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How to get ready for the adventure trip - Travel tips

 
  
 BEST TIME TO VISIT 
 
Uganda is a fascinating and beautiful country that recovered quickly from the political traumas of the 1970s. The people of Uganda are among the friendliest in Africa-soft spoken and very civil, in a charming, British sort of way. The infrastructure works with, one of the most progressive governments and presidents in Africa. The country also has the fastest growing economy in East Africa.

Uganda sits on a high plain and has very pleasant year-round weather. The warmest months are December through March and again in September and October. The coolest months are June, July and August. From December through March, temperatures range from the 70s to 80s Fahrenheit in the daytime to 60s and 70s at night, and the weather is usually dry, but there can be periods of dramatic thundershowers in this season. June through October is East Africa's long dry season, when it generally does rain; it may rain for 1-2 hours and stops.


 
 ACCOMMODATION 
 
Uganda and Rwanda have only re-emerged as tourist destinations in the last few years. Their lodges and camps are not as luxurious as in some African countries. Generally accommodation in towns is in three to five star hotels. Up-country, it is in lodges or tented camps of varying standards, often without running water or electricity; some camps have long-drop toilets. Accommodation is based on two people sharing a room, except when a single room supplement is paid. The food may not be sophisticated but benefits from the inclusion of fresh fruit and vegetables.


 
 VISAS 
 
A visa to Uganda costs US$50 per person and entitles to a six-month stay in the country. Please, check with the consulate of Uganda in your respective countries for advises on visas. But a visa can also be obtained at arrival at Entebbe International Airport.


 
 HEALTH 
 
Proof of Yellow fever vaccination is required for entry into Uganda. Regulations and recommendations change, so we advise you to check with your local health department or CDC. Bring along any personal medication required. Anti malaria tablets and mosquito repellents are essential. Drink bottled or boiled water only. Medical services especially up-country are basic. Ensure the insurance cover includes medical cover.


 
 INSURANCE 
 
It is a condition of booking that all clients must have, and must demonstrate to the company prior to their departure, adequate insurance for the duration of the tour. Such insurance should fully cover death, personal injury, medical expenses; repatriation in the event of accident, illness or death; cancellation or curtailment of tour by the company or client; and loss of damage to, or theft of the clients' personal property. Activities with a greater inherent risk, such as mountaineering, animal tracking on foot and white-water rafting should be covered. Theft, personal injury or any disruption to the arrangements should be reported immediately to the company and where necessary to the nearest police station.


 
 LANGUAGE 
 
English is the official language, some Swahili and Luganda is also commonly spoken in most parts of the country.


 
 MONEY TIPS 
 
Uganda operates a liberal banking and foreign exchange policy, with no restrictions on the amounts of cash, which can be brought in or taken out of the country. There is a wide array of banks and forex bureaux to choose from, with several international banks represented. Despite what is claimed in some guidebooks, credit cards are not widely accepted, and where they can be used, mainly with larger hotels, hefty surcharges are common. Barclays bank offers cash advances against Visa cards, as does Standard Chartered through its network of ATM's. Foreign debit and charge cards cannot be used.

The Uganda shilling is generally quite stable against the US Dollar, though overall the trend is downwards.

Dollars cash is the most welcome foreign currency. Other major currencies, like Euros and sterling, are far less welcomed. Dollars can also lead to so me frustration. Notes dated prior to the year 1990 are turned away and notes dated prior to 2000 attract a far lower exchange rate and the same is for denominations smaller than $50.

Currency should be exchanged in the Capital if possible or at arrival at the airport, as rates elsewhere are much lower.

Clients should ensure they have sufficient cash for any expenditure.


 
 LUGGAGE & CLOTHING  
 
Try to go as light as possible and take only the essentials. Excess baggage can be a burden to you and the support personnel. It is advisable to carry waterproof duffel bags. The climate dictates warm to cool weather clothing of a casual nature. Cotton shirts, pants, dresses, skirts and short are most practical while on safari. Carry subdued colours of clothes preferably khaki, tan or a neutral colour that will not show dirt because of the dusty environment on safari. Camouflage or military issued or appearing clothing is strictly prohibited.


 
 GETTING AROUND 
 
The main roads are generally good but travel is much more slower than on European and American roads. Secondary roads are of variable quality and often slow and bumpy especially around the National parks. Four wheel drive vehicles are required for certain routes in the rainy season. Light aircrafts can also be charted to the main airfields.


