Visiting Uganda is extremely exciting and mostly when you’re visiting to do a safari in the Ugandan Parks or visiting friends and coming to see the diverse culture, this gives you a chance to see the African culture in a country so rich with nature and with friendly people.
It is however brilliant to take some travel tips with you to ensure an enjoyable experience.
What to Wear.
Carry some comfy clothing that is not too tight, as Uganda is in the tropics and the weather is generally hot and humid. Stay away from blues as they tend to attract tsetse flies especially when you are out on a boat ride or game drive.
It is pretty sensible to pack long sleeved shirts as they will protect you from severe sun burn and insect bites. Some parts of Uganda can be really cold like in Bwindi, it is smart to pack some light jackets or sweaters but avoid Camouflage because in Uganda it can get you arrested.
One more essential to wear is a backpack to carry all your valuables and snacks you will need.
What Gadgets to Bring.
Good binoculars and a good camera with a great telephoto lens can cause for a memorable safari holiday. Carrying with you a professional type of Camera enriches your experience of watching the wildlife like a herd of elephants or a pride of lions in the savannah and can be an even greater experience for bird watchers.
It is also wise to carry a camera with a bigger memory size or have extra memory cards just in case your run out storage; nothing ruins a great photo moment like running out of storage. But most importantly do not concentrate on taking pictures to totally miss out on your key Safari moments.
What Voltage of Plug to Bring?
The voltage in Uganda is 240 volts, so you will need a plug made in UK. Alternatively, you can use a converter plug that you can manually fit. What would be even better is a laptop surge protector. Fluctuations in electrical service are common around Uganda known as blackouts. When power returns, it can come in a rush, rising significantly above standard household voltage levels to burn wires, overwhelm circuits and potentially cause damage to laptops. A surge protector diverts the extra voltage from a power surge to a ground wire; sparing harm to any connected electrical devices.
Medication and Insect Repellant.
In case you are taking medication, bring it with you and also do not forget to carry with you or to take your Malaria regiment. You will also need insect repellant especially in areas with tsetse flies; you can buy it online or some outdoor pharmaceutical shops.
We would also advise you carry some antibiotics and Imodium just in case; you do not want to miss your Safari lying in the hotel room. However, consult your doctor or your local clinic about antibiotics and Imodium before taking any.
When travelling, it is much better to have an unlocked international cell phone.
On arrival you will need to purchase a sim card as the telecommunication companies use sim cards you will have to register that sim card with your passport and note that this Simard will help in streaming internet and making local and international calls in case you need to communicate to your family or friends back home.
Bring a Friend
It is cost effective to bring a friend or friends. Solo Safaris cost higher while if you travelled with a friend expense can be shared as well as experiences and laughter.
Food In Uganda
When you think of food destinations around the world, Uganda may not feature on the top list. But there is a reason that makes Uganda a special foodie destination of its own. Its rich multi-cultural heritage is remarkably worth appreciating as visitors have plenty to experience.
In most of the Uganda safari lodges, hotels, camps, guesthouses, etc, visitors are presented with a range of meal choices- all carefully prepared and offering a taste that blows visitors’ minds.
Decide Where to Go
With 10 National Parks and 4 Wildlife Reserves to choose from, deciding where to go in Uganda can be quite a roller coaster. The first step is to determine the kind of safari vacation you want or the specific things you’d like to see.
Are you looking for a wildlife safari experience? Then perhaps Queen Elizabeth National Park or Murchison Falls National Park are the right destinations for you and if you want to discover great ancient cultures perhaps Karamoja in the north or Kidepo Valley national park may be more of dream destination, and For a primate wildlife safari jungle trekking experience, consider the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (home of the mountain gorillas), Mgahinga national park where silver meets gold or kibale national park “the chimp capital” where you can meet our tree-dwelling cousin the chimpanzees for chimp trekking.
If you’re an avian friend looking to tick off your birding list, Entebbe near Lake Victoria and western Uganda should be where you go birding. For fascinating city culture and adventure, Kampala city or Jinja town (where you’ll find the source of the Nile) will keep you awake throughout the night.
If you’re traveling with small children who can’t take prophylactics, you will probably need to avoid Uganda, where malaria looms, especially in the low altitudes where mosquitoes breed profusely. Otherwise, Uganda is excellent for a family trip.
Decide When to Go
Once you’ve chosen your destination, the next step is to decide when to travel. Uganda has two travel seasons that most travelers consider; the Dry season and Rainy Season.
Usually, the dry season is better for most Uganda safari trips. The Dry season (June through to September) is the best time for gorilla trekking adventures because the forest floors are less damp, trails are passable, and you’re sure you and your photography equipment will not get drenched in the torrential downpours. However, it would be best if you didn’t rule out rain because you’ll be hiking in a rainforest.
The wildlife savannah reserves during the dry season, skies are clear, less rain, more sunshine, and vegetation is less distracting for wildlife photography. At this time, the animals gather around main water holes, making wildlife easier to spot. The dry season is the best time to take that boat launch safari on Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth NP and on Victoria Nile in Murchison Falls NP.
If work commitments or school breaks, or world health concerns (like COVID-19) mean you’re restricted to traveling at certain times of the year, you may want to tackle this step before deciding on your destination.
Detailed recommendations on when to go.
Best Weather, Climate & Attractions Recommendations
Book Your Tour Activities and Lodging
Next, you need to decide whether you’re going to travel solo or with the help tour guide. If you opt for an all-inclusive guided safari, your tour operator should organize details like accommodations (high-end, mid-range, budget facilitates depending your choice) and tours for you.
