Frequently Asked Questions

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Trip Extensions & Activities

Does Uganda Eco Tours offer trips outside Uganda?

Yes, we do have trip extension opportunities for those interested in exploring the neighboring countries; Rwanda, Burundi and the DR Congo in Particular. For Kenya, Tanzania and Related Islands in East Africa, we advise you contact us and we recommend a trusted partner depending on the nature of your trip. Our services do not go beyond East African countries.

For any scheduled tour, is there a possibility for anyone to opt to extend their stay longer than the designated schedule?

For those who would like to stay longer and may still require our services, need to notify us in advance so that we can make the necessary arrangements for accommodation, transport and the activities they will engage in.

Can any traveler opt out of certain activities in a featured tour?

Most of our trips on our website represent a typical Ugandan safari package, not pre-arranged and are flexible so as to enable you to build your own holiday. For the pre-arranged trips, the participant needs to notify us at the time of booking to enable us help them make alternative arrangements. This however is organized at one’s own cost since it is outside the groups activities. For those interested in customized tours; tell us your interests or the activities that you would want to engage in, your budget and the amount of time you have. We will help you plan your trip appropriately.

Trip Cost Inclusions & Exclusions

What is included in the quotations of the trips featured with costs?

Most important to note is that our trip prices cater for only and only ground handling. Uganda Eco Tours quotes prices depending on the choice of accommodation and variations in room sharing, the number of travelers on the trip, choice of activity etc. The prices basically include your accommodation, all meals, and transport. Inclusive also are primate tracking permits (if any), boat hire fees and ferry, park and other sites entrance fees and services of all the guides and leaders, or any other activity as specified in the Itinerary. Not included are: Flight charges to and from your country of origin; travel and health Insurance; visa and passport fees; telephone calls; alcoholic drinks; tips to drivers, guides and hotel staff; laundry and other items of a personal nature. Notes in detailed Itineraries always provide sufficient information regarding what is included and excluded in your tour price.

Trip Discounts & Special Offers

Who is entitled to special discount on Uganda Eco Tours Trips?

Special discounts are offered to student individuals or groups, researchers, charity organizations, volunteers, Tour wholesalers and international group leaders, repeat customers, FAM trips and Birding Pal members. We also encourage travelers who are willing to interact freely with the local people; eager and willing to enjoy the traditional local cuisine; able to volunteer and participate in community projects; keen on experiencing the village day-to-day life of a rural Ugandan; able to stay in simple but yet luxurious eco-friendly establishments like camps, farms and other facilities that are built purposefully for ecotravel experience.

Do you have regular special offers?

In case you want any special offer, please refer to the link “Special Offers” on our website. Or, if anyone feels that the activity they want to engage in deserves special attention, feel free to contact us and we will advise on how we can help.

Travelling with Children & Family Group Holidays

Does Uganda Eco Tours allow travelling with children?

Yes, we allow travelers who want to travel with children as long as you follow the right immigration and flight procedures. In Uganda, children who are below 4years are not charged for entering national parks. Accommodation and meal fees are also exempted for that age category depending on the facility. However, children who are between 4 - 15years have special discounted fees for activities and entrance in national parks and other tourist areas. Accommodation too is discounted for that age group. Activities like Gorilla tracking and others that involve challenging treks are only limited to adults.

Do you offer Family trips?

Yes, we offer well designed packages for family groups, including those travelling with children of any age. Check our Family Holidays page for a sample family eco-adventure holiday. For most of family trips, please consider children as those between the age of 4 and 12 years.

Amenities

Are there modern western toilets in all the accommodation facilities or public areas?

The Notes in most of our featured trips give detailed descriptions of the accommodation facilities on a given trip. Depending on the category of accommodation, most mid-range and high-end hotel and lodge rooms in Uganda come with private shower bathrooms and flash-toilets. However campsites and many public areas do not have the modern shower bathrooms; expect to find more of “Drop In” latrines in such places.

Currency Information

What is the local currency in Uganda? What the current exchange rate for my currency?

Ugandan currency is the Shilling (UGX); currently the exchange rate is approximately 2500UGX for 1USD, 3500UGX for 1 Euro and 4200UGX for 1GBP. Larger bills (50 and 100 notes) attract a significantly better rate of exchange than smaller bills or Traveler's cheques. For USD, notes MUST be dated 2001 or newer and must be in good condition. Any local currency can be exchanged back to any foreign currency at the airport on departure.

