of people who have good references. Prices displayed at supermarkets and what you are charged at the cash register are different. Supermarkets' cash registers can be programmed to give you less change. Sometimes it is good to pick a fight but other times, just let it go. It is not worth your energy. - Dec 2021

How truly insane traffic is. I have always lived in U.S. cities with really bad traffic and this makes those places look like an empty country road. How terrible customer service is most of the time. There seems to be no concept of it at all. Usually it's not a big deal but in other circumstances it is incredibly stressful and frustrating. - Aug 2020

People say the traffic is bad. I’ve lived where I thought the traffic was bad. This is indescribable. It impacts everything. - Nov 2019

Conditions vary drastically between neighborhoods within town. Some neighborhoods are nice, with sidewalks, and have amenities. Some are noisy/polluted. - Oct 2019

The lack of green spaces to meet has a big impact on the community cohesiveness. - Mar 2019

Air quality. - Feb 2019

How bad the traffic and air pollution affect quality of life. - Jan 2019

The traffic seems quite bad to me. - Dec 2018

Honestly, I wish I had not come here. - Sep 2018

That access to far off-road trails is easy, but I wish I had known that in time to outfit my jeep with a bigger lift, and roof-top tent. - Aug 2018

More about the different ethnic groups/local customs/cultures. - Jun 2018

If you plan to travel to the national parks a lot, then it is worth investing in an annual pass (US$500/365 days for a couple, US$700 for a family of 4). The payment has to be made in cash at UWA in Kampala and it pays for itself after 9 days in any of the national parks. Bring your camping gear and be prepared for awesome adventures if you camp. Camping is the only way it is affordable to travel regularly in this country. Be sure to camp on the Delta in Murchison Falls, on the Mweya peninsula in QENP, and campsite 3 in Lake Mburo. You will have hippos brushing up against your tent, but they really do leave you alone in your tent. We always camp with our 2 & 3 year olds, so the hippos definitely know we are there and they are not bothered. - Aug 2015

I wish I had a better sense of how challenging it would be to find things to do and to deal with the daily frustrations of life here--both at work and at home. - Jun 2014

I repeat again, traffic is horrible. Roads were built decades ago and they have not expanded to alleviate the traffic concerns. - Oct 2013

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