Safaris in Uganda offer a range of fascinating things to do for all kinds of visitors from mountain gorilla tracking, hiking up the ‘mountains of the moon’ Mount Rwenzori to taking a ride through the various national parks to view the wild game. The booking process is a stress free one but there are certain things that you need to keep in mind to ensure that you have a wonderful time in this beautiful country.
When to visit
Though it’s safari time throughout the year in Uganda, there are certain seasons that are better suited for tours especially for those interested in gorilla tracking and nature walks. You could decide to book your safari between December-March and June-September when it’s dry season since safaris can be a bit challenging during the rainy season.
Decide on the kind of safari
An array of safaris do exist in Uganda from wildlife, adventure and cultural trips. You can make your pick from one of them or decide to mix it up for a heightened experience. After you have finished deciding on the kind of safari you want to enjoy in the ‘Pearl of Africa,’you will have to look for a reputable company you feel will provide you with a worthwhile experience and then some.
Find the right tour company
Many tour companies do exist in Uganda and you might be spoilt for choice but your choice can be made easier by searching for Uganda safaris in Google. You could then go to review sites like TripAdvisor to see how the companies are ranking and what people are saying about them. The company you decide on should also be a member of the main tourism associations like AUTO for your safety in case something unexpected happens and the associations have to intervene.
Book the safari
You can now go on to book the safari with the selected company. Tour companies usually require you to pay a 30% deposit to reserve the accommodation and suitable guides. When it comes to gorilla tracking though, the entire permit fee is required so that it’s booked in advance. The other money can be paid on arrival into Uganda.
Remember to pack suitable clothes for the Uganda safari, get the necessary vaccinations and the visa though there’s an alternative of getting it at the airport. Also, you could read about the country to better prepare yourself.
Uganda travel tips –
Accessibility – Uganda can be accessed by land from Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. However the main entrance to Uganda is by air transport using a number of Regional and International airlines, such as Kenya Airways, SN Brussels, KLM, British Airways, South African Airways. Qatar, Turkish, Egypt Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Rwanda Air Express, etc, all these arrive at Entebbe airport, However, you can arrive in Kenya, Rwanda or Tanzania and depart from Uganda. In the same way, you can arrive in Uganda, and after the combined trip depart from the neighbouring countries.
Entry Visa fees – Obtaining a visa for Uganda, you can get it upon arrival at the airport or border entry, the cost of the visa is USD:100 per person, and this last for 30 – 90 days according to the purpose. On good news, we can send you a letter of recommendation, you print it and present it on arrival. Also there are forex exchange offices, ATM facilities and mobile money offices.
NB: For tourists, you can obtain East African tourist visa at only USD 100. valid accross these countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi, especially if you plan to do a combined safari to Uganda with two or more countries mentioned above.
Passport Validity – A valid passport atleast for 5months ahead, is mandatory and a visa requirement should be checked before you travel to Uganda.
Health and Vaccination – A certificate of Yellow fever vaccination is required upon arrival. All visitors should take malaria prophylactic drugs. It is also advisable to drink bottled water rather than tap water while on a Uganda safari. Wear insect repellant while in the jungle forests, to avoid insect bites.
What to wear (clothes) – Day time temperatures are generally warm to hot so bring lots of light clothing, evenings are cooler, especially at high attitudes, so carry a couple of light sweaters too. Those who intend to hike on the mountains will be exposed to alpine temperatures and should pack accordingly. Solid walking shoes and sturdy clothing are ideal for forest walks. Do not forget to bring a hat, sunglasses and water proof jackets.
The clothes you select are of prior importance since they will determine your comfort and enjoyment of your safari as a whole. If you intend to take a wildlife safari take special note that blend in well with the environment. Therefore wear dull and muted colors like olive, beige, brown, green and khaki.
Some seasons are wetter than others therefore it is advisable to carry some rain gear with you on especially a gorilla safari. Evenings are colder especially at high altitudes therefore carry a couple of light sweaters as well.
On hiking safaris make sure you carry a lot of warm clothes since you will be exposed to alpine temperatures. Sturdy walking shoes, a hat, sun glasses and water proof jackets are ideal for trekking safaris.