Am I allowed to use traveler’s cheques or credit cards in Uganda?

Credit cards can only be used in a few hotels and shopping centers in the capital Kampala. ATM machines too are available in most towns. Travelers' cheques can be exchanged for local currency at the airport upon arrival, (however this service is also not reliable). Thereafter only cash can be exchanged once on safari. To avoid disappointments, please carry cash for personal expenses.

Safety & Medical Information

Is Uganda really safe? I am concerned about the crime and political instability of Uganda and the neigbouring countries.

Uganda is considered safe and politically stable. Petty crime is minimal. The Bwindi killings in 1999, the Kony Rebels massacre in Murchison falls National park; all gave Uganda a bad reputation; however a strong military presence in all Ugandan National parks has ensured that no further incidents will reoccur. All the national parks we travel to are well protected by the Ugandan army. All the other tourist sites are considerably safe. Ugandan people are incredibly welcoming, polite and friendly.

How easy is it to access medical facilities in Uganda?

It is important to note that modern medical facilities and prescription drugs are not common in Uganda; apart from a few recommended hospitals of international standards like Nairobi hospital and International Hospital Kampala. Therefore one should be in reasonably good health to consider any of our tours. Although food hygiene and quality is excellent and we rarely experience any serious stomach problems, you may want to bring the remedy you prefer or are prescribed for an upset stomach. Moist toiletries are useful for keeping refreshed and clean during travelling and before packed lunches. If you are taking prescription medication or over-the-counter medicine, be sure to bring an ample supply that will allow you to get through the tour safely. Please consult your physician as necessary. Remember to pack all medication in your carry-on baggage, preferably in original containers or packaging. As airline baggage restrictions can change without warning, please check with your airline for procedures for packing medication. Malaria is present, including the chloroquine-resistant strain; most areas are at risk. There have been some recent changes in recommendations for malaria prophylaxis. Mefloquine (Lariam) is now the drug of choice in areas where chloroquine-resistant malaria is found. A single dose should be taken one week before the start of the tour, continued throughout the tour, and for four weeks after its conclusion. Mefloquine is available by prescription only, and may not be suitable for those using cardio-vascular medication; consult your physician. As standard travel precautions, you should always be up to date with tetanus shots, and strongly consider inoculations against Hepatitis types A and B.

Travel Insurance

Do I need travel insurance?

Uganda Eco Tours does not offer travel insurance. We strongly recommend that you consider a plan to help protect your trip investment. Travel insurance helps to cover; unexpected events prior to departure causing the need to cancel or change your dates, weather events or local strikes causing interruption or changes to your itinerary, missed connections, delayed arrival, curtailed lost/delayed baggage and medical or evacuation coverage, and so many other personal effects. At a minimum your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability.

Tipping Information

Does the trip cost include tips? Is tipping mandatory in Uganda?

No, all our trip quotations do not include tips. Tipping in Uganda is not mandatory, but it’s a recent culture that has been widely spread and most service providers are always expectant especially from foreigners. The trip Notes and the Eco-Travel Tips link on our web provide a general guide to recommended tipping procedures. You can also ask your tour leader to advise on tipping in some special cases, say a group of entertainers. Those of you who are able to give cash, any amount starting from US$5 will be highly appreciated especially by the local community service providers and hotel staff.

Entry Requirements & Visa Information

Where and what is required to get a Ugandan Visa?

A passport with a tourist Visa valid for at least six months after your departure is required to enter Uganda. Uganda Eco Tours provides a description on entry requirements in the Notes of most of the featured trips. Be sure to read thoroughly the information provided. You can also refer to the Important Links on our website for any detailed Uganda Travel information. For more information about visas relevant to your nationality, visit your embassy. To find a Ugandan embassy or consulate in any country, visit www.embassyworld.com/embassy/directory.htm. A Visa can be obtained upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda. There are some nationals that are exempted from obtaining visa to enter Uganda and these include:

  • East African Community (EAC) Citizens
  • Nationals of COMESA countries( Angola, Comoros, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe)
  • Other countries e.g. Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Fiji,Gambia, Grenada, Jamaica, Lesotho, Malta, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Tonga, Vanuatu, Italy (Only diplomatic passports) and Cyprus.

