Uganda Travel Tips

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Important Uganda Travel Tips
uganda-national-parks-mapExclusive African Safaris offers an important insight for Uganda travel tips to follow for planning a relaxing, enjoyable holiday in Uganda. Here are some of the necessary tips discussed below:
There is wide availability of good hotels best suiting every variety of budget, which are located in Kampala, a capital city of Uganda. However, the accommodation facilities are available across the country and in the national parks, hotels and inns. But keep in mind that, the quality of service and the quantity of rooms may vary at a great rate.
If you are planning for holiday safaris in Uganda, Exclusive African Safaris will book the best available accommodation facilities for your needs. All of our pre-planned itineraries start from the city of Kampala. If you need a hotel booking in Kampala before or after your holiday tour, feel free to let us know and we will be extremely delighted to organize the same for you.
There are several airlines services operating regularly, like Air Tanzania, British Airways, Egypt Air, Emirates Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Gulf Air, Kenya Airways/KLM/NW, East African Airlines and SN Brussels Airlines. Besides, there is a wide availability of handful domestic charter companies like Airserv, Kampala Aero Club, United Airline and Eagle Aviation.
Most of the travelers arrive Uganda by air and land at Entebbe International Airport, located about 45 minutes drive from the capital city of Uganda, that is Kampala.
Exclusive African Safaris will be extremely delighted to arrange your transfer from the airport for you and your entire group of people.
You will find different brands of both local and international beer available in Uganda. Most spirits and wines are imported and are readily available at lightly elevated prices. The legal drinking age is 18 years; though it’s not well-enforced.
Temperature in Uganda varies little throughout the country. The average temperature remains at 26°C during daytime and 16°C at night year round. The rainy season in Uganda generally falls between March to May and October to November. However, the average rainfall during the rainy season is about 175mm per a month. Even, humidity remains generally low apart from the wet seasons.
Light summer clothing with a sweater or jacket will be best at any time of the year. However, cotton slacks and flat heel comfortable walking shoes are highly suggested on safari tours. You shouldn’t forget to bring a hat for protection against the sun and also a swimsuit. Umbrellas and windbreakers are recommended during the rainy season. All you need to do is to request additional details at the time of booking.
Drinking Water
When you are in Uganda, drinking tap water is not recommended to you. Most hotels and restaurants provide previously boiled drinking water and also bottled mineral water; which is available throughout the country.
Fresh vegetables and tropical fruits are found throughout the country. Availability of wide arrays of dishes, including both traditional and international are in the restaurants and hotels. If you have dietary restrictions, you can let us know prior to your travel.
Mountain gorilla tracking is a strenuous activity that needs specific fitness level to be enjoyed. Here are some of the necessary facts to know before gorilla tracking safaris in Uganda:
• The minimum age for trekking is fifteen years.
• Any traveler with a sign of communicable disease should not be allowed to take a trekking tour. While the possession of gorilla permit is assurance of sighting and trekking the gorillas, but the quality of gorilla trekking can’t be guaranteed.
• Maximum time allowed for gorilla tracking shouldn’t exceed one hour.
Things You Should Bring
• Rain poncho
• Knapsack
• Leather gardening type gloves
• Long sleeve shirt and trousers
• Sturdy hiking boots
• Sunscreen, insect repellent and necessary medications
• Film and batteries
• Cameras and video cameras (Don’t use flash)
We highly recommend using of a high altitude filter and high speed film for optimum photography.
Health Requirements
Certificates may be needed for vaccinations against yellow fever disease. You can check current medical advice on typhoid, cholera and hepatitis. But these diseases are not common, so you need not feel obliged to spend hundreds of dollars on injections. But malaria risks are general and a prophylaxis should be taken. Hence, it’s advisable to you to start the anti-malarial medications before 10 to 14 days of your arrival and continue with the same for 14 days after leaving East Africa. Even, you can consult your physician regarding your health requirements.
English is the official language of Uganda. But Kiswahili and Luganda are spoken commonly amongst local people. Besides, there are over 40 local languages spoken throughout the country.
Usually, most flights allow 20 to 40kg luggage or two pieces for traveling purposes. We prefer clients to use soft luggage as the space for luggage is limited in our safari vehicles. But we can arrange a certain space for the storage of those items that you will not be using while you are on a safari holiday.
Currency of Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling (USH); which is a relatively stable currency. It can be issued in denomination of 1000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 USH notes. Coins are available in 50, 100, 200 and 500 USH. But you should bring only US Dollar notes issued after 1999 for your expenses.
Handful international banks operate in Uganda like Barclays, Standard Chartered, Citi Bank and Stanbic. Besides, many foreign banks and forex bureaus also operate across Uganda. Generally, banks operate between 8.30am to 4.00pm from Monday to Friday. Even, a few banking institutions remain open for extensive hours and on Saturdays.
Travelers Cheques
Travelers Cheques can be exchanged at most of the banks in Uganda (But you may run into difficulties while exchanging TC’s in smaller towns). In fact, that might not be exchanged necessarily at the foreign exchange bureaus. Keep in mind that exchange rates on travelers cheques are generally lower than those for cash.
Credit Cards
VISA, MASTERCARD and AMEX are only accepted at a few establishments in Kampala and also in some up country lodges. Remember that, credit card cash advance can be only available at Barclays Bank in Kampala. But most ATM cards are not accepted in automatic teller machines of Uganda.
Although specific film brands and speeds are widely available in many lodges, it is advisable you to bring your own film and batteries with you (or you can buy them in Kampala). However, high speed film is strongly recommended for gorilla photography and also the chimpanzees as well as making the use of high altitude filters are the best option for climbing enthusiasts.
After all, there is no charge for using personal cameras and video recorders in Uganda; you have to pay for commercial cameras in some places like national parks. However, you will be responsible for such fees. Moreover, using a pair of binoculars can greatly enhance your experience while taking Uganda safari and thus, it is recommended to bring a pair along with you.
Likewise any other city in Uganda, the common precautions you need to take in Kampala to make sure the safety and protection of your personal belongings. In fact, we recommend that you should not walk alone during night. Taxis are available in Uganda for your transfer and are not that much expensive. When you are planning a trip in Uganda, you should carry important travel essentials like the traveler’s cheques, cash and other valuables with you. However, we can arrange the safe keeping space for your passport and ticket in our offices upon your request.
Sports Facilities
Many spare time activities can be enjoyed on holidays like white water rafting, hiking, climbing, quad biking, golfing, etc.. But you can get to take part in a wide number of sport facilities in Kampala, Entebbe and Jinja city centers, like the good gym facility, squash, tennis, and swimming opportunities.
Transport Options
The main roads in Uganda are in good condition. You will need a four-wheel vehicle for traveling up, especially while visiting the national parks during the rainy seasons.
If you are a non-African passport holder then you should have a visa to enter Uganda. Usually, visas are available at all entrances, including Entebbe International Airport. However, the cost for a three-month single entry tourist visa is US$50. But the price of the visa will be discounted for students (If they have proper Identity proof) to US$20.
Tanzania On Foot recommends you to follow these necessary travel tips while taking Uganda safaris.