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UGANDA SAFARI FAQs: TIPS TO TRAVEL TO UGANDA

What is Love Uganda Safaris and how special is it from other tour companies in Uganda?

  • Love Uganda Safaris &Tours Ltd is a fully registered inbound tour operator in Uganda which is dedicated to meeting and surpassing clients’ overall expectations. Our slogan is DREAM, EXPLORE & DISCOVER!! You surely discover what you dream with Love Uganda Safaris; we make dreams and imaginations come true, while providing high end services and meeting the standards and budget of our clients.
  • We provide among other safari activities, that include – gorilla trekking safaris, Uganda wildlife safaris, hiking safaris, Uganda cultural tours, Uganda Birding safaris and short tours.
  • We operate in over 4 countries in East Africa, including Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Come explore Africa with us, and truly discover your dream destination!!!

Where is Uganda?

  • Uganda is located in East Africa, boarded by Congo to the west, Rwanda to the south west, and Tanzania to the south, Kenya to east and south Sudan to the north.
  • Uganda is known to many as a land gifted by nature, and over 80% of her attractions are nature based, with a renowned population of endangered mountain gorillas, making it a prime attraction in this part of the world.
  • Dubbed the “Pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill, Uganda is truly a traveller’s haven, with a great deal of bird diversity, mountains, numerous water falls, stunning scenery, verdant forests, and many other attractions.
  • Read more facts about Uganda here…

How are the weather and climatic conditions in Uganda?

  • Uganda’s climatic conditions are generally friendly, with no extreme winter or summer seasons. Uganda experiences a favorable tropical climate because it lies along the equator and therefore it has alternating dry and wet seasons all year through.
  • The central and south western regions are relatively cooler and wetter than other regions, probably because of water bodies and forests, though other areas around mountains are also moist and cooler.
  • The most remarkable wet months are October-November and April-May while dry months are December/January through to mid-March and from June through to mid-September.
  • The dry months are the most popular with travellers, with July, August, Christmas and New Year being the peak seasons of the year in Uganda.
  • Average diurnal temperatures range between 16°C (61°F) in the southwestern highlands to 25°C (77°F) in the northwest; but in the northeast, temperatures exceed 30°C (86F).

Is Uganda secure enough for travellers?

  • Uganda has been safe and secure for the last 3 decades, and this is visible with a steady increase in the number of tourist arrivals in Uganda over time.
  • Uganda is one of the most safest destinations in the region, with a history of political turmoil in the 70’s, Uganda vowed to strengthen her security system and focus on economic development through tourism, industrialization and other economic activities.
  • Ugandans have been ranked the most hospitable and friendly people in the world and you will be warmly welcomed and easily absorbed within the community.
  • Among other security agencies, the government instituted Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Uganda tourism police to safe guard tourists around national parks, and regulate illegal activities like poaching.
  • Most national parks are located in the west and south western regions which have a renowned history of peace and stability over the years.

Do I need a visa to come to Uganda?

  • Yes, you need a visa prior to entering Uganda for a tour. A Ugandan visa can be obtained from the Uganda missions / consulate abroad or use the new online visa application system at /immigration.go.ug/content/visas-and-passes
  • An ordinary single entry visa costs 50$ valid for 90 days, while an East African visa costs 100$, to access Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, unfortunately Tanzania is not yet part of the single east African visa arrangement.
  • Visas can be obtained upon arrival at all border posts in the country.

What health risks are in Uganda, and do I need any vaccination?

  • All travellers to the Republic of Uganda MUST have and present a valid yellow fever immunization card at the entry point prior to getting a visa.
  • Most lakes in Uganda are Bilharzia prone hence not recommended for swimming, but only 2 lakes are 100% safe from Bilharzia that is, Lake Bunyonyi and Lake Mutanda in the south western part of the country.
  • Also come along with mosquito repellents as most parts are infested with mosquitoes.
  • We recommend getting immunized against DPT (Diphtheria, Polio, tetanus) and Hepatitis B as well.

What are the general transport conditions in Uganda?

  • The roads in the capital city and other regional towns are paved, but most roads in the national parks are not paved, making them bumpy and hard to navigate during rainy seasons; but our experienced driver guides will endeavor to drive as smoothly as possible to make sure you have very safe and comfortable journey.

Which language is commonly used in Uganda?

  • English and Kiswahili are official languages in Uganda, with a multiplicity of other local dialects.
  • But driver guides, hotel and restaurant attendants, and local guides can speak very good English. Other multilingual tour guides can be arranged upon request as well.

What should I carry / pack when coming for a safari in Uganda?

  • Insect repellent.
  • An International Driving License if you are planning for a self-drive in Uganda.
  • High SPF sunscreen (Uganda is on the equator!)
  • Waterproof bags to protect equipment.
  • Some people find contact lenses uncomfortable in Uganda because of the dust – you may find it more comfortable to wear glasses while on the road.
  • Antiseptic hand wash.
  • Good walking boots/shoes.
  • Sandals or other light shoes.
  • Sun hat/cap.
  • Warm clothing for mountainous regions, including thermal layers and a fleece.
  • Waterproof jacket or rain poncho.

What Should I pack for a Gorilla trek in Uganda:

  • Bring comfortable hiking boots suitable for very steep muddy slopes.
  • Put on ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with the jungle sounds.
  • Carry a packed lunch and enough drinking water as tracking time is unpredictable.
  • Carry rain jacket / poncho, sunscreen lotion, a hat (weather is quite unpredictable) and insect repellent.
  • Come along with a photo of film camera. Flashlight will not be allowed so we recommend using films of 400-800 ASA.

How do I charge my valuables – phones, Laptops, etc.?

