Planning to import goods from Kampala, Uganda? This post is for you.

Uganda is a beautiful country with very warm and helpful people, you will feel very comfortable and at home the moment you arrive. English is the official language, Luganda is the most commonly spoken language in Kampala while some people also understand swahili.

You can visit for business or vacation and you can as well do the two together, for example when done with your shopping around, you can take a day or two to tour Kampal by visiting some historic places. On this post I will however just give some tips for those who have been planning to visit for business.

Travelling from Kenya

By air, a return ticket would cost you about ksh25k-30k for a direct flight which is one hour 30 minutes. Entebbe to Kampala is a distance of about 1-1.5 hours so a taxi from the airport to Kampala City will cost you between ksh2500-3000.

You can also travel by road. I have traveled by road to Uganda several times when I lived in Kampala. A bus from Nairobi to Kampala takes about fourteen hours one way (I know, right!) but is completely doable. Some of the buses that frequent the route include; Easy Coach, Guardian and Modern Coast buses with each charging about ksh2500 for a one way ticket.

I would recommend using the bus option though, because this way you will be spending less on transport and saving more to buy your goods plus because you are present you are sure your goods are safe and handled well.

What you need to visit Uganda

You only need a kenyan ID and a yellow fever card to enter Uganda, when you issue your ID at the border you will be given a temporary pass at no fee. If you have the East African Passport or the Kenyan passport you can use them as well.

Do not change your money at the border, there will be so many  people doing the business, but I recommend you do so at the forex bureaus in Kampala, this will prevent you from exchanging at high rates. If you really must change some money, then ksh500 can do.

Where to stay

There are several affordable hotels, depending on your duration of stay and budget, you can look out for one with bed and breakfast,  near to the markets, shopping malls and above all is safe. This kind of room will cost you about ksh2000 for a single room and ksh3000 for a double room.

Moving within the city

Their matatus cost around ksh50 to most places, boda bodas are easily available and will cost you around ksh30 -60 depending on where you are going.

You can also uber if you have the uber app installed in your phone. Uber is very affordable in Kampala (very old cars though)  🙂 for example a place that I would normally pay ksh300 in Nairobi would cost me about ksh100 in Kampala.

Where to shop

The places where you can shop in bulk for items like clothes, bags, shoes or generally the wholesale shops are mostly located in the downtown area of Kampala city, you will find lots of shops. Should you need more directions always ask, trust me they are very helpful.

Before you start your journey to Kampala make sure to check the weather, exchange rate and carry enough snacks that you can eat till you reach your destination and remember to dress appropriately all times.

Your Kenyan line will work in Uganda the same way it works home. For Safaricom make sure to have enough airtime or Mpesa. Using data bundles is expensive so should you need internet, you can buy the East African roaming data bundles. For more info on this you can always consult further with your service provider.

Wishing you a safe business trip.






9 Replies to “Planning to import goods from Kampala, Uganda? This post is for you.”

    1. Yeah. There are lots of people who would like to travel to Kampala for business but they do not know how to start the journey.

  1. I have been there before ,and if I tell you how confused and lost I was the first day ,you will laugh . Very clear and informative piece for my next trip there. Thank you Eve

  2. I find this piece very helpful..but I need to know after all the shopoing and your ready to travel it a hustle crossing the border with the goods..what are the charges and what to expect at the border..

    1. Hi Jasca, I am glad you found it helpful. And thanks a lot for this very important question. No, it is not so much of a hustle. Let’s say you use Easy Coach, they will tell you to pay for the goods according to how much luggage you have, usually not so much. Some people pay 3k, some 2k and some even 1k, depends on your bargaining prowess. After this, they will take care of the people at the border themselves. Feel free to ask me more.

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