 
 GETTING TO UGANDA 
 
International carriers to Entebbe airport include British Airways, Kenya Airways in conjunction with KLM, SN Brussels, Ethiopian Airways, South African Airways and Emirates. From North America, flights can be taken to London, Brussels or Amsterdam or alternatively, from New York or Atlanta to Johannesburg and then connecting flights to Entebbe.


 
 ELECTRICITY 
 
Uganda has 240 volts. 3-pin square sockets. Some camps do not have power but arrangements for recharging batteries can usually be made. Please consult your guide.


 
 TIME ZONES 
 
Uganda is eight hours ahead of Washington DC and three hours ahead of London. Day light hours are from 6:15 hours to 18:30 hours.


 
 GRATUITIES 
 
These are at the discretion of the client and there are no set percentages; any token of appreciation is gladly received. A tip of about 3-5% in restaurants is generally adequate. At camps a tip of US$5 per person for a stay of 1-2 days is generally adequate. For guides US$5 per day is suggested. In other cases seek advise from guides.


 
 PHOTOGRAPHY 
 
This not allowed near military buildings are soldiers. Before photographing people, it is polite to ask. Bring sufficient film, including fast film for gorilla tracking and batteries.

Be sure to bring enough film. For gorilla photography, ASA 400, 1000, 1600 or faster film is recommended due to low lighting in the forests. It is also wise to bring along slower film in case you get nice sunny weather while viewing gorillas. Be prepared to change film to accommodate local conditions. Flash photography of gorillas is strictly forbidden.

Video camera enthusiasts should note that there are limited video-charging facilities on the safari. You can recharge by plugging in to the battery of the safari vehicle, but this can only be done when we are travelling on long drives between campsites and not during game drives or overnight.

Bring one pair of binoculars per person. This is really essential for good game viewing. Bring high quality binoculars of at least 7x35-power or more.


 
 SECURITY 
 
For the latest information on security it is important to consult the relevant government consular advice or get in touch with us. Basic precautions should be taken, as in all countries, and common sense used. Do not carry excessive jewellery and money or leave them lying around. Use safe deposit boxes where available; secure travel documents and valuables. Avoid walking unescorted at night. If in doubt seek local advice.


 
 HOW RICH IS UGANDA IN GAME LIFE? 
 
Although big game animals are not as abundant in Uganda's National parks as they are in neighbouring Kenya or Tanzania, all the well known African animals are represented, and we should see the full panoply of African Wildlife. The variety of antelopes, smaller mammals (especially primates), and birds puts Uganda in the ranks of top wildlife destinations. There are more than 1,000 recorded bird species making it a birders paradise too.

Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. The trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you'd never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You'll be in good hands with them every step of the way.


 
 ACTIVITY LEVEL 
 
A good attitude and adventurous spirit are important requisites for participation on the safari. There are some days of long driving (e.g. up to 8 -10 hours) and some of the roads are in poor repair. These drives may be uncomfortable for those with bad backs.

Gorilla tracking takes place on trails that can be steep, muddy, and covered with thick vegetation. Stinging nettles and biting safari ants can be nuisances. Bring light rain gear, layer your clothes to adjust for varying conditions (and wear muted colours-bright clothing should not be worn), wear long pants and gaiters. And bring a pair of light gloves to protect your hands from nettles. In most cases you will be cutting your own paths through the steep juggled hillsides. Carry a small backpack to carry water and a packed lunch. It is best to have layers of clothing, as temperatures tend to change. The guide will make you a walking stick if needed.

It is important to note that gorilla trekking sessions vary from easy one-hour strolls through the forest to arduous daylong treks. You must be in good physical condition and mentally prepared for a day of strenuous exercise. Children below 15 years are not allowed to visit gorillas.

Anyone who shows signs of a cold, or other infectious disease will not be allowed to visit the gorillas. .

Note on wild animals: Many of the animals you come to see in Africa are large and potentially dangerous. Wild animals are generally quite afraid of humans. They tend to avoid campsites and to run away if approached by foot. Attacks by wild animals are rare, but no walking or camping safari in Africa wilderness can guarantee that such incidents will not occur. We will not be responsible for any injuries caused during any incident involving the behaviour of wild animals.


 
 TELEPHONES 
 
This is very good from Kampala and the nearby towns but more difficult from some up-country areas. The mobile telephone network is good and rapidly expanding. European or American mobile phones with roaming agreement work in Uganda.


 
 Links 
 
For Visas:
     www.ugandaembassy.com
     www.travel-guide.com
     www.traveldocs.com

For Heath Requirements:
     The International Society of Travel Medicine www.istn.org

For Flights:
     www.britishairways.com
     www.expedia.com
     www.travelocity.com
     www.flights-to.co.uk


 
 

 

 

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