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Uganda is no doubt the “Pearl of Africa” due to the incredible beauty that is found in her motherland. Many travelers love to visit this wonderful country but they have many questions that need realistic answers before commencing booking for an Uganda safari. Below in this article, we are more than delighted to present to you the frequently asked questions about Uganda safaris;
Usually, the appropriate time to travel to Uganda is during the dry season from December to February and June to July, and September to mid-October. During the dry season, the roads leading to the safari are dry and easy to navigate through compared to the wet season when the road and trekking trail is wet, muddy, and slippery which brings a lot of frustration thus compromising your safari experience.
However, it is very important to note that Uganda can be visited throughout the year depending on the activities you are interested in and where you want to visit for example birding is among the activities which are best done during the rainy season whereas game drives can ideal in the dry season. The Pearl of Africa is comprised of two rainy seasons which are in March to May and October to November which may not favor most of the activities you would love to enjoy on an Uganda safari due to high levels of showers during this period.
Altogether, Uganda has 10 National Parks all equipped with something unique about them and worth seeing like in lake Mburo National Park, you encounter unique wildlife species that you may not sight elsewhere in other safari parks namely; the Burchell’s zebras, Elands, impalas antelopes among others. In Queen Elizabeth National Park, while here grab a chance to view the famous tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector plus a diversity of stunning wildlife all in big numbers compared to other parks. Semuliki National Park has amazing hot springs that can even be spotted at a long distance and it is a great site for birding tours,
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park- a popular home to almost half of the remaining endangered Mountain Gorilla species in the world including the silverback males and also get the opportunity to enjoy the Batwa experience. You as well find the golden monkeys and some mountain gorillas individuals in Mgahinga National Park, Mountain Rwenzori National Park – harboring the snow-capped Mountain Rwenzori peals. When you come to Mount Elgon National Park, this is where you find the 4th highest peak in East Africa, Trekking this mountain you as well get a chance to see the beautiful Sipi falls. The chimpanzee trekking experience is only done in Kibale National Park though you can find them in other places, and many more safari parks.
Choosing a national park you would love to visit depends on the activities you want to enjoy like gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and Mgahinga National Park is the best places to find subtle mountain gorillas. Game drives can be best done in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park as well as Lake Mburo National Park due to the open Savannah in these beautiful parks. For bird lovers, Semuliki National Park is an incredible destination for bird watching though it can also be done in other parks. When it comes to mountain climbing/hiking, the Rwenzori Mountains and Mount Elgon National park are the best option destinations, chimpanzee tracking is majorly done in Kibale forest National Park due to the highest number of chimpanzees in East Africa about 1450 individuals recorded.
Due to a wide range of attractions in Uganda, activities you can enjoy are also as many as possible. The main activities done in Uganda are; wildlife tours, gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, cultural tours, white water rafting, sport fishing, mountaineering as well as bird watching. It’s crucial to note that all those activities are carried out in specific parks endowed with the above attractions and offer an unforgettable adventure on your Uganda safari. Putting other activities that can be done in the national parks aside, cultural tours are done in any region of the country because Uganda hosts over 50 tribes all with unique and interesting cultures and traditions.
If you can work according to the security guidelines, then probably Uganda is a very safe and secure country for a safari holiday in Africa. Travelers have nothing to worry about since Kampala is one of the safest cities in Africa and those who have got an opportunity to visit have left without any doubts concerning security. Things that can be avoided by the traveler if they are well prepared and take precautions before entering the city are credit card scamming, petty theft as well as overcharging.
There are various tourist attractions in the Pearl of Africa’s national parks and the ones on top are the beautiful wildlife species which include the big five such as Elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, lions, and leopards the rest of other attractions are chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, colorful birds, flora and so many more. Besides the parks, you delight in many intriguing attractions in the city whilst others in the off-beaten destinations.
It’s so possible and secure to travel to the Pearl of Africa alone. Here you can decide to choose a self-drive package and take a drive on your own to fascinating destinations using GPS for directions. However, this is a bit challenging because most of Uganda’s attractions are located in remote areas therefore you may get lost if you are alone. To avoid that, you can consider hiring a professional driver-guide who knows the routes and all the tourism sites in the country and is ready to attend to you throughout your Uganda safari.
