Uganda Travel tips
a) Passport and Visa
A valid passport is mandatory and a visa is required prior to entry. Visas are issued at Uganda’s mission abroad and can be acquired upon arrival on any entry/ exit point without any complication. Visa fees: students US $ 20, single entry US $50, multiple entry six months US $100, multiple entry one year US $200 and inland transit US $15. Visa fees and requirements are subject to change always so check for advice from relevant embassy before traveling.
Vaccination for cholera and yellow fever is required and a yellow fever certificate may be requested as a proof upon entry. Anti- malaria prophylaxis is necessary in most parts of the country. Good health services are available in most towns but you are advised to take out medical insurance before traveling.
The country has a liberal banking with both local and foreign owned banks and forex bureaus with no restriction of cash flow (in and out). Foreign money (dollars, pounds and Euros) can be changed into Uganda currency. Banking hours are from 8.30 am- 4pm Monday to Friday and work half day on Saturday.
- Credit cards are not widely accepted and where used a 5% surcharge is incurred.
- Visa cards are cash advanced at Barclays and at Standard chartered bank through ATM network.
- Traveler’s cheques are accepted and cashed at most banks and forex bureaus.
- American dollar notes should be dated 2000 and above as old notes are always turned away.
- Exchange rate for cash US$ in large denomination (100 & 50) attracts better rate than the smaller notes.
Dress code is informal, carry those which will give you comfort and minimize disturbance to wildlife, Wet seasons can be very chilly therefore long sleeves and sweaters for evenings are advised. Dry seasons are hot and you should use a strong sun cream to avoid sun burn. A cap or hat and sunglasses are of importance.
e) What to Bring
Binoculars, cameras, telescope for birders, video cameras and field guide for birds, animals, trees and butterflies.
f) Gorilla and Chimpanzee Tracking
Tracking can be wet and hot work. Therefore carry water proof jackets and a day pack to hold essentials like binoculars and cameras. Tracking is through steep ridges with thick and thorny vegetation. It’s advised to have good hiking shoes, long trousers, long sleeved shirts, sun cream, sun glasses, gloves, walking stick and a hat. For photographers you may need 800 ASA or 1600 ASA.
g) When to Visit
The country has two seasons which are wet and dry , Rain comes in March-May (long rain) Oct-Nov (short rain) The rains should not deter you from visiting because it only rains for a few hours and the rest of the day is clear and sunny.