BEST TIME TO VISIT UGANDA:
Uganda has a worm temperate climate all year round – hot and wet, daytime temperatures generally hovering between 22-27 C. It always cools down at night; you could use a sweater. Rains come twice a year, within the months of October/November and Mid-march to end of May. Rainy season is no reason to postpone your travel plans because during the rain seasons is when the savannah is very green and lots of wildlife come out for the sun. In addition, it also rains during those other months too – its unpredictable Uganda being a tropical climate.
VISAS TO THE COUNTRY:
Visa is very necessary for most Nationals and can be obtained before travel online. However visas can be obtained at all places of entry at a fee of single entry $ 50.00 per person and at airports on arrival.
Ugandan visa fees was increased with effect from 1st July 2007 as follows.
Student visas US $ 20
Single entry US $ 50
Multiple entry 6 months US $ 100
Multiple entry 1 year US $ 200
Its always very necessary to have a vaccination for cholera and yellow fever and a yellow fever certificate may be requested as a proof upon entry. Anti- malaria prophylaxis is necessary in most parts of the country to be on safe side its best if you pack it for your travel. Good health services are available in most towns but you are advised to take out medical insurance before traveling.
Uganda comprises of a liberal banking systems with both local and internationally owned banks and forex bureaus with no restriction of cash flow (in and out). Foreign money (dollars, pounds and Euros) can be exchanged into Uganda currency. Banking hours are from 8.30 am- 4pm Monday to Friday and work half day on Saturday.
Credit cards are not widely accepted and anywhere accepted, a 5% surcharge is incurred
Visa cards are cash advanced at Barclays and also at Standard chartered bank through ATM network.
Traveler’s cheques are accepted by most banks and cashed at also any forex bureaus.
Important to note: – American dollar notes should be dated 2000 and above as old notes are always turned away. Exchange rate for cash US$ in large denomination (100 & 50) attracts better rate than the smaller notes.
DRESSING & WHAT TO PACK
Dress code is informal, make sure to pack clothes which make u feel comfortable and minimize disturbance to wildlife, Wet seasons can be very chilly therefore long sleeves and sweaters for evenings are advised. Dry seasons are hot and you should use a strong sun cream to avoid sun burn. A cap or hat and sunglasses are of importance.
WHAT TO PACK
Binoculars, cameras, telescope for birders, video cameras and field guide for birds, animals, trees and butterflies.
For Gorilla and Chimpanzee Tracking
Tracking can be wet and hot work. Therefore carry waterproof jackets and a backpack to hold essentials like binoculars and cameras. Tracking is through thick vegetation with thorns and climbing steep terrain. It’s advised to have good hiking shoes, long trousers, long sleeved shirts, sun cream, sun glasses, gloves, walking stick and a hat. For photographers you may need 800 ASA or 1600 ASA
When to Visit
The country has two seasons which are wet and dry , Rain comes in March-May (long rain) Oct-Nov (short rain) The rains should not deter you from visiting because it only rains for a few hours and the rest of the day is clear and sunny.
The Entebbe International Airport is the main gateway from/to Uganda, it is 40KM from the capital city Kampala. British Airways, Kenya Airlines, Ethiopian Airways, Gulf Air, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Tanzania and Egypt Air fly direct to or from Entebbe. A departure tax of US$ 30 per person is payable by passengers on international flights at the airport.
For passengers on private charter flights from neighboring countries it is no longer necessary to clear immigrations at Entebbe Airport. It is now possible to arrange for advance clearance at your proposed destination, saving time by flying direct into the tourist region.
Tipping is a good question to ask. Its always good to give a small tip if the service provided is as good as expected.
A rough guide is outlined as follows:
• Restaurants: 5% is a good rule of thumb.
• Driver/guides: 5-10 per day.
• Camps and lodges $2-3 per client per night.
• Gorilla trekking guides and trackers $10 per trek.
• Baggage porters at hotels/lodges: $2
• Kibale forest guides: $3 per client per walk