Packing for the Uganda safari depends on the activity you are going to do on your road trip. Game drives require you to pack sunglasses and an African hat to avoid the strong direct sunlight rays heating your skin. For gorilla trekking, you need strong rain jackets, hiking gumboots, long-sleeved shirts and trousers to protect you from thorns, warming clothes to protect you from the cold weather, especially in the morning, and evening hours, garden gloves to avoid germs and so many other gears.
After inquiring about your safari details is done, you have accepted the safari quotation given to you by the trusted tour operator, then go ahead with depositing 30% of your safari cost. That is the only way you can confirm a reservation with your tour operator however, there are other various means of how your payments can be done such as; the money-wire option or PayPal, or Pesapal, therefore, feel free consider the one best for you.
Uganda is blessed with almost half of the world’s remaining gorillas found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the rest in Mgahinga National Park. If you would love to go for a gorilla safari on your trip, the first thing you should think about is the gorilla trekking permit which is a card given to you by the Uganda Wildlife Authority permitting you to see the mountain gorillas in their natural environment. In this, the gorilla permit fee is inclusive of the one hour you spend with the gorillas, the park ranger guide, and the park entry fees. USD 700 is charged by the Uganda Wildlife Authority for each person per trek for the gorilla trekking permit. The total price for a gorilla trekking safari depends on the company you choose to book with since different tour operators have different prices for the gorilla safari packages which vary from budget to luxury gorilla trips based on accommodation.
Yes, You can use your ATM card as well as the Master card few places have ATMs but the remote areas in the country and some public places may not allow the credit cards. Therefore, I would advise you to be with some local money-pocket change so that you can be able to make normal transactions that need small money on your trip without being cheated in case the currency is in dollar form. Probably cheques can be used in Uganda though most of the banks don’t allow them and those that allow them to take you through a lot of processes to issue your money which is stressing and time-consuming.
In Uganda, the park fees are put up by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and they are charged to both people and vehicles. The UWA charges 40 USD each person for the non-residents and 30,000 Uganda shillings for vehicles like saloon cars and safari minibusses and they are the standard charges. Clearing the charges allows you to enjoy the activities like birding, boat cruises, guided nature walks, game drives, and many more.
You don’t need to worry about your tour guide because after all most of them are on a monthly payment and tour companies have permanent tour guide staff. In this, after booking your safari with an Uganda tour operator, the tour guide you are entrusted with is well taken care of by the company till the end of your Uganda safari.
Here, you can contact a car rental company to rent any car of your choice and according to your budget though I would recommend you to hire a 4×4 safari car because it can manage the rugged landscape during the wet and dry season. Recommended 4×4 vehicles on an Uganda safari include Toyota Rav4, safari extended land cruiser, Nissan patrol, and land cruiser VX to mention but a few.
The Country is favored with various wonderful accommodation lodges and camps that range from budget, and mid-range to luxury options that offer outstanding services to all travelers. They are situated in and outside all the national parks, here are some of the accommodations to spend an overnight on a tour, bands, cottages, camping options, tented camps, and hotels among others.
Tourists who are foreign residents are asked to purchase a tourist visa in advance at least a week before the dates of travel and for Uganda, it’s the East African visa that acts as your border passcode costing USD 100. The visa allows you to go through three countries which are; Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda, and expires in three months. The border fee is charged to help you operate in the above country and tour around the tourism destinations. You can acquire the visa documents from the airport on your arrival or from the embassy offices of your country before setting off.
Yes, you need a vaccination before you travel to Uganda however, you can as well take it upon arrival at the Entebbe Airport. It’s important to note that this medical document asked on reaching the airport and the vaccination fee in Uganda is 40 USD for each person
About Uganda safaris, first-time travelers always want to know everything just to be sure and relieve the doubts they may be having. The above FAQs are going to be of great help and as well guide you to book an exceptional Uganda safari this season. For further information, inquiries and bookings, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our travel experts team by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly at +256-775630809 or +256-701343598 to speak directly to our reservations team
In case you are in need of gorilla trekking, bird watching, Wildlife game drives, boat launch trips, mountain Hiking, adventure sports, city tour, nature walks, hot air balloon Safaris, cultural excursions, community tour or any other famous Uganda Safari activity, we are more than glad to organize it for you at the most affordable price.
In case you are a family or solo or group travelers planning a 3 days trip to Bwindi forest, we hope the above guide will be of help giving you chance to enjoy a lifetime adventure in the Pearl of Africa, for further more information on how to book a 3 days safari to Bwindi forest national park, simply calling us directly on +256-775630809 or +256-701343598 to speak directly to our reservations team.