Explore Uganda And Discover An Extraordinary Diversity of Sights And Wildlife

One of Africa's smallest countries, Uganda is home to some of its biggest stars, including mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and the thunderous River Nile. With landscapes of the utmost beauty, including rich rainforests, breathtaking gorges and striking savannahs, Uganda will leave an everlasting impression.

Bwindi National Park has 350 mountain gorillas living among its dense forest. Trek through the thick, green undergrowth to witness these endangered creatures in their natural habitat; the sight of a shy, seven foot silverback and his children playing in the branches above has to be one of Africa's greatest experiences.

There are even more monkeys swinging from the branches in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, hence its nickname the 'Valley of the Apes', while the canopy of the Kyambura Gorge is rich with wildlife, birds and primates. Trek beneath the branches in search of its chimps and you may be lucky enough to spot a tree-climbing lion too.

The bigger mammals are easier to find in Uganda's largest national park, Murchison Falls. Manicured by the roll of the River Nile, its waterfalls are the centrepiece of the cutting Rift Valley rocks and lush, dark green landscape.

Roaming the park are four of the 'Big Five', buffalo, leopards, elephants and lions, while crocodiles and the rare, shoebill stork can be seen in the Nile. For even the most eager of explorers, Uganda has plenty of treasures to uncover, so it's no small wonder Winston Churchill declared it the 'pearl of Africa.’

Check the exciting regions and itineraries we are able to offer you below.

bwindinationalpark

Of Uganda's forested reserves, Bwindi National Park is best known for its superb gorilla tracking, but it also provides a refuge to elephants, chimpanzees, monkeys and various small antelopes, as well as 23 bird species restricted to the Albertine Rift.

murchisonfalls

This national park, Uganda's largest, is named after the Murchison Falls, where the wide River Nile is forced through a narrow breach in a steep slope in the Rift Valley, producing a torrent of tumbling water.

queenelizabethnationalpark

The magnificent scenery of huge craters embedded in rolling green hills, set against the Rwenzori Mountains, the Kazinga Channel whose banks are visited by elephants, buffalo and hippos, plus the Ishasha plains where lions hide in the fig trees are among the many attractions

best_of_uganda

7 Nights

This 8-day safari includes gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park, chimp tracking in Chamburu (Kyamburu) Gorge, game viewing & birdwatching in Queen Elizabeth National Park, plus a cruise on Kasinga Channel in search of wildlife.

gorillas_express

5 Nights

Uganda is the only safari destination whose range of forest primates is as impressive as its selection of plains antelopes.

gorillas_luxury_fly-in_safari

3 Nights

A short fly-in safari from Entebbe, visiting the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda and staying in a luxury lodge. All meals on safari are provided.

gorillas,_wildlife_&_chimps

6 Nights

Uganda is where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle.

mini_wings_over_uganda

3 Nights

For those short of time, this is a great little add-on, combining Buhoma Lodge and Ishasha camp, in the beautiful Bwindi and Queen Elizabeth National Parks.

wildlife_&_chimps

3 Nights

In the uniquely lush destination of Uganda, you can see lions prowling the open plains in the morning and track chimpanzees through the rainforest undergrowth the same afternoon.

Map

The temperature, usually rangingfrom21 to 25C (70 to 77F), can be quite cool in some parts of the country owing to the countrys high altitude, despite its position on the equator. The mountain areas become much cooler and the top of Mount Elgon is often covered with snow. Other parts of the country are much warmer. There is heavy rain between March and May and between October and November. Lightweights and rainwear, with warm cover-ups for the evenings advised.
PassportPassport RequiredVisa RequiredReturn Ticket
Required
Other EU Yes Yes/1 Yes
USA Yes Yes Yes
Canadian Yes Yes Yes
Australian Yes Yes Yes
British Yes Yes Yes

Entry may be refused to passengers not holding sufficient funds, return or onward tickets, and other necessary travel documents. To enter Uganda, a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above. Visas are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above except (1) nationals of Cyprus and Malta, who do not require a visa. You can obtain visas either via the embassy/high commission or using the e-Visa system. Travellers who are also visiting Rwanda and Kenya may find it more useful to apply for an East Africa cross-border joint visa which allows entry into all three countries on a single visa. Nationals not referred to in the chart are advised to contact the high commission/embassy to check visa requirements for Uganda. Transit visas are also available through the e-Visa scheme and cost US$100. Single-entry e-Visa: US$50; East African tourist e-Visa: US$100. Multiple-entry e-Visa: US$100 (six to 12 months), US$150 (12 to 24 months), US$200 (24 to 36 months). Single-entry visa in advance: 40;East African tourist visa in advance: 70. e-Visa/single-entry visa: three months from the date of issue. Multiple-entry visa: up to 36 months. East African tourist visa: three months. You can either apply through the e-Visa system (www.visas.immigration.go.ug) or via the nearest Ugandan embassy or high commission. Allow five working days for visa processing at the consulate/high commission and for e-Visas. Travellers should have sufficient funds to cover their stay in Uganda, but proving this should only be necessary if you arrive with a one-way ticket, as officials may need reassurance that you can afford to leave the country when its time to go home. If you wish to extend your stay, you must contact the Immigration Headquarters in Kampala before your current visa expires. If you overstay your visa, you will be charged US$100 per day. Cats and dogs must have a certificate of good health from a registered veterinarian in the area of origin, which must be issued, signed and stamped no earlier than 10 days before arrival in Uganda. You will also need a certificate confirming the animal is free of rabies and has been inoculated as necessary. Dogs require vaccinations against distemper, parvo-virus, rabies, hepatitis and leptospirosos, not less than 30 days prior to arrival. Cats should be vaccinated against rabies and feline entritis, not less than 30 days prior to arrival.

