There are a couple of things to know as you plan to visit Uganda to get you ready for the most adventurous, enjoyable, and memorable Ugandan safari experience. Uganda, a landlocked East African country, is evergreen lying across the equator. It is bordered by Tanzania in the south, Sudan in the north, Kenya in the east, DRC in the west, and Rwanda in the southwest.

At an altitude of 1,000m in most parts of the country, the country is generally flat with remarkable geographical diversity. 25% of the area is covered with lakes, rivers, and swamps, having Lake Victoria, the source of the River Nile, Lake Kyoga, Lake Edward, Lake George, Lake Albert, and many crater lakes. The country houses the Rwenzori Mountains, Mount Elgon, Virunga Mountains, and volcanoes.

Why choose Uganda

Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, is known for its splendor, natural wonders, and amazing people. Uganda is home to the world’s remaining 459 mountain gorillas, the world’s longest river, the Nile, spectacular view of Murchison falls, vast and diverse natural wildlife reserves and parks (10 parks), snowcapped Rwenzori mountains, Virunga volcanoes, and incredible wildlife; over 1040 bird species and 330 mammals.

The country has a diverse cultural heritage with more than 50 local tribes, each with its own rich culture and traditions. You will be fascinated by Uganda’s scenic wonders- fantastic landscape, savannahs, lakes and rivers, montane forests, marshes, and grasslands.

Important Information before you visit this beautiful African country

The Currency of Uganda

Though most hotels, lodges, tour companies, and tourism tariffs are quoted in US Dollars and accept credit card payments, you may need the local Uganda Shillings UGX currency to purchase souvenirs and other items. You can exchange this at banks and can also get cash advances from ATMs. The best exchange rates are in Kampala or Entebbe. However, the smaller notes of $20 and below always get a lower exchange rate. Other currencies accepted are Euro and Pound Sterling. Currency notes below the 2009 series are not accepted. Avoid exchanging money at the border, you may encounter con men and thieves.

Health and Vaccination

Traveling to Uganda for safari is safe though defensive measures against various infectious diseases might need immediate or advance planning for the various immunizations. It’s also good to consider vaccination against yellow fever, hepatitis, typhoid as well as tetanus, measles, and polio. Some of the common diseases include Typhoid, hepatitis-A, cholera, Meningitis and influenza, Rabies, malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever mostly transmitted by mosquitos through contact.

Visitors are encouraged to take all health safety measures when traveling:

  • Do not drink or eat food items from stands or unhygienic places, to avoid cholera.
  • Use mosquito repellant and take antimalarial such as Malaria prophylaxis, Larium, Doxycycline, or Malarone.
  • Dress in trousers and long-sleeved shirts to shield you from mosquito bites.
  • Avoid black and blue clothes when in areas that are tsetse fly prone. These colors attract them to bite you.
  • Use sunscreen in the hot sun.
  • Always protect yourself against the hot direct sun by getting a lot of fluids.
  • Carry prescription medication that you may need among others

The Passport and Visa requirement

You will need an entry visa to travel to Uganda which has progressively become an ideal tourist destination. The visa process is now simplified and visitors can apply for this online. Uganda visas can be obtained from all Ugandan Embassies and missions abroad and on arrival at Entebbe airport or border entry. You will be required to fill in a form with your passport dates and details.

  • You must have a valid passport of nationality or origin issued by your Government.
  • Your passport must also be valid for at least 6 months after the date of your return. A yellow fever vaccination inoculation certificate is mandatory and is required on the application for a visa.
  • Citizens of the following countries can apply and obtain visas online; USA, UK, South Africa, Russia, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, Denmark, China, Canada, and Belgium. Download the application from the embassy website of your country of origin and attach 2 passport photos.
  • Citizens from some countries do not need a visa; African countries including; Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Swaziland, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Eritrea, Comoros, and Angola among others.

Visa fees

  • A single entry visa valid for 3 months is $50- for holiday, traveling, or business
  • East Africa Tourist visa valid for 3 months is $100- multiple entries for Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
  • Multiple entry visa valid for 6 months is $100- usually for a business purpose.

Weather and Climate of Uganda

The equator runs through Uganda giving it a conducive temperate climate that is very warm throughout the year. At a geographical altitude of 1,000m, it offers Uganda a characteristic evergreen feature. The average annual temperature is around 25 to 30 degrees. Nights can get chilly with temperatures reaching around 15 to 20 degrees in some areas.

The rainy season is normally from March to May and October to November. In November and December, there is light rain. The hottest months are January, February, and December. The annual rainfall is between 1,000mm to 2,000mm throughout the country apart from the northern region that receives low rainfall.

Best time to visit Uganda

The warm and tropical climate makes Uganda an ideal destination to visit any time of the year. The rainy season March to May and October and November makes some roads impassable, however, this should not stop you from traveling and enjoying your Uganda safari because every season comes with a different travel experience. During the rainy season, average temperatures are 21.5°C and when they drop, it’s usually to a minimum of 12°C.

June, July, August, December, January, and Feb are the best months for game viewing in most Ugandan National Parks. Prices and cost of safari are usually higher in the peak season due to the high number of visitors.

Security in Uganda

The first concern for any traveler planning to Uganda is always about their safety in this country. You will certainly have a sense of comfort and security when you are met at the airport on arrival and as you’re received by your local guide to take you through your travel plan.

Conclusion

Having this information gives you confidence about the country you plan to visit and also helps you in preparation for a fun-filled Ugandan trip.

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