Financial transaction

The official currency in Uganda is the Ugandan shilling (UGX) and as of March 2023, $1 is worth an average of 3,721 UGX.

In Uganda, most of the transactions are done in Ugandan shillings except for some hotels and tour companies that accept dollars. However, even when something is valued at USD, shillings are definitely acceptable.

While Uganda is continuously growing its use of credit/debit cards, cash still rules, especially in the day to day transactions.

However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to use your card to pay! Places like upscale restaurants, hotels, big supermarkets, and national park offices do accept cards.

But even if you can’t use your card, there are a number of ATM machines spread throughout the country where you can withdraw money every time you run out of cash.

History of Ugandan Currency

Did you know that the currency of Uganda has changed 7 times in the last 50 years?

Following the independence of Uganda from Britain on 9 October 1962 and the consequential dissolution of the Eastern African Currency Board in 1966, the Bank of Uganda introduced its first banknotes of;

5, 10, 20 shillings, and 100 shillings as well as;
Coins of 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 shilling, and 2 shillings.
As politics of Uganda evolved and changed with various presidents so did the Uganda currency with a number of different banknotes being introduced and modified to reflect the leadership present at the time.

The recent change was in May 2010.

Current Uganda banknotes include;

Uganda shillings (USh) 50,000
Uganda shillings (USh) 20,000
Uganda shillings (USh) 10, 000
Uganda shillings (USh) 5,000
Uganda shillings (USh) 2,000
Uganda shillings (USh) 1, 000

Coins commonly used in Uganda today include;

Uganda shillings (USh) 100
Uganda shillings (USh) 200
Uganda shillings (USh) 500
The currency notes in Uganda features several heritage symbols and emblems that give an insight into Uganda’s historical, natural, and cultural heritage.

For example if you take a look at Uganda’s 50,000 shillings note, you will see an image of the:-

Independence Monument
A crested crane
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park forest
A Silverback mountain gorilla and
The outline of a man wearing a Karimojong headdress
This Uganda banknote has been rated by the International Bank Note Society as one of the world’s most beautiful currency in the world.

The Bank of Uganda is the central bank of Uganda, established in 1966. It monitors Uganda’s commercial banks, serves as the government’s bank, and issues the national currency. The government sets the shilling’s official exchange rate against foreign currencies.

Tipping In Uganda

There is no rule when it comes to tipping in Uganda. Like in most parts of the world, a tip is not a must but it is highly appreciated.

The amount of tip you give basically depends on the value of service received and how satisfied you were with the person that served you.

Though it is not a must to tip, most people that serve you will be expecting a tip (however small it is) but they won’t show any kind of disappointment if you don’t tip as they do in Egypt.

Write a review