If you are planning a Uganda safari, you definitely need Uganda travel guide to ensure peaceful and enjoyable safari. Every Traveler Visiting Uganda, the Pearl of Africa hopes to enjoy its beauty, hospitality of the people and sceneries as much as it is always praised but for a first-time traveler, things might look different from what you are used to back home. While the differences can sometimes become interesting, at times they are confusing. Because it is every traveler’s dream to have memorable experiences at a destination, we bring you this ultimate travel guide for first-time travelers in Uganda, check with Africa Adventure Safaris for details
When to visit Uganda
For every first-time traveler to Uganda, the question of “when to visit Uganda” is undeniable and we are excited to tell you that any month is perfect to visit the Pearl of Africa. Tourist activities in this country are offered all year round, although experiences tend to differ across seasons- wet or dry season. For instance, if you undertake game drives during the wet season (March to May, October to November), you will notice that grass is taller and watering points are scattered throughout the savannah Parks hence it becomes a lot of work to sight animals during game drives. This is not the case with dry seasons (June to September and December to February) where the grass is shorter and watering points are fewer hence it is easier to spot animals. However, let’s bust your bubble that due to climate change, seasons keep changing and it rains or shines when you least expect it.
Where to visit
While there are individual itineraries on popular National Parks in this beautiful country, it is possible to tailor-make your own packages to fit your interest. If you are looking for game viewing experiences, the best places are Murchison falls, Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth, and Kidepo Valley National Parks. If your dream is to meet face to face with the mountain gorillas, your adventure will be in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks but if you hope to get up close with our closest relatives in the animal kingdom (chimpanzees), then Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge, and Kalinzu Forest are some of the places to appear on your itinerary. There is everything for everyone in Uganda.
Travelers holding passports from Madagascar, Angola, Eritrea, Ireland, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Rwanda, Barbados, Seychelles, Swaziland, Singapore, Jamaica, Belize, Solomon Islands, Lesotho, and Cyprus among others don’t need to apply for a Visa when entering Uganda. For more Visa information, kindly check https://www.immigration.go.ug/services/tourist-visa
Drink and Food
Frequent travelers to Uganda possibly enjoy some of the country’s delicacies such as “Rolex” but for a first-time visitor, this might be a challenge. There are a number of tips in regard to dining and drinking while in this beautiful country.
Avoid drinking tap water during your safari in Uganda because unlike what you are used to back home, the water isn’t as safe as you might think. Instead, opt for bottled water for drinking and even brushing your teeth to avoid any chances of typhoid or cholera. Additionally, even ice and ice cubes should be avoided unless provided in well-established bars, Hotels, and restaurants.
Don’t be scared of trying some of the country’s menus in restaurants and Hotels as this is one of the ways of experiencing the heart and soul of Uganda.
Uganda, like any other country you are visiting, has a number of cultures and traditions that you ought to respect. There are a number of dos and don’ts in this country that will make your trip as memorable as possible and these include;
The number one rule is simply respecting the culture of the people and you will have your best time.
Dress decently (anything that covers your knees is decent enough for female travelers). If visiting Palaces, make sure you are in long dresses and skirts (for females) and pants for men.
There are a number of compulsory inoculations required for Uganda and these include the yellow fever vaccination certificate and the complete COVID-19 Vaccination. For the latter, you won’t be stopped from visiting because you aren’t vaccinated, although you will be required to present a negative PCR test result attained in the last 72 hours prior to traveling.
Most places you will visit in Uganda have mosquitoes and for this reason, it is advisable to carry mosquito repellant and always wear light-colored clothing. Also, it is recommended to pack some anti-malarial drugs into Uganda, especially when planning to visit remote places where access to Hospitals takes some time.
Ensure that you are always hydrated during your Uganda safaris. Never undermine the effects of humidity and sunshine in this country, regardless of whether it is hot or cloudy.
Uganda Shilling is the National Currency of Uganda, and you will need it during grocery shopping, paying at restaurants, transport, souvenir shopping and other small transactions. For this reason, it is important to exchange small amounts of money into Shillings before leaving home. The best exchange rates are in Banks and Forex Bureaus in Kampala or Entebbe.
Majority (if not all) of the National Parks, Safari Lodges, and other tourist areas, locals will speak at least some English and you won’t have many challenges. However, if you experience a language barrier, Ugandans will try using sign language and offer a smile which enhances visitor experiences. One of the most exciting and courteous things you can do is learn a few words in Swahili or the dominant language in the place of visit. Key words to learn are “hello”, “thank you” and “goodbye”.
What to pack
For any kind of safari in Uganda, there are a number of things that shouldn’t miss on your packing list and they include a rain jacket, lightweight and breathable clothing (pants, long/short sleeved shirts), a hat, gardening gloves (if you plan on trekking chimps, gorillas and hiking mountains), hiking boots, sandals, sunglasses, sunscreen, toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, hand and body lotion, hair comb, wet wipes and sanitary towels for female travelers), a basic first aid kit, a backpack, to mention but a few.