Travel advice & practical information for travelogue:
Embassy of the Republic of Uganda
5911 16th Street, NW
Washington DC 20011
Tel.: 202-726 7100
Fax: 202-726 1727
Web site: Embassy of the Republic of Uganda in Washington
Embassy of the Republic of Uganda
13 Avenue Raymond Poincare
Tel.: 01-53 70 62 70
Fax: 01-53 70 85 15
The English travel guide Bradt Travel Guide Uganda is comprehensive. In Uganda, one can speak English almost everywhere. Newspapers and traffic signs are also in English.
Uganda is not a popular tourist destination, not yet. Fortunately, the habit of begging has not developed yet, either. Most people need all kinds of things, but it's better to bring stuff like pen, T-shirts, etc. to the local public school.
Climate and best time to travel
Uganda can be visited all year round. It has a pleasant climate: Uganda lies on the Equator and therefor is tropical, but not overly hot, because it lies at a high altitude. We were at 1200-2500 meters. Mountain climbers go to 4000 m.
Traffic keeps to the left and is not busy for our standards. Most roads are bad, also the ones that lead along ravines. In our experience a local driver is necessary, also because of local traffic rules. Driving is strenuous and a 4WD is absolutely necessary. Our car was especially reinforced for Africa and convertible for game drives.
We also had a guide with us to organize everything, like entrance to nature parks, forms and adaptations in the programm using a cell phone. Our chauffer and guide always slept in separate, very simple accomodations.
Our trip was organized by a Dutch travel agent, but it is also possible to use web sites of local Ugandese travel agents, which also organize complete tours. We strongly advise against touring Uganda with a regular car or trust Ugandese travel agents who say that it is possible.
Food and drink
The quality of the food varies. Sometimes it was disappointing in luxury lodges, while we found good food in simple restaurants. Lots of fresh fish and fresh fruit, and of course bananas everywhere.
Bottled water can be bought everywhere.
There are entrance fees for game parks; these do not include the fee for a ranger (with gun) for game drives. Rangers work for the UWA, Uganda Wildlife Authority. They were always punctual and correct, but struck us as bureaucratic, with lots of inspections and forms and during game drives they were constantly looking at their watches.
There are many kinds of birds and animals, but not the kind of gigantic herds that one finds in Kenya. On the other hand: there is no mass tourism either.
Accomodations vary in quality (also in terms of food) and price, from US$20 to 300 a night for two people. There isn't much choice, so it's advisable to make reservations in advance.
Electricity supply is uneven, depending on the kind of accomodation: in tents, there isn't any, in luxury lodges there is. English plugs are used.
In bigger towns there are ATMs. Prices are given in US dollars, but payments are made in Uganda Shillings.
A good source of information about health risks is the site of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Uganda. Always consult your family doctor as well.
Safety and security
Travelling in some countries or region can bring risk with it. That shouldn't always keep you from visiting there, but part of a thorough preparation should be to get information about possible risks.
One can find up-to-date information on the web site of the CIA World Factbook Uganda. Also always consult with your own country's Foreign Department.
Plan your trip to Uganda online
Through online reservation systems like À la Carte Vacations you can book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars and holiday houses. You can build a fly-drive itinerary with maximum flexibility, book a flight plus a hotel hotel for a night or weekend. Without the limitations of package deals from travel organisations and most times for a much better price.