Looking to exploring Uganda? Here are some informative tips shared by Guide to Uganda to help you plan a perfect safari.
Literary known by many as named by Winston Churchill as the pearl of Africa, Uganda is one untouched adventure vacation destination. A country full of life and luxury. A country with the hidden treasure of the wilderness, the primate capital of the world harboring the most great primate encounters the endangered mountain gorillas that Uganda prides itself. You haven’t unless you have been to Uganda.
Being a land locked country, Uganda is accessed through other countries like Kenya, Tanzania or the Congo but most common accessed by plane landing directly at Entebbe airport. The 236,040 km² country is accessed inland by either car or chatter planes but at some point you will need a car rental in Uganda. Other means is accessing the country on a self drive in Uganda and maybe a guided tour. This involves renting a car and driver.However if you are planning to travel to Uganda, here are tips to getting you discover the pearl of Africa.
Getting to Uganda
For the tourists and foreigners travelling to Uganda, Entebbe international airport is the main access point to the pearl of Africa. Many international airlines frequent this airport from all over the world, these include SN Brussels, Kenya airways, air Tanzania, Rwanda air, Egypt air, Ethiopian airways, KLM and many more. On arrival you will clear with the customs and immigration officials where you only pay $50 on arrival for you visa into the country.
Uganda like many African countries require a certificate of yellow fever vaccination. Just like any other countries, its advisable to drink boiled and bottled water. In any case of emergency and need medical attention, go to big hospitals like Mulago referral, IHK, AAR health services. To prevent a lot of mosquito bites endeavor to bring insect repellants and wear long sleeved or long trousers to avoid insect bites. Sun screen is required if your skin reacts badly on sun heat. This especially on safari.
Uganda’s currency is called the Uganda shilling however the dollar rules. Currently as per today $1=ugx3000 which gives you a cheap way to spend in Uganda but on the Uganda’s side the money has lost value. There are ATMs all around the country and visa cards are accepted in the most ATMs and banks upcountry. Remember to travel with your passports.
With over 56 tribes in the country, this also calls for over 56 different local languages. Just like many countries, English is the national official language of the country. Many people in towns speak English and second official is Kiswahili originating from Kenya. However when speaking to the locals, try as much as possible not to be quick in the pronunciations or speaking. They will probably not get you clear. Speak each word slowly and there you will match with the community.
When to visit
Uganda is a clear and safe country to visit at all times of the year. Uganda has two seasons of the year the rainy season and the dry season. Both seasons are good to visit however many people prefer visiting in the dry seasons to have a good sun bath and the nice climate. Its cools in the rainy seasons and some of the roads are slippery. However with the high tech vehicles for safari, a self drive 4×4 car hire Uganda would do you a great deal of preferably a guided tour will be worth it. There are several car rental agencies that offer a reliable car rental in Uganda with a fleet ranging from saloon cars to sophisticated wheels that enable you travel to remote areas with ease.
What to wear
During the rainy seasons, the temperatures can go down to 6 degrees and that’s what we call cold. This is common in the southern parts of Bwindi and the country because of the high altitude. Preferably some woolen clothes and jackets would get you going in this part of the country. In the dry season and especially up above the equator line, really gets so hot and light clothing on you will be much comfortable.
What to bring
Most important is the the passport and making sure all visa requirements to Uganda are checked just before you travel. For you to have an incredible game viewing consider packing binoculars as most reserves have tracks to be followed. Off tracks are fined heavily. So so should you be on a self drive in Uganda national reserves, remember not to go off tracks or elase get fined $150. Photographers will also need zoom lens (70-300) or similar lens to have nice pics.
Driving in Uganda is on the left, basically keep left when driving. The maximum speed is 80km/hr and min 50km/hr. Ugandan drivers are a little crazy drivers and sometimes it requires you to be crazy a little bit so as to be ahead especially in traffic. Its the survival for the fittest. So if you are on a self drive in Uganda ,consider being more careful than you ever have been. Alternatively you can decide to have a guided tour where you can have driver guide from the car rental agency like auto rental Uganda negotiate the traffic and corners as you sit and relax.
There’s typically no tipping culture in Uganda just like the 4% in German 0r 15% in the US, however in Uganda anything from nothing to $50 depending on how much you appreciated the service received will be greatly appreciated. Many of these workers in hotels, the drivers do not earn alot but the small tips offered to them is greatly appreciated. No worker will ask for an obvious tip but it will be greatly appreciated.
What to buy
Uganda has a unique selection of hand made crafts and unique African dresses that clearly portray real Africa when dressed in the attires. The prices are usually in dollar rates and usually you need to do it the African way of bargaining so as to get a good deal. A variety of products are available on the African markets, tastes and preferences matter. Always make sure you have enough space to add these and will be accepted on the plane.