Uganda Travel Tips
Make it one of your goals to come and visit Uganda!! Believe me or not, Uganda (the Pearl of Africa) is an earthly paradise for both first time and repeat visitors. This time I want to give you some travel tips, as you prepare to travel to my motherland.
Climate:Uganda lies astride the equator and for this reason, it does not experience distinct changes in its climate. Although the rainy seasons vary in different areas, the most notable ones are from March – April and November – October. However, it can rain any time of the year especially in the forest and mountainous areas, as well as the areas around Lake Victoria. Chimpanzee and Gorilla tracking may be more difficult in the rainy seasons but it may as well be part of the adventure.
Security: Like in any other developing country, security issues may arise. However, the security personnel are always in place to help curb down the situation and we shall always keep you updated about any security threat. Kindly dont leave you valuables such as expensive jewelry, bags, money and travel documents un-attended to. Most logdes and hotels have safe deposit boxes where valuables can be kept in safe custody.
Health: The moderate climate in Uganda favours mosquitoes which cause malaria. You are therefore advised to carry anti-malaria drugs, use mosquito repellants, as well as mosquito nets. You must be in good health if you are to carry out more adventurous activities such as bungee jumping, mountaineering, white water rafting, chimp and gorilla tracking because authorities reserve the right to deny access to such activities if you are not in good health. You are advised to secure medical insurance and carry your personal medications.
Money: The currency is mostly used in Uganda is the Uganda shilling, although US dollars are also in many places now. The most readily exchangeable currencies are the British pounds, EUROs and US dollars, and bigger notes attract a better rate. You are advised to change your money from Kampala before going to up country destinations for a better rate. Bills before 2000 are exchanged at a very low rate but are not accepted in some places. You can access your money from some international banks such as Barclays bank and a few facilities accept payment by credit cards, especially VISA and MASTER cards. Travelers cheques usually attract a lower rate.
While shopping or sight seeing, Be careful with your money because many eyes are watching and remember, Uganda is a poor country and there is an average crime rate in the locals, who are desperately poor.
Clothing: You are advised to carry some rain jackets water proof boots, and some heavy sweaters because it is most likely to be cold in the evening, especially in the wilderness. To add on that, you are advised to carry sun protection such as creams, sun glasses and hats as it might also turn out to be hot.
Accommodation: Maranatha Tours & Travel will book for you the best lodges but please be informed that the nature of accommodation will highly depend on the type of your safari. Accommodation types range from luxury, mid-range to budget facilities.
Lodges and Camps in Uganda do not close during the rainy season as it is done in most countries.
Visas: Tourist visas can be obtained from all arrival/entry points into the country, such as Entebbe international airport and boarder points. Be sure to get one at Entebbe international airport at a cost of USD50 but provide bills of 2003 or years after plus the entrance form that you filled earlier on. It is advisable that you get your visa on arrival because it takes a short time and it is much more cheaper.
Transport:The country makes use of air, water, railway as well as road transport. Currently, Uganda has one international airport, found at Entebbe and this is the major entry point for visitors into the country. The major form of transport used is by road, although certain destinations now have airstrips, and water transport is used to other destinations such as the Ngamba Island. Maranatha Tours & Travel is here to provide you with the best vehicles through out your trip.
Electricity: Apart from accommodation facilities located in the city centers that have hydro electric power, most lodges and camps (especially those located in the National parks) have power provided by generators and solar energy. Because park regulations do not allow generators to be run through out the night, you are advised to pack a torch (although some lodges provide) or flash lights and batteries.
Culture: Uganda has a diverse culture and its cultural heritage is worth a visit! The people of Uganda are very welcoming and friendly – they will always smile as they wave at you, especially when there is language barrier. However, communication is not a big problem, since English is the official language and hence, widely spoken.
Photography: You are advised to ask around before taking photography because in some cases, such as near embassies, police barracks and others, photography is not allowed.
Alcohol: Uganda does not prohibit drinking of alcohol and different brands (both local and international) are available in restaurants, bars, lodges, supermarkets and shops.
Food: Uganda has a variety of fresh food. Most tourist lodges, hotels and restaurants offer a variety of both local and international dishes.