American and Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended return date in order to enter and depart the country. Each traveler is responsible for ensuring that his/her passport is up to date. Citizens of other nationalities should check with respective authorities before departure. Please ensure that the name on your passport matches all travel documents we have issued. If this is not the case, please contact us immediately.
Your passport must have at least one blank page for the entry stamp. This cannot include the ‘endorsement’ page at the back.
Please make a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and keep it separate from your original. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. This may speed up the replacement process should you lose your passport.
Visas are required for American and Canadian citizens. All visas (E-Visa) applications must be completed via the Government of Uganda’s website:
Under the new application process, you must apply online for all immigration services such as visas, permits, and passes at least two weeks prior to travel. The fee for a single entry tourist visa is $50.
Cancelation and Medical Insurance is highly recommended as it can safeguard against the expenses associated with in-country medical emergencies, lost or delayed baggage and emergency cancelation or interruption of your trip. Please ensure your policy will provide you with upfront medical coverage so that you are not responsible for a hefty doctor’s bill while away. Insurance can be purchased through us.
Currently Required Vaccinations: Yellow Fever Vaccination Cards are mandatory for entry into Uganda.
Malaria risks do exist though it is extremely rare. The risk is less at higher elevations or in hotter locations. Speak to your medical practitioner for more details. Immunizations against hepatitis B and tuberculosis are recommended. HIV/AIDS are at a high risk throughout the country and precautions should be taken.
We recommend consulting the World Health Organization and your physician to help you make decisions about the right vaccinations for your travels.” Here is the link to the WHO’s vaccination recommendation info: http://apps.who.int/tools/geoserver/www/ith/index.html
We always recommend that you see a doctor or health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. They will best determine your vaccination and medication needs based on your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, planned activities and up-to-the-minute requirement changes.
If there are any medical items that are essential to your health, such as prescription drugs or corrective eye wear, bring duplicates and divide them between your checked bags and hand luggage. While non-prescription drugs such as aspirin are generally available, it is difficult to replace prescription items.
Uganda has a tropical climate which varies depending on altitude, two dry seasons (December – March & June – September) and two wet seasons (March – June & September - December). The best time to visit is during the months of December – March where the days are long and the temperature reaches 29 degree Celsius.
For up-to-date forecasts, check weather.com.
Electricity in Uganda is 220V/50HZ. Outlets are square and three pin in the Type G British style. We advise not to bring a hair dryer as it could blow a fuse. To conserve power in environmentally sensitive areas lodges may turn off electricity overnight. If you have a medical device that requires 24 hour electricity please contact your travel consultant.
Phone: Roaming charges vary between carriers, but tend to be quite costly. Consult your phone provider prior to departure to discuss overseas rates and international package options. It is also possible to purchase a SIM card locally to avoid international charges when calling numbers within Uganda. (You should check to see that your cell phone is SIM card compatible.)
Internet: Is not accessible from the camp rooms, most lodges do have wireless or a shared business computer in the main area to check email. Local connections are exceptionally slow and can be costly (as much as $10 per half hour). Smartphones such as BlackBerrys and iPhones will actually download data much faster than computers. Again, roaming and data charges can be exceptionally high – so please talk to your phone provider to pre-purchase a data plan for when you are on safari.
The currency is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX). One US dollar is roughly equivalent to 2560.00 UGX. Coins in circulation are as follows: 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 200 and 500 shillings. Banknotes in circulation are as follows: 1000, 5000, 10 000, 20, 000 and 50 000. Coins are not often use as they have very little value. Generally speaking, we advise bringing $50 -75 USD per day, per person, for spending money. Be sure to bring lots of small bills for porters, wait staff and housekeeping (not obligatory and based on your satisfaction).
Language: Swahili and English
Currency: Ugandan Shilling (UGX)
Time Zone: UTC + 03 (East Africa Time)
Telephone: Country code for calling outside of Uganda 256
Calling North America: Dial 001 and your 10 digit number
Emergency numbers in Uganda: Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance 999
GORILLA TREKKING PERMITS
If you're going to be gorilla trekking while in Uganda, you'll first need to obtain a permit. Gorilla trekking permits cost US $600 per person throughout most of the year, except the months of April and May when permits are $450 per person. You'll need your passport when you arrive at the park so officials can check your trekking permit.
WHAT TO BRING
While gorilla trekking, there are some key items you'll want to bring with you. Keeping arms and legs covered is important to avoid getting any cuts or scrapes while in the forest. Long sleeves, pants, and a light rain jacket will keep you covered and dry in case it starts raining while hiking. You may also want to pack a separate pair of waterproof pants to pull on in case of rain. Comfortable hiking boots are imperative as you'll be spending the day trekking through the forest and don't want to be fussing over uncomfortable shoes. You'll be walking through mud and dirt so consider wearing clothing that you don't mind getting dirty.
You'll want to bring lots of snacks and water with you to keep you going throughout the hike. Although you will be stopping to eat lunch, you may find your energy draining and will want to be able to eat a quick snack to pick it back up.
Some other items to consider packing in a small backpack for your trek:
Note: If you'd prefer not to carry your gear throughout your trek, you can hire a Porter to carry your small bag and assist you up hills and through challenging parts of the forest. Just let your guide know that you're interested in hiring a porter and they'll find one for you at the park entrance.
The following are guidelines and you may tip more or less at your discretion:
Please keep in mind that Porters do not earn a salary, so if you choose to take a porter or two, they will depend on your tip. Guides, Trackers, and Security personnel earn salaries.