Shopping in Uganda
Shops in Uganda are closed on Sundays and have limited hours on Saturdays, but from Monday to Friday visitors can shop all they like from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There are plenty of great shopping opportunities in the larger, more visited cities where cheap clothing and crafts can be found. Probably one of the most popular shopping destinations is Kampala
Kampala, Entebbe and Jinja have the best selection of arts, crafts, curio shops and markets. In Kampala, in the city you’ll find everything from drums and wooden carvings (go for carvings made from renewable woods rather than indigenous hardwoods) to sandals, baskets and jewelry, while the Friday craft market in old kampala and on Ggaba Road is a great place to browse handmade arts and crafts sold by the artisans themselves. A shopping highlight in Kampala is Banana Boat, with three different branches, where you’ll find upcycled paper products and jewelry and other beautiful arts, crafts and décor items.
In Entebbe there’s the Entebbe Crafts Village with 20 stalls selling jewelry, clothes, sculptures and souvenirs, as well as several other curio shops.
In Jinja, visit Kilombera Workshop for cotton fabrics or browse sidewalk stalls for sandals, bags, drums and paintings.
Most upmarket safari lodges have a shop that sells curios and souvenirs, but these are usually priced much higher than the same products that you’d find in markets.
If you need to buy travel gear, shopping malls in Kampala and Entebbe will be your best options. In terms of food shopping, there are supermarkets in towns and open-air food markets where you can buy cheap, local fresh produce.
Items explicitly aimed at tourists are available now in Kampala, Entebbe, and Jinja, as much as the variety you’ll find in Kenya or Tanzania. Typical curios shopping in Uganda includes carvings, batiks, musical instruments, wooden spoons, and various soapstone and malachite knick-knacks.
There are several curio shops in Kampala, and there’s a good craft market next to the National Theatre, Buganda Road, and Entebbe next to Vitoria Mall.
Antique shops are found in the Sheraton Hotel, in the city center in Colline House. Today, some safari lodges in popular destinations maintain a crafts shop to cash in on the tourists’ interest.