About Uganda

Uganda Travel Tips and Information

Uganda is an East African country blessed with the most astonishing natural biodiversity, right in the middle of the Albertine Rift Valley.  This gifted by nature spark left Winston Churchill’ breathless as he went further to refer to it as the “The Pearl of Africa”.

Uganda is a combination of ever green vegetation, rolling hills, endangered and last surviving mountain gorillas, numerous waterways; the fresh Lake Victoria and the splendid gigantic river Nile. River Nile is the chief river flowing from Uganda to Egypt, a once major attraction that sparked the interest of many explorers to travel to the heart of Africa in pursue of the source of the Nile.

Like a diamond in the rock, this hospitable country is still authentically African with so much more to offer.  For one looking for a wonderful and memorable experience, venture into this unknown accompanied by a well-trained, knowledgeable and experienced safari guide as you enjoy one of the Africa’ greatest treasures. Enjoy the ecological crossover among the worlds of tropical rain forests, breathe taking landscape and the roaming sunlit endless savannahs.

 National Parks of Uganda

The Pearl of Africa is indeed a country gifted by nature; from game, primates, spectacular scenery, exciting culture, fresh water and hospitable people. Uganda has 10 official National Parks, each uniquely on its own.

Visa on arrival

Foreigners visiting Uganda shouldn’t be stressed about applying for a Visa. At US $50, one gets a visa upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport. However, for one doing an East African safari, there is the option of purchasing a single tourist visa for countries of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda Visa at $100.

Getting a Uganda Visa

It’s very easy to apply for a Ugandan Visa.

Visit the Uganda Immigration and Emigration website online at; https://visas.immigration.go.ug/

This link takes you to a visa application form where you enter your personal information online. And if it fails, no worries just get one on arrival at Entebbe Airport.

Depending on your Safari, you can apply for any of the below Visa options;

  • Single entry visa – allows entry into Uganda alone for 30 days – 50
  • East African Tourists Visa – Allows to cross to all East African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda – 100 USD

Visa application requirements;

  • One duly filled application form by each applicant.
  • Two passport size photographs attached to each application form.
  • Passport valid for at least one year from the proposed date of entry.
  • Bank receipt showing proof of correct visa fee payment into the Embassy Visa Account (Diplomatic Passport holders are exempted from this).
  • Applicants may be requested to submit additional supporting documentation in form of; Bank Statements (if any) for the last three months and Evidence of travel arrangements (booking details).
  • Please note that in addition to these requirements, you may be asked to give additional information by way of interview.

Other, supporting document to attach may include;

  • Safari Itinerary
  • Invitation letter from the company or Agency in charge of organizing your safari
  • Flight details

Please note that should the online Visa Application fail, one can still get the Visa on Arrival at Entebbe International Airport at the Immigration desk. This process is still effective in at the moment.

Hospitable Ugandans

Ugandans are very interesting and exciting people to be around. And this makes this country one of the most hospitable countries in the Africa.

Best time to visit Uganda

With a generally equatorial climate, a Uganda Safari can be done at any time of the year, making it a busy from throughout the year.

But as traveling goes drier seasons, periods (December to February, June to August) are a must visit. Although the rains come twice a year, in October / November (short rains) and mid-March to end of May. This shouldn’t stop anyone from visiting as it rains for at least an hour and the rest of the day is clear.

For one interested in gorilla tracking, opt for the drier season. Though there might be a slight chance of rain during the trek due the unpredictable weather in the rainforest, but still the trek will be fun.

What to Wear

The equator crosses through Uganda dividing it into 2 parts, the daylight hours annually and twilight from 7am and 7pm. Small insect and mosquitoes are more active till sun rise. One must always remember to carry;

  • Long sleeved cotton shirts (comfortable safari style shirts)
  • Trousers (long legs covering up to shoes – cotton or outdoors style)
  • Mosquito repellent for when both indoors or outdoors (as the sunsets)
  • A sun hat (such as a peaked baseball cap) for protection against direct sun
  • Sunscreen (for direct sun) as the sun can be brutal
  • Shades or sun glasses (direct sun and dust)
  • A lightweight raincoat and an umbrella
  • Light clothes as it can be hot – cold in a minute

Always remember to keep as little skin exposed as possible between 6:30pm and 7:30am.

Language
With over forty different languages widely spoken with in the country, English is the official language in Uganda and is widely spoken by all locals from different points of the country. Therefore, don’t worry about language barrier.

Money

When it comes to money, US DOLLARS, UK POUNDS, EURO‟S and other major currencies are easily exchanged in Kampala and Entebbe. Anything below US $50 note is exchanged at a lower rate. Also, old (printed before 2005) and damaged bills are not accepted. Apart from large hotels, tours companies, park activities everything else in Uganda is paid for in local currency (Ugandan shillings).  Go for small notes below UGX5,000 as these come in handy when paying and tipping.

Cards can also be used (Master, Credit, Visa & Debit) in some lodges. But an extra charge of 3.5 to 5% of the total bill is incurred. Travellers Cheques are not allowed

Tipping

Unlike most countries in Africa, in Uganda it’s not customary to tip guides, rangers, and drivers. However, if one is coming from countries where tipping is a culture, then I would recommend that the same be done here. But always remember to tip according to your level of satisfaction. I suggest that you tip US$ 10 – 15 per day for the guide, for rangers; the head ranger and for hotels and lodges, drop the tip in the tip box at the reception at the end of ones stay.

Staying Healthy

It’s a must to take some healthy precautions especially if you’re traveling away from home into the wilderness, or a place with different climate, environment and dishes. Always have a backup plan in case of a healthy emergency.

To reduce on the healthy risk while on a safari in Uganda, one should consider;

  • Visit your doctor at least 3 months prior to your safari to make sure that you’re cleared for travel.
  • Make sure that all your vaccination shots are up to date and where possible take a booster.
  • Hydrate all the time, remember that your body is not used to this heat so ovoid dehydration.
  • Consume only hot food at all times, as your body is not used to African spices, dishes and cooking, stay away from cold and leftover food.
  • Hotels used by Escape To Africa are safe with high standards of food hygiene and only clean water is used for ice and washing salads, but please inquire to cover all grounds.
  • Avoid consumption of tap or sink water even if you’re under the shower; only consume Bottled water served with a lid seal.
  • And stay away from counter medicine unless you have a prescription that you can get from the Airport pharmacy or the big pharmacies in Entebbe / Kampala.

Always remember that Malaria is very real in Uganda and a threat at all times, so always take antimalarial before and after your safari in Uganda.

Staying safe in Uganda

Despite the fact that Uganda is a safe and hospitable land, a large proportion of the population is surviving below the poverty line which has resulted into many opportunistic crime;

  • Don’t display expensive gadgets, watches, cameras, phones or even a wad of notes while in public.
  • Avoid walking in dark places alone, even using public means and also take note of the people you leave entertainment places with.
  • Always stay in the company of the guide at all times.

Attitude to travel with

This country is one of the developing countries in Africa very much gifted by nature. It’s a must visit for all looking to have a memorable experience. When, in Uganda majority speak English and the services at the lodges are good.

Contact Escape to Africa Ltd

Contact us on the below contacts and also take note of the 24/7 emergency operating number. Kindly be respectful and only use the emergency numbers when it’s a real emergency.

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