Uganda’s unit of currency is the Uganda Shilling and you’d be advised to get some on arrival as it is far easier to buy drinks, curios and meals in the local currency when travelling between destinations.
US Dollars are widely accepted throughout the country though note that cash is best: traveler’s cheques and credit cards can be used at most lodges and in Kampala but attract hefty transaction fees.
Tipping of around 10% – 15% is customary in Uganda for good service. Tips are usually given in Uganda Shillings or US Dollars. If you are doing a gorilla trek, tipping is at your discretion – your porter (if you choose to take one) should usually receive the highest tip, with a second tip distributed between your guides, trackers and security personnel.
Average year-round temperatures: 14°C to 27°C
Rainy seasons: March to May and September to December
WHAT TO PACK
During the day, temperatures in Uganda are generally warm so pack plenty of lightweight clothing. If you are going gorilla trekking, pack long trousers and long-sleeved tops, long socks to wear over your trousers as protection against ants, a pair of light gloves to protect against nettles, a hat and a raincoat.
A pair of sturdy, comfortable hiking boots is most important – try to break these in before your trip rather than wearing them brand new as you’re likely to get blisters.
The mountains tend to be cold and damp so pack according to the altitude – a change of clothes and a warm fleece in your day pack, along with sunscreen and insect repellent are advised.
FLIGHTS AND GETTING AROUND
Entebbe International Airport: located 35km from Kampala, Entebbe is Uganda’s international gateway. Visitors usually arrive via Nairobi.
Flying by private charter aircraft is very expensive in Uganda – most travelers use road transfers with mini buses or, preferably, 4X4 vehicles.
Despite Uganda’s small size, infrastructure is limited and roads are often in poor condition; expect long days in vehicles when driving between destinations, especially in the rainy season. Game drives in the national parks are generally conducted in open-sided 4X4s.
VISA AND PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS
All visitors to Uganda require a visa and every visitor’s passport must be valid for at least six months from their departure date. Visas for Uganda can be obtained at all major borders as well as at the international airport at Entebbe. Single and double-entry visas are valid for up to three months at a cost of around US $30 and extensions are available at the immigration office in Kampala.
Tap water is unlikely to be safe, stick to bottled water wherever you can.
Consult a medical professional for advice on malaria medication before you depart.
Food is of high quality and varied. Be careful of temperature extremes: very cold winter nights and extreme heat during day. Keep kids well hydrated, and request a cool box in your vehicle for drinks. Even in cooler temperatures it is easy to burn fast – always cover up, and wear a hat and sunscreen.
Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which includes any activities you will be participating in. Ensure this covers emergency medical repatriation, you may have to be evacuated if local hospitals are unable to provide adequate care.
Please Note: Whilst we have made every effort to ensure the information provided in this document is accurate, African Safari Experts is in no way responsible for the information provided. We will endeavor to communicate any amendments to the information in a timely manner.
Uganda is famous for her Gorilla treks, one of the best places we have been for accommodation and excellent sightings is Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge.