Do I need a visa to enter Uganda?You are required to purchase a tourist visa before you enter Uganda. However citizens from the 33 countries http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Uganda can visit Uganda without a visa for up to 3 months. Tourist visas can be bought in advance at one of the Ugandan Embassies abroad see contacts for Ugandan Embassies worldwide http://www.learn4good.com/travel/uganda_embassies.htm or simply purchased upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport or at any overland border. Photos are not required and a Uganda tourist visa costs US$ 50 per person for up to 90 days stay in Uganda. There is a planned introduction of a single entry visa for the East African Community member states.
How do I apply for a visa online?As a way to mitigate contact and long queues at the immigrations, all travelers are now mandated to make online visa applications and payments using this link: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/
The decision taken on the application will be sent electronically through the email provided by the applicant, once approved, an approval letter will be sent as an attachment to the email provided. Print it out and present it together with a valid passport / travel document at the port of entry or Airport.
Information about documents required in the online visa application can be found at the foolowing link: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/#/help/visa
Some of the documents require for the tourist visa single entry include: Passport copy (bio-data page), Recent Passport-size Photograph, Vaccination Certificate (Yellow Fever) and Visa fees -$50 per person.
An East African Tourist Visa (multiple – entry) to Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda can also be obtained the same way – on line at $100 dollars per person.
Do we require travel insurance?We strongly recommend that you take out all the necessary Travel Insurance before commencing on your journey. However, we can assist with local insurance companies to cover health, baggage and any other insurance related issues.
In case of any accidents or medical emergencies while on tour what do I do?Speke Uganda Holidays is registered with AMREF Flying Doctors a company, wholly owned by the African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), an international non-government organization based in Kenya, which is the largest and best-known air ambulance service in the region. AMREF Flying Doctors provides 24 hour emergency air ambulance evacuations in East Africa and, where clearance can be obtained, beyond. It has a low cost Emergency Air Evacuation package specifically tailored for Tour operators and their clients. The tourist Evacuation Scheme is a thirty day cover offering you total peace of mind and is hassle-free to acquire yet at a minimal cost. The objective of this scheme is to ensure that clients receive the best and professional medical evacuation services in the case of a medical emergency. Interested tourists can let us know whether to include the scheme on their itinerary.
Any vaccinations needed for my Uganda Safari?We do recommend that you get a Yellow Fever Vaccination before coming to Uganda for purposes of safety, this was as a result of an outbreak of Yellow Fever in some rural area of Uganda a year ago, despite the fact that Uganda is free of Yellow Fever, it is mandatory that you present a Yellow Fever Vaccination card upon arrival at the Airport.
Can I use my ATM Card or credit card in Uganda?Only a few banks accept ATM cards or Visa credit cards for money withdrawal in Uganda. While you can withdraw a limited amount of cash per day from ATM machines in Kampala, there are very few opportunities to withdraw cash once you are on safari in Uganda. Credit cards can be used only in major Hotels and Forex Bureau.
Speke Uganda Holidays also accepts payments by credit card.
Are travelers cheques accepted in Uganda?Traveler’s cheques are generally no longer accepted in Uganda. However some major Forex Bureau may take Travellers cheques with additional charges.
Is MasterCard accepted in Uganda?A handful of places in Uganda accept MasterCard. In addition to cash, we suggest you bring a Visa debit card.
How can I pay for my safari?Once you have confirmed the final itinerary with us, you will be asked to pay a deposit of 15%. Gorilla permits must be paid for in full at the time of booking. Note that availability of accommodation and permits is not guaranteed until officially confirmed by Speke Uganda Holidays. Accommodation, permit and activity reservations will be made as soon as payment has been received on our account. For your convenience, the balance payment of 85% should be settled 30days before the start of your safari. We accept payment by cash and wire bank transfer in either dollars or Euros to our bank account in Uganda. Please note that all bank charges are at the expense of the client.
We now also accept payments by VISA, Credit and Debit Card. Please contact us for more details.
How much should I tip in Uganda?How much to tip in Uganda depends entirely on your level of satisfaction of course, but even a small tip to show your gratitude will be highly appreciated. You might consider $10 per day if you are happy with the service of your safari guide and 5-10% tip in up market hotels and restaurants.
Is MasterCard accepted in Uganda?A handful of places in Uganda accept MasterCard. In addition to cash, we suggest you bring a Visa debit card.
Are vaccinations needed for my Uganda safari?A number of different vaccinations are recommended and/or required before entering Uganda. A certificate proving you have had the Yellow Fever vaccination is advisable for entry into Uganda if you plan to Visit Northern Uganda for more than 2 weeks. Immunizations against DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and Hepatitis A are recommended as well. Besides bringing mosquito repellent, we also advise you to take malaria ‘prophylactics’ (prevention medication).
Am I likely to fall sick when in Uganda?You are unlikely to fall sick while you are in Uganda but do take all recommended preventive measures. If you take any regular medication, please bring it with you. Take your Malaria medication as directed – before, during and possibly after – your visit to Uganda (depending on the Malaria prophylactic you take). Although HIV/AIDS infection rates are lower than many countries in Africa, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS infection is certainly higher than in most Western countries. Therefore play safe. Please take your sexual health seriously.
