Uganda Safaris & Tours
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Rwanda Gorilla Treks, Primate Tours, Monkeys and Cultural Safaris
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What is the Weather Like?
Uganda enjoys a tropical climate, though the heat it tempered by the altitude, as much of the country is more than 1000m above sea level. Rainy seasons are from March to May, and September to November.
Dry seasons are from December to February and mid- june to mid August.
Average temperatures range from about 16˚C (61˚) in the southwestern highlands to 25˚C (77˚F) in the northwest; but in the northeast, temperatures exceed 30˚C (86˚F).
What should I bring?
· High SPF sunscreen (Uganda is located on the equator!)
· Insect repellent.
· Spare or rechargeable batteries (these are difficult to find once you are in the Parks).
· Waterproof bags to protect equipment
· Electric plug adaptors for 240 volts AC 50 HZ. UK style square-pin plugs are used.
· Some people find contact lens uncomfortable in Uganda because of the dust – you may find it more comfortable to were glasses while on the road.
· Antiseptic handwash.
· An International Driving License if you are thinking of hiring a vehicle.
· Good walking boots/ shoes
· Sandals or other light shoes
· Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
· Lighter clothing for Kampala and the savannah, with layers for cooler evenings,
· Warm clothing for mountainous regions, including thermal layers and a fleece.
· Sun hat/cap
· Uganda is a conservative country, and visitors should dress respectfully. Avoid the very short skirts and very short shorts.
Should I Bring any Specialist Equipment?
This depends on your interest – for photography, birding and wildlife enthusiasts we recommend the following:
Binoculars: The better ones start at about $250: you get what you pay for! Waterproof binoculars are great in Uganda as they are also dustproof.
Cameras: Choose something you know can handle - a heavy camera with many settings will be off-putting for some people to use. For good wildlife shots, 8et at least 8x optical zoom. Six to eight megapixel is fine unless you want poster-size photos. Bring a lens cloth to remove dust, several changes of batteries (even if you use rechargeable – not all sites have power points) and take several 1GB memory cards instead of one large one to avoid losing all your photos in case something goes wrong.
Do I need a Visa to Enter Uganda?
For most nationalities, including the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and Ireland, 90-day tourist visas can be purchased on arrival at Entebbe Airport for US$50, or at the Uganda Embassy in your home country prior to departure.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months following the date of entry.
As visa regulations change frequently, please check with the Ugandan Embassy in your country before departure.
What is the Currency?
The Ugandan Shilling. This cannot be purchased outside the country.
How do I Exchange Cash?
US Dollars, UK Pounds and Euros are accepted by UWA for gorillas/ chimp tracking permits and park entry fees. Many larger hotels will also accept US Dollars and Euros – though you should check in advance.
Note: All US dollars notes must be printed post-2003, and should not be damaged in any way. Higher exchange rates are given on larger value notes ($50 and $100). Banks and Forex bureaus will exchange cash, alternatively us can use ATM machines – common in the major towns. They should accept Visa Debit and Credit Cards.
Can I use Credit or Debit Cards?
Visa is more widely accepted in city hotels and stores, followed by Mastercard. Other Credit cards are unlikely to work.
Alert your bank before using you card abroad to avoid it being blocked.
Can I bargain When Shopping
Prices are fixed in shops, but food and craft markets will be more flexible. You stand a better chance of getting a reduced price if you purchase several items from the same seller.
Prices are generally very low – so do consider if what you are asking for is fair.
Agree on charges for minibuses (matatus) or motorbike taxis (boda-bodas) with your driver before hiring.
What vaccinations do I need?
A yellow fever vaccine is essential – bring your certificate with you.
Hepatitis A and B, meningitis, polio, tetanus and typhoid vaccinations are also recommended.
A Rabies vaccination is recommended for anyone who expects to be in close contact with animals or in a remote area.
Be aware that some of these require a course of injections, and others take several days to take effect. So you should visit your doctor or travel clinic as soon as possible before you travel.
Should I bring any other medications?
Anti-malarial tablets are recommended throughout Uganda – visit your local travel clinic to determine which type is best for you. Note: Chloroquine does not protect against malaria in Uganda.
Bring all prescription medications with you – they may not be readily available in Uganda.
Be sure to purchase travel insurance before you begin your trip, including medical evacuation in case of an emergency.
What Other Healthy Risks Are There?
Even if you are taking anti-malarials, you should still wear an insect repellent, long-sleeved shirts, long trousers and closed shoes. This will also help protect you from other diseases carried by mosquitoes, and other insects such as tsetse flies.
All accommodation in high-risk areas will have mosquito nets - be sure to use them.
Tap water is not suitable for drinking, though bottled water is readily available throughout the country.
How safe is Uganda for Tourists?
Uganda is generally considered to be a safe, stable country with low crime rates. The Sudan border region and the Karamoja in the north should be avoided (with exception of Kidepo Valley National Park).
Use common sense in the cities – do not carry large amounts of cash or valuables, and keep money and credit cards in an inside pocket.
Do I need a Plug Adaptor?
Uganda uses a 249 volts AC 50 Hz square-pin plug, the same as the UK and Ireland.
Is there Electricity in the Whole Country?
Few areas outside the cities and towns have electricity.
What Language is Spoken in Uganda?
English is widely spoken, especially in Kampala and by those working in Tourism. Of over the 50 local languages, Luganda is most common. Swahilli is also spoken by many people as a second language.
How Can I Make Phone Calls in Uganda?
If your cell phone is compartible, you may be able to purchase an inexpensive SIM card, widely available throughout the country.
Where Can I use the Internet?
Internet Cafes are common in Kampala all major towns, though the connection is likely to be slow.
Some hotels and restaurants also offer wifi.
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