The currency in usage in Uganda is Ugandan Shillings(UGX). Coins are available in denominations of shs 50, shs 100, shs 200, and shs 500. Currency notes available are shs 1000 and shs 2000, shs 5000, shs 10000, shs 20000, and shs 50000. Shs 50000 currency note is more convenient for it occupies less space of your wallet. However, travelling it is advisable to keep change in smaller denominations since getting change sometimes becomes difficult. Ensure that the notes are not torn or defaced in any manner before accepting.
All banks and forex bureaus exchange foreign currency at the rate prescribed for the day by Bank of Uganda. Authorized moneychangers are also located at strategic market places and hotels. If you are travelling to remote areas it is advised that you change your money before hand. American Express and Thomas Cook Traveller cheques are also well accepted. At all major cities ATMs are conveniently available. ATM accepts Visa, Maestro, and Master Card. However, all ATMs may not accept all the cards. Major shopping establishments, hotel and restaurants accept credit cards. But budget hotels, restaurants and small shops may not accept credit cards.
Uganda has well established postal service. A standard mail is charged as per weight and distance. It is advisable to get the parcels stitched by a tailor or a parcel vendor, normally available just outside the post offices to avoid pilferage.
Courier services are available throughout the country for sending articles within or outside Uganda. Some international couriers have offices in Ugamda while most others have associates. Leading international couriers in Uganda include DHL, EMS, TNT, Fedex and UPS.
Post can be received as poste restante with your surname written first addressed care of Post Office of any town you intend to visit. While looking for your mails check both for surname and first name on the communicaton as it could be filed under either of them. Make sure, the senders write their return address so that the mails, if uncollected, can be returned to the sender.
Even in small town you will find abundance of phone booths called PCOs or Public Calling Offices. You can make local calls or Subscribers Trunk Dialing (STD call), or International Subscribers Trunk Dialing (ISD calls) from these booths.
Cyber Cafes exist all over with easy internet and e-mail access. However, internet can be very slow between 5 pm and 9 pm but is generally faster in mornings, early afternoons and late nights. The rates hardly vary from those of one cafe to another.
Newspapers in English language presenting high quality international and national coverage of news are Uganda’s leading newspapers like Daily Monitor,The New Vision,WeeklyObservor and Redpepper. Selected bookstalls may have some international newspapers too.
DRINKING WATER AND BEVERAGES
There is an apparent over dose of international Cola and carbonated drinks like Coca Cola and Pepsi, which are available in abundance at every corner. Hygenic bottled fresh drinking water is also widely available. A variety of fruit juices and beverages is available in the market.