15 Best Things to Know Before You Travel to Uganda
15 Best Things to Know Before You Travel to Uganda : Travelling to Uganda is worth an adventure. Which won’t be anything like your standard trip in Europe, although it simply requires more time for planning, but travelling to Uganda is a life time experience. While number of travelers visit Uganda for this unique mountain gorilla trekking and apart from trekking gorillas there are much more to offer. Some people are scared to travel saying its unsafe but don’t worry. Uganda is secure and safe as you can check in Uganda travel blog where you can read everything you want before traveling to Uganda.
Meanwhile, there is no country is perfect and not even here in Eastern Africa, but its imperfections will make your Uganda trip to be unforgettable. Planning a Uganda holiday doesn’t need to be a difficult thing, just because that Uganda tourism is growing rapidly and even a trip is possible since the country is investing heavily in infrastructure and other outstanding things.
1.Do you need a Visa to travel to Uganda?
Whatever destination one need to travel to requires a Visa, the same when travelling to Uganda. You can check out the Visa policy for Uganda here. Of which E-visas can be purchased online through the Directorate of Citizenship of Immigration. This seems to be the only authentic Visa Application portal for Uganda visas and it costs USD50 and exclusive services fee.
2.Visa on arrival
Upon arrival here, there is still great opportunity to get a visa but only at the land borders and those of unofficially. To some travelers can still manage to get a visa on arrival crossing overland from Kenya but officially the E-visa can be replaced to all visa on arrivals for Uganda.
Flying to Uganda, an e-visas is mandatory. The Uganda e-visas is quite quick and easy but there is some work needed as they require a passport-copy, recent passport size photograph as well as your Yellow fever vaccination certificate. You can check online to apply for an e-visa for Uganda.
Eastern African Community Single tourists visa
If you are planning to travel to Kenya or Rwanda on the same trip, this single visa is worthy applying. It is a single entry tourists visa for Eastern African communities ‘’3’’ countries Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda but within its borders it is multiple entry. The single tourist visa costs USD100, can be valid for 90 days. As soon as you leave one of these three countries, it loses its validity.
3.Do I need vaccinations to travel to Uganda?
The answer is yes; you need to first take vaccinations to travel Uganda without a yellow Fever vaccination certification you cannot obtain a visa. You need to check it at the border, to add on that it is also advised you get vaccinations for DTP, Hepatitis A and malaria. To some organizations you might be advised to take Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis B and Rabies.
Due to situation we are in ,Covid-19 ,travelling to Uganda you will need to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours .This does not make a different if you are vaccinated or not ,everyone requires a negative PCR test .Although Covid-19 regulations keeps on changing all the time ,therefore we recommend you to take a look at the BTW if you travel to Uganda you will see No signs of Covid-19 ,not in the country side .Wearing a mask is officially mandatory here, but hardly ever enforced anyone wearing a mask.
Those on travel to Uganda and looking to do a PCR test, it’s now Easy and more than easy. As you can do them almost everywhere in the recognized labs of the bigger cities and on the land borders. For USD50 you can do it at the border of Kenya and also at the Tanzania land border, waiting time for the result is 4-6 hours. Other bigger cities you pay between 200,000 –USD70 and 280,000-USD100, waiting in 24 hours and final results returned by email within 4-6hours or WhatsApp.
4.Is there Malaria in Uganda?
Uganda experiences a risk of Malaria throughout the country, therefore all Uganda travel guides will recommend you to take Malaria medication. And if you are to visit Northern areas and for example travel to Murchison Falls or Kidepo Valley national park, we recommend you to take malaria pills.
I end by saying, it is very important to protect yourself against mosquito’s bites and the simple way to prevent it carry insect repellent, wear long pants, sleeves just before sunset.
5.Is it safe to travel to Uganda
Generally, Uganda is considered to be a safe country with low crime rates. On visit try to avoid travel by road outside major towns at night. It is also advised to gather the latest travel information when travelling to Karamoja in the north or South Sudan border region.
However, travelling to Kidepo Valley national park which lies close to the border with South Sudan is totally fine, always take care of your belongings and be aware of your life, in the public phones are snatch and you should be totally fine traveling in Uganda.
