Best time to visit Uganda?

Uganda`s climate is warm tropical with temperatures averaging 25-29°C (77 – 84°F), however, the mountainous areas are much cooler.  The heaviest rains fall between March to May and September to November. Safaris are best at the end of the dry seasons when the game is more concentrated around water sources. 

Do I need a Visa to visit Uganda?

If you are planning on visiting Uganda, Kenya Rwanda, you can apply for an East Africa Tourist Visa which will cover all three countries and costs USD 100. The visa allows multiple entries into these countries and is valid for 90 days. It can be applied for in advance or you can get one upon arrival at the airport in Kenya, Uganda, or Rwanda. Please note, if you plan to apply for an East Africa Tourist Visa in advance, you must obtain the visa from the embassy of the country that you will be visiting first. So if you will be traveling to Kenya first and therefore you must get apply for the visa at the Kenyan Embassy.

What vaccinations do I need?

You should seek medical advice from your local health practitioner before traveling to Uganda and ensure that you receive all of the appropriate vaccinations. As a guide Polio, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A & B, Yellow Fever, Rabies, Meningitis, and Tetanus are strongly recommended. There is a high risk of malaria in Uganda so it is very important to carry a mosquito repellent.

Is it safe to drink tap water in Uganda?

All tap water in Uganda should be treated as if contaminated and avoided at all costs unless it has been purified or boiled before consumption   Bottled mineral water is widely available and cheap so be sure to stock up on this.

What’s the food like in Uganda?

Ugandan food tends to consist of meat-based stews or sauce dishes accompanied by ugali, a thick doughy paste made from maize, or matoke, cooked and mashed green banana. Aside from meat and vegetables, beans and groundnuts are also added to stews for texture, and cassava, yams, and sweet potato all make regular appearances on the dinner table. Thanks to its many rivers, Ugandans also eat a lot of fish. Uganda is largely considered Africa’s fruit bowl with a variety of fruits available, including the popular pineapples.

Safe eating while traveling Uganda?

Be wary when eating outside of high-end lodges as sometimes the quality of the meat and that has been prepared might not be suitable for a sensitive western stomach. Also be aware that food hygiene in Uganda is much more basic than you will be used to so if something looks unclean, old, or badly cooked, it is best to avoid it altogether. It is also a good idea to avoid ice in your drink and eating salad as these might have come into contact with unhygienic water.

What type of clothes should I carry?

Lightweight clothes with a warm cover-up for evenings are advisable. Short or revealing clothes should be avoided. Knee-length skirts and dresses are more acceptable.  A pair of good walking shoes or boots are ideal for trekking. 

Is it standard to tip in Uganda?

There is no minimum wage in Uganda, which means that many workers in the service industry earn very little and have to make it stretch a long way. Safari guides should be tipped the equivalent of USD 100-15 per person per day and a few dollars should be put in a communal tip jar for the driver, cook, and porters. If you eat in a restaurant then 10% on top of the bill is a suitable amount to leave. When it comes to taxis, rounding up the fare is a nice way to show your appreciation.

What souvenirs can I shop for in Uganda?

Traditional African handicrafts can be found throughout Uganda at very reasonable prices and make great souvenirs. Buying carved wooden masks and sculptures made by local artists is a good way to support the community and make sure you go home with something unique and authentic. There are plenty of other items on offer that will spice up your homes such as wooden bowls, batik paintings, traditional masks, and woven baskets.

Is bargaining acceptable in Uganda?

In proper shops in Uganda’s big cities, such as Kampala, most items will have fixed prices and will not be up for negotiation. Stalls, markets,s, and family-owned stores, however, tend not to have any price labels and it is here that you will be able to engage in a bit of bargaining. The most important thing to remember while haggling is to make sure both buyer and seller are happy at the end of the transaction. It is also good form to remain in good humor and not to treat the situation as hostile.

Is it safe for solo female travellers in Uganda?

Ugandans are friendly people and for the vast majority of the time, any attention stems from pure curiosity and is not meant in a threatening or harmful way. That said, it is also advisable to avoid being out alone at night as muggings are not unheard of. 

How about as a member of the LGBT community?

Currently, homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, and sexual activity with someone of the same gender is punishable wiinrison. This is llargelybecause of the strict Christianity of the country; homosexuality is simply not accepted as a part of Ugandan society. Any LGBT traveler wishing to explore Uganda would be best to behave with discretion and not to engage in any flirting or sexual activity with anyone of the same sex whilst visiting the country.

What is the duty-free allowance for Uganda?

Travelers of the age of 18 are permitted to bring the following into the country:

  • 250g of tobacco products
  • 1L of spirits or 2L of wine
  • 500ml of perfume and eau de toilette, of which up to 250ml may be perfume
  • Goods up to the value of US$500 (for returning residents)

The following are banned from being imported into Uganda: narcotics, pornography, counterfeit items, cultural artifacts, and explosives are not permitted. 

Some medication may also be restricted – check before you travel.

You must obtain a permit to import hunting weapons, live animals, fruit, flowers, cuttings, or seeds.

What is the currency in Uganda?

The official currency in Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling.  Euros, British Pounds, US Dollars, South African Rand, and other major currencies can be exchanged locally or in advance of departure. Additionally, exchange facilities are available at various bureaus de change and banks in major towns have ATMs. It’s advisable to request bank notes in smaller denominations, as it can sometimes be hard to get change from large notes and smaller notes are handy for smaller purchases and gratuities. Traveler’s Cheques are not recommended as they’re often difficult to exchange and incur high fees.

What do things cost in Uganda?

If you plan on doing gorilla trekking during your time in Uganda, be aware that a permit costs USD 700 while a chimp trekking permit is $200. As for other expenses, a mid-range hotel room will usually cost between USD 30-50 per night while dorms are around USD 8-10. Street food is incredibly cheap, costing less than a dollar in some cases, and sit-down meals can be found for between USD 5-10 for a feast of African or Indian food. When it comes to going out, a pint of beer won’t cost more than USD 2 in a bar and will be even cheaper in a supermarket. Transport isn’t usually too expensive with matatu (minibus) rides often costing around 50 cents or less. Private taxis are more expensive and can set you back up to USD 10.

What sort of plugs do I need for Uganda and what is the voltage?

StandaThe standard is 230 – 240 volts. Primary sockets generally require the three square-pin variety, similar to the United Kingdom sockets. We recommend that you pack a universal travel adaptor. You will need a voltage converter and plug adaptor to use U.S. appliances.

Is WiFi widely available in Uganda?

You will be sure to find a WiFi connection in the majority of hoterestaurantsrant,s and café,s in Kampala but more rural areas are much less connected. Be aware that sometimes power outages can disrupt connectivity and surges may damage electronics.

What time zone is Uganda on?

Uganda is 3 hours ahead of GMT and does not observe daylight savings.

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