PASSPORT AND VISAS
Your passport must be valid six months after date of travel. All visitors require a tourist visa (exception is some African nations, follow up if you think it applies to you). A visitor’s visa costs US$50 per person. From 1 August 2016 it is mandatory to make an application online in advance, so please visit https://visas.immigration.go.ug/ in good time before your departure. If you are visiting a combination of Uganda, Rwanda or Kenya it is a good idea to go for the East African tourist visa at 100 dollars, you should then apply with the country that is your first destination. Please, check with the consulate of Uganda in your respective countries for advises on visas if needed.
Please contact your local health care provider to ask about any immunisations needed (what you need to take depends on which immunisations you have had previously). Note though that yellow fewer is mandatory and that malaria prophylaxis is recommended.
GETTING TO UGANDA
International carriers to Entebbe airport include Kenya Airways in conjunction with KLM, Brussels airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, South African Airways and Emirates. From North America, flights can be taken to Brussels or Amsterdam or alternatively, from New York or Atlanta to Johannesburg and then connecting flights to Entebbe.
The Uganda shilling is the medium of exchange mainly used. Currency should be exchanged in the Capital if possible, as rates elsewhere are much lower (US dollar is the most common although all major currencies such as euro and GB pound are accepted). If bringing dollars make sure that they are reasonably new since dollars from 2006 and older are not accepted here. With Visa and MasterCard money can be withdrawn from some banks ATM’s (Barclays and Stanbic bank works). Visa card is more widely accepted than MasterCard. Remember though that there are ATM’s only in the big cities. Despite what is claimed in some guidebooks, credit cards are not widely accepted for payments, and where they can be used, mainly with larger hotels, hefty surcharges are common. You should make sure that you have sufficient cash to last you throughout the trip.
What to Bring / packing
In general you will manage well with light pants, shorts or skirts and t-shirts but there are some exceptions. For the gorilla and chimps trekking you should bring some long pants and a shirt with long sleeves which you can fold down and up easily in case its warm. As well as walking/hiking shoes and a pair of socks that are long enough so you can tuck the pants inside (this is to avoid insects crawling in). For the trek it is also good with a rain jacket in your backpack just in case and possibly some gloves if need be for some harsh leaves and small branches. Something a bit warmer is as well needed as the evenings can get chilly in the home of the mountain Gorillas and by Lake Bunyonyi. And off course sun glasses, sun creams, a cap and insect repellents are good. To respect the culture here skirts should not be too short, knee-length is fine.
If you want to fully enjoy the game reserves in Uganda that is gifted by nature carry binoculars. Photographers will need a zoom lens for wildlife. Bring along enough batteries and memory cards for your camera since extra ones are hard to find in the countryside and most tend to take a lot of pictures! Toiletries and other essentials that you might have forgotten can be bought anywhere in the country (the exception is sunscreen that can mostly only be found in cities).
Tipping is not seen as obligatory in Uganda, but anything or any amount of gratuity is always appreciated if you are satisfied with a service.
English is the official language, some Swahili and Luganda is also commonly spoken in most parts of the country. All our staff and guides are fluent in English and you will enjoy their company. Swahili is also used where need arises. Because of the friendly nature of Ugandans, we can teach you a few words of the local language of Luganda.
Uganda is one of the countries that experiences two seasons: the wet and dry seasons. The periods of July-August and December-February are quite dry. Mid-September to November and March to May are the wet periods. You can visit at any time of the year. Temperatures generally range from warm to hot during daytime. You are advised to bring light clothing. At high altitudes, evenings are usually cooler and carrying light sweaters is usually of help.