Solo Travel Currency Exchange in Uganda

Solo Travel Currency Exchange in Uganda

May 8, 2024
Posts, Uganda

Solo Travel Currency Exchange in Uganda

Solo Travel Currency Exchange in Uganda: A Comprehensive Guide


Welcome to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa! If you’re planning a solo trip to this beautiful country, one of the things you’ll need to consider is currency exchange. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about currency exchange in Uganda as a solo traveler. From understanding the local currency to finding the best exchange rates, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in!

1. Understanding the Ugandan Currency

The official currency of Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX). The currency is denominated in banknotes of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, and 50,000 shillings. Coins are also in circulation, ranging from 50 shillings to 500 shillings. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the different denominations and their corresponding values before your trip.

2. Where to Exchange Currency in Uganda

When it comes to exchanging your currency in Uganda, there are several options available. Here are some of the most common places to exchange your money:


Banks are the most reliable and secure option for currency exchange in Uganda. They offer competitive exchange rates and provide a safe environment for transactions. Some of the major banks in Uganda include Stanbic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and Barclays Bank. It’s advisable to exchange your currency at a bank rather than at the airport or hotels, as they may offer less favorable rates.

Forex Bureaus

Forex bureaus are another popular option for currency exchange in Uganda. These are private businesses that specialize in buying and selling foreign currencies. Forex bureaus are easily accessible in major cities like Kampala and Entebbe. It’s important to compare rates and fees at different bureaus to get the best deal.


ATMs are widely available in Uganda, especially in urban areas. They offer the convenience of withdrawing local currency directly from your bank account. However, it’s essential to check with your bank about any international withdrawal fees and inform them about your travel plans to avoid any issues with your card.

3. Tips for Getting the Best Exchange Rates

Getting the best exchange rates can save you money during your solo travel in Uganda. Here are some tips to help you get the most favorable rates:

  • Research and compare exchange rates at different banks and forex bureaus before making a decision.
  • Avoid exchanging your currency at the airport or hotels, as they often offer less competitive rates.
  • Consider exchanging a small amount of money at the airport for immediate expenses and then find a better rate at a bank or forex bureau.
  • Be aware of any transaction fees or commissions charged by the exchange service.
  • Keep an eye on the daily exchange rate fluctuations and exchange your money when the rates are in your favor.

4. Currency Exchange Dos and Don’ts

To ensure a smooth currency exchange experience, here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Do exchange your currency at reputable banks or forex bureaus to avoid counterfeit money.
  • Do keep your exchange receipts in case you need to convert any remaining shillings back to your home currency.
  • Do notify your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with your debit or credit cards.
  • Do carry a mix of cash and cards for emergencies and convenience.


  • Don’t exchange your currency with street vendors or unauthorized individuals, as they may offer counterfeit money or unfavorable rates.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash with you. Use a money belt or a secure wallet to keep your money safe.
  • Don’t forget to check the exchange rates and fees before making a transaction.

5. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I use US dollars or Euros in Uganda?

A1: While the official currency is the Ugandan Shilling, US dollars and Euros are widely accepted in tourist areas, hotels, and some restaurants. However, it’s advisable to have some local currency for smaller establishments and local markets.

Q2: Are credit cards widely accepted in Uganda?

A2: Credit cards are accepted in major hotels, restaurants, and some shops in urban areas. However, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash for places that may not accept cards.

Q3: Can I exchange currency at the airport?

A3: Yes, currency exchange services are available at the airport. However, the rates may not be as favorable as those offered by banks or forex bureaus in the city.

Q4: What is the best time to exchange currency in Uganda?

A4: The exchange rates can fluctuate throughout the day. It’s advisable to keep an eye on the rates and exchange your currency when the rates are favorable. Some banks and forex bureaus may offer better rates in the morning, so it can be a good time to exchange your money.

Q5: Are there any restrictions on currency exchange in Uganda?

A5: There are no specific restrictions on currency exchange in Uganda. However, it’s important to declare any amount exceeding $10,000 (or its equivalent in another currency) when entering or leaving the country.


Currency exchange is an essential aspect of solo travel in Uganda. By understanding the local currency, knowing where to exchange your money, and following the tips mentioned in this guide, you can ensure a smooth and cost-effective currency exchange experience. Remember to research and compare rates, choose reputable exchange services, and be cautious of counterfeit money. With proper planning and knowledge, you can make the most of your solo trip to Uganda without any currency exchange hassles. 

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