How much does it cost to obtain a Ugandan Visa?

A single entry visa USD50

Multiple entry 6 months USD200

Transit visa (good for 1 week) USD50

Please Note: American Nationals, British, and just about all Commonwealth nationals and European nationals that make up the vast majority of visitors to Uganda do need a visa to travel to Uganda.

Weather

How is the weather in Uganda? What is the best time of year to travel? Are there any variations in the weather at different destinations?

Uganda Eco Tours normally provides detailed itineraries with relevant travel information that includes the weather situation during the trip period. Always try to follow the guidelines indicated in your itinerary. Otherwise due to the typically equatorial kind of climate in Uganda, there are variations in weather which changes suddenly. Generally Uganda‘s climate from September – December and April – May is wet and cool. The dry spell is experienced between Jan – Early March and June – Mid August and the days are generally warm or hot and sunny. Mean annual temperatures range from about 16° C in the southwestern highlands to 25° C in the northwest; but in the northeast, temperatures exceed 30° C about 254 days per year Daytime temperatures average about eight to ten degrees warmer than nighttime temperatures in the Lake Victoria region, and temperatures are generally about fourteen degrees lower in the southwest. However, overcast conditions are frequent, particularly in the forest and mountain areas, and around the lake Victoria basin. Nights can be mild to warm, cooler at higher altitudes. Please visit http://www.worldweather.org for more general weather information

Website Problems

I can’t open some links or pages in the Uganda Eco Tours websites?

This could be a result of temporary glitches on your computer or web browser or mismatched settings. You could try the following options:

  • Try copying the URL given and paste it directly into your web browser
  • Retype the URL given into the browser yourself

If the above do not work, please contact us; otherwise we can confirm that all the website links in our site are correct, however, your computer could be simply having a problem.

What & How to Pack

What is the best luggage pack that you recommend?

We strongly advise you not to carry your luggage in a suitcase as it can be bulky and difficult to carry. We highly recommend a backpack or a soft bag. This does not imply that you will be required to carry your bags for any great distance; a small backpack can be used to carry daily trip essentials like snacks, toiletries, notebooks etc. During treks, like Gorilla tracking and mountaineering, porters are always available to carry your luggage for you.

Can I leave my excess luggage at the starting point hotel in case of a circular trip?

Yes, you can store excess luggage at starting point hotels, but however this is done at your own risk. Some hotels may charge a nominal fee for the service. This is an advantage for those who may have trip extensions options and part of the luggage is not required for one part of the tour.

Camping Tours

Do I need to carry my own camping gear?

Unless it is indicated in your tour details that you will be provided with camping equipment, trips that involve camping and eco-home stays do require you to carry your own sleeping bag, sleeping mat and, if need b, a tent. A head lamp is equally important especially at night.

What kind of meals should I expect on a camping tour especially in remote areas in Uganda?

Uganda Eco Tours has a mobile catering unit that prepares all kinds of meals equivalent to what you may expect to find in a Ugandan up-market hotel or safari lodge. Both continental and local cuisines are served. In case you are interested in wines and spirits, be sure to carry some. These can be bought in local supermarkets.

Are there modern western toilets at camp sites?

No, there are no modern toilet facilities at most of the camp sites in Uganda. You should expect the most common “Drop In” Latrines.

Clothing

What clothes and footwear should I take on a trip that involve treks or hikes?

Recommended for the field is light-weight, neutral-colored clothing that can be easily rinsed out and quickly dries - cottons or cotton blends. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants will help protect you from insects, thorny plants, and sunburn. A sweater or jacket is useful for cooler nights and early mornings. You should also bring rain-gear, including a small umbrella. Strong-soled shoes or hiking boots are essential, as you spend a good amount of time on your feet. Laundry services are always available regularly during most of our tours “at own cost”, which should help you in deciding what to pack. Making use of laundry service means you won‘t need to bring as many items of clothing as you would otherwise. Alternatively, to lighten your load, you may consider bringing some clothes you have planned to discard. These can be worn on tour and left behind; they are always well received by local people you interact with on the tour.

Any Other Questions

Have a question whose answer can’t be found in the above?

Please check in “Notes” of the featured trips or look in the search box on the top right of the website for more information, or contact us.

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