Uganda Travel Guide
Planning a gorilla trekking tour in Uganda? Get all the essential details before your visit in our Uganda travel guide.
There is a time and a place to monkey around – and that’s during your private vacation in Uganda! Experience an awesome encounter with chimpanzees and endangered mountain gorillas. Discover the ever-changing views of the iconic African savannah, stunning waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, picturesque villages, carpet-like tea country, breathtaking volcanoes and countless lakes.
Most visitors come for gorilla trekking in Uganda but you can also enjoy a leisurely cruise and explore the remote villages along the shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake. Taste the thrill of Africa’s most challenging white water rafting on the Nile River, and watch hippos, crocodiles and buffaloes on a relaxing boat safari in Queen Elizabeth. Walk along the thundering Murchison Falls and explore the pristine wilderness of Mt Elgon. Swim across the border to Rwanda in the crater lake atop the Mgahinga Volcanos or climb above the snowline in the mighty Rwenzoris. Let your vacation in Uganda be as adventurous as you!
To ensure that you make the most of your vacation, get your lowdown on the top tips and essential details right from our destination experts in this Uganda travel guide.
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Visa and entry
A visa is required for most visitors. Single entry visas cost $50 USD per person while a multiple entry visa costs $100 USD per person.
Visas are also obtainable from Ugandan Diplomatic and Consular Missions abroad prior to your arrival.Alternatively, visitors wishing to obtain a visa before arrival can do so through the online portal https://visas.immigration.go.ug.
It is advisable to carry all visa fees in USD cash (printed in 2013 or later). Additionally, depending on the traffic and number of guests arriving at any given moment, the immigration process can take 1 hour or more.
Anyone who has faced an overgrown gorilla will never forget this encounter! Because these magnificent creatures are almost extinct, the experience is not only impressive and bound to create a memory of a lifetime, but also most unique.
Fear is a natural feeling when you face an overgrown gorilla – after all, the animals are twice as big as an adult. However, the fear is unjustified, because gorillas are usually peace-loving and tolerant to humans. Unfortunately, this was not always reciprocal. Gorillas were almost extinct and are among the most endangered animal species. Today they are only found in the jungles of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.
The world’s rarest gorilla species live in Bwindi National Park, an authentic equatorial jungle. A total of four mountain gorilla families – and thus almost half of the world’s population – have their home here. A gorilla trekking is not a simple walk. For up to four hours, you will rise up through steep slopes and rough gorge to track these primate families in their natural habitat. An experienced guide will accompany you. On the way you will also meet other monkey species and enjoy a wonderful view of the surroundings.
Gorilla trekking is a highlight of a Uganda tour for those who are active and physically fit.
Language and religion
There are around 49 languages spoken in Uganda, but English and Swahili are the official languages and Luganda is also commonly used. Uganda is a predominantly Christian country and has a significant Muslim minority (about 14%). Iganga District in the east of the country has the highest percentage of Muslims. About 1% of the population follows indigenous beliefs and a lot of Ugandans practice their traditional belief together with Islam or Christianity.
Currency and cards
Uganda uses the Ugandan Shilling (UGX) as national currency. US dollars are accepted in most tourist destinations but only notes that were printed in 2013 or later. While exchanging money, it is best to use higher denomination notes such as 50 or 100. ATMs are abundantly available in Uganda however, to ensure that you are not a victim of fraud, it is best to withdraw money only from ATMs that are attached to a bank. Visa and Mastercards are accepted in larger establishments however an Amex card may be refused.
Tipping is not widely accepted however, as Uganda is a developing nation with wage rates lower than most western nations, tipping is appreciated.
If you are traveling to Uganda, you will need a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Do make sure that you have all the routine vaccinations in place, e.g. chickenpox, polio, MMR, typhoid, Hepatitis A and yearly flu shot. Since most parts of Uganda are prone to malaria, it’s best to carry any-malaria medication and mosquito repellent. Pregnant women need to be especially careful while traveling in rural areas owing to the prevalence of the Zika virus. It is important to avoid drinking tap water in Uganda – make sure you only drink bottled or filtered water.
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Grand Tour of Uganda
17 Days: $ 9,290 / person
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
6 Days: $ 5,290 / person
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The lush tropical rainforest of Kibale National Park has one of the highest diversity and density of primates in Africa, totalling 13 species including more than 1,000 chimpanzees and so…
Set majestically in the shadow of the Ruwenzori, flanking Lake Edward and Lake George, the lush savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park offers prime grazing to buffalo, elephant and various…
With a varying landscape of rolling hills, open grassy valleys, acacia grasslands and marshes, Lake Mburo is home to a huge array of flora and fauna.
Budongo Forest is a moist, semi-deciduous tropical rainforest located at the top of the Albertine Rift.
Enchanting Travels custom-designed our African Adventure to include all the specific locations and activities we were interested in. We did not have to worry about any details and were free to enjoy the most extraordinary adventure that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our first visit to Africa, including activities at Victoria Falls, safari adventures with great guides, and all the accommodations were fantastic.
We were recommended by friends to use Enchanting travel to help plan our Africa Experience. From first contact to the conclusion of the trip Enchanting travel supported our every need and looked after every detail. Our trip was absolutely flawless and an experience of a life time. I would be happy to discuss our trip with any potential customers as we feel our agenda gave us the perfect overview of sights, culture and safari activities. We came home and feel we missed nothing.
This was truly an “Enchanting” adventure! The value and service was beyond excellent! The entire team ensured every detail was taken care of and went out of their way to welcome us! And every hotel and excursion was amazing, and we were greeted with welcoming open arms every where we stayed! Nothing was left to chance…and we felt so secure knowing Enchanting Travels had everything lined up for us! Even our lodges said Enchanting Travels was a top-notch company!
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