Uganda Travel Advice
Best Time To Visit
Should you be visiting Uganda for a gorilla trek – although you can do this throughout the year – the best time to go is during the country's two dry seasons: January and February and June to September. This is also a good time to visit if you are going on safari to one of the game parks as the wildlife concentrates around the water sources, making for easy game viewing. Birding is good all year round but is at its peak between November and April when migrant species are present. With the heavy rainfall during the months of April and May, it is advised that you refrain from visiting Uganda during this period.
Most of Uganda enjoys a tropical climate. Temperatures average about 26°C during the day and 16°C at night. The hottest months are from December to February which can reach average day temperatures of 24 - 33ºC.
Flights & Getting Around
Located on the shores of Lake Victoria and about 40km south of the capital, Entebbe International Airport (EBB) is the international gateway to Kampala and Uganda. Entebbe International offers direct connections to Nairobi, Kigali, Dar es Salaam, Cairo, Johannesburg, Dubai, London, Amsterdam and Brussels.
Visitors usually arrive via Nairobi. Private charter aircraft can be quite pricey so it’s best to use road transfers with mini buses or, preferably, 4X4 vehicles. Game drives are conducted in open 4 x 4 game vehicles.
Visa & Passport Requirements
All visitors to Uganda require a visa and every visitor’s passport must be valid for at least six months from their departure date. Visas for Uganda can be obtained at all major borders as well as at the international airport at Entebbe. Single and double-entry visas are valid for up to three months and extensions are available at the immigration office in Kampala.
Before travelling to Uganda you should visit your local travel clinic or doctor at least 6 weeks prior to departure. All travellers should be up to date on routine vaccinations such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. Uganda also requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever.
Other recommended vaccinations for all travellers include: Hepatitis A, Malaria, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Meningitis (Meningococcal disease), Rabies .
Uganda's unit of currency is the Uganda Shilling but US Dollars are also widely accepted across the country. It is easier to buy meals, drinks and curios in the local currency whilst on your travels, so it is advised that you purchase some Uganda Shillings on arrival and keep some with you throughout your holiday.
Traveller's cheques and credit cards can be used at most lodges and in Kampala but attract hefty transaction fees.
Tipping in Uganda is at your discretion depending on the service received, but standard gratuity falls between 10 – 15%. Tips are usually given in Uganda Shillings or US Dollars. Should you take part in a gorilla trek whilst on safari it is customary to tip the trekking staff, with the porter receiving the highest tip, and a second tip distributed between the guides, trackers and security staff.
What to Pack
For gorilla trekking you will need to pack the following: Good hiking boots (you will be doing a lot of walking), long trousers, long-sleeved tops, long socks to wear over your trousers as protection against insects and plants, a pair of gloves to protect your hands against nettles, a warmer jacket, a hat and an extra pair of clothes if possible as it can get cold and damp on the mountains.
For during the day when not partaking in a walk, lightweight, neutral clothing is fine.