Hostels in Uganda are a decent way to discover and get to know this country intimately. I have always said that Uganda still needs more of these to counter the increasing number of visitors and if there are any investors out there considering investment in Ugandan business, this is the opportunity to pounce.
That said, you will certainly find respectable accommodation at least in Kampala and in some of the major towns in Uganda that is a lot cheaper than staying in the Ugandan Hotels.
Hostels in Uganda have a long history and some of the house hold names include; the YMCA and the YWCA that have stood the taste of time. These have got branches in some of the major towns in Uganda. The good news is that a few new ones have come up with modern facilities going by world standards.
I will hastily mention that many times hostels in Uganda are associated with student accommodation and going by the origin of the idea of youth hostels - which was to come up with decent accommodation that young students could afford especially while on tour, the true meaning of a hostel has been lost to student dormitories/ halls of residence.
More often you will find these hostels close to schools, colleges and Universities, tapping into the quick clientele around and are used as accommodation for the students for the time they are at college/university. From the business point, you can understand!
That aside, it could entirely be the choice of words that the owners of these places can't find the right word but stick with 'hostel' which is closely related to students.
....But let's keep with the real definition of the concept of youth hostels - meant to provide reasonably priced accommodation for students on tour. The interesting bit is that; worldwide, this original idea has also grown to include backpackers; people of all ages looking for clean, standard accommodation that is pocket friendly.
You will be pleased with the facilities at some of the new modern hostels in Uganda; with easy access to Wi-Fi Internet or broadband and good size rooms. It will entirely depend on what you have in mind for your Ugandan holiday.
You could quite easily share a dormitory with bunk beds or regular beds with your fun group or enjoy a room all to yourself. Singles, twins, and even triple are available at these places. You may also get an ensuite with your own bathroom or share a common facility.
Hostels in Uganda will often have an in-house bar (for some with strong religious partiality, this might be restricted) and a restaurant adding considerably to the fun quotient. They might also come with a self catering kitchen - that comes in handy if you can find the time to make yourself a quick meal.
Some will provide bed linen while others may charge a minimal fees for this luxury - check before you set out to avoid any surprises especially if you have to keep to your budget.
Now let me let out a bit of personal experience. Some of my travelling has taken me to some of these hostels in Uganda and they all come with different expectations.
Beside the cheap accommodation which is usually between $8 to $20 per person/ night, some hostels also offer free breakfast (It is usually made of the cheapest of cheap stuff off the supermarket shelves), but who cares if you are running on a shoe string budget, I loved this! ...considering that;'the best things in life are free'!
Here is your currency converter to help you with that quick math.
Everything you need is there (basic of course). The tricky bit is always with the shared fridge area. Your food may develop legs and go missing! - Always label all your food so that it is not mistaken for free for all stuff. Be prepared anyway because not everybody may be as sincere as you are.
The same applies to your valuables. Keep them with you all the time and never leave them around in your room even for a few minutes in the bathroom. Lockup your bags, and if the hostel offers a safe, ask them to lock up your valuables.
Find out about the laundry facilities, at times you might have to out source privately.
... And then of course there is the communal area with the ever-present Tele whose remote control went missing 2 years ago and it's been locked into one station since (joking!), ... and the outdoor sitting area of course, where you can make friends.
I know that many hostels worldwide come under various associations but I am not sure which hostels in Uganda have signed up to what.
...If you are a member to any of these international associations, come along with your member's card and ask before you pay. If you do your booking online, that option should come up as you fill in your details.
... And talking about booking a hostel in Uganda, you will be glad to know that you can quite easily do that here. Avoid the last minute hassle of looking around for accommodation.
Yet to book your flight? Here is my recommended Flight Search Engine that will deliver the best deals - try it! AND If you plan to stay in a Ugandan Hotel for a few nights; Why not do a quick check here on the prices today;
Certainly going by the intent of staying in a youth hostel, the way to go is to have membership that lets you stay in any of the variety of hostels worldwide. Look out for such members hostels in Uganda as well, you could save a penny that is worth it and in case you are not a member yet, you can always sign up at the reception when you make your check-in.
OR have you thought about Camping in Uganda? If you have tried this already, then just go on with your booking. If you have not, then here is another alternative that could quite easily fit within your tight budget.
As I deliver Uganda to you, I can only say, enjoy the best that hostels have to offer - certainly the best - if not cheapest way, to go about accommodation in Uganda.
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