LIST OF WHAT TO PACK FOR A UGANDAN SAFARI.
• Travel Documents: Passport, insurance, flight tickets, covid test documents, yellow fever vaccines, cash, safari itinerary, Uganda gorilla permits issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority.
• Safari Clothes: The best clothing for safari is khaki (light brown and Olive) other safari wear include jumper, water proof jacket, adjustable sleeves, long flowly skirts and gloves. A waterproof bag for your valuable items like cameras.
• Safari Shoes: Light weight hiking shoes and jungle boots to track mountain gorillas include flip flops or sandals.
• Sun Protection: Sunscreen cream, moisturizers and glasses.
• Adventure Gadgets: Iphone or mobile phone, camera, memory card and headlamp.
• Toiletries: wipes, tampons for women and teeth accessories.
• Medical kit: Hand sanitizer, protective masks, bandage, antiseptic, anti-diarrhea, painkillers and bug repellents.
• Donations: Be sure to find needy communities especially children. Kindly you can think of what to carry.
PRECAUTIONS AND SAFETY TIPS.
• PASSPORT AND VISAS:
Your passport must be valid six months after date of travel. All visitors require a tourist visa (exception is some African nations, follow up if you think it applies to you). A visitor’s visa costs US$50 per person. From 1 August 2016 it is mandatory to make an application online in advance, so please visit https://visas.immigration.go.ug/ in good time before your departure. If you are visiting a combination of Uganda, Rwanda or Kenya it is a good idea to go for the East African tourist visa at 100 dollars, you should then apply with the country that is your first destination. Please, check with the consulate of Uganda in your respective countries for advises on visas if needed.
• GETTING TO UGANDA:
International carriers to Entebbe airport include Kenya Airways in conjunction with KLM, Brussels airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, South African Airways and Emirates. From North America, flights can be taken to Brussels or Amsterdam or alternatively, from New York or Atlanta to Johannesburg and then connecting flights to Entebbe.
• MONEY ISSUES:
The Uganda shilling is the medium of exchange mainly used. Currency should be exchanged in the Capital if possible, as rates elsewhere are much lower (US dollar is the most common although all major currencies such as euro and GB pound are accepted). If bringing dollars make sure that they are reasonably new since dollars from 2006 and older are not accepted here. With Visa and MasterCard money can be withdrawn from some banks ATMs (ABSA and Stanbic bank works). Visa card is more widely accepted than MasterCard. Remember though that there are ATM’s only in the big cities. Despite what is claimed in some guidebooks, credit cards are not widely accepted for payments, and where they can be used, mainly with larger hotels, hefty surcharges are common. You should make sure that you have sufficient cash to last you throughout the trip.
Please contact your local health care provider to ask about any immunisations needed (what you need to take depends on which immunisations you have had previously). Note though that yellow fewer is mandatory and that malaria prophylaxis is recommended.
Uganda is one of the countries that experiences two seasons: the wet and dry seasons. The periods of July-August and December-February are quite dry. Mid-September to November and March to May are the wet periods. You can visit at any time of the year. Temperatures generally range from warm to hot during daytime. You are advised to bring light clothing. At high altitudes, evenings are usually cooler and carrying light sweaters is usually of help.
Tipping is not seen as obligatory in Uganda, but anything or any amount of gratuity is always appreciated if you are satisfied with a service.
Be sure to find needy communities especially children. Kindly you can think of what to carry.
• Language Used:
English is the official language, some Swahili and Luganda is also commonly spoken in most parts of the country. All our staff and guides are fluent in English and you will enjoy their company. Swahili is also used where need arises. Because of the friendly nature of Ugandans, we can teach you a few words of the local language of Luganda.
• Precautions while in urban areas:
It’s advisable not to walk at night and instead use a safeboda or cab, Keep watch of your surrounding while drawing money from the ATM. You should not accept help from any person who is not a bank official and endeavor to hide your PIN code while at the ATM. It’s important to keep small amounts of cash at hand when paying for small things at the streets. Avoid reading guidebooks or looking at the map while on the street to avoid attracting unwanted attention. In case you’re using public transport, keep your bags with in sight at all times. While walking in an unfamiliar town/city, it’s always safe to be in a group of two or more individuals. Always be skeptical of people approaching you with sad stories that bring out your emotions. Such stories are not always true but intended to lure you into giving out money. Lock the car doors and windows when driving in busy towns and avoid leaving your valuable items like laptops, mobile phones in the car unless it’s attended to. If someone approaches you, stay in the car and just open the window slightly to communicate with him/her. All in all, seek local advice on safety issues from the hotel or any other hosting place before moving around.
• Precautions during game viewing:
In Uganda, wildlife viewing is very safe and the game park rangers are there to ensure your safety. However, in order to boost your safety, the following safety precautions should be observed; Always stay in the car during game drives except at the designated points/areas where you are allowed to get out of the car. It’s advisable not to talk or laugh very loudly. Endeavour to be careful while walking in the bush. Always stay close to your guide and in a group especially during the walking safari and walking should be in a single file. Running or jogging in wildlife areas is highly prohibited. Relatedly, never run away if confronted by any wild animal but instead; slowly walk backwards while facing the animal or ask for the help and instructions from your guide. You should not leave food in your tent while camping or in a tented camp because it attracts wildlife. Avoid driving too close to animals if you are on a self-drive safari. Endeavor to seek advice from your guide on where to go in case you wish to go for a shot call. Avoid wearing bright and colorful clothes especially during the walking safari.Wear a hat, use sunscreen and consume a lot of water.
• Precautions while tracking primates:
Tracking primates is a harmless activity with no dangerous incidents occurring. However, a few safety precautions should be observed. Always follow instructions and guidelines from your guide. Do not track these primates while ill because these animals are susceptible to human diseases. It’s not desirable that you talk or laugh loudly as this may disturb the primates The use of a flash during photographing is not permitted.
While in the forest, cover your arms and use insect repellants to protect against mosquitoes and other insect bites. The repellant should at least contain 20-30% DEET. Keep the recommended distance of about 7 metres between you and the primates. In case animals move towards you, back off to avoid the closeness. You’re advised to be careful while walking in the forest. Endeavour to wear a hat, sunscreen and drink plenty of water.
Avoid looking directly into the eyes of these primates. Always remember that though they are peaceful, they are still wild animals. Always remember to stay close to your guide and in the group.