Health PrecausionSpecial PrecautionCertificate
Yellow Fever Yes*
Typhoid Yes
Tetanus Yes
Rabies Sometimes
Malaria Yes
Hepatitis A Yes
Diphtheria Yes
Visitors should bring personal supplies of medicines that are likely to be needed, but enquire first at the embassy or high commission whether such supplies may be freely imported. Comprehensive health insurance is essential and should include cover for emergency air repatriation in case of serious accident or illness. The Ugandan health service has still not recovered from the mass departure of foreign personnel in 1972 and there are medical facilities of a reasonable standard only in large towns and cities. * Yellow fever outbreaks occur occasionally, and an international health certificate showing proof of vaccination is advised, especially if you are travelling to another country from Uganda.
Country Code: . Service for local calls is unreliable. Phone shops are available in towns. Coverage extends to all major towns and international roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. There are internet cafs in most large towns. Uganda has been a pioneer of liberalisation in the African media. Private radio and television stations have thrived since the government loosened its control of the media in 1993, with over two dozen daily and weekly newspapers and many radio stations. Ugandans have unrestricted access to international media and around 15% of the population accessed the internet in 2012. While the countrys laws allow for freedom of expression in the press, there have been clashes between media outlets that have been critical of policies and the government. English-language papers include private daily The Monitor (www.monitor.co.ug) and state-owned daily New Vision (www.newvision.co.ug). Vernacular papers include state-owned Bukedde (www.bukedde.co.ug), Etop (www.etop.co.ug) and Rupiny (www.rupiny.co.ug). UBC TV is the public broadcaster and private channels include WBS and Nation TV. Radio is the most widely accessed news medium, with more than 180 private radio stations and an increasing number of community radio stations throughout the country. UBC Radio is a publicly run station that operates five stations in Uganda. It can be heard across the country in English and vernacular languages. Private stations include Radio Simba, Capital Radio and KFM. Airmail to Europe can take from three days to several weeks.

Mon-Fri 0800-1230 and 1400-1700. Some post offices are open Sat 0900-1300.
Uganda is capable of producing food - about a quarter of its land is fertile and arable. Staple foods include solidified maize meal porridge served with beans or a meat sauce of beef, goat or mutton. At the reserves, wild game is often available.

National specialities:
Matoke (a staple made from bananas).
Millet bread.
Cassava (a root that is commonly made into flour).
Chicken and beef stews.
Fried crickets.

National drinks:
Waragi (a local millet-based alcohol).
Pombe (locally made fermented banana beer).

Tipping: Although always appreciated, it is not standard practice. It is normal to tip 5 to 10% at tourist-orientated restaurants. Barter at the many markets for musical instruments, woven goods and pottery. Other purchases include bangles, necklaces and bracelets, woodcarvings, basketry, tea, coffee and ceramics.

Shopping hours:
Mon-Sat 0800-1700 some shops may close earlier on Saturdays.
The local currency is the Uganda Shilling (UGX). Notes are in denominations of UGX50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000. Coins are in denominations of UGX500, 200, 100, 50, 10, 5, 2 and 1. However, UGX1,000 notes are soon to be replaced by coins. Try not to accept very old or damaged notes where possible, as some places may refuse to take them. The US dollar, euro and pound sterling are all recognised currencies in Uganda, and both euros and dollars are now widely accepted for cash payments. Other international currencies may also be accepted in some places in the major cities, although visitors may struggle with other currencies in smaller towns. Foreign currency may be exchanged at the Central Bank, commercial banks and foreign exchange bureaux. Be aware that dollar notes from before 2006 will not be accepted for exchange. American Express, Diners, MasterCard and Visa are accepted but not widely used. Some large hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and shops in urban areas accept credit cards. Traveller's cheques are not widely accepted outside Kampala. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling. It is advised that travellers bring sufficient US dollars in cash in case of emergencies. Higher denomination bills usually give a better exchange rate than smaller notes. The import and export of local currency is prohibited. Import of foreign currency is unlimited if declared upon arrival. Export of foreign currency must not exceed the amount declared upon arrival. Generally Mon-Fri 0830-1400, Sat 0900-1200. Forex bureaux are open until 1700 and able to do electronic transfers to and from overseas.
1.00 GBP = 4410.7 UGX
1.00 USD = 3625 UGX
1.00 EUR = 3837.9 UGX
1.00 CAD = 2741.23 UGX
Currency conversion rates as of 10 January 2017
The following items may be imported into Uganda by visitors over 18 years without incurring customs duty: 250g of tobacco products.
1L of spirits or 2L of wine.
500ml of perfume and eau de toilette, of which up to 250ml may be perfume.
Goods up to the value of US$500 (returning residents). Narcotics, pornography, counterfeit items, cultural artefacts and explosives are not permitted. Some medication may also be restricted; check before you travel. You must obtain a permit to import hunting weapons, live animals, fruit, flowers, cuttings or seeds. A special permit is required to export game trophies.
Below are Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.
2016
1 Jan New Year's Day
26 Jan Liberation Day
8 Mar International Women's Day
25 Mar Good Friday
28 Mar Easter Monday
1 May Labour Day
3 Jun Martyrs' Day
9 Jun Heroes' Day
7 Jul Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
13 Sep Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
9 Oct Independence Day
25 Dec Christmas Day
26 Dec Boxing Day

