Planning for your next Uganda tours and safaris or Rwanda tours? A lot of information is essential to every traveler before booking a tour to Uganda. The Uganda Travel Tips below highlights some of the travel tips, essential information and frequently asked questions that you need to know before embarking on your Uganda safari.
Q. Is Uganda a safe country to visit?
A. Uganda in the past went through turbulent periods of uncertainty when most of the parts of this country, people lived out side there home for fear of being killed, however peace returned to this beautiful country after 1986 forces of Terran y were chased a way; therefore when visiting Uganda expect to enjoy your safari in any part of the country. In the National parks, security has been put in place by UWA to protect visitors, through training ranger guides who monitoring any threats of insecurity.
Q. What is the best period to travel in Uganda?
A. Uganda has good climate through out the year with two seasons, as related to the rest of the world, climates seem to be changing and it makes more difficult for us to predict the weather during safari. On the other hand, the temperatures are very stable and pleasant, with sunshine through out the 365 days of the year. During the day the temperature ranges between 20 and 29°C, though it can cool down in the night. There are two seasons in the year where most heavy rains are received in the month of March-May, and November and December.
April and November receive more rains in the year on average of between 500mm to 2500 mm & the relative humidity is 70% -100% these seasons allow the planting and harvesting of crops in most parts of the country, without the use of irrigation. You could even consider this month, because of the availability of gorilla permits. The whether conditions allows you to travel to Uganda either in the dry whether, dusty months or in wet season, you will find fresh and un crowded tourism unlike in Kenya or Tanzania.
Q. Do I need a visa?
A. You only need your passport to be valid at least 6 month a head. You can obtain your visa through the Uganda representative in your country, if there is no representative no worries, visas can be purchased upon arrival at Entebbe Airport at cost of US$ 50 per person single entry.
Q. Are vaccinations required for my visit to Uganda?
A. Before you leave your country you are advice to take Vaccination against yellow fever which is mandatory, Immunizations against DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and Hepatitis A are recommended as well, and this is required before you enter Uganda. Besides vaccination you are advised to bring insect repellent, for emergency carry a mosquito net in you bag, though there are mosquito nets in every hotel.
We also advise you to take malaria prevention medications, as Uganda is located within the tropical altitude. Please consult with your local doctor for details and update advice.
Q. What is included / excluded in the price?
A. The cost of the safari includes:
Ground transport in a comfortable 4WD safari vehicle
Visit to all mentioned places on the program
The service of an English speaking driver/guide
All National park entrance fees for both the passengers and the car
All the activities mentioned on the itinerary, except for any additional activities that shall be mentioned during the safari Accommodations, base either Tents, Lodges hotels or Banda’s on Single, twin or double room arrangement
Meals as state on the programme either breakfast or full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner) basis
Bottled mineral water shall be provided for the whole trip in the vehicle except during your meals
Government taxes where necessary.
All game drives and ranger guides fees as indicated.
Excluded in the Cost are:
International and domestic flights unless requested to be included
Visa fees which shall be paid on arrival at the airport or you can obtain a this from Uganda government representative in your country.
Any alcoholic, beverages other than the bottled mineral water in the safari vehicle
Tips and gratuities for the guides
Q. What is the group size in a safari?
A. We have no requirement for a minimum number of participants as we offer tailor-made safaris for every number of participants in a group, however the bigger the group the more attractive the cost will be. 4WD cars are well equipped with seats ranging from 6 passengers to 9 as maximum, its good however to minimise your luggage as space may not be enough for every body, unless the luggage is highly restricted.
Q: What kind of wear should I bring with me for my safari?
A: Lighter wear during the travel days; good hiking boots, sun hat, sweat band & gloves for tracking gorillas & chimpanzee, rain gear, long sleeve shirt, body cream and sun glasses. Most up market lodges have swimming pools, so remember your swim suits! Some places may be cold in the evenings, especially in Bwindi, Mgahinga, Kabale area of Lake Bunyonyi, the Virungas, we advice you to bring a jacket and or sweater to keep you warm, enough film and a diary may also be packed an many more you can carry with you, not forgetting to minimise your luggage.
Q. Can I do gorilla tracking?
A. You can only confirm tracking gorillas only if you have a permit. The permits are issued on first serve-come basis on cash payment. Mountain gorilla safari can either be done in Uganda, Congo or Rwanda depending on where the permit is available otherwise you are required to buy a gorilla permit. Eight people are allowed per day in each gorilla group to track. Whole over the world demand for these permits are high. We would be glad to assist you with purchasing your permit; all we need to know is your preferred date. In order to be able to buy the gorilla permit you have to provide us with your full names, nationality and passport number. You are also required to be fit especially heath wise to trek the gorilla, if you are sick you are advised not to take this adventure and children under 15 years will not be allowed to track the gorillas
Q: What type of transport do you offer for the safari?
A: We transport our clients in 4WD Toyota Hiace minibuses seating 7 people (5 windows) and nine (7 window) seats and pop up safari roofs. We also have a Toyota Land cruiser modified to sit 7 people (5 window seats), also with a pop up roof allows our clients to stretch their legs while in the game viewing, get exciting views of the flora and fauna as well as better photographs. For smaller groups land cruisers can be arranged. For larger groups, coaster buses can also be arranged.
Q. How are the accommodations?
A. Our tailor made safaris is best on choice depending on what you have chosen. Uganda has various hotels ranging from Budget to up market luxury accommodation. Budget accommodation consists of simple and basic rooms, Banda or tents, providing double or twin beds and mosquito nets when necessary. Private bathrooms are not always available, public showers and toilets/pit latrines are used. Hot water is not guaranteed. Luxury accommodations are 4 or 5 star lodges, providing comfortable rooms or luxury furnished tents and a private bathroom. Flush toilets as well as hot and cold running water will be available.
Q. How can I pay for my safari?
A. Once you confirmed the final itinerary with us, we require that you transfer 30% for the safari. In case gorilla tracking is included in the program we also ask you to make a full prepayment for the gorilla permits. We do not guarantee the availability of the permits and accommodations until the deposits have been made or secured, then you are sure of your trip in Uganda, you will transfer the amount to us through the account details that shall be provided to you in either dollars or euros. Please note that all bank charges in Uganda shall be included on the cost, but other bank charges shall be mate by you in your country. The balance of 70% should be paid upon arrival, and BEFORE the start of your safari. Regretfully we can not accept credit cards or travelers cheques as of now. The balance can be paid in cash in dollars, euros or Ugandan shillings equivalent.
Q. How much should I tip?
A. Of course a tip fully depends on the level of your satisfaction, but even a small amount to show your gratitude will be highly appreciated. You can think of USD 5-10 per day if you were happy with the service of the guide. However it would be difficult for the next clients on safari as the guides would expect more and 5-10% in (luxurious) hotels and restaurants. The small, local restaurants are not used to tipping.