6.Can You drink the tap water in Uganda
We first advice travelers not just drink the tap water in Uganda. Because tap water in Uganda is not made for drinking, not even for western stomachs. You don’t want to ruin you to Uganda trip by being brave and trying to drink the tap water, which is not good. However, it is ok to use it to clean your face, brush your teeth, and mouth. Don’t get worried when you swallow a little bit of the tap water in Uganda. Just know, you will be fine. We advise our clients to carry enough or buy bottled mineral drinking water thus supporting local businesses.
7.Best time to travel to Uganda
Travelling to Uganda is all year around. But the best time for Uganda safaris is during the dry season from months of June to August and December to February. During this period wildlife species are easier to see and roads are passable. The high season is from June to September, but the park will never get crowded and there is no real peak season for visiting to Uganda.
The most challenging seasons to travel Uganda are March, April and May. Because of the wet season travelling leads to disappointment, roads and nature trailheads can be in poor conditions.
Like the mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest can be done throughout the year. Other places include Lake Bunyonyi, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Queen Elizabeth national park, gets cold at night throughout due to their high altitudes.
8.What is the currency in Uganda
Uganda’s local currency is called Shilling. Uganda is still a cash country and card payments are not common in use. To most bigger hotels and lodges and Uganda National Parks you can pay either credit cards as well as USD, Euros and GBP these days. Paying for example the USD700 mountain gorilla trekking fee in Bwindi, note there is no need to bring stacks of Uganda cash.
Make sure you always have Uganda Shillings ‘’UGX’’ while on your Uganda trip.
Note that, you will get the value for money when you exchange US dollar into Ugandan Shilling at a Forex Shops in one of the towns. You can also change money upon arrival at Entebbe Airport. But the rates are significantly lower. There are several exchange offices/shops all around the city.
Beware of the US-Dollar to UGX exchange rate. Because some Ugandans are very creative by converting their currency in unawares way, for example US Dollar or Euros. The official exchange rate unusually runs around $1USD =3600 UGX.
10.How is the Wi-Fi Uganda
Wi-Fi in Uganda is not such good, unless to Uganda’s hotels its where you can find WiFi in their main areas, it’s mostly very slow. On visit we advise you to buy a Uganda prepaid sim card not to rely on WiFi.
11.What is the food in Uganda
Uganda has delicious local food you can enjoy on visit here, like a mix of matooke, cassava, potatoes, beans, groundnut source or peanuts, tomatoes, cabbage and sweat potatoes. The sauce is not much different from that of Indonesia. During your visit in Uganda, you should try it in a local restaurant at a small fee.
There is also too much Indian food and they are tasty. It is very common to find chapatti in restaurant and on the streets.
There are many fresh fruits almost everywhere in Uganda.
If you choose to stay in more upscale lodges, then meals are included. You will be served a 3 course meal every evening, mostly Western oriented dishes like pasta, steak, fish among many.
12.Is Uganda expensive
In case you’re not aware of it, travelling to Africa is expensive, Uganda is no exceptional. If you choose to live locally like eat local, sleep local and travel local then you can enjoy Uganda –Africa on a budget. But if you wish to see some of the best places to visit in Uganda, things get more expensive.
When it comes to experiences Uganda safaris travel becomes more expensive.
13.Travel Uganda on a budget
Yes, you can travel to Uganda on budget, combine your safari by travelling overland for most part of your Uganda trip. You can use local buses to access Uganda’s safari destinations at cheap rate. It will cost you cheaply but it will take much more time.
14.What to carry to Uganda
Just dress respectfully, by trying to avoid short skirts or shorts when travelling to Uganda. For women try to carry an over the knee skirt since its impolite to wear trousers or shorts while visiting local community. Pack comfortable hiking shoes for your gorilla trekking or chimpanzee tracking, because some parts of the park are muddy and slippery. You can as well pack gaiter, gloves, a rain jacket and a hat.
In general, not forgetting to pack a flight light, daypack, malaria pills, insect repellents, waterproof bags as well as an international driving licenses if you wish of driving yourself.
15.Quick packing list for Uganda Visit/Travel
Below is the list of items one should pack on his visit to Uganda’s Safari Destination as follows.
They include; Gaiters, gloves, rain jackets, poncho, hat, long sleeved t-shirt, long trousers, flashlight, daypack, insect repellent, malaria pills, passport, gift for children, camera gear, binocular, tripod, international driver’s licenses, extra batteries, memory cards among others are the 15 Best Things to Know Before You Travel to Uganda.