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Using Cash and Credit Cards in Uganda

by Matt and Friends
(Union City, CA, USA)


Hi Robert,

My name is Matt and together with 2 friends we are planning to visit Uganda this summer. We will be kayaking on the White Nile near Jinja but also see other parts of the country as well.

We can’t buy any Ugandan currency here and our assumption is that when we arrive, we shall exchange some US dollars for Ugandan shillings at the airport and use this to pay for our living expenses.

Our questions are; Are credit cards (Visa, MasterCard etc...) accepted in Uganda? Are ATMs commonly available to obtain cash withdraws?

We will appreciate your advice.


Matt and Friends.


Dear Matt and Friends,

Great to know you are coming to Uganda this summer!

For starters, I would advice that you don’t exchange all the dollars at the airport – the exchange rates at the airport are usually not the best you can find. Change some money to start with about $100 each and the rest when you get to Kampala or Jinja.

On the credit cards (as a way of payment) hmm! ... I wouldn’t advice you relying so much on them. They will probably only be accepted in a few big hotels in Kampala and these will also be selective depending on which card you have.

ATMs are readily available countrywide – probably more in the big cities. Note that the further you go away from the big cities/towns, the more likely you won’t have access to any ATMs. So if you are going to some smaller towns, be sure to have enough cash on you.

... And, not all ATMs will accept Visa cards - look out for the 'Visa' sign.

Hope you have a wonderful time!


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