Are you looking for Uganda visa?

All about the Uganda currency: the Ugandan Shilling

by Elena Escudero | July 24, 2019
One of the Big 5 of the savannah in Uganda

What is the currency in Uganda?

The Ugandan shilling (UGX) is the official currency of Uganda, which sometimes also appears with the symbol USh, and is issued by the Bank of Uganda.

Back in the day there were cents in the Uganda currency, but because of inflation they disappeared. So did the less valuable coins. Today if we travel to Uganda we will handle banknotes of 1,000; 2,000; 5,000; 10,000 and 50,000 shillings and coins of 50, 100, 200 and 500 shillings.

Exchanging Uganda currency

On your trip to Uganda, you can buy Uganda currency at exchange offices, from the bank or at some hotels. Also in the Casino of Kampala, the capital of the country. Depending on the place where the exchange is made, we will get a more or less favourable exchange rate than expected. If we exchange in the ATMs we risk a high commission.

During the preparation of your Uganda travel you must take into account that the Ugandan shilling is not listed, unlike what happens with other currencies, so we can only get Uganda currency from the bank upon arrival in the country.

With the euro there are no problems. However, new USD notes were introduced after 2001 and, if you travel with the United States dollar, you will need to use those.

Exchange rate from Ugandan Shilling to Euro

The current exchange rate is: 1 UGX = 0,00025 EUR.

Exchange rate from Euro to Ugandan Shilling

The current exchange rate for Euro to the Uganda currency is: 1 EUR = 4000,33 UGX.

Exchange rate from Ugandan shilling to USD

The official exchange rate from Ugandan shilling to USD in 2023 is: 1 UGX = 0,00027 USD.

Exchange rate from USD to Ugandan shilling

If you wish to exchange USD to Ugandan shilling, this is the current rate: 1 USD = 3700,57 UGX.

Uganda currency, shilling notes

Are bank cards accepted in Uganda?

Ugandan society usually functions using cash, so we should avoid the use of our bank card as much as possible.

For starters, in establishments where cards are accepted, only Visa is accepted, MasterCard is not widely accepted and the rest of the cards are not accepted at all. In addition, there is a risk of fraud with card. 

Approximate traveling budget in Uganda currency

We can haggle in Uganda, although it is usually an economic country. We can sleep for just over 20,000 UGX, and the cost of food depends on where you want to eat. In the hotel it will cost us around 21,000 shillings, but if we go to a local restaurant it can cost us less than 8,500 UGX.

It is still more economical if we go to street stalls, where we will eat for 2,500 shillings. If you leave a tip, do it in Ugandan shillings, even if you pay in dollars, since the person who receives it will be able to use the money earlier and under better conditions.

Another issue to consider is the price of getting around Uganda. The ideal thing to do is to get around by taxi, deciding on the cost of the trip before starting it. If you do not have anyone to guide you on the price, a trip of one hour will cost us about 10,000 shillings, and if we calculate it for kilometres the rate will be about 2,000 shillings per hour.

With these prices, we conclude that Uganda is a cheap country, but we should change our currency for Ugandan shillings on arrival even if they allow us to pay with other currencies and we will avoid using card.