2017
1 Jan New Year's Day
26 Jan Liberation Day
8 Mar International Women's Day
14 Apr Good Friday
17 Apr Easter Monday
1 May Labour Day
3 Jun Martyrs' Day
9 Jun Heroes' Day
25 Jun Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
1 Sep Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
9 Oct Independence Day
25 Dec Christmas Day
26 Dec Boxing Day
Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given below are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may last up to several days, depending on the region.
Central/East Africa. 241,038 sq km (93,065 sq miles). 37,101,745 (2015). 153.9 per sq km. Kampala. Republic. Uganda lies between the eastern and western sections of Africas Great Rift Valley. The country shares borders with Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, Lake Victoria to the southeast, Tanzania and Rwanda to the south and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the west. Whilst the landscape is generally quite flat, most of the country is over 1,000m (3,280ft) in altitude. Mountainous regions include the Rwenzori Mountains that run along the border with the DRC, the Virunga Mountains on the border with Rwanda and the DRC, and Kigezi in the southwest of the country. An extinct volcano, Mount Elgon, straddles the border with Kenya. The capital city, Kampala, lies on the shores of Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and second-largest freshwater inland body of water in the world. Jinja, located on the lake, is considered to be the start point of the River Nile, which traverses much of the country. The varied scenery includes tropical forest, a semi-desert area in the northeast, the arid plains of the Karamoja, the lush, heavily populated Buganda, the rolling savannah of Acholi, Bunyoro, Tororo and Ankole, tea plantations and the fertile cotton area of Teso. English is the official language, with Swahili, Luganda and other Bantu languages also spoken. 66% Christian and 16% Muslim with the remaining being atheist, or belonging to traditional religions. There are tiny minorities that practice Hinduism and Judaism. GMT + 3. Visitors to the country will generally find Ugandans to be warm, friendly and relaxed.Shaking hands is the normal form of greeting and its considered rude not to greet a person properly before rushing into asking them a question. Most people will know Hello, but the Swahili Jambo is also used. Casual dress is usual for most occasions in the daytime or evening. Ugandans have adopted a socially conservative culture and expressing emotions or affection in public is best avoided. Expressing anger is also frowned on and generally counter-productive, so try and keep calm in frustrating situations. Drug abuse is illegal and widely condemned, as is homosexuality. There has been much publicity in recent years regarding Ugandas hardline approach to homosexuality, with the government proposing in 2009 and still debating an Anti-Homosexuality Bill which would include death penalties for anyone proved to be indulging in same-sex activities. While the bill has provoked strong international condemnation, homosexuals in Uganda still regularly face persecution, outings in the media or through the church, eviction, arrests and violence. As such, any lesbian, gay or transgender travellers to the country are advised to be extremely cautious. Photography: Since 1992, photography has been allowed in all areas with the exception of airports or military installations. However, some areas are still sensitive and it is advisable to take local advice. Commercial photographers should consult the Ministry of Information for a permit. 240 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three square pins are used. Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda since 2014. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni since 1986. Yoweri Museveni, Ugandas leader since 1986, was declared the winner of elections in February 2006, the first multi-party poll in 25 years. Officials said he took 59% of the vote versus the 37% share of his main rival, Kizza Besigye from the opposition Forum for Democratic Change. Observers said the conduct of the poll was an improvement on the 2001 vote, but critics accused the government of intimidating the opposition in the run-up. Parliament abolished a constitutional limit on presidential terms in 2005, paving the way for Museveni to seek a third elected term.

Top Itinerary

Mini Wings Over Uganda

3 Nights

For those short of time, this is a great little add-on, combining Buhoma Lodge and Ishasha camp, in the beautiful Bwindi and Queen Elizabeth National Parks.

Read more

Best Of Uganda

7 Nights

This 8-day safari includes gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park, chimp tracking in Chamburu (Kyamburu) Gorge, game viewing & birdwatching in Queen Elizabeth National Park, plus a cruise on Kasinga Channel in search of wildlife.

Read more

Gorillas Express

5 Nights

Uganda is the only safari destination whose range of forest primates is as impressive as its selection of plains antelopes.

Read more

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