Want to adventure Uganda, the Pearl of Africa? your steps closer to getting started but lets take you through some Uganda travel advice to give you a basic understandings of what you may require. Some people travel to Uganda without carrying out enough research of what is required of them which leads to last minute interruptions in some occasions. Before we proceed any further we have to know about about safety in Uganda. A portion of people think Uganda is not safe and get discouraged because of this fact.
Is it safe to travel to Uganda? If you are questioning if is Uganda safe then i’ll assure you Uganda is a very safe country irrespective of your culture, origin and tribe. People here are very friendly and welcoming though you have to closely check with the kind of people you are dealing with. It’s not about Uganda Travel Safety for Americans or any group of people, you are all welcome to Uganda. This Uganda travel information will highlight some of the most important information on Uganda. The Uganda Travel Tips below will also highlight some of the basic requirements and essentials you will need right from the moment you make your entourage in Uganda for Uganda gorilla tours until you make your departure.
Uganda Travel Tips No.1 – Have a Visa
You are required by the law to have a Uganda entrance VISA before making your entourage to the country. You can purchase a VISA from the embassy in advance before setting of for your trip or pay $50 (previously $100) upon arrival at the Entebbe International Airport to claim it. To make the process easy, the Ministry of Internal affairs recently added an online visa application form to simplify the process. You can fill the form here.
When you arrive at Entebbe International Airport, Uganda. You will be directed to the Immigration Office Headquarters where you will be inspected by an Immigration Officer who will let you know if your online Visa application was approved. If your Visa was approved, the immigration officer will hand it to you and you proceed with your trip. Almost every travel advice for Uganda you will come across will advise you to get a VISA.
2 – Plan your Trip ahead
Always make sure you plan your trip ahead in order to avoid last minute interruptions. Trips planned ahead are usually smooth because everything goes according to plan and besides, we are also able to make early reservations and bookings to prevent altering planned itineraries. Gorilla Trekking permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park should also be secured as early enough especially in the peak season when they are on high demand to avoid any interruptions on your gorilla trekking safaris. In fact, we recommend securing your permits while making the first deposit for the trip. So what are some of the benefits of planning a trip ahead?
- Gives you enough time to Organize and lay down your plans.
- Bookings for Accommodations is made early enough which prevents alterations itineraries
- Gorilla Tracking permits are secured early enough to avoid competition especially during high demand seasons.
- Planning a trip ahead avoids last minute interruptions
- Enables us to secure good vehicles for your trip
However, making late bookings doesn’t mean you won’t have a nice trip. Our staff will take care of everything within the shortest time possible and make sure you still have a nice and memorable trip in Uganda.
3 – Health and Medical Insurance
There are some vaccinations needed for Uganda trips. Yellow fever vaccination is one of the vaccinations required for Uganda trips and you will be asked to show a copy at the airport. Yellow fever certificates are required for entry in Uganda. Make sure you first get vaccinated for yellow fever and carry the vaccination certificate with you but in case you fail or delay in the process, we can arrange for you a yellow fever vaccination in Uganda though we strongly recommend you get vaccinated from your country weeks before your trip.
Polio Immunization is also one of the required immunizations for Uganda trips. Ensure you also get immunized against polio, try to take some malarial preventive medication to avoid infection while on your trip and eat healthy. Uganda is a tropical country and the rate of Malaria is a bit high, however, taking preventive medication ensures you don’t fall sick whilst on your trip. In case you forget to pack the required medication you have to inform our staff early enough so that we arrange for you one from here.
Besides the vaccinations for Uganda, You should also try and stay away from sexual acts that might put your health in danger. The rate of HIV/AIDS is not so high in Uganda but that doesn’t mean you should take any risks. Just try and play it safe.
4 – Payments in Uganda
A few banks in Uganda accept MasterCard and we suggest you carry a Visa Debit Card with you plus some extra cash. Please note that Paypal is currently not supported in Uganda but it is in our neighboring country, Kenya. Try to inquire from our staff about the few banks that accept MasterCard in case you need to make extra-cash withdrawals from the country.
Uganda has a number of forex bureaus that will exchange for you foreign cash to local currency at a good rate. We recommend checking the standard rate online and consulting any of our staff for the current rate before making any cash exchange. Please also note that dollar bills of denominations lower than $100 are exchanged at a slightly lower rate implicating you should carry more of $100 notes to get a good exchange rate. You should only move with dollar series of 2009 or later. Series lower than that will not be accepted.
5 – Tip Guides
Always tip tour guides to show appreciation for their service. Your tip can fall some where between $10 – $15 per day whilst on the trip. You can as well tip porters and hotel receptionists irrespective of the destination you are in. This with help you establish a strong relationship everywhere you go and will motivate them more.
6 – Carry US Dollars issued after 2009
Don’t carry US Dollars that were issued before 2009 because they are not accepted in Uganda. Make sure you carry dollar bills that were issued at least later than 2009 to avoid any inconveniences whilst on your trip. Like said before, the exchange rate for dollar bills less than $100 is quite low so we recommend carrying more of big denominations.
7 – Learn some basic local language words
Uganda is a high-English speaking nation but still you have to make sure you learn some basic words in Ugandan local languages. Learn to greet and thank people in their local languages irrespective of their tribe. Our guides will teach you a few basic words you can use whilst on your trip. Due to the popularity of Luganda, some of the basic words you can use are:
‘Oli Otya’ means ‘How are You’
‘Ndi Bulungi’ means ‘I am Fine’
‘Wasuuze Otya’ means ‘How was your Night’
‘Weebale’ means ‘Thank You’
‘Bakuyita Aani’ means ‘What is your Name’
‘Baampita (your name)’ means ‘I am called (your name)’.
Those are just some basic words for a language called Luganda. Uganda has over 50 tribes and each tribe
speaks a different language though some of them might be close. Our experienced guides should teach you more of the basic local words you can use whilst on your trip.
8 – Have Fun
Lastly, very few will tell you this but it’s probably one of the most essential tips. When you reach Uganda, just try and ensure that you enjoy every bit of your trip by maximizing it with fun. Habari Uganda Tours will play it’s extra role to ensure that your trip is very enjoyable, passionate and memorable. Create that extra fun that we can’t create for you, make memories, create an extra experience for yourself through adventure, ask more, eat some local cuisines, engage in some charity and leave a landmark.
Looking forward to welcome you to Uganda