Frequently Asked Questions

Uganda enjoys a tropical climate, though the heat is tempered by the altitude, as much of the country is more than 1000m 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 about 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).



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).

Waterproof bags to protect equipment.

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 hand wash.

An International Driving License if you are thinking of hiring a vehicle.

This depends on your interests – for photography, birding and wildlife enthusiasts we recommend the following:

1. 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. For most travelers stick with 8 or 10 magnification and 32 objective. These will be lighter than the 42 objectives which are heavy to carry all day.

2. Cameras: Choose something which you know you can handle – a heavy camera with many settings will be off-putting for some people to use. For good wildlife shots, get at least 8x optical zoom. Six to eight megapixels is fine unless you want poster-size photos. Bring a lens cloth to remove dust, several changes of batteries (even if you use rechargeables – not all sites have power points) and take 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, 90-day tourist visas can be purchased on arrival at Entebbe airport for $50, or 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 – though you should check 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, alternatively you can use ATM machines – common in the major towns. They should accept Visa Debit and Credit cards.

Visa is more widely accepted in city hotels and stores, followed by Mastercard. Other credit cards are unlikely to work.

Do not count on being able to use cards outside of Kampala.

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 – so 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 Your 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 Require A Course Of Injections, And Others Take Several Days To Take Effect, So You Should Visit Your Doctor Or Travel Clinic As Soon As Possible Before You Travel.

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 – they carry a high risk of bilharzia

Tap water is not suitable for drinking, though bottled water is readily available throughout the country.

Mountain climbers should familiarize themselves with the symptoms and treatment of altitude sickness. Above 2500m, altitude sickness can affect anyone, irrespective of age, fitness or previous experience. The risk is reduced by slow ascents to enable acclimatization, while the most effective treatment is immediate withdrawal to a lower altitude.

Uganda is generally considered to be a safe, stable country with low crime rates.

The South Sudan border region and Karamoja in the north should be avoided, with the exception of Kidepo Valley National Park.

Use common sense in cities as you would elsewhere – 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, 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 – it is recommended to bring a flashlight. Load shedding 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 dialling code for Uganda is +256.

If your cell phone is compatible, you may be able to purchase an inexpensive SIM card, widely available throughout the country.

The international dialling code for Uganda is +256.

Internet cafes are common in Kampala and all major towns, though the connection is likely to be very slow. Some hotels and restaurants also offer wifi.

Uganda is generally a very safe, stable and comfortable country to visit and live in of course with minimal and occasional crime incidences. Despite a checkered past of political turmoil several decades ago, the country is vibrant with the most warm and welcoming people on the African continent with a radiant smile and ready to offer directions anytime and anywhere. As is the case in any country or city, common sense should apply largely when traveling. That means– do not carry large amounts of cash or valuables as you move in public places, and keep money and credit cards in a safe and secure inside pocket. There is also now a standby tourism police to help secure activities of the tourism industry. The major National Parks are situated close to the major towns and are manned by ready state security and the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s rangers. The major exception is the border towns with South Sudan up north where there are occasional clashes. Incase of uncertainty and fear regarding safety, please contact for any immediate help and we will in genuine belief give you the true picture of what is on the ground.

Yes, Kampala is not only one of the most vibrant cities in Africa but also one of the safest capital cities in Africa. But again, individual safety and common sense is recommended as is the case for any major city where petty thieves and pick pockets may want to take advantage of unsuspecting travelers.

Again, is available to guide and provide you with all safety precautions.

Despite periodic negative media reports, Gays and lesbians live and go about their lives with almost no public interest and interference. Uganda is however a conservative country and we would recommend discretion especially around showing affection in the public.

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