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Money & costs


The Ugandan shilling (USh) is a relatively stable currency. Cash can be changed easily at major banks and foreign exchange (forex) bureaus. The best banks are Standard Chartered and Barclays Banks. The forex bureaus offer slightly better exchange rates than the banks. At both banks and forex bureaus, small US dollar bills attract a much lower exchange rate than do US$50 and US$100 notes, and the rate for travellers cheques is about 2% lower than they are for cash. Exchange rates in Kampala are up to 15% better than is the case elsewhere in the country, so stock up on shillings in the capital.

Standard Chartered Bank has a network of ATMs that accept international credit cards, located at branches in Kampala, as well as in Jinja, Mbale and Mbarara.

For credit-card cash advances, the only realistic option is Barclays Bank in Kampala, which offers advances in US dollars or Uganda shillings. Some hotels and big expenses such as white-water rafting can go on the card.

Bargaining is necessary in informal transactions such as those at markets and roadside stalls, but not in shops that display fixed prices.