Doing business in Uganda
May 12, 2019 9:53 AM   Subscribe

A friend of mine will be on the ground in Uganda near Fort Portal. He'll be there as a business representative for a small company. He has reason to trust the company he'll be meeting with and the U.S. State Department advisory for Uganda is remarkably mild, so perhaps there's nothing to worry about. I certainly wouldn't blink at being a tourist there, but a businessman seems more like a target somehow. Is it worth hiring a bodyguard?
posted by Tell Me No Lies to Travel & Transportation around Uganda (3 answers total)
I've was in Uganda until Thursday, great country with lots of friendly people - I ran and walked around towns and rural places on my own and with my sister. No hint of trouble and a lot less security everywhere than in Nairobi which I went on to. This was as a tourist but I don't think there's a difference - if anything I'd be more of a target as likely to be carrying cash for the trip and camera etc. Plus presumably when in businessman mode he'll be just be driving between hotel and company locations?

That said, the roads are rather challenging there. I self drove but it was common for westerners I saw to have their own driver - so he could do that and request that the driver accompany him to anywhere that felt a bit off.
posted by JonB at 10:11 AM on May 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

Nah, not for Fort Portal. Maybe if he was working up north near the South Sudan border I'd say look into security, but otherwise it's a wonderful, safe, friendly country. Seconding JonB that if he hasn't already planned on it, to definitely hire a driver. Some roads are great (I think I went from Sippi Falls to Fort Portal and it was paved most of the way), some less great, but driving in general is not for the faint of heart.

(source: I visited Fort Portal a couple years ago, along with a few other towns. My sister lived there for a couple years until very recently, and was back there for work this week. Except for around elections it's generally a pretty chill place.)
posted by kalimac at 11:35 AM on May 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Okay, thanks.

Travelling as a businessman can be dicey anywhere in the Third World as they often carry cash and luxury goods to help smooth the path. In the worst of places kidnapping and ransom is also a problem — business people from larger companies are often insured against it, which makes them easy payoffs.

However, it doesn’t sound like that’s where Uganda is right now. I’ll recommend the company spring for a driver who is familiar with the Fort Portal area and has security experience and leave it at that.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:52 AM on May 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

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