Even if you decide to book everything yourself, you’ll probably have to arrange treks and safaris through a specialized local safari company (unless you’re taking a self-game drive in easy destinations like Lake Mburo NP or Queen Elizabeth NP).
At Jamie jungle safaris we are the best local tour operators to give you a great experience in tailoring, planning and drafting your safari itinerary. We have been operating Ugandan expeditions since 2019. And we partner with local service providers like hotels, lodges, national parks, petrol stations, restaurants, and even other local tour operators to offer you the best safari holiday in the pearl of Africa.
Get in touch with us as early as a year beforehand to tailor the holiday of your dreams, and it’s a good idea to book your gorilla permit well in advance because seeing the mountain giants is limited to eight trekkers per habituated gorilla group.
Book Your Flights
Depending on where you’re flying from, flights to Uganda can be expensive, and a limited number of carriers often means that seats fill up quickly. For the best rates, book as far in advance as possible.
If you have air miles, make sure to check whether the corresponding airline flies to Entebbe International Airport, EBB (Uganda’s only international Airport); if not, use a flight comparison website like Skyscanner.com to guarantee the lowest fare.
Try to communicate your international flights with us when booking, so the ground handlers or first night hotel will be responsible for arranging airport transfers or Jamie jungle safaris company representative.
Buy Travel Insurance
By this time in the planning process of your safari trip to Uganda, you’ll have invested a significant amount of money—in flights, tours, and your accommodation. It would be best if you had protection at this point. Travel insurance is essential, especially in Africa, where airlines cancel flights without warning regularly, and state hospitals are not places you want to end up after an emergency.
Besides medical costs, your insurance should cover trip cancellation, loss of valuables, baggage loss, or theft. If you’re headed to a particularly remote spot, make sure that your insurance covers medical evacuation as well.
Check Your Visa Requirements
Several months before your departure date, make sure to check with your consulate whether you need a visa. This will be determined based on your nationality, not on your country of residence. Uganda visa rules change at any time, so it’s important to check with an official government source rather than relying on advice given by outdated travel websites.
Uganda’s immigration allows you to purchase a visa upon arrival, but also you can apply online in advance from your home country. Even if you don’t need a visa, there may be some special requirements for your passport; like entering Uganda, your passports should be valid for at least six months from the date of entry for all nationals.
Uganda issues single-entry visas valid for three months from the date of issue and multiple-entry visas valid for six months. See https://www.immigration.go.ug/content/visas-and-passes for more details.
Uganda Travel Advisory
Trusted advice to help you plan your trip to Uganda.
Organize Travel Medication
At least two months before you depart for your Uganda trip, you need to visit a travel clinic and determine what vaccinations are recommended for your destination.
Hepatitis A, typhoid, and rabies are good ones to have. Uganda immigration will require proof of yellow fever vaccination as a condition of entry, while malaria is prevalent throughout most regions.
A negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate is a mandatory entry requirement in Uganda. That and other entry requirements you should look out for.
Be sure to consult your doctor before deciding which anti-malaria prophylactic to take as all of them have different side effects. Pregnant women should be aware that the Zika virus is also a problem in some areas.
Covid-19 pandemic changed the way we travel, and on safari trips, we lookout for yours and our protection. Make sure you’re up to date with current coronavirus recommendations for travelers like checking https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/ frequently.
Health Advisory for Travelling to Uganda
Buy Your Travel Equipment
Now comes the fun part of planning your impending safari trip to Uganda: buying all of your specialized equipment. Your shopping list may include items from mosquito repellents to a good set of binoculars and a pair of durable hiking shoes.
Be prepared for all kinds of weather because, even in the Dry season, nights can be incredibly cold. Think about preserving your memories, whether that means investing in a quality camera or buying a scrapbook and a spare set of pens. One essential purchase is a first aid kit, complete with any personal medications as well as all items you’ll need to treat minor injuries.
What should you pack?
What to pack for your trip
Decide What to Do About Money
Decide what to do about money a few weeks before you travel. In Uganda, carrying large amounts of cash around isn’t safe; however, ATMs are not necessarily available on every street corner. Avoid traveler’s checks, also, as they’re rarely accepted as a viable currency.
Generally, your best bet is to draw enough cash upon arrival to get you to the next big town, where you should be able to draw more money with your credit or debit card. Remember that ATMs may not be able to get you to change, so visit a Forex Bureau on arrival, change some cash into smaller bills and also exchange some into Uganda Shillings (UGX). Fortunately, almost all modern safari camps and lodges in Uganda accept debit/credit cards. Confirm this with your local safari operator before your trip.
For safety, divide your cash, and keep it in several different locations. Make sure your credit card has a Visa or Mastercard logo, and during planning your Safari Trip to Uganda, alert your bank to avoid canceling your card on suspicion of fraud the first the card is used abroad.
Read About Your Destination
Researching your Uganda before you get, there is a great way to increase your excitement level and improve your local knowledge. An online travel guide like this one or a good guidebook, such as Lonely Planet or Bradt Travel Guides, can give you valuable insight into a country’s history and culture while also advising you on lesser-known things to see and do.
Phrasebooks are a good idea, too, because knowing even a few local language sentences will go a long way towards helping you make friends. Try Swahili or Luganda-English phrases for travelers.
Lastly, fictional books are written by African writers or set in the country you’re traveling to help give you a sense of what to expect before you travel.