TRAVEL TIPS AND FAQs
Winston Churchill once described Uganda as “the pearl of Africa”. While some neighbours might be more traditional safari destinations, Uganda has a wealth of gems to offer the traveller. For more details see www.visituganda.com
The Kabubbu Resort Centre, just 45 minutes’ drive north of the capital, Kampala, is a perfect base from which to explore them. Uganda is compact – around the size of Britain or the US State of Oregon – so its attractions aren't far apart. We offer a range of tours – from daytrips to longer excursions – to help you make the most of your stay.
The international airport is at Entebbe, 45 minutes south of Kampala. A wide range of airlines from around the world offer regular flights into Entebbe through a hub connection. A valid passport is essential of course. The Ugandan authorities currently insist it is at least six months from its date of expiry on your planned date of departure from Uganda. Most visitors also need a visa. These can usually be purchased on arrival if necessary.
Uganda borders five countries. Crossing overland from Kenya and Tanzania is straightforward. Direct buses run between Kampala and Nairobi and that’s probably the best route for onward travel to Tanzania.
Far fewer people venture across the frontiers with Rwanda or the DRC. Crossing into South Sudan is not advisable at present because of the security situation there.
When to Go
The climate is warm all year round with temperatures in Kampala averaging around 27 degrees Celcius. It’s slightly warmer further north. The best times to go are December-February or June-September. The rainy seasons are March-May and September-November. Mountain hiking and gorilla tracking are more challenging at these times.
All visitors must have a valid Yellow Fever jab and must carry a vaccination certificate. You will need anti-Malaria drugs. Valid vaccinations against Hepatitis A and B, Meningitis, Tetanus, Polio and Typhoid are also recommended. It’s advised that you drink bottled water, not tap water. Please consult your doctor or seek medical advice months before you travel. Up-to-date health advice can be found through your government health advisory.
What to Wear
Daytime temperatures are typically between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius so light clothing is advisable. Bring a hat, sunglasses and a waterproof jacket too. It’s cooler in the evening, so pack sweaters. You’ll need thicker layers if you are heading for the mountains where the climate is more alpine. A good insect repellent is also recommended.
Currency, credit cards and tipping
The local currency is the Uganda Shilling. There are several Forex bureau in Kampala where US $, Euros or £ Sterling can be changed. Please note there is a date limit on US $ so check on this before travel. ATMs are also available in Kampala, Entebbe and some other large towns. But travellers cheques can be difficult to exchange and can attract worse rates.
Credit cards are accepted at upmarket hotels and restaurants in Kampala but are not widely used anywhere else. They are usually charged in US $.
Tipping is normal at tourist restaurants where 5-10% is expected. Guides and drivers should always be tipped. On a gorilla trek or wildlife safari, guides and porters will expect a tip from the whole party. Giving tips at local hotels and restaurants is not standard practice but is warmly appreciated. It’s best to give tips in Uganda Shillings.
- Is there an age limit for gorilla tracking? …. Yes you need to be at least 18. There are no age limits for safaris or other excursions although Nile rafting companies may impose their own age restrictions.
- Do I need to be fit to track gorillas or chimps? …. It’s best to be reasonably fit because you could be hiking up and down hills and through forests for several hours. Porters may be carrying your backpack but it can still be quite arduous.
- Are there activities at lodges for my children while I track gorillas? …. Most lodges and parks have amenities to occupy children safely while parents go tracking.
- What about insurance? .... We recommend you get good travel insurance (including healthcare) before you leave for Uganda.
- Is there electricity at park lodges? …. Most lodges have a generator, so there is electricity all day. Sockets are usually British-type. However, generators often don’t run overnight so you should bring a torch/flashlight. Some tented camps have only lanterns/candles for lighting. The Kabubbu Resort Centre has a good back-up generator power supply.
- What is the food like? …. Local food is based around a meat or chicken stew eaten with rice, chapatti, matooke (made from plantain) or ugali (a maize porridge). Ugandan food is not spicy. Western and Indian food is available in tourist restaurants. The Kabubbu Resort Centre has a range of local and western food in its restaurant.
- How safe is Uganda? …. Uganda is regarded as one of the most crime-free countries in Africa. Muggings and street crime is rare, though you should always take care to keep valuables and money hidden. Most of Uganda has been acceptably safe for three decades. The Kabubbu Resort Centre has its own security overnight so guests can feel very safe there. But the area north of Murchison Falls, particularly in the north-west of the country, has seen greater instability, especially close to the DRC and Sudanese borders. Security levels are high at Bwindi National Park.Women travellers regard this part of Africa as one of the safest places to visit. Local women tend to dress conservatively, so it is wise to do the same.