Is Uganda a safe country for tourists?Uganda is a very safe country to visit. Although Uganda has lived through a turbulent history, the country is safe, stable and welcoming. Ugandans’ hospitable nature is legendary! You will be warmly welcomed wherever you go by the friendly smiles from the country’s residents. The most popular National Parks are situated in the south (west) of Uganda and are safe to visit. The border area with Rwanda and DRC remains stable and all National Parks and wildlife reserves are well protected by the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s rangers. Tourism is hugely important for Uganda’s economy and a Tourism Police force has been created to protect visitors. Your safety is Speke Uganda Holidays’ absolute priority and you can be rest assured that we will always give you the best Uganda travel advice as well as keep you updated should you have security concerns.
Is Kampala a safe city for tourists?Kampala is one of the safest capital cities in (East) Africa – although, as anywhere, petty thieves may try and take advantage of people who leave phones and valuables unattended. Your driver/guide will give you all the information you need to make sure your trip is safe. Feel free to ask questions!
How safe is it for homosexuals to visit Uganda?Uganda is a safe country for gay and lesbian travelers. However, it is a conservative country and we do recommend discretion.
How much does a Gorilla permit in Uganda and Rwanda cost?If you are interested in a mountain gorilla safari in Uganda or Rwanda you are required to buy a gorilla permit at $700 in Uganda and $1500 in Rwanda well in advance of your trip. As only eight people are allowed to visit each gorilla group per day, the demand is high. Speke Uganda Holidays is happy to book your gorilla trekking permits and organize your gorilla safari. To buy your gorilla permit, you will need to provide us with your full names, nationality, and passport number also a preferred date of trekking with gorilla permit fee.
What is the right age for Gorilla trekking in Uganda?The minimum age for visiting the gorillas is 15 years. A certain level of fitness is required for the gorilla tracking, and you may not be allowed gorilla trekking if you fall sick.
What are the rules and regulations for gorilla trekking?Before you depart for gorilla trekking, the national parks administration office will call for an early morning meeting. Since more than 8 visitors would disturb the gorillas, the participants will be divided into groups. Besides you receive important introductions and rules like:
- A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group of habituated gorillas in a day, to minimize behavioral disturbances to the gorilla and the risk of their exposure to human bone diseases.
- Do not leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back with you.
- Take pictures WITHOUT flash (choose appropriate photo equipment, as it is very dark in the forest)
- Move quietly and avoid noises as well as sudden movements.
- Stay with the group and sit or kneel up.
- Try to keep a minimum distance of 7 meters to the animals.
- While viewing gorillas, smoking or feeding is not permitted.
- Please do not respond on touches of gorillas but move slowly backwards.
- In case of any problems with the Silverback (attacks) strictly follow the ranger’s instructions.
How many gorilla families are in Uganda – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
GROUP FAMILIES INDIVIDUALS GROUP TOTAL SB BB AdF SAd Juv Inf 1. BUHOMA Mubare 01 00 06 01 00 04 12 Habinyanja 01 01 04 01 02 07 16 Rushegura 01 04 04 01 03 04 17 2. RUHIJA Oruzogo 03 01 05 03 03 03 18 Bitukura 03 00 04 01 01 03 12 Kyaguriro A (Mukiza) 01 00 04 02 02 02 11 Kyaguriro B (Rukara) 01 02 01 00 02 02 08 3. RUSHAGA Nshongi 01 00 03 01 01 01 07 Bweza 02 02 03 01 00 02 10 Kahungye 04 02 04 05 02 02 19 Busingye 01 00 04 01 00 04 10 Bikyingyi 01 01 07 03 00 04 16 4. NKURINGO Nkuringo 02 01 02 02 03 02 12 Bushaho 01 01 04 00 01 02 09 5. MGAHINGA Nyakagezi 05 00 02 00 01 02 10 TOTAL 28 15 57 22 21 44 187
What are some of the provisions needed for gorilla trekking?These are some of the provisions needed for gorilla trekking:
- Passport (for registration before trekking)
- Trekking boots.
- Warm jacket for cool early morning.
- Rain coat and – trouser.
- Thin gloves.
- Strong sun protection.
- Mosquito repellent.
- 2 Liter of water.
- Tip for ranger.
- Porter Fee if necessary (about 15 US $).
How much does a chimp permit cost?If you are interested in Chimp trekking in Uganda you are required to buy a chimp permit. These permits cost differently according to where the trekking is to be done. Kibale National Park is most popular for chimp trekking and a permit costs $150, in Kyambura located in Queen Elizabeth National Park a chimp permit will cost $50 and in Kaniyo $60. Chimp trekking can be done in the morning or afternoon. Chimp Permits quotes are usually included in our Tour Quotes.
