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Safari Uganda

Travel Advice East Africa

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SAFARIS IN UGANDA


Do I need a visa to enter Uganda?

  • You are required to purchase a tourist visa before you enter Uganda. Tourist visas can be bought in advance or simply purchased upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport or at any overland border. Photos are not required and a Uganda tourist visa costs US$ 50 per person for up to 90 days stay in Uganda. However, tourists are often only given two weeks visa so if you are planning to stay longer than two weeks, be ready to state this at the border. Uganda tourist visas can be extended at the immigration office in Kampala for an additional fee.
  • Your passport must have a minimum of six months validity remaining.
  • A single entry tourist visa for the whole East African Community was launched but not yet effected

Can I use my ATM card or credit card in Uganda?

  • Only a few banks accept ATM cards or Visa credit cards for money withdrawal in Uganda. While you can withdraw a limited amount of cash per day from ATM machines in Kampala, there are very few opportunities to withdraw cash once you are on safari in Uganda.
  • Payment by credit card in Uganda can attract additional charges of between 5–10%, occasionally more. Do check with lodges and restaurants in advance, if you plan to pay by credit card.
  • We therefore advise you to bring cash and have money changed upon arrival in Kampala. US dollars, British pounds and Euros are easy to change. However, for some expenses, like the payment of a tourist visa at the airport/border, it is easier to have dollars available. It is often possible to pay for tourist activities with US dollars.
  • Please note: US dollars bills issued before 2003 are NOT accepted in Uganda. Exchanging low denomination dollar bills (anything less than a USD100 bill) attracts a lower exchange rate.

 

Are travelers cheques accepted in Uganda?

  • Traveler’s cheques are no longer accepted in Uganda.

Is MasterCard accepted in Uganda?

  • Very few places in Uganda accept MasterCard. In addition to cash, we suggest you bring a Visa debit card.

What should I tip in Uganda?

  • How much to tip in Uganda depends entirely on your level of satisfaction of course, but even a small tip to show your gratitude will be highly appreciated. You might consider USD10 per day if you are happy with the service of your safari guide and 5-10% tip in upmarket hotels, Uganda lodges and restaurants.

What is the best time to travel in Uganda?

  • Officially, Uganda’s dry seasons are from December/January through to mid-March and from June through to mid-September. These dry months are the most popular with tourists, with July and August and Christmas and New Year being the peak seasons.
  • Most rain falls in October-November and April-May. However, this doesn’t mean that it rains all day, nor does it mean it will rain every day. Usually there’s a tropical shower at night or a shorter shower during the day, but in Uganda you can trust that after rain comes sunshine!
  • The weather is no reason to avoid travelling in the wet season – you might even consider it because of the easy availability of gorilla permits.
  • As in the rest of the world, the East African climate is changing, making it more difficult for us to predict the weather during your safari. However, in Uganda the temperature is very stable and pleasant, with sunshine almost 365 days a year. During the day, the temperature averages between 23 and 27°C, although in some places it can be quite cool at night.
  • One remarkable aspect about Uganda safaris is: whether you travel in the dry, dusty months or in the wet season, you will never find the crowded tourism like in Kenya or Tanzania. If you spot a lion or leopard, it is very likely that you will be the only one to see it – even in peak season!

Uganda travel advice: health information for Travelers to Uganda
Are vaccinations required for my Uganda safari?

  • A number of different vaccinations are recommended and/or required before entering Uganda. A certificate proving you have had the Yellow Fever vaccination is mandatory for entry into Uganda. Immunizations against DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and Hepatitis A are recommended as well.
  • Besides bringing mosquito repellent, we also advise you to take malaria ‘prophylactics’ (prevention medication).
  • For the latest Uganda travel health advice, please check one of the travel health web sites or contact us at Kuamka Tours and Travel . We’re always happy to give free Uganda travel advice!

Will I get sick when I’m in Uganda?

