FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SAFARIS IN UGANDA
- Is Uganda a safe country?
- What is included/excluded in the price?
- What is the best period to travel in Uganda?
- How big are your groups?
- Can I book my safari with you when I am travelling alone?
- Do I need a visa?
- Can I do the gorilla tracking?
- What transport do you offer?
- How are the accommodations?
- How can I pay for my safari?
- Are vaccinations required for my visit to Uganda?
- Are ATM cards/ credit cards/ traveller cheques accepted?
- How much should I tip?
1. Is Uganda a safe country?
Although Uganda has a turbulent history and suffered from war for many years, it is a safe country to visit nowadays. You will be warmly welcomed by the friendly residents and Kampala is announced to be one of the safest capital cities in (East) Africa!
Most national parks are situated in the south(west) of the country and are safe to visit. The border area with Rwanda and DRC remains stable. All national parks and wildlife reserves are well protected by the rangers of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Visitors of Bwindi National Park are always accompanied by a military escort during their activity.
The national park that is most in discussion is Murchison Falls. Due to twisted information and the impression that the area, some foreign ministries are giving a negative travel advisory for Murchison Falls National Park. However, tourism programs continue normally and many tourists are still travelling to this area. We carefully selected the routes to be taken and thanks to the measures that are implemented UWA guarantees security for all intending visitors.
2. What is included/excluded in the price?
All mentioned prices are inclusive of :
- ground transport per comfortable 4WD safari vehicle
- visit to all mentioned places in the program
- the service of an experienced English speaking driver/guide
- national park entrance fees
- activities that are mentioned in the itinerary, except for the optional activities
- overnight in the mentioned accommodations, based on a twin or double room
- full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- bottled mineral water of 2 liters per person per day in the vehicle
- government taxes
- ranger fees
Not included are:
- international flight
- visa (available at the airport)
- meals and snacks that are not mentioned in the itinerary
- beverages other than the bottled mineral water in the safari vehicle
- tips and gratuities for the guides
- gorilla permit
- optional activities that are mentioned in the program
- items of personal nature
- travel insurance
- international transaction costs
In most case we mention the extra charge of optional activities in an itinerary. If not, or if it is not clear for you, please contact us for the additional fee.
3. What is the best period to travel in Uganda?
Officially Uganda has a dry season from December/January till mid March and from June till mid September. These months are also most popular with tourists, with July and August as the peak season.
Most rain falls in October-November and April-May. However, this doesn’t mean that it rains all day. Usually it is a tropical shower at night or shortly during the day, but in Uganda you can trust that after rain comes sunshine! The weather is no reason to avoid travelling in the wet season. You might even consider it because of the availability of gorilla permits.
Like in the rest of the world, climates seem to be changing and make it more difficult for us to predict the weather during your safari. On the contrary, the temperature is very stable and pleasant, with sunshine 365 days a year. During the day the temperature averages between 23 and 27°C, though in some places it can cool down night.
One remarkable aspect about coming to Uganda is, whether you travel in the dry, dusty months or in wet season, you will never find the crowded tourism like in Kenya or Tanzania. If you spot a lion or leopard, it is very likely that you will be the only one, even in peak season!
4. How big are your groups?
We offer tailor-made safaris for every number of participants. No minimum number is required, but of course the more people the more attractive the price will be.
Our comfortable Land Cruisers offer seats for 4-6 people. Besides the Land Cruisers we also own several 4WD minibuses which can take a maximum of 8 people. However, to ensure that everybody has a window seat and luggage can be stored well, we usually don’t take more than 7 people in these safari vehicles.
5. Can I book my safari with you when I am travelling alone?
As explained above even single travellers are very welcome. However, to reduce the costs it might be possible join other groups. Essential is that your interests, budget and preferred route correspond with the group that you want to join and of course other members should agree too. Note that finding other groups to join can be quite difficult, especially in low season.
