FAQs

Do I need a VISA to enter Uganda?

You will require a tourist visa for entry into Uganda. Tourist visas can be bought in advance via the Uganda Embassy or Consulate in your country or online (https://visas.immigration.go.ug/) or simply purchased upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport (or at any overland border). Photos are only required for online applications.

A single entry tourist visa currently costs US$50 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 recommended you obtain 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.

 

Can I use my ATM card or credit card in Uganda?

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.

 

Can I buy Uganda Currency before I travel?

The Ugandan currency is Shillings (UGX). It is not possible to get Ugandan currency outside Uganda. We therefore advise you to bring cash and change your money in Entebbe or Kampala after you arrive. 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 and National Park entry permits, it is easier to have US dollars available. It is also usually possible to pay for other tourist activities with US dollars.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
US dollars bills issued before 2006 are NOT accepted in Uganda.
Exchanging low denomination dollar bills (anything less than a US$50 bill) attracts a lower exchange rate.

 

Is MasterCard accepted in Uganda?

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

 

Are travellers cheques accepted in Uganda?

Travellers’ cheques are no longer accepted in Uganda.

 

What should I tip in Uganda?

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 want to consider US$10 per day if you are happy with the service of your Driver-Guide and 5%-10% tip in restaurants and accommodation.

 

What is the best time to travel in Uganda?

Generally, Uganda’s dry seasons are from December to March and from June to September. These dry months are the most popular with tourists, with July and August, Christmas and New Year being the peak seasons. It is easier to view wild animals towards the end of the dry seasons.

As in the rest of the world, the East African climate is changing, making it more difficult for us to predict the weather, including the wet and dry seasons, during your safari. The times also vary a bit in different regions. Even in the rainy seasons, there is usually some sunshine every day.

Temperatures are quite stable and pleasant. Daytime temperatures depend on where you are, how high up and if it is raining. Uganda varies from being about 600m (2,000 feet) above sea level in Murchison Falls National Park to 2,000m (6,500 feet) in Kabale and Bwindi. During the day, temperatures average between about 23°C (73°F) and 30°C (86°F). However, it can be quite cold at night in places, especially when it rains, making blankets, sleeping bags or duvets a necessity. Even hot water bottles can be very welcome!

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

One remarkable aspect about Uganda safaris is that, whether you travel in the dry, dusty months or in the wet season, you will never find tourist locations over-crowded 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!

 

Is Uganda a safe country for tourists?

Although Uganda has lived through a turbulent history, the country has been safe and stable for many years now and welcomes visitors. Ugandans’ hospitable nature is legendary!

All the National Parks and Wildlife Reserves are well protected by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Tourism is hugely important for Uganda’s economy and a Tourism Police force has been created to protect visitors.

Uganda’s border areas with Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya are safe. However, you are advised not to travel to the DRC or South Sudan where there are conflicts, causing thousands of refugees to flee into Uganda.

If you are not sure about the safety of travel to Uganda, please contact us or visit your country’s Foreign Office website. However, in our experience, these bodies all err on the side of caution and do not always revise their advice promptly. Even if there are pockets of unrest in some areas, it may be completely safe and calm in the areas you are planning to visit. Advice from the UK Foreign Office states: “Political and other demonstrations can become violent without warning, causing loss of life and injury. The police have used tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition to disperse demonstrators. You should take great care and avoid all demonstrations and rallies where possible.” For UK Foreign Office travel advice, see: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/uganda/safety-and-security. You can keep up to date with travel advice by subscribing to their email alerts as well as see messages with travel advice on social media by following @FCOTravel and @UKinUganda on twitter and fcotravel and ukinuganda on Facebook.

Your safety is our absolute priority, so you can rest assured that we will always give you the best Uganda travel advice and are able to make adjustments to your itinerary at short notice in the extremely unlikely event of a particular destination becoming unsettled.

 

Is Kampala a safe city for tourists?

Kampala is generally one of the safest capital cities in 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!

 

How safe is it for homosexuals to visit Uganda?

Despite some negative press, Uganda is a safe country for gay and lesbian travellers. However, Uganda is a conservative country where the law introduced by the British Government in 1950, making homosexual activity illegal, can still be enforced, so we would recommend discretion.