  • Electric plug adaptors for 240 volts AC 50 Hz. UK-style square-pin plugs are used in Uganda.
  • Most hotels / safari lodges are supplied with enough electricity / solar energy.

Is there internet connection in Uganda?

  • There is reliable internet connection, mostly in urban centres / cities, and most lodges in national parks are well connected with Wi-Fi internet, but not so reliable because of altitude and unstable network connection.
  • However, Love Uganda Safaris provides free unlimited wireless internet in all our safari vehicles, so you stay connected throughout the trip.

Any minimum / maximum age for travellers in Uganda?

  • Specifically, the minimum age only applies to gorilla and chimpanzee safari activities; and the minimum to trek gorillas is 15 years while chimps trekking is 12 years. However, this shouldn’t stop you from coming along with infants, since most lodges have children facilities to keep them busy while the adults are on a trekking safari.
  • Other safari activities in Uganda are open to all ages.

What is the minimum fitness level to do a safari in Uganda?

  • Some activities like Hiking tours / mountaineering or trekking gorillas and chimps require basic minimum fitness levels as you need to trek through forests and hilly slopes on foot; so check well with your personal doctor for blood pressure levels, and other asthmatic conditions, especially when trekking to the higher altitude points along the mountains.

How are the accommodation facilities in Uganda?

  • Accommodation facilities in Uganda are categorized in 3 major levels: – Luxury / high end, mid-range / standard and budget / basic accommodation.
  • Luxury lodges are somewhat expensive, and range between 400$ – 700$ per night / person
  • Mid-range / standard lodges are more suitable for medium income earners, and range between 170$ – 350$ per person / night.
  • Budget / basic accommodation is specifically for price sensitive travellers / back packers. It is the modest category of lodging, providing very basic facilities.
  • All the categories above provide self-contained rooms, apart from some budget facilities which have shared facilities.

I am a wheel chair person; will I be allowed to do a safari in Uganda with you?safari tips in Uganda, Safari Uganda, Uganda safari FAQS, tours in Uganda

  • Absolutely Yes! We have been handling wheel chair guests, but you need to book way earlier in advance so that we can accommodate your needs well in time.

How & who do I tip in Uganda?

  • Tips / gratuities in Uganda are recommended (though not obligatory); and guides, drivers, local tour guides, hotel / restaurant attendants are eligible for this service.
  • 5 – 10$ tip per service is enough to be appreciated by a person, though you can exceed that amount according to your wish.

Which currency do I use while in Uganda?

  • Mostly USD, GBP, EUROS are some of the international currencies used in Uganda; and Uganda shillings are locally used. The exchange rates are usually inconsistent, and they can change any time without prior notice, so check well in advance to get the most current exchange rates at https://www.bou.or.ug/
  • Note: Only USD notes printed in 2006 and later are accepted (as of 2017) and larger denomination bills attract a higher exchange rate.

Can I book a self-drive tour in Uganda with Love Uganda Safaris?

  • Yes, it is absolutely possible to book a self-drive tour; and Love Uganda safaris will only be ready to provide a well serviced vehicle, under our car hire / rental service arrangement.

What should I bring for the community / local people? / How do I help the community?

  • Love Uganda Safaris is affiliated with 2 of her sister organizations, i.e. Love Uganda Foundation and Volunteering in Uganda. These are 2 organizations that love Uganda safaris uses to give back to the community.
  • We dedicate 40% from the safari business to help the children in our orphanage and disabled homes, by paying school fees, feeding, medical care, Clothing, etc.
  • However, any help whether in kind or in cash will be highly appreciated. You can check our foundation activities on http://loveugandafoundation.org/ and http://volunteeringinuganda.org/
  • You can bring some stuff for the children as well, like used laptops, phones; clothes, beddings, food stuff etc., or engage actively in our volunteering activities.

THE ROAD DISTANCE / DRIVING TIME BETWEEN MAJOR NATIONAL PARKS AND TOWNS IN UGANDA?

Approximate driving distances (Kilometers) between major towns / National parks in Uganda.

Kibale Forest
242 Mbarara
110 132 Kasese
217 174 107 Ishasha
157 135 47 97 Mweya
280 216 170 63 150 Bwindi (Buhoma)
384 142 274 165 277 110 Kabale
464 232 354 210 367 190 80 Kisoro
358 283 415 455 417 527 425 505 Kampala
366 536 404 511 451 574 678 758 225 Masindi
441 611 479 586 526 649 753 833 311 86 Murchison Falls N.P
438 363 495 535 497 607 505 585 80 305 391 Jinja
395 320 452 492 454 564 462 542 37 262 348 117 Entebbe
506 264 396 287 399 232 122 130 547 800 875 627 587 Kigali
478 236 368 267 371 204 94 14 519 772 847 599 559 144 Mgahinga
Approximate driving times (hours) between major towns / national parks in Uganda:
Kibale Forest
6 Mbarara
3 3 Kasese
6 4 3 Ishasha
4 3 2 3 Mweya
7 5 5 2 5 Bwindi (Buhoma)
8 2 5 4 5 4 Kabale
10 5 8 7 8 5 3 Kisoro
7 4 7 8 7 10 6 10 Kampala
7 7 9 2 10 13 9 12 3 Masindi
9 13 10 12 11 13 11 14 5 2 Murchison N/P
8 5 8 9 8 11 7 12 1 4 6 Jinja
8 5 8 9 8 11 7 11 1 4 6 2 Entebbe
10 5 8 6 8 5 3 4 9 12 14 10 11 Kigali
10 6 9 8 9 7 4 1 11 13 15 11 12 5 Mgahinga N/P
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