FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is the weather like?
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-August in most of Uganda except the north east.
2. What should I bring?
- Day pack.
- High SPF sunscreen (Uganda is on the equator).
- Flash light.
- Insect repellent.
- Spare or rechargeable batteries (these are difficult to find once you are in the park).
- Water proof bags to protect equipment.
- Electric plug adaptors.
- 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.
- Good walking boots/shoes.
- Sandals or other light shoes.
- Water proof jacket or rain poncho.
- Lighter clothing.
- Warm clothing for mountainous regions.
- Sun hat/cap.
- Uganda is a conservative country, and visitors should dress respectfully.
3. Do I need a visa to enter Uganda?
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.
4. What is the currency?
The Ugandan shilling. There are a few agencies like SALABED LONDON that sell shillings but otherwise shillings are hard to find outside Uganda.
5. How do I exchange cash?
US dollars, UK pounds and Euros are accepted by The Tourist Centre and Forex bureaus in urban areas. Many larger hotels will also accept US dollars and Euros-though you should check first in advance. All US dollars must be printed post-2006, should not be damaged or written on in anyway. 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.
6. How do I make payment for my safari/day tour etc?
To make payment for your safari or any activity with The Tourist Centre, simply use the online payment platform of PESAPAL for Visa and Mastercard holders. http://payments.pesapal.com/touristcentresafaris
PESAPAL is East Africa’s equivalent of PAYPAL. Please note a surcharge of 3.5% applies for every payment made.
Payment can also be made by bank transfer. Please contact us for bank details.
As a last resort payment can be made in cash at our offices in Jinja – Uganda.
7. What vaccinations do I need?
A yellow fever vaccine is essential-bring your certificate with you.
Hepatitis A and B, meningitis, polio, tetanus, and typhoid vaccinations are also recommended.
8. Should I bring any other medications?
Anti-malaria 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.
9. How safe is Uganda for tourists?
Uganda is generally considered to be a safe, stable country with relatively low crime rates. The Sudan border regions in the north should be avoided (with exception of Kidepo Valley National Park). Ugandans are generally easy going and likeable people.
It is however wise to remain sensible and on guard as you would anywhere else in the world.
10. Can I change my itinerary?
Yes. Any itinerary can be further tailored to include more days and thus reduce driving time or simply enjoy more time in the wilderness or enjoy more activities. Most itineraries can also be amended to have less days or activities so as to suit one’s preferences or budget.
11. What accommodation does TTC use on safaris?
TTC will generally use mid-range and some decent comfortable budget lodges and guest houses as the standard accommodation for private safaris. Accommodation is based on shared rooms in twin or double beds.
TTC uses luxury accommodation including Mweya Safari Lodge, Mihingo Lodge and Silverback Lodge among others for luxury safaris.
TTC will use budget accommodation for the budget student and volunteer trips unless upgrades are requested.
Each facility/lodge we use is hand-picked after a comprehensive vetting process by our quality and standards team every year.
12. Can I take my children on safari?
Yes you can. TTC tailors specialized family safaris for families travelling with children. These safaris are designed with the children’s needs in mind so we consider aspects of food and driving time while creating this safari. In addition TTC ensures our most experienced guides are always available for these trips where our VIP guests – the children have to be taken very, very special care of. We have taken parents with children from the age of 6 months on safari.
13. What language is spoken in Uganda?
English is widely spoken, especially in Kampala and by those working in tourism. There are over 50 local languages, Luganda is common. Speaking Luganda enables one listen to most of the other Bantu ethnic languages. Swahili is also spoken by many people as a second language.
14. What is the state of the roads in Uganda?
The road network in Uganda is still largely undeveloped. However with the exception of roads in national parks most of the roads travelled during safaris are paved and well maintained. TTC relies on self-enforced operating standards following the UK’s Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency’s guidelines and the guide’s vast experience of driving on Ugandan roads to ensure the safety of our guests.
15. How can I make phone calls in Uganda?
If your cell phone is compatible, maybe able to purchase inexpensive SIM card, widely available throughout the country. The international dialling code for Uganda is +256
16. Where can I use the internet?
Internet cafes are common in Kampala and all major towns, though the connection is likely to be very slow. Some hotels, restaurants and cafes offer wireless internet. You will be able to use internet at some lodges while on safari.
16. Where can I use the internet?
The Tourist Centre Safaris pre-purchases gorilla permits for our gorilla safaris.
Once you have a permit it is 99.99% certain you will view the gorillas whilst there can never be 100% guarantees as the gorillas are wild animals and the trek is in their natural habitat.
The trek to the gorillas can take from 3 to 7 hours depending on where the gorillas are. The total time you spend with them is no more than 1 hour, so the gorillas are not stressed by your presence and to minimise any risk of the transmission of disease as they are so genetically close to humans.
People with illness are however not allowed to track. In the event of such an illness on the day of tracking, we can organise for you to return and track the gorilla using the same permits at another time when you are back to full health**
17. Are your tours/safaris suitable for children?
We tailor safaris specifically for families and small children. We have had families with babies of only 6 months on safari. We take extra care to ensure children have fun on the safaris in a safe and responsible manner.
Some activities on safari like the chimpanzee tracking and gorilla tracking are however not allowed for children under the age of 15 years.
FOR ANY MORE QUESTIONS PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT US.