What is the right age for Chimp trekking in Uganda?The minimum age for Chimp trekking is 12years. Some National parks like Kibale National Park have children activities for children below the age of 12 years to keep them busy as their parents go for chimp trekking. A team of well trained and experienced ranger guides teach them about the ecosystem and its inhabitants through interesting walks, games and creative activities.
What is the best time of year to travel in Uganda?Officially, Uganda’s dry seasons are from December/January through to mid March and from June through to mid-September. These dry months are the most popular with tourists, with July, August, Christmas and New Year being the peak seasons. However, Uganda has an equatorial climate, with daily temperatures varying between 20°c and 27°c and a minimum average temperature of 18°c, though the temperatures can sometimes dip to 12°c. The highest temperatures are usually in the north of the country while the lowest occur on the peaks of Mount Rwenzori. Most parts of Uganda receive an average annual rainfall of between 1,000mm and 2,000mm, with the North having some areas with the average annual rainfall as low as 100mm.
Nonetheless you can trust that after rain comes sunshine!
What is the safari accommodation like?Safari accommodations in Uganda fall into three categories: budget, mid-range or luxury. Budget accommodation may be simple and basic rooms, bandas or tents, with double/twin beds and mosquito nets when necessary. Private bathrooms are not always available and you may have to share bathroom facilities. Some lodges use solar power since some areas do not have electricity and are located in the game parks with eco friendly toilets. 3-star, 4-star and 5-star accommodation offer comfortable rooms or luxury furnished safari tents with a private bathroom. Flush toilets and hot or cold running water are available. Mosquito nets will be provided where necessary. The majority of safari lodges and hotels are small-scale, offering a unique location, ambiance and usually have a maximum of eight rooms.
Can I book my safari with Speke Uganda Holidays if I am traveling on my own?Single travelers are very welcome! However, to minimize your costs we would suggest joining a group. Although we can try and arrange this for you, we cannot guarantee we can find a group whose interests, budget and preferred route correspond to yours, especially during low season. If you would like to stay in a single room please notify us well in advance and we will try to meet your request. Please bear in mind that single rooms are not common and it is more likely that you will be offered single occupancy of a double room. A single room supplement will apply.
How many people are in your group safari?We offer tailor-made safaris for any number of participants. We offer fixed departure Tours with a minimum of 4 Pax. The larger the group, the more attractive the price will be.
What is included in the price of my Uganda or Rwanda safari?Speke Uganda Holidays prices are inclusive of:
- Overnight stays and meals in the lodge on (preferred meal plan by client either BB,HB or FB)
- In cases where warm lunches are not provided, clients shall have packed lunch.
- A professional and experienced English/German speaking Guide.
- Transportation in 4*4 Vehicle with pop up roof.
- Fuel on the entire tour.
- All activities as indicated in the programs with exception of as “optional” listed activities.
- All Entrance fees and game drive fees.
- All relevant government tax.
- Mineral Water while on the Tour.
- What is excluded in the price of my Uganda or Rwanda safari?
Speke Uganda Holidays prices do not include:
- Flight to Uganda and back home.
- Visa Fees, $50 per person per entrée into Uganda.
- Tips, souvenirs, any soft drinks and any personal purchases.
- Any Optional activities or those not included in the program.
Has the government implemented the planned increase in VAT on tourist lodges and hotels?At the moment no increase in VAT has been implemented. We are waiting for July 2014 when the budget will be read to hear the verdict on that.
What vehicles does Speke Uganda Holidays use for safaris?Speke Uganda Holidays provide open roofed 4WD (four wheel drive) safari vehicles for all our tours. Our comfortable Land Cruisers seat two to six people. Vehicles all have a pop-up roof for game viewing. We also own 4WD Toyota Minivans which can take a maximum of 9 people. To ensure that everybody has a window seat to enjoy the best views of Uganda, we usually limit the number of people to 7 in these 4WD safari vans. Limiting the number of people per vehicle also means plenty of legroom and luggage storage. The challenging condition of the roads means that safari vehicles are well serviced by SUH company mechanics after every trip. For larger groups we run these in 4×4
Cancellation PolicyYou can cancel your tour at any time prior to departure. The date of receipt at Speke Uganda Holidays is the decisive factor for our cancellation policy. Kindly declare any cancellation in written form. For cancellation of the travel contract prior to departure as well as any cases of non-participation on the tour, the following cancellation charges are asserted:
- 40 days + prior to departure: 15% of total amount
- 39 to 22 days prior to departure: 30% of total amount
- 21 to 15 days prior to departure: 60% of total amount
- 14 to 6 days prior to departure: 80% of total amount
- 5 to 0 days prior to departure: 100% of total amount
Is it possible for me to book your tours with your Partners abroad?Yes! It is possible. Booking with a Foreign Travel Agent or Tour Operator gives many guests a peace of Mind. While we do our very best to cater for each of our guests’ request and preferences we also work with The best Tour operators and Travel Agents Around the World providing Authentic, personalized Services.
You may book any of our very own tours with any of our partners: www.karibu-uganda-safaris.de