  • You are unlikely to fall sick while you are in Uganda but do take all recommended preventive measures. If you take any regular medication, please bring it with you.
  • Take your Malaria medication as directed – before, during and possibly after – your visit to Uganda (depending on the Malaria prophylactic you take).
  • Although HIV/AIDS infection rates are lower than many countries in Africa, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS infection is certainly higher than in most Western countries. Tourists and visitors to Uganda sometimes engage in risky behaviour that they wouldn’t engage in back home. Play safe. Please take your sexual health seriously.

Uganda travel advice: safety information for travelers to Uganda
Is Uganda a safe country for tourists?
Uganda is a very safe country to visit.

  • Although Uganda has lived through a turbulent history, the country is safe, stable and welcoming. Ugandans’ hospitable nature is legendary! You will be warmly welcomed wherever you go by the country’s friendly residents.
  • The most popular National Parks are situated in the south (west) of Uganda and are safe to visit. The border area with Rwanda and DRC remains stable and all National Parks and wildlife reserves are well protected by the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s rangers. Tourism is hugely important for Uganda’s economy and a Tourism Police force has been created to protect visitors.
  • If you are unsure about the safety of travel to Uganda, please contact Kuamka Tours and Travel .
  • Your travel insurance company or foreign office may offer information about travel to Uganda. However, in our experience, these bodies all err on the side of caution and do not necessarily know what is happening on the ground in Uganda at the time. For example, January 2014, some still advise against travel to Kidepo Valley National Park in Northern Uganda, although it is now safe to travel there by road, or by air.
  • Your safety is our absolute priority and you can rest assured that we will always give you the best Uganda travel advice.

Is Kampala a safe city for tourists?

  • Kampala is one of the safest capital cities in (East) Africa – although, as anywhere, petty thieves may try and take advantage of people who leave phones and valuables unattended. Your driver guide will give you all the information you need to make sure your trip is safe and incident-free. Feel free to ask questions!

How safe is it for homosexuals to visit Uganda?

  • 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.

Uganda travel advice: How to book and pay for your Uganda Safari
Can I do the gorilla tracking in Uganda?

  • If you are interested in a mountain gorilla safari in Uganda or Rwanda you are required to buy a gorilla permit well in advance of your trip. As only eight people are allowed to visit each gorilla group per day, the demand is high. Kuamka Tours and Travel  are happy to book your gorilla trekking permits and organise your gorilla safari.
  • To buy your gorilla permit, you will need to provide us with your full names, nationality, passport number, preferred date of trekking and gorilla permit fee. The minimum age for visiting the gorillas is 15 years. A certain level of fitness is required for the gorilla tracking, and you may not be allowed gorilla trekking if you fall sick.

How can I pay for my safari?

  • Once you have confirmed the final itinerary with us, you will be asked to pay a deposit of 40%. Gorilla permits must be paid for in full at the time of booking. Note that availability of accommodation and permits is not guaranteed until officially confirmed by Kuamka Tours and Travel . Accommodation, permit and activity reservations will be made as soon as payment has been received on our account.
  • For your convenience, the balance payment of 70% should be settled before the start of your safari. We accept payment by VISA credit card (please include 5% service charge) and bank transfer in either dollars or Euros to our bank account in Uganda. Please note that all bank charges are at the expense of the client.

What is the Safari accommodation like?

  • Uganda or East African Safari accommodation falls into three categories: budget, mid-range or luxury.
  • Budget accommodation may be simple and basic rooms, bandas or tents, with double/twin beds and mosquito nets when necessary. Private bathrooms are not always available and you may have to share bathroom facilities.
  • 3-star, 4-star and 5-star accommodation offer comfortable rooms or luxury furnished safari tents with a private bathroom. Flush toilets and hot and cold running water are available. Mosquito nets will be provided where necessary.
  • All Uganda lodges and hotels are carefully selected and frequently visited by Kuamka Tours and Travel s’ staff, to monitor quality and service levels. The majority of safari lodges and hotels are small-scale, offering a unique location and ambiance, and usually have a maximum of eight rooms.

