FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What’s the best time of year to come to Uganda?
There is no bad time of year to visit Uganda. Even during the rainy seasons (March – June, and October – November), it may rain for only one or two hours before the sun shines again. It rarely gets cold, but it is advisable to carry lightweight rain gear in the rainy season. It can get cold at night (especially in high areas such as Sipi / Mount Elgon, the Rwenzoris, and Kisoro / Kabale) so bring a light jumper or a scarf.
Which international airlines access Uganda?
From Europe, major carriers are British Airways, Brussels Airlines, KLM, and Turkish Airlines, all of which fly directly to Entebbe. International carriers from Europe connect with most North American carriers. Major African Airlines include Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Air Tanzania, and South African Airways. From the Middle East and southeast Asia, check with Emirates or Qatar Air.
What other expenses should I expect after quoted safari costs?
Unless otherwise stated, tour prices quoted are ex-Kampala and include transport with fuel and driver/guide, accommodation, meals on safari, National Park, and activity fees associated with your itinerary.
Clients will be directly responsible for airfare to/from Uganda, Visa fees if applicable, airport transfers, meals and accommodation in Kampala, transport in and around Kampala, supplemental activities not included in the itinerary, refreshments and beverages (between-meal snacks, alcohol, other refreshments), personal items (porterage, telephone calls, and souvenirs), tips and gratuities. Coffee and tea are usually available with meals in up-country properties and drinking water may be provided. It is advisable to always check what is included in menu prices.
How do I pay for my safari?
Most of our clients pay by wire transfers or credit card. Bank details are available upon request. With Managers’ approval, credit card payments can be made, but please note there is a 7-9% surcharge. In Kampala, cash payments are accepted in any foreign convertible currency and in Uganda Shillings.
What deposit do I need to pay?
Gorilla tracking safaris require US$700 per permit to secure a permit. For all other safaris, a 50% deposit is required 10 weeks before intended departure or at the time of booking with the balance to be settled 30 days prior to commencement of the tour.
What kind of vehicle will I travel in?
We drive you in 4WD safari vehicles, air-conditioned with enough legroom and an open roof that will make you comfortable throughout your safari and also make it easier for your game viewing.
Can I fly internally?
Yes, charter flights are available to almost all safari destinations, but be aware that charter costs are high. A limited number of internal scheduled flights are available so booking in advance is also very essential.
How far in advance do I need to book a gorilla permit?
Book as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment. Permits are sold up to 2 years in advance!
What should I wear when gorilla tracking?
We recommend: a breathable and lightweight rain jacket or poncho, a warm jacket or fleece for overcast days and evenings, a long-sleeved shirt and trousers, sturdy waterproof walking boots (seasoned or well-worn footwear), leather gardening type gloves, sunscreen, cap or sun hat, sunglasses, insect repellent, comfortable day pack for carrying water and minimum amount of personal items. Cameras and video cameras are allowed, but bring film and batteries from Kampala.
How do you deal with tipping?
Ugandans tip according to the level of service and there are no fixed or assumed rates. Culturally people may not feel it appropriate to outwardly show their appreciation for money given, however, salaries are generally low in Uganda compared to neighboring tourism destinations and all tips will be greatly appreciated. Tipping will depend on the level of satisfaction you derive from the service offered. Tips are very personal and this is only a guide. Feel free to ask for advice.
Do I need to carry my passport and travel documents?
We recommend that you leave original travel documents and passports with us in our safe (if you wish) and travel with photocopies. East African residents will need to show copies of their Passports and Work Permits to obtain resident discounts. Most hotels and lodges have safe deposit boxes available.
Do the drivers speak English?
Yes, all our Tours and Travel drivers/guides speak English and other local languages. If you require drivers or guides who speak other international languages, please let us know in advance and we can organize this for you.
Is Uganda safe?
Occasional security issues may arise as in any other developing country. Engabo safaris maintain up-to-date information on all parts of the Country and will advise Clients accordingly at the time of booking if any risks appear to be present. Basic precautions should be taken, as in all countries, and common sense should be used. It is not advised to display expensive jewelry, leave bags unattended or leave money lying around. Generally, Uganda is considered to be a safe and very welcoming country.
How much time should I expect to spend in the vehicle on any one day?
The longest day of travel is a three-day gorilla tour and this can be up to nine hours in a vehicle. During this journey, several stops will be made, including a visit to the Equator, a stop for lunch, and other stops for refreshments and other facilities. Most itineraries will not require any more than five hours in a vehicle in one day. Again various stops are made to ensure your comfort.
What should I expect to see on Safari?
The large mammals vary from park to park. In general, a safari including two or more parks will include Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Lion, Crocodiles, Uganda Kob, Bushbuck, Waterbuck, Reedbuck, Warthogs, and Hyena, to name a few. Leopard sightings are rare, although they do live in most parks in the country. Rhinos can be seen in Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary near Masindi, and Impala, Zebra – and occasionally Eland – may be seen in Lake Mburo. Giraffes are only found in Murchison Falls national park, Lake Mburo National park, and Kidepo Valley national park. Cheetah can be seen in Kidepo in northern Uganda, a fabulously beautiful and unspoiled part of the country.
Uganda is one of the best places in the world to view Chimpanzees with trekking available in Kibale Forest, Kyambura, and many other forested areas in Uganda. Gorilla tracking safaris are at Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks in the far southwest of the country, with access also available in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire). Fourteen other species of primates can be seen in Uganda.
Uganda’s strategic position in the Albertine Rift Valley makes it home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna. More than 1,060 species of birds can be viewed, including many migrating birds. Unique species of butterflies are also found