Travel Tips to Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country in E. Africa, bordered by Kenya to the East, Sudan to the North, Congo to the West, Rwanda and Tanzania to the South.  Straddling the equator, much of her Southern border is dominated by Lake Victoria.  It is tremendously lush country dotted with Lakes and rivers the most famous being the Nile and the West is fringed by the glacier – capped Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon.

UGANDA CLIMATE AND TIME TO VISIT:

 The climate is good in Uganda all the year round, ranging from the warmth of the lowland areas to the coolness of the highlands in the Southwest Kigezi.  Uganda is sunny with temperatures rarely rising above 29 degrees.  During daytime, temperatures generally hovering between 26-290C, with a maximum of 18-31 degrees and minimum of 15-23 degrees depending on the part of the country.  The rains come twice a year, in March-May and October-November (wet seasons, light rain seasons in November and December, Dry seasons are December to February and June to August.  Rain season is no reason to postpone traveling however, as generally it rains for an hour and the rest of the day is clear and sunny.

VISAS

Visas are now necessary most nationals and should be obtained prior to travel at a fee of $30. Single entry and multiple entries will go for US$100. Students Visa Cost US$20. For single entry and $30 for multiple entry.

Visa to Uganda is issued at Uganda Missions Abroad and entry points. Visa requirements are subject to change. It is advisable to take advice before traveling.

HEALTH

Yellow Fever vaccinations are mandatory and we recommend anti malarial tablets especially, during rainy season. Most prescription drugs can be bought affordably in Kampala. Personal insurance is advisable. Persons not fit for long trips due to heart diseases, chronic illness, physical handicap, and advanced pregnancy or mental illness are advised not to participate in such rigorous travel programs.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

English, Luganda and many local dialects. Swahili is also widely spoken and understood.

CURRENCY

Uganda Shilling. It is advisable to carry American Dollars or travelers cheque or any major hard currency. There are numerous forex bureau and banks in the capital city and the main towns. Credit cards are accepted in the major hotels and restaurants, but generally it is best to carry cash upcountry.

SECURITY:
Precautions should be taken as in any major city.  Unless safety deposit boxes are available in you hotel or lodge, always carry travel documents, travelers checks, cash and other valuables with you at all times.  Although it is generally safe, we recommend that you do not walk late in the night but instead take a taxi.

AIRPORTS

Currently, there is one international Airport at Entebbe. A number of international Airlines fly directly to Entebbe, among them: Air Tanzania, Eagle Air, Emirates Airlines, British Airways, East African Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Challenge Air, Egypt Air, Kenya Airways, South African Airways, SN Brussels Airlines, United Airlines, have just introduced a flight as well which links of southern Africa to Uganda. Most major towns have an Airstrip, as do most National Parks and Game Reserves.

CLOTHING

Dress codes are informal. Daytime temperatures are generally warm, so bring lots of light clothing, supplemented by light sweaters for the cool evenings and heavier clothing for the National Parks. When tracking gorillas, wear sturdier clothing to protect against stinging nettles, and solid walking shoes. A hat and sunglasses provide protection against the sun, and a waterproof jacket may come in handy in the moist mountains.

 WHAT TO BRING:
Binoculars will greatly enhance game drives and forest walks, as will a good field guide to East African birds. Bring a camera and an adequate stock of film. Print film is available but transparency film is not. Toiletries and other essentials can be bought in the cities.

COMMUNICATIONS:
Uganda has an excellent cell phone network covering almost the entire country. International phone calls can be made easily. Appropriate SIM cards for the network are readily available everywhere, even in remote towns, and cell phones can be purchased or rented from major shops in Kampala. Most towns of any size will have several Internet cafes and computer centers.
GORRILLA TRACKING

The minimum age for Gorilla tracking is fifteen (15) years. And each permit cost $500 per person per day for Mgahinga National Park, $500 for Bwindi National Park and $500 Parc de nationale in Ruhengeri Rwanda.