What vehicles does Kuamka Tours and Travel  use for safaris?

  • Kuamka Tours and Travel  provides open roofed 4WD (four wheel drive) safari vehicles for all our tours. Our comfortable Land Cruisers offer seats for four to six people. Vehicles all have a pop-up roof for game viewing. We also have several 4WD minibuses which can take a maximum of 8 people. To ensure that everybody has a window seat to enjoy the best views of Uganda, we usually limit the number of people to seven in these 4WD safari minibuses. Limiting the number of people per vehicle also means plenty of legroom and luggage storage. But in case we have a big group we use coasters which take up to 37 people.

I am traveling on my own. Can I book my safari with Kuamka Tours and Travel ?

  • Single travelers are very welcome! However, to minimize your costs we would suggest joining a group. Although we can try and arrange this for you, we cannot guarantee we can find a group whose interests, budget and preferred route correspond to yours, especially during low season.
  • If you would like to stay in a single room please notify us well in advance and we will try to meet your request. Please bear in mind that single rooms are not common and it is more likely that you will be offered single occupancy of a double room. A single room supplement will apply.

How many people are in your group safaris?

  • We offer tailor-made safaris for any number of participants. There is no minimum number for a group tour, although the bigger the group, the more attractive the price will be.
  • Our comfortable Land Cruisers offer seats for four to six people. We also own several 4WD minibuses which can take a maximum of 8 people. To ensure that everybody has a window seat, we usually limit the number of people to seven in the 4WD safari minibuses.

What is included in the price of my Uganda or East African safari?
Kuamka Tours and Travel prices are inclusive of :

  • Ground transport in a comfortable four wheel drive (4WD) safari vehicle
  • A visit to all places detailed in the program
  • The service of an experienced English speaking driver/safari guide
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Activities as detailed in the itinerary (except for those that are marked optional)
  • Overnight in the named accommodations.
  • Full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • 2 liters of bottled mineral water per person per day while traveling in the Kuamka Tours and Travel  vehicle
  • Government taxes
  • Park ranger fees

What is excluded in the price of my Uganda or East African safari?
Kuamka Tours and Travel  prices do not include:

  • International flights
  • Tourist visa (available at the airport)
  • Meals and snacks that are not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Beverages (other than the bottled mineral water provided in the safari vehicle)
  • Tips and gratuities for safari guides and/or park rangers
  • Laundry
  • Gorilla trekking or chimp trekking permit
  • Optional activities that are and those not mentioned in the program
  • Items of a personal nature (toiletries, camera batteries, souvenirs)
  • Travel insurance
  • International payment transaction costs

In most cases, we will specify the extra charge of optional activities in your itinerary. If not, or if it is not clear to you, please contact Kuamka Tours and Travel  so we can confirm any additional fee(s).
If you have any other Uganda travel advice questions, please contact Kuamka Tours and Travel  via email or on Facebook or Follow @Kuamka Tours and Travel  on Twitter.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Pearl of Africa and the great lakes region of East Africa!



Climate

 Kenya’s climate is very similar to its neighboring country Tanzania, with two rainy seasons taking place from (mid) March till June and around October-November. The European summer as well as winter period is good for wildlife viewing since its generally dry then, but keep in mind that it’s a very popular, and thus busy, time to travel.

The coastal areas have a higher average temperature and humidity, while in the mountainous area near Mount Kenya it can be much colder because of its altitude.

Best time to visit

Also in Kenya the game parks are best visited during the dry season, especially between January and March. This is also the most ideal period to enjoy Kenya’s amazing birdlife.

The wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve can be witnessed in the period from July till October.

If you are planning to stay at the coastal area then it’s better to avoid the (long) rainy season.

Visa

The costs for a single entry visa for Kenya is US $50 per person, plus US $1 for service charge and handling fee.

Visas have to be applied and paid for online via the eCitizen portal prior to your arrival. A copy of the eVisa has to be presented upon immigration. Please take into account that the approval of your visa application may take up to one full week.

