As a tourist visiting a country for a short while or an expat slated to work in a new place for longer periods, it can be really difficult finding a new friend not just to help ease the loneliness but also to help you adjust to the new lifestyle and norms you will be part of until the end of your stay.
In an effort to determine where tourists and expats worldwide find the best success of fitting into communities fast, global community network InterNations conducted their annual Expat Insider survey of more than 14,000 expats from 191 countries, asking residents to rate a number of aspects about life abroad, including how easy it was to settle in, a country’s friendliness and ease of making friends. According to the report, 57% of expats and tourists in Uganda gave ‘general friendliness’ the best possible rating (the global average was 26%).
Uganda’s “friendliness” is also the reason why refugees in the region choose it as the best asylum; one too many visitors have been known to come to Uganda and actually refuse to return home.
So, what makes Uganda so friendly to tourists, expatriates and others?
Hospitality is an intrinsic part of culture in Uganda
In spite of the country’s cultural diversity, with 56 tribes and over 9 indigenous communities (recently formalized by the government), Ugandans are hardwired to smile, welcome and genuinely offer assistance to anyone even if you are a foreigner. In most other countries, being a foreigner will trigger instant skepticism and in worse communities even resentment. It’s not the case in Uganda because even within the country, members of different tribes can easily move and stay in “foreign” places without ever feeling stigmatized or resented.
Some would argue that it is because of this diversity that the people became so welcoming in that everyone is seen as just another person beyond their origin. The less culturally diverse a country is, the more “unique” a foreigner will be and it is quite often difficult to blend into such tight knit communities
Uganda is an affordable place to stay
According to most expats, Uganda is very affordable for food and labor; expats are usually able to maintain a high standard of living through their stay in Uganda for example for as low as $300 a month, you can find a spacious family house in a decent neighborhood and $25 can get you fresh food shopping that can take a family of about 4 for a week. In the case of labor, you can hire workers at an average of $200-$500 a month without depriving them of basic living comfort. Some roles will of course require higher pay but on average, most people’s salary is in that range
Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to live in a friendly environment with great weather and a manageable cost of living?
Are you from another country and have lived, worked or visited Uganda? What did you love about the country? Do you believe it is as friendly as most people say? Leave a comment below