How much did a week in Uganda cost?
– Hotels (73%) are the one expensive item about the country. There is a commonwealth heads of government (CHOGUM) summit coming up later this year and there are major investments all geared towards that including new hotels coming up, sprucing up the town, and other investments to carter to VIP’s. Hotels in the Kampala CBD range from nice small $40 ones to $150 at Speke and Grand Imperial, to higher at the Sheraton and new Serena.
– Newspapers (1.38%). There’s the New vision, Monitor (owned by NMG) and Red Pepper which has evolved from a racy tabloid to a more respectable daily newspaper that is sold alongside the other two. Also, at around 3 PM each afternoon, the Daily Nation and Standard from Kenya can be bought outside the main Barclays Bank building in town
– Internet (1.68%). Cyber cafes are plenty around despite the electricity mini crisis. Most charge about 1/= (UG 25/=) per minute.
– Telephone (1.66%) You can use your Safaricom or Celtel lines as usual here. But for Safaricom, air time cards are only found at some MTN shops and are sold at about 35% extra. i.e. buy a 100 shilling card for 136 shillings equivalent. Seasoned travellers are either post-paid customers, or buy enough cards before they leave Kenya
– Meals & Entertainment. (8%) Food is relatively cheap compared to what we pay in Kenya even at places like Steers and Pizza Inn. Also included Spiderman at Garden City Mall (an upscale mall with the local Uchumi supermarket), rugby at Kyadondo, and a lecture series event.
– Gifts (8.61%) . Mostly clothes from the equivalent of Masai Market
– Transport (4.1%). Somewhere there is taxi to Entebbe airport (40km away for about Kshs. 2,000) but most getting around Kampala is on the back of a motorbike and dashing to your destination. At first it was scary, but you get used to it as it’s the fastest way to get around town as they squeeze through the city’s traffic jams. But they can be dangerous and someone told me there are a couple of accidents a day, some fatal – with the driver abandoning his passenger and bike on the spot. The only faster way to get through town is in a VIP motorcade (the President’s convoy is a sight to see) – Personal items 1.59%
– Other expenses 0.15%
Total expense: about 2 million Uganda shillings or US 1,200 or Kshs 80,000
– The one remarkable thing about Kampala is the level of safety – security is assured. Whereas in Nairobi you get worried about being out past 6PM and on some streets any time of the day for and are always on the lookout for phone snatchers, pick pockets or armed thugs, here there are no worries. The fact that all watchmen (shops, banks) have guns may be a factor, but a country that has gone through years of war has no tolerance for violence. With all the guns around, police are super-armed (as are VIP mototcades).
– This is also a country where you can encounter a wedding convoy with the bridal party riding in four humvees!
Jobs from the Kenyan daily papers this week
Fund raising & communication manager at Action Aid. Apply to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31/5
Akamba bus: General Manager, chief finance officer. Apply to email@example.com by 31/5
Barclays: Branch managers, branch coordinators, customer advisor, and local business advisor. Apply to the retail expansion program, market branch 30018-00200 by 25/5
Equity Bank: Business growth & development manager, operations manager, credit manager. Apply to firstname.lastname@example.org 31/5
Area sales manager at Eveready. Apply to email@example.com by 25/5
Flashcom: Finance manager, sales manager, network engineer. Apply to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4/6
Kenya Land Alliance: network capacity building officer, assistant accountant. Apply to email@example.com by 25/5
National Council for Law Reporting law reporter, assistant law reporter (2), systems administrator, web developer (2), proof reader (2), publishing assistant.
Apply online by 22/6
Pricewaterhousecoopers: human capital manager, head of marketing & communications. Apply to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1/6