 

Can I do gorilla tracking in Uganda?

YES! Look at ADVICE ABOUT GORILLA TRACKING.

 

What is Safari accommodation like?

Uganda safari accommodation falls into three categories: budget, mid-range or luxury. The choice is yours!

  • Budget accommodation will be simple and basic rooms, bandas, tents or homestays, with double/twin beds and mosquito nets when necessary. Some even have en suite bathrooms. Toilets may occasionally be pit latrines.
  • 3-star, 4-star and 5-star accommodation offers very comfortable rooms or luxury furnished permanent safari tents with a private bathroom. Flush toilets and showers, with hot and cold running water, are standard while some also have baths. Mosquito nets are provided where necessary.

All Uganda lodges are carefully selected and frequently visited by Homestead Tours and Safaris staff to monitor quality and service levels. Apart from a few large safari lodges in the bigger National Parks, most hotels and ‘camps’ are small-scale, offering a unique location and ambience.

 

What vehicles does Homestead Tours and Safaris use?

Homestead Tours and Safaris uses 4WD (four wheel drive) safari vehicles for all our tours. Our comfortable Land Cruisers offer seats for four to six people. We also have 4WD minibuses which can take a maximum of nine people. All vehicles have a lift-up roof for game viewing in the National Parks. To ensure that everybody has a window seat to enjoy the best views of Uganda, we usually limit the number of people to seven in the 4WD safari minibuses. Limiting the number of people per vehicle also means plenty of leg-room and luggage storage.

 

What are roads like in Uganda?

All main ‘arterial’ roads connecting the major towns and cities are basically tarmacked (paved) although potholes do develop quite frequently which can make travel slow and rough. Once off the main ‘arterial’ roads, the surface is usually packed and graded murram. Murram roads vary from being quite smooth to being rough and bumpy. In the dry season, they can be very dusty. In the National Parks, or if visiting remote villages, you will travel on narrow dirt tracks which can be very dusty in the dry season and muddy in the wet seasons. However, the 4WD vehicles can cope with any road conditions. There are heavy fines for travelling off-road in the National Parks.

 

I am travelling on my own. Can I book my safari with Homestead Tours and Safaris?

Single travelers 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 seasons.

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.

 

How many people are in your group safaris?

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.

Our comfortable Land Cruisers offer seats for four to six people. We also own 4WD minibuses which can take a maximum of nine people. To ensure that everybody has a window seat, we usually limit the number of people to seven in the 4WD safari minibuses.

 

What is INCLUDED in the price of my Uganda or East African safari with Homestead Tours and Safaris?

  • ground transport in a comfortable four-wheel drive (4WD) safari vehicle
  • a visit to all places detailed in the programme
  • the service of an experienced English-speaking Driver-Guide
  • National Park entrance fees
  • activities as detailed in the itinerary (except for those that are marked optional)
  • overnight in good average/budget accommodation, usually with en-suite facilities, based on two sharing a twin or double room
  • all meals (although one meal a day may be a picnic/packed meal whilst travelling)
  • bottled drinking water for every person while travelling in a Homestead Tours and Safaris vehicle
  • government taxes
  • park ranger fees

Please note that all prices are per person and are based on two people sharing transport and accommodation.

However:

  • If four or more people are travelling together and sharing twin accommodation, the price will be less.
  • It is possible for a single person to travel on his/her own, but the price will be much higher because of not sharing transport and accommodation.

 

What is EXCLUDED in the price of my Uganda or East African safari with Homestead Tours and Safaris?

  • international flights
  • tourist visa (available at the airport)
  • meals and snacks that are not mentioned in the itinerary
  • luxury accommodation
  • drinks and beverages (other than the bottled drinking water provided in the safari vehicle)
  • optional tips and gratuities for your Driver-Guide and/or Park Rangers and/or hotel staff
  • laundry
  • gorilla tracking and chimpanzee tracking permits
  • optional activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • items of a personal nature (toiletries, camera batteries, souvenirs)
  • travel insurance
  • international payment transaction costs
  • medical vaccinations, malaria prophylaxis, treatment etc

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 us so that we can advise of any additional costs.