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If you have any other Uganda travel advice questions, please contact Dark Hills Uganda via email or on Facebook or Follow Dark Hills Uganda on Twitter and Instagram.

FAQ

Still not sure if we can be of help? Check through some frequently asked questions and then send us a message.

You are required to purchase a tourist visa before you enter Uganda. Tourist visas can be bought in advance via the embassy or consulate in your country or simply purchased upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport or at any overland border. Photos are not required and a single entry tourist visa costs US$ 100 per person for up to 90 days stay in Uganda.

If you are planning to combine Uganda with a visit to Rwanda or Kenya it is recommendable to request for the East African Tourist Visa instead of a single entry visa. This special visa costs US$100 per person and allows 90-days multiple entry to Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. Regretfully, Tanzania is not (yet) a member of the East African community and therefore not part of this special visa arrangement.

You are required to purchase a tourist visa before you enter Uganda. Tourist visas can be bought in advance via the embassy or consulate in your country or simply purchased upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport or at any overland border. Photos are not required and a single entry tourist visa costs US$ 100 per person for up to 90 days stay in Uganda.

If you are planning to combine Uganda with a visit to Rwanda or Kenya it is recommendable to request for the East African Tourist Visa instead of a single entry visa. This special visa costs US$100 per person and allows 90-days multiple entry to Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. Regretfully, Tanzania is not (yet) a member of the East African community and therefore not part of this special visa arrangement.

Plugs and Voltage

British-style plugs with three pins: 240 V, 50 Hz.

Charging Camera and Phone

You can charge your cameras, phones and other electric items in most hotels/ lodges. Not every hotel/lodge offers charging facilities in the rooms. If that is the case they will offer charging options in the lobby or restaurant.

Some lodges Hotels run on either solar power or generator. Those lodges often don’t have power all day, but only at specific hours in the morning and evening (when it’s dark).

If you bring a couple of chargeable items you might consider bringing an extension with extra outlets, since the amount of outlets is often limited. We advise to bring extra batteries for your camera, since some hotels don’t have power and power cuts might occur.

Luggage
we request you to bring a bag or suitcase from soft material. Hard cover suitcases are difficult to place in the car and are likely to break on the bumpy roads in Uganda. When traveling in a group or private tour with 4 persons or more we request you to limit the weight of your bag/ suitcase to 15 kg.

Phone
There are several mobile providers in Uganda. You can purchase a SIM card for relatively low cost (3 US dollars). SIM cards and airtime for the different companies are available all over Uganda. MTN has the best network. Make sure that your phone is SIM-Lock-Free. You have to bring your passport and a passport photo to sign up.

The country code for Uganda is +256.

Internet
Internet cafés are found all around the country and are now even to be found in remote areas. Realize that internet speed is often very slow.

Most upmarket lodges provide wifi, but not all of them. Some mid-range lodges provide wifi as well.

If you bring your own laptop you can buy a 3 GB wireless internet stick from MTN. This Internet is relatively quick. The cost for this stick is about 50 US dollars per month (minimum 1 month). This stick can be bought in Entebbe, Jinja and Kampala and you need to bring your passport and a passport photo to sign up.

When you buy a MTN simcard (register with passport and passport photo) you can use the 3G or even 4G option to provide internet to your smartphone or tablet.

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.

Payment by credit card in Uganda can attract additional charges of between 5–10%, occasionally more. Do check with lodges and restaurants in advance, if you plan to pay by credit card.

We therefore advise you to bring cash and have money changed upon arrival in Kampala. US dollars, British pounds and Euros are easy to change. However, for some expenses, like the payment of a tourist visa at the airport/border, it is easier to have dollars available. It is often possible to pay for tourist activities with US dollars.

Please note: US dollars bills issued before 1999 are NOT accepted in Uganda. Exchanging low denomination dollar bills (anything less than a USD100 bill) attracts a lower exchange rate.

Travelers’ cheques are no longer accepted in Uganda.

Very few places in Uganda accept MasterCard. In addition to cash, we suggest you bring a Visa debit card

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 USD10 per day if you are happy with the service of your safari guide and 5-10% tip in upmarket hotels and restaurants.

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 and August and Christmas and New Year being the peak seasons.

