Help Center

Uganda

CLIMATE

The climate is warm, though pleasantly varied depending on your location within the country. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest can get cool during the night because of the vegetation and altitude. The two rainy seasons are April to May for the long rains and October to November for the short rains (although these seasons are less clear of late). Due to the strong nature of Uganda's equatorial sun, we recommend that visitors take the necessary precautions.

PASSPORTS & VISAS

Visa requirements vary according to the country of origin, and should be checked well in advance with the nearest Ugandan Embassy or High Commission. At the time of writing, a visa may be secured on your arrival at Entebbe on payment of a fee of US$50 for a single entry visa. Visitors may have to queue to apply for the visa on arrival, which may lead to some delays.

MONEY

The currency in Uganda is the shilling, and it is available in useable denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 notes. There are money changing facilities at Entebbe airport and Kampala, which we recommend you use, as it is more difficult to change money while on safari.

CREDIT CARDS

Outside Kampala and Entebbe, credit cards are only accepted in the largest lodges, and at Gorilla Forest Camp (Visa, MasterCard, JCB and Amex at GFC). Within Kampala, most shops will not accept payment other than cash, and card use is restricted to major banks and hotels. It is wiser not to expect to use one at all.

FOREIGN CURRENCY

We recommend that you carry a mix of cash and travellers cheques for convenience and security, and that you change about US$200-300 of this into Uganda Shillings at the start of your tour. Cash is more easily exchanged in Uganda, as many facilities are very reluctant to accept payment by traveller's cheque. Please do not sign your travellers cheques in advance, as it is the practice in Uganda for suppliers to request customers to affix their second signature in their presence. Visitors are advised that if they are carrying US Dollar Cash with them, the notes should be no smaller than $100 denomination.

HEALTH

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for visitors to Uganda. Malaria is prevalent in certain parts of Uganda, and all visitors should consult their doctor and take the currently effective prophylactic prescribed.

MEDICAL

There are basic medical facilities and European- and American-trained doctors in Kampala. You are advised to take out your own medical and travel insurance before coming to Uganda. Most serious illnesses have to be treated outside Uganda, with medical evacuation taking place to Nairobi, South Africa or your home country.

WATER

It is advisable to drink bottled mineral water, although tap water in most places may be drunk.

LANGUAGE

English (official), Ganda or Luganda, other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili, Arabic

CLOTHING

The emphasis on clothing is comfort. Very rarely will visitors be expected to conform to a specific dress code (unless something particular is tabled on their itinerary). If gorilla tracking or chimpanzee tracking, something sturdy is recommended to protect against scratches, and a good pair of walking boots, and ideally a good pair of protective leather gloves should also be worn. Safari wear should be loose fitting and relaxed in style with warm clothing for the colder evenings at Bwindi. Most hotels and lodges have laundry services, so an excessive amount of clothing should be unnecessary.

WHAT TO PACK

  • Binoculars
  • Sunglasses- preferably polarizes and on a string.
  • Bush hat/ cap
  • Khaki casual clothing for safari (3 changes)
  • 2 shorts: 2T - shirts/short sleeved shirts: 1 pants/ light jeans, 1 long-sleeved shirt.
  • Casual clothes (2 changes): 1 or 2 slacks: 1 or 2 sport shirts: 1 casual long sleeved shirt: and/or 1 blouse: 1 dress
  • 1 pair thick - soled shoes (tennis / running shoes)
  • 1 pair shoes for evening wear
  • Sweatshirt, fleece or sweater
  • Light wind breaker / jacket
  • Gloves/mittens-(important in the months of June/ July/August to dress in layers)
  • 4 pairs of socks and underwear
  • Bathing suit
  • Flashlight that take at least 2 batteries, plus extra batteries
  • Basic medical kit; Band -Aids: antiseptic cream: 1 course of antibiotics: Tylenol/Advil: laxative: anti -diarrhea: Eye drops: anti- histamine cream. (There are first aid kits in all camps and lodges)
  • Personal medications
  • Small bottle of Mosquito/ insect repellent (the camps usually have spray in rooms)
  • Malaria tablets
  • Suntan lotion and moisturizing cream
  • Day backpack (small) - for use in the vehicle and on walks.
  • Personal toiletries: small shampoo, shaving cream, skin and hair moisturizers, etc.
  • Most camps and lodges supply small quantities of soap and shampoo.
  • Small packet of washing powder
  • If you wear contact lenses we recommend that you bring along pair of glasses
  • Tissues/"Wet Ones"
  • Camera: charger/ converter/ adapter for 220/240AC voltage + 3 batteries.
  • Cigarette lighter adapter
  • Visas, tickets, passports, money
  • A photocopy of your passport, visas, credit card numbers, and airline tickets (to be kept separately)
  • Large plastic zip-lock bags

 

ELECTRICITY

The electricity supply in Uganda is 220-240 volts and visitors from the United States should bring electrical appliance adapters with them.

LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE

Luggage should be kept to a minimum, and is best restricted to one main soft-sided piece and an overnight bag. Kampala Hotels provide storage facilities. Clients on flying safaris should note that weight restrictions apply.

DIETARY

Uganda's culture weaves a thread of variety not only through the manner of dress, language and other characteristics but also in its variety of dishes. Nearly every tribe or region has a delicacy or specialty and when you get to Uganda try out the local restaurants or the homes of residents who should be able to prepare or treat you to some of the relishes and foods made from the numerous vegetables, yams, potatoes, bananas and fruits.

PHOTOGRAPHY

The choice of camera accessories is very limited, although most types of film are now available in Kampala. Flash photography is not allowed while gorilla tracking and clients should bring their own high-speed film to compensate for this. Clients should also bring a sufficient supply of batteries, as recharging is sometimes impossible on safari. Local people should be asked before their photograph is taken. Photographing military installations, government buildings and policemen is prohibited

View more Frequently Asked Questions