Tips on Planning a trip to Uganda
Tips on Planning a trip to Uganda are some of the important things that are pointed out for travellers planning Uganda Safari tours. Uganda is quickly becoming one of the top ten safari destinations in Africa and for any traveller, adventure lover or wildlife enthusiasts visiting Uganda is a life experience; and now that Uganda was ranked number 30 out of the top 52 places to visit in 2020 in a New York Times article, everyone is currently planning to visit the country to experience the uniqueness of the country’s safaris that include but not limited to
- Gorilla trekking safaris
- Chimpanzee trekking safaris
- Cultural encounters
- Religious tours
- Community tours
- Nature walks
- Recreation activities
So since you are planning your trip to Uganda, here are a few things you have to keep in mind as you plan your trip to Uganda.
- Flights to Uganda: Different airlines have operational flights to Uganda on a daily, so you can use any that suits your taste or is within your budget. Airlines include KLM, QATAR, EMIRATES, TURKISH AIRLINES, SOUTH AFRICAN AIRLINES, BRUSSELS and KENYA AIRWAYS among others.
- Tourist visa: A Uganda tourist Visa costs 50USD and is acquired at the point of entry on your arrival to the country. If you wish to tour Kenya and Rwanda on your African tour, you can attain an East African Visa at the point of Entry at a fee of 100USD. A Uganda Tourist Visa is valid for 6 months and an East African Visa is valid for 3 months. Requirements for either Visa are a valid passport and yellow fever certificate.
- Safari: It’s important that when you are planning to visit Uganda for a safari, determine the exact safari you want to have and make consultations with your tour operator about the requirements of that safari. This will help plan accordingly, you carry only the necessary things for your safari and not carry a lot of stuff you are not going to use or even help you make the necessary bookings and arrangements for your safari especially for gorilla trekking safaris, you need to book trekking permits way in advance before you can actually be in Uganda.
- Best season to visit the country: You can visit the country any time of the year, however, the dry seasons are the best time to visit though these also the peak seasons for travellers coming to the country so if you plan to visit then, you may need to make your booking way in advance.
- Valid passport: All travellers visiting Uganda should have a valid passport with an expiration date within 6 months or more. Your valid passport allows you to get a Visa at the point of entry.
- Ports of entry to Uganda: Uganda has three main ports of entry, all of which are functional and can be used by any traveller. Entebbe International Airport: this is the main port of entry to the country especially if you are travelling by air; you will land at this only international airport in Uganda then proceed to the other parts of the countries either by road or still be air using domestic air crafts. Uganda – Rwanda border, you can use this border if you are in Rwanda or took a flight to Rwanda, you can drive 2 hours to the border from Kigali city. The border is in south western Uganda and it’s called Katuna border. From that border to Kampala city it’s a 10 hour drive. People normally use this border to access Uganda when they are going gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park in south western Uganda; which is just 2 hours from the border. Uganda – Kenya border, this is a rarely used option because you can easily fly to Nairobi from Entebbe or to Entebbe from Nairobi, however for budget travellers who want to tour both Uganda and Kenya, they can use road and go through the Uganda Kenya – Border in Busia. The border is about 5 hours from Kampala city and over 12 hours to Nairobi city in Kenya.
- Money: The Ugandan Bank system is quite developed so you can use Visa cards/Master cards to access your money while you are on your trip to the Country. It’s not advisable to carry huge notes of cash as your travel to the country. The amount of money you spend on your visit to Uganda will highly depend on the services you are going to purchase during your stay in the country. The services are cut across budget, midrange and luxury. The Ugandan currency is shillings however most tourist visited places accept dollars so you can use dollars to conduct business and pay for the services you are getting. Though local markets, boda bodas and downtown services are only paid for using Uganda Shillings.
- Health and Medical Services: The health care system in Uganda is well developed with both government and private-owned hospitals operating 24/7. So you are assured of getting quality health care if you ever need it. To access medical care in Uganda you may need to medical insurance or you will pay cash to receive the services. Every traveller, however, is advised to have malaria prophylaxis because Malaria is endemic in Uganda. Also, a traveller should have a first aid kit for their own first aid treatment, especially for cuts and wounds. And if a traveller has a chronic illness they should carry their medicine.
- Vaccination: To enter Uganda, you need to have been vaccinated against yellow fever as you can’t acquire a Visa without a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. In some instances, you may need to have proof of vaccination against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, DTP, Typhoid, Cholera or Rabies.
- Getting around the country: Uganda has a well-developed road network, especially for roads leading to the animal parks, so you can get around the country by road, using private tourist vehicles hired especially from a tour operator. You can also opt to use domestic flights to the different national parks however you will still use road transport even with the flight option.
- Security: Uganda is a safe place, so you will be assured of security during your stay in the country. Yes because of the upcoming 2021 the capital Kampala may have a few people and police stand-off, but they will still not affect your stay in the country because, they are always contained and the safari locations apart from the Kampala city tour are all 2, 4, 6, 9, 10 hours away from the capital Kampala.