Frequently Asked Questions
What's The Weather Like?
What Should I Bring?
Should I Bring Any Specialist Equipment?
Do I Need A Visa To Enter Uganda?
What is the Currency?
How do I Exchange Cash?
Can I use Credit or Debit Cards?
Can I Bargain When Shopping?
What Vaccinations Do I Need?
Should I Bring Any Other Medications?
What Other Health Risks Are There?
How Safe Is Uganda For Tourists?
Do I Need A Plug Adaptor?
Is There Electricity In The Whole Country?
What Language Is Spoken In Uganda?
Can I Make Phone Calls In Uganda?
Where Can I Use The Internet?
- Uganda enjoys a tropical climate, though the heat is tempered by the altitude, as most of the country is above 100 feet above sea level
- Rainy seasons are from March to May, and September to November
- Dry seasons are from December to February and mid June to mid August
- Average temperatures range from 16°C (61°F) in the southwestern highlands to 25°C (77°F) in the northwest; but in the northeast, temperatures exceed 30°C (86F).
- Waterproof bags to protect equipment
- High SPF sunscreen (Uganda is on the equator!)
- Insect repellent
- Spare or rechargeable batteries (these are difficult to find once you are in the Parks)
- Electric plug adaptors for 240 volts AC 50 Hz. UK-style square-pin plugs are used
- Some people find contact lenses uncomfortable in Uganda because of the dust – you may find it more comfortable to wear glasses while on the road
- Antiseptic handwash
- An International Driving License if you are thinking of hiring a vehicle
- Good walking boots/shoes
- Sandals or other light shoes
- Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
- Lighter clothing for Kampala and the savannah, with layers for the cooler evenings
- Warm clothing for mountainous regions, including thermal layers and a fleece
- Sun hat/cap
- Uganda is a conservative country, and visitors should dress respectfully. Avoid short skirts and short shorts
- In mosques, women will be expected to cover their shoulders and sometimes their hair, and should wear loose clothing around their legs
- Binoculars: The better ones start at about $250: you get what you pay for! Waterproof binoculars are great in Uganda as they are also dustproof. Most travelers use a 8 or 10 magnification and 32 objective. These are lighter than the 42 objectives, which can be heavy to carry all day.
- Cameras: It is recommended for good quality wildlife shots that at least a 8x optical zoom should be used. Six to eight megapixels is fine unless you want poster-size photos. The potential tourist should pack a lens cloth that will be utilized to remove dust, several extra batteries (even if you use rechargeables – not all sites have power points) and several 1GB memory cards instead of one large one, to avoid losing all your photos if something goes wrong.
- For most nationalities, including the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and Ireland, a 90-day tourist visas can be purchased on arrival at Entebbe airport for $50. Additionally, the visa can be purchased at the Ugandan Embassy in your home country prior to departure.
- Your passport must be valid for at least six months following the date of entry.
- As visa regulations change frequently, please check with the Ugandan Embassy in your country before departure.
- The Ugandan Shilling. This cannot be purchased outside the country.
- US Dollars, UK Pounds and Euros are accepted by UWA for gorilla/chimp tracking permits and park entry fees. Many larger hotels will also accept US dollars and Euros but you should verify this in advance.
- Note: All US dollars must be printed post-2003, and should not be damaged in any way. Higher exchange rates are given on larger value notes
- Banks and Forex bureaus will exchange cash. ATM machines are availalable in the major towns. They should accept Visa Debit and Credit cards.
- Visa is more likely to be accepted in city hotels and stores, followed by Mastercard. Other credit cards are unlikely to work.
- Alert your bank before using your card abroad to avoid it being blocked.
- Prices are fixed in shops, but food and craft markets will be more flexible. You stand a better chance of getting a reduced price if you purchase several items from the same seller.
- Prices are generally very low. Therefore, before bargaining do consider if what you are asking for is fair.
- Agree on charges for minibuses (matatus) or motorbike taxis (boda-bodas) with your driver beforehand.
- A yellow fever vaccine is essential – bring the certificate with you
- Hepatitis A and B, meningitis, polio, tetanus and typhoid vaccinations are also recommended
- A rabies vaccination is recommended for anyone who expects to be in close contact with animals, or in a very remote area
- Be aware that some of these vaccinations require several injections, while others take several days to take effect. Therefore, it is important to visit your doctor or travel clinic in advance.
- Anti-malarial tablets are recommended throughout Uganda. Visit your local travel clinic to determine which type is best for you. Note: Chloroquine does NOT protect against malaria in Uganda.
- Bring all prescription medications with you. They may not be readily available in Uganda.
- Be sure to purchase travel insurance before you begin your trip, including medical evacuation if possible.
- Even if you are taking anti-malarials, you should still wear insect repellent, long-sleeved shirts, long trousers and closed shoes. This will also help protect you from other diseases carried by mosquitoes, and other insects such as tsetse flies.
- All accommodation in high-risk areas will have mosquito nets – be sure to use them.
- Avoid swimming in Uganda's lakes – all except Lake Bunyonyi carry a risk of bilharzia
- Tap water is not suitable for drinking. Bottled water is readily available.
- Uganda is generally considered a safe, stable country with low crime rates.
- Regions near the Sudan border and the Karamoja in the north should be avoided.
- Use common sense in the cities – do not carry large amounts of cash or valuables, and keep money and credit cards in an inside pocket.
- For the most up-to-date information on Uganda, visit the FCO website.
- Uganda uses a 240 volts AC 50 Hz square-pin plug, which is the same as the UK and Ireland.
- Few areas outside the towns and cities have electricity.
- Lodges in rural areas will usually have solar panels or generators. This may mean that there is only power at certain times of day, or that plug sockets are limited.
- Throughout the country, there are regular "load shedding" blackouts to keep up with the demand for electricity. These may occur several times a day, and vary in duration. These will not affect the lodges with solar panels or generators.
- English is widely spoken, especially in Kampala and by those working in tourism.
- Of over 50 local languages, Luganda is most common. Swahili is also spoken by many people as a second language.
- If your cell phone is compatible, you may be able to purchase an inexpensive SIM card, widely available throughout the country.
- The international dialing code for Uganda is +256
- Internet cafes are common in Kampala and all major towns; although the connection is likely to be very slow.
- Some hotels will offer wifi.