6 tips about Ugandan culture: An honest opinion from a foreigner.

The Ugandan culture is very family-oriented and this is evident from the way they celebrate birthdays or Christmas. We hope to educate you a lot about Ugandan culture, though it's not always easy to understand. They have a traditional dish called matoke and the famous rolex (rolled-eggs)

May 28, 2022 - 13:57
6 tips about Ugandan culture: An honest opinion from a foreigner.

As a Ugandan, born and raised here, it's not straightforward to identify these cultural differences of Uganda in general compared to other countries. Therefore, we decided to get an honest opinion from a foreigner and this is what they thought about Ugandans' culture.

1. I'm coming in 5 minutes

There are two different kinds of time in Uganda and that is "the international time" and "the Ugandan time". Ugandans are generally not very good at keeping time, however this may not apply to all of them. It's just a general opinion.

If you set up a meeting with someone one at, let's say, 3:00pm. In the international time, the meeting will commence at 3:00pm. On the other hand, in Ugandan time, the meeting will occur somewhere over an hour - two hours from 3:00pm. This means you should be expecting to see that person at about 3:30pm, 4:00pm or even up to 5:00pm.

If you called you called them, you will probably get the famous answer: "I'm comming in 5 minutes". Ugandans tend to tell you what you would like to hear in most cases, however this is not always the case but its very common.

Also read: 10 Valid Reasons to Always be Late in Uganda

So when you set up a meeting with someone one, make sure to clarify whether you mean the international time or Ugandan time.

2. Try to eat up what you are offered.

Oftentimes when you go visit a family for the first time or even that you know, they'll usually go out and buy you a soda and some snacks. Even when you know that it's not in their budget, you cannot refuse it because it's just disrespectful.

Although Ugandans generally understand, especially for foreigners, that you might not be accustomed to their meals. Ugandans usually get offended when you decline a meal offered. Unless you're offered something that makes you sick, then you can mention it. But typically you should eat whatever is given to you.

3. Great love for family.

Ugandans have great love for their families. They will drop everything they are doing to go and see their families. Especially if their family is sick or needs help, whatever the case, Ugandans love to visit their families, which leads us to the next point.

4. I Went to the village.

Sometimes in the community, this is for the city dwellers, people randomly disappear without warning and when you ask them, they will say "oh, I went to the village". Usually to visit their families. When you can't find them and ask a close friend, they will say "he went to the village". People always go to the village, usually their village homes where they were born and raised.

5. The handshake. 

Sometimes when someone shakes your hand, the handshake may last longer than expected (15-20 sec), while talking to you. May take a while getting used to but this is totally normal for Ugandans.

6. Ugandan food.

In Uganda, there's three staple foods namely; Rice, posho and Matooke.

Also read; Local Ugandan Dishes you should try


Posho; is maize corn which is ground into flour and is prepared by gradually adding hot water, while boiling, until it makes a soft solid.

Matooke; are giant green bananas which are boiled and ground into a soft solid illustrated in the picture above.

Chapati & rolex; Rolex is fried eggs, which are rolled up into a chapati with some tomatoes, cabbage etc. 

Grasshopper season; Grasshoppers, localy known as 'nsenene' are a delicacy in Uganda. They are stripped off with the wings & legs, typically deep fried, then salted, after they are ready to eat. They are like a dessert.

To sum up, 

Ugandans are really friendly people.

After this you might want to read about the 10 Interesting Facts About Ugandans.

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