If you are planning to combine Kenya with a visit to Rwanda and/or Uganda it is recommendable to request for the East African Tourist Visa. This special tourist visa costs US $100 per person and allows 90 days multiple entry to Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Regretfully, Tanzania is not (yet) a member of the East African community and therefore not part of this arrangement.

At the moment the East African Tourist Visa is only available directly upon arrival but soon via the eCitizen portal as well.

Language

Kenya’s national language is Kiswahili, while English is the official language and widely spoken.

Electricity

In Kenya the voltage is 220-240 volts. You will need a rectangular 3-square pin adapter (British style). Keep in mind that power cuts are common in Kenya so it is recommended to carry a torch with you and always recharge appliances when the power is available.

Money

The national currency in Kenya is the Kenya Shilling (KSh).

US dollar notes but also euros and British sterling are widely accepted and can be exchanged at banks, bureau the changes and a number of hotels. ATM’s can be found in major towns and most accept international (Visa) cards.

Similar to other (East) African countries, US dollars notes that are printed in/after 2003 are not welcome, so ensure that you carry new notes.

Credit cards are accepted at some of the major hotels but usually a 5-10% surcharge will be added.

Health

A certificate of yellow fever is required for entry into Kenya. In addition it is advisable to take malaria prophylactic as malaria is present almost everywhere in the country.

Kindly always consult your travel doctor for the latest health advice before travelling to Kenya.

Climate

Rwanda’s tropical location, just south of the Equator, combined with high altitude ensure a pleasant, temperate year-round climate. Temperatures therefore hardly vary throughout the season, with an average of 25°C during the day and slightly cooler at night.

However, exceptions can be experienced in the chilly upper slopes of the Virunga Mountains and lower Akagera National Park.

Generally, the long rainy season takes place from March till June and there is a short rainy season around October-November. Also during the drier periods you may experience light rain showers occasionally.

Best time to visit

Rwanda can perfectly be visited during all season. Please keep in mind though that July and August are peak season for tracking the mountain gorillas and therefore gorilla permits are more difficult to obtain.

Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest is recommendable during the rainy seasons, since the chimps will be able to find food relatively easily and are therefore easier to locate.

Visa

The costs for a single entry visa for Rwanda is US $50 per person.

Visas have to be applied for online via the Rwanda Immigration website, at least two weeks prior to your arrival. A copy of the approved application has to be presented at the entry point where the visa will then be issued and paid for. Kindly note that citizens from the following countries are required to pay visa fees but are allowed to obtain their visa upon arrival without prior online application: Australia, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, UK and USA.

If you are planning to combine Rwanda with a visit to Uganda and/or Kenya it is recommendable to request for the East African Tourist Visa. This special tourist visa costs US $100 per person and allows 90 days multiple entry to Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. Regretfully, Tanzania is not (yet) a member of the East African community and therefore not part of this arrangement.

The East African Tourist Visa can be requested in the same way as the single entry visa, but make sure to select this option when completing the form on the Rwanda Immigration website.

Language

Rwanda’s national language is Kinyarwanda, but also English and French are widely spoken throughout the country.

Electricity

In Rwanda the voltage is 220-240 volts. A 2 pin European adaptor is requested. Keep in mind that power cuts are common in Rwanda so it is recommended to carry a torch with you and always recharge appliances when the power is available.

Money

The national currency in Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc (RFW)

US dollar notes but also euros and British sterling are widely accepted and can be exchanged at the airport or any Forex bureau or bank. Also a number of ATM’s are available in Kigali and accessible to visitors. When bringing US dollars ensure that the notes are printed in/after 2006, since older notes may be refused or attract a less favorable exchange rate.

Credit cards are usually only accepted at the major hotels in Kigali.

Health

A certificate of yellow fever is required for entry into Rwanda. In addition it is advisable to take malaria prophylactic as malaria is particularly widespread throughout lowland Rwanda.

Kindly always consult your travel doctor for the latest health advice before travelling to Rwanda.