Uganda Travel Tips
Best time to visit is over the Dry season months from June to August and December to February
Those are the best for wildlife watching in Uganda. This is particularly so when it comes to the rainforest habitat preferred by primates, but it also applies down on the savannah where animals have little bush to hide in. There’s also plentiful sunshine at this time. In the wetter months, there’s the possibility that rain will cut off roads and wash out your primate tracking adventure.
Recommended; see websites below for more detailed immunization advice.
- Australia – www.travelclinic.com.au
- Canada – iamat.org – Vaccinations / Malaria
- Ireland – www.tmb.ie
- New Zealand – iamat.org – Vaccinations / Malaria
- United Kingdom – www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk
- United States – wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
High risk throughout the country except for high altitude mountains over 2,000m; including Mt. Elgon and the Ruwenzoris. All safari parks are high-risk zones. The highest risk of transition is during the rainy season (March to May and October to December).
Hospitals and doctors
Private hospitals are mainly found in Kampala such as International Hospital of Kampala. Many good Private Not for Profit (PNFP) Hospitals and Regional Referral Hospitals can be found outside Kampala.
Travelers are encouraged to discuss travel insurance with their specialists. Flying doctors emergency evacuation cover is a service air evacuation services in medical emergencies across East Africa, as well as air ambulance transfers between medical facilities from the point of incidence to the nearest large hospital. The service costs USD 10/20 depending on whether you are combining with another Kenya/ Rwanda.
Country is supplied with 220-240 Volts AC with standard 13amp three square pin plugs.
English is the official language as well as Swahili.
Tipping is appreciated though not mandatory. Guides should be tipped at the travelers’ discretion since most hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge to the bill.
The official currency is Uganda shilling with written abbreviation as Ush. Foreign currency can be changed at banks, forex bureaus, hotels and airports. All major international credit cards are accepted by many hotels, travel agencies, safari companies and up-market restaurants throughout the country.
Please note that US dollar notes older than the series 2000 are not accepted in Ugandan banks and forex bureaus.
Uganda was one of the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to gain full Internet connectivity. Several Internet Service Providers offer wireless access in most towns/ remote areas. Many hotels and lodges have Wi-Fi and most towns offer private business centers and cyber cafes.
There is good mobile coverage countrywide; even in remote areas. It is possible to buy a local SIM card from various mobile phone providers such as MTN Uganda, Airtel Uganda, Vodafone to name but a few.
General Packing list (camping tours):-
- Sleeping bag (3 season)/ travel pillow
- Money for personal spending and tipping (at the end of the tour) approximately Ush 74,000/ USD 20 a day
- Back pack or soft bag, as storage space is limited [maximum 20kgs]
- A pair of long trousers and fleece for the cool mornings and evenings in addition to plenty of light clothes for hot/ humid days (avoid white/ camouflage), safari hat/cap, swim suit, trainers, sandals.
- Head torch, sunglasses, suntan lotion/spray, insect repellent/spray
- Additional mineral bottled water and beverages (can be bought from all main towns)
- Camera, batteries, memory cards, binoculars, maps, guide-books, reading book
- Additional toilet paper, towel, wet wipes, soap and toothbrush/paste/ personal toiletries
- All personal travel/ medical insurance
Notes on Gorilla tracking:-
– Gorilla trekking is a strenuous activity and one should be physically fit to enjoy this tour.
– Minimum gorilla tracking age is 15 years.
– Anyone with signs of communicable diseases will NOT be allowed to track.
– While possession of a gorilla permit is a guarantee of trekking and sighting the gorillas, the quality of the gorilla trekking cannot be guaranteed.
– Maximum time allowed with the gorillas will NOT exceed ONE hour.
We strongly recommend the following:
– Rain poncho (lightweight)
– Long-sleeved shirt
– Waterproof trousers
– Sturdy hiking boots
– Leather gardening -type gloves
– Insect repellent and any necessary medications must be brought by you either from your home town or Kampala.
– Still Cameras and Camcorders are allowed, but bring batteries and film from your home town or Kampala.
On confirmation, please advise the following details:
– Full names as they appear in your passports
– Dates of Birth
– Passport number
Please understand that gorilla permits are booked on a “first come first served” CASH basis and therefore can be snapped up by anybody.