If you would like to stay in a single room please notify us well in advance and we will try to meet your request. Take into consideration that single rooms are not common and if accommodations have sufficient availability, you will stay in a double room for single use. Single rooms supplement will apply.
6. Do I need a visa?
Despite the fact that you need a passport which is valid for another six months, you are also required to have a tourist visa before you enter Uganda. Visas can be purchased upon arrival at Entebbe Airport. Photos are not required and a visa cost US$ 50 per person.
7 . Can I do the gorilla tracking?
If you are interested in a mountain gorilla safari in Uganda or Rwanda you are required to buy a gorilla permit. As only eight people are allowed per day at each gorilla group, the demand is high. Of course we would be happy to assist you with this, all we need to know is the preferred date. In order to be able to buy the gorilla permit you have to provide us with your full names, nationality and passport number. A certain level of fitness is not required for the gorilla tracking, though you will be refused on the tracking when you are sick. Also note that the minimum age for visiting the gorillas is 15 years.
Please click here here for more information about the gorilla trekking safari, rules and tips.
8 . What transport do you offer?
Provided cars for the tours are open roofed 4WD safari vehicles. Our comfortable Land Cruisers offer seats for 4-6 people. Besides the Land Cruisers we also own several 4WD minibuses which can take a maximum of 8 people. However, to ensure that everybody has a window seat and luggage can be stored well, we usually don’t take more than 7 people in these safari vehicles.
9 . How are the accommodations?
For your safari you basically have the choice to stay in budget, midrange or luxury accommodation. Budget accommodation consists of simple and basic rooms, bandas or tents, providing double or twin beds and mosquito nets when necessary. Private bathrooms are not always available and therefore you might have to share the washing facilities.
The 3-5 star accommodations offer comfortable rooms or luxury furnished safari tents with a private bathroom. Flush toilets as well as hot and cold running water are available. Also mosquito nets will be present where necessary.
All lodges are carefully selected and frequently visited by us, to ensure quality of the facility and service. Most of the safari accommodations are small-scale with a maximum of 8 rooms and offer a unique location or ambience.
10 . How can I pay for my safari?
Once you confirmed the final itinerary with us, you will be requested to pay a deposit of 30% for the safari. In case gorilla tracking is included in the program we also ask you to make a full prepayment for the gorilla permits. Note that availability of accommodations and permits is not guaranteed until officially confirmed by us. Reservations will be made as soon as the payment has been received on our account.
We accept payment by VISA credit card (please include 5% service charge) and bank transfer in either dollars or euros to our bank account in Uganda. Please note that all bank charges are at the expense of the client. The balance of 70% should be paid upon arrival, BEFORE the start of your safari. Regretfully we can not accept traveller cheques as of now. The balance can be paid by VISA or in cash in dollars, euros or Ugandan shillings.
Click here for the Terms and Conditions.
11. Are vaccinations required for my visit to Uganda?
Different types of vaccinations are recommended and/or required before entering Uganda.
Besides bringing mosquito repellent, we also advise you to take malaria prevention medications. Vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory, just as a cholera stamp in your vaccination passport. Immunizations against DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and Hepatitis A are recommended as well.
Please consult your local doctor or health department for a detailed and updated advice.
12 . Are ATM cards / credit cards / traveller cheques accepted?
Unfortunately there are only a few banks that accept ATM cards or Visa credit cards for money withdrawal. Mastercards not widely accepted either and only a small number of banks do accept traveller cheques.
Therefore we advise you to bring cash and have money changed upon arrival in Kampala. Both US dollars and Euros are easy to change, though for some expenses, like the payment of visa, it is easier to have dollars available.
Important: US dollars bills from the year 1999 and below are NOT accepted!
13 . How much should I tip?
Of course a tip fully depends on the level of your satisfaction, but even a small amount to show your gratitude will be highly appreciated. You can think of USD 8-10 per day if you were happy with the service of the guide and 5-10% in (luxurious) hotels and restaurants. The small, local restaurants are not used to tipping.