Uganda is one of Africa’s safer countries to travel in but lack of border enforcement has allowed for illicit substances and lawlessness. Uganda has experienced noticeable improvement in all security categories except international terrorism and road safety. The Ugandan Police Force (UPF) has concentrated its efforts on reducing crime, and the results have been impressive. Improved security has eliminated the need for extraordinary security measures in all but the Karamoja region, and those measures are being re-evaluated by the United Nations and the U.S. Embassy.
Threats from regional terror organizations still plague Uganda. However, increased capacity of the Government of Uganda (GOU) to deal with these threats and continued victories on the battlefield in Somalia and around the world may have diminished the abilities of these groups to conduct attacks.
Conversely, police mismanagement of the Walk to Work (W2W) protests has resulted in numerous and sometimes deadly altercations between police and protestors. Although police crack downs have diminished the impact of the W2W protests, future demonstrations in response to corruption, economic and infrastructure woes could easily be aggravated by similar overreactions by the police and should be monitored. Overall, the security situation in Uganda is notably improved over last year’s report. This greatly calls for travelers that the movements in Uganda are greatly safe hence making it a safe country to visit. We are also working so tirelessly to give security information to our clients so that we don’t mess up with their lives.
Congo is among now the safe country to travel for the Nyiragongo Volcano and gorilla tours in Congo, Virunga National Park is active and has only limited access to tourists. The north eastern district of Ituri, near the frontier with Uganda, remains subject to inter-factional conflict despite the presence of the UN and the Congolese army. Following the unrest in the Central African Republic (CAR), refugees from CAR have crossed the border into the DRC and are now in the Gemena area in Equateur Province.
You’ll need an international driving permit and insurance to drive. Car hire is possible in Kinshasa although self-drive options are limited. Most car hire companies will only rent a car with a driver.
Driving conditions and standards are well below those in the United Kingdom and other European countries, and traffic accidents are common. Roads in Kinshasa are poorly maintained. Outside Kinshasa and other main cities, most roads are barely drivable even with a 4×4, especially during the rainy season (September to May). Consider the technical capability of your vehicle and be confident in your ability to safely operate it.
Be aware of vehicle theft and car-jacking. Lock vehicle doors and keep windows closed when driving and watch out for armed gangs who may target your car. Don’t drive off the main routes or park in unsupervised areas. Security forces operate road blocks, particularly after dark. If you are asked to produce documents for inspection at a check point, remain in your vehicle and show them through closed windows. The political and security situation remains uncertain and this calls for careful travel to this country. We as tour operators shall always give the security information to our clients regarding their times of travel.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been affected by conflict, especially in the eastern part of the country, so travelers are advised to check the situation before traveling there. This conflict has also greatly affected the number of gorillas due to habitat destruction and poaching. However, for the past three years, there has been a semblance of peace and Virunga National Park is open for tourism. This year, the park has attracted a good number of tourists who go trekking with gorillas and hike up Mt. Nyiragongo.