Most rain falls in October-November and April-May. However, this doesn’t mean that it rains all day, nor does it mean it will rain every day. Usually there’s a tropical shower at night or a shorter shower during the day, but in Uganda you can trust that after rain comes sunshine!

The weather is no reason to avoid travelling in the wet season – you might even consider it because of the easy availability of gorilla permits.

As in the rest of the world, the East African climate is changing, making it more difficult for us to predict the weather during your safari. However, in Uganda the temperature is very stable and pleasant, with sunshine almost 365 days a year. During the day, the temperature averages between 23 and 27°C, although in some places it can be quite cool at night.

One remarkable aspect about Uganda safaris is: whether you travel in the dry, dusty months or in the wet season, you will never find the crowded tourism like in Kenya or Tanzania. If you spot a lion or leopard, it is very likely that you will be the only one to see it – even in peak season!

A number of different vaccinations are recommended and/or required before entering Uganda. A certificate proving you have had the Yellow Fever vaccination is mandatory for entry into Uganda. 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).

For the latest Uganda travel health advice, please check one of the travel health web sites or contact Dark Hills Uganda. We’re always happy to give free Uganda travel advice!

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. Tourists and visitors to Uganda sometimes engage in risky behavior that they wouldn’t engage in back home. Play safe. Please take your sexual health seriously.

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 country’s friendly 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.

If you are unsure about the safety of travel to Uganda, please contact Dark Hills Uganda.

Your travel insurance company or foreign office may offer information about travel to Uganda. However, in our experience, these bodies all err on the side of caution and do not necessarily know what is happening on the ground in Uganda at the time. For example, May 2013, some still advise against travel to Kidepo Valley National Park in Northern Uganda, although it is now safe to travel there by road, or by air.

Your safety is our absolute priority and you can rest assured that we will always give you the best Uganda travel advice.

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 and incident-free. Feel free to ask questions!

Despite some negative press, Uganda is a safe country for gay and lesbian travellers. However, Uganda is a conservative country and we would recommend discretion.

If you are interested in a mountain gorilla safari in Uganda or Rwanda you are required to buy a gorilla permit well in advance of your trip. As only eight people are allowed to visit each gorilla group per day, the demand is high. Dark Hills Uganda 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, passport number, preferred date of trekking and gorilla permit fee. 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.

Please click here for gorilla trekking safari information, gorilla trekking rules and tips.

Once you have confirmed the final itinerary with us, you will be asked to pay a deposit of 30%. 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 Dark Hills Uganda. 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 70% should be settled before the start of your safari. We accept payment by VISA credit card (please include 5% service charge) and 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.

No. Although in June 2013, it was reported in the press that the Ugandan government planned to charge additional VAT on tourist accommodation, we are happy to report that Dark Hills Uganda and other tourism colleagues persuaded the government to prevent this tax being implemented.

Single travellers 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.

We offer tailor-made safaris for any number of participants. There is no minimum number for a group tour, although the bigger the group, the more attractive the price will be.

We have several comfortable 4WD minibuses which can take a maximum of 8 people. To ensure that everybody has a window seat, we usually limit the number of people to seven in the 4WD safari minibuses.

Dark Hills Uganda tour prices do not include:

  • international flights
  • tourist visa 
  • meals and snacks that are not mentioned in the itinerary
  • beverages (other than the bottled mineral water provided in the safari vehicle)
  • tips and gratuities for safari guides and/or park rangers
  • laundry
  • optional activities that are mentioned in the program
  • items of a personal nature (toiletries, camera batteries, souvenirs)
  • travel insurance
  • international payment transaction costs

In most cases, we will specify the extra charge of optional activities in your itinerary. If not, or if it is not clear to you, please contact Dark Hills Uganda so we can confirm any additional fee(s).

Dark Hills Uganda tour prices are inclusive of:

  • ground transport in a comfortable four wheel drive (4WD) safari vehicle
  • a visit to all places detailed in the Itinerary
  • the service of an experienced English speaking driver/safari guide
  • National Park entrance fees
  • activities as detailed in the itinerary (except for those that are marked optional)
  • overnight in the named accommodations, based on sharing a twin or double room
  • full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • 2 litres of bottled mineral water per person per day while travelling in the Dark Hills Uganda vehicle
  • government taxes
  • park ranger fees