The drier months from June to August and December to February are the best for wildlife watching in Uganda. 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 trekking adventure. Primate walks in the forest are a big part of any safari in Uganda. The habitat of rainforests are, by default, very wet, and one can't avoid rain completely. However, after heavy rain, the skies often open up to bright sunshine.
It is best to book as far in advance as possible, as some safaris (like gorilla trekking) sell out months ahead of their departure dates. This is especially important for those planning to travel during peak seasons (June to August and December to February) and for those adding extensions to scheduled trips.
Safaris are classified according to the quality and amenities of accommodations, and the quality and number of meals and activities included in the price of your vacation. In Uganda most luxury safaris will transfer you across destinations in a small chartered plain and book you in the best accommodation facilities.
Most Africa safari companies set specific age limits for children. For safety reasons, children five and under might not be allowed on game drives in the parks and reserves, where terrain may be rough. In some cases, very young children may not be permitted on a safari, and older children and teens must be accompanied by an adult. We have a few African safaris designed just for families, providing an exciting and educational experience for all.
Group sizes vary according to the tour operator. Many tour operators limit game drives to four of six people per vehicle, using more than one vehicle if needed so that everyone is guaranteed a window seat and good photo opportunities.
We offer safaris that range from less than a week to a month or even longer. We usually recommend one to spend at least a week to experience Africa enough to talk about it and remember it.
All our vacation safaris do not include airfare but everything else you'll need once you touch down. Please process your return tickets with your local travel company. We'll include meals, permits, transfers, accommodation and activities in the tour price.
Safari prices are quoted based on double occupancy. Solo travelers who want their own room pay the per-person price plus the single supplement fee. A single supplement is a fee imposed by hotels, lodges and camps on individuals traveling alone who want private accommodations. We can arrange for two single travelers to share accommodations, providing they are on the same safari and both persons agree to the arrangement.
All safari guests must carry a passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. The East African governments require visitors to purchase visas. It is recommended you purchase your visa in advance but you purchase one on arrival at entry points. Check with your consulate for the latest visa and entry requirements. You are required to purchase a tourist visa before you enter Uganda. Tourist visas can be bought in advance via the embassy or consulate in your country or simply purchased upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport or at any overland border. Photos are not required and a single entry tourist visa costs US$ 100 per person for up to 90 days stay in Uganda. If you are planning to combine Uganda with a visit to Rwanda or Kenya it is recommendable to request for the East African Tourist Visa instead of a single entry visa. This special visa costs US$100 per person and allows a 90-days multiple entry to Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. Regretfully, Tanzania is not (yet) a member of the East African community and therefore not part of this special visa arrangement.
Due to space limitations aboard motorcoaches and domestic flights between safari destinations, tour operators may place restrictions upon the number of bags allowed per person, and upon the maximum weight of each bag. Guests also may be required to use only soft-sided luggage or duffel bags rather than hard-sided suitcases. Ask your travel counselor for more details.
The electrical current in lodges and hotels is 220 volts. If you plan to bring 110-volt electrical devices, it's suggested that you pack an electrical converter and an adapter plug set (socket configurations in destination countries vary between the two-pronged variety and the three-pronged variety). In general, there are no electrical outlets in the tents of safari camps. Many safari camps in remote locales produce their own electricity through a generator that runs when guests are away from the camp on activities. Your tour guide may be able to arrange for the charging of digital or video camera batteries at these times.
Basic precautions should be taken in all countries. Tour guides are highly experienced in navigating each destination, but visitors should always be aware of their surroundings, especially in any rural villages that may be wary of foreigners. In less-developed countries where many people live in poverty, crimes of opportunity can occur, such as petty theft. Visitors are advised to stay alert and use common sense. Safari guests should limit the amount of cash they carry and lock valuables in a hotel safe or other secure place. Lock hotel rooms when you leave. Do not walk alone in deserted areas at night. Take extra care of purses, bags and wallets in crowded places such as malls and nightclubs.
It is advisable to drink bottled water rather than tap water. Bottled and canned drinks should be widely available at hotels, lodges and restaurants.
It is worthwhile to be selective when traveling through the tropics, as possible disease hazards can range from minor bouts of travelers' diarrhea to dysentery and more serious parasitic diseases. Food should always be thoroughly cooked and served hot. Do not feel compelled to eat anything you might be wary about, as it is better to err on the side of caution. We choose hotels and restaurants with high standards for food preparation. When dining elsewhere, it is best to avoid ice and raw produce. Avoid buying food or drink from street vendors.
Malaria is spread by mosquitoes, which bite mainly at dusk and at night. You can only contract malaria if you are bitten by an infected anopheles mosquito. Safari guests are advised to use insect repellent containing DEET (sprayed on clothing and any exposed skin), to keep arms and legs covered as much as possible, and to avoid the use of perfume, hairspray and other scented products that might attract mosquitoes. To protect you during sleep, we only use facilities that cover your bed with an anti-mosquito net. We also like to echo the CDC's advice that strongly recommends that visitors to southern and eastern Africa take anti-malarial medication. Consult your physician before your trip so that he or she can prescribe the appropriate drugs.
Depending on the season of your safari, the heat may be intense. Always stay well hydrated, use sunscreen with a high protection factor, wear a hat and light clothing, and stay indoors or in the shade during the hottest parts of the day. Keep a close eye on any minor wounds to ensure they do not get infected. Travelers should avoid handling any animal, as rabies can be transmitted by licks and scratches as well as bites. Schistosomiasis, also known as Bilharzia, is a parasitic disease spread in Africa's streams and rivers. It is best to avoid swimming anywhere except in chlorinated pools.
Eastern Daylight Time is 7 hours behind of Eastern Africa Time. Basically East African countries are +3 GMT time zone.
The official currency is the Uganda shilling. The US dollar is traditionally the hard currency of preference, but euro and pound sterling are also widely accepted. Most hotels and camps accept Credit/Debit cards. US dollar notes that are older than year 2000 are not accepted everywhere and can be very difficult to exchange. Major currencies such as the dollar and the euro are easily exchanged at the airport, banks and private bureaux de change in all large towns, but traveler's checks are not widely accepted outside Kampala.
Banks are generally open from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 12noon on Saturdays. Some banks are open later.
Credit cards are accepted in major cities and towns, but are not widely accepted elsewhere. Local currency can be drawn against Visa and other major credit cards at selected ATMs in Kampala, at Entebbe International Airport, and in a few other large towns.
Tipping is not standard practice at local hotels and restaurants, but it will always be appreciated. It is normal to tip 5 to 10% at tourist-oriented restaurants. Guides and drivers should always be tipped.
While communications in remote tented camps will be limited, most major hotels and lodges offer Internet services as well as international telephone services. Additionally, private communication centers and cyber cafes in larger towns enable tourists to stay connected. Some centers may close on Sundays and public holidays. The cellular networks in safari destinations cover most large towns and tourist areas.
Despite some negative press, Uganda is a safe country for gay and lesbian travellers. However, Uganda is a conservative country and we would recommend discretion.