African Safari Tips – Advice – Information for Uganda and Rwanda
Practical and Helpful African Safari Information, Advice and Tips
It all begins with Preparation – gathering information – planning the Safari – from Immunizations to getting your visa, from budgeting for the safari to planning your itinerary about what you do not want to miss in Uganda or Rwanda and what activities you would like take part in such as visiting the Mountain Gorillas of Uganda, chimpanzee tracking, volcano Climbing and much more.
African Safari Tips – Advice – Information for Uganda and Rwanda
Planning your activities, planning the safari in Africa also involves a preparation at home. It is good to read about the country that you will be visiting, knowing the requirements regarding a Safari and of course what to pack and bring for your safari in Africa.
The information we have gathered here will assist you in planning that just right safari for you.
We bring years of Safari experience on board to make your time on Safari as smooth as possible that is why we put together the African Safari Tips – Advice – Information for you.
An African Safari is not a visit to a zoo in the west, this is the African Wild in Uganda or Rwanda. You are in a different world, quite different from anywhere else in the world and it takes common sense – a sense of the wonders of each discovery on a game drive, walking safari, tracking of gorillas, chimpanzees or golden monkeys.
Nothing is predictable but the wonder of it all. It also takes patience at times to see that pride of lions, that leopard, that shoebill stork and it is best if you have and keep a sense of humor as you experience authentic Africa in Uganda. When you lose your patience or sense of humor – take a deep breath and realize where you are – “Magical Wild Africa” and take it all in with open eyes and listening ears.
What about my Tourist Visa:
If your Safari is in Uganda only, then you need to apply for a Uganda Tourist Visa online with with your Uganda Immigration. Presently you can still get a visa on arrival, but that may change. Our Uganda Tourist Visa Page will keep you updated.
A Tourist Visa for Rwanda is presently quite inexpensive, how to apply for one see our Rwanda Tourist Visa Page.
If you are visiting both Uganda and Rwanda – or going on to Kenya you will need an East African Tourist Visa that allows you to visit all 3 countries as a tourist. You must however apply with the country that you will be visiting first.
What document will I need with me while on Safari?
Documents you should have in your possession for your Safari:
Have one large plastic envelope that you can keep with you at all times. We suggest that you have like a day-pack where you can put all of your important papers including your cash – unless you use the safe at the lodge or hotel for that purpose.
Always have extra copies of the documents – just in case they are lost or misplaced. Do not take your passport with you if you are walking around town – instead have a copy with you and leave the passport at the hotel.
The packet should contain the following items and anything else you may consider necessary.
- Your safari itinerary – read it over to make sure that it is just the way you like it to be.
- Your passport should expire at least 6 months after returning to your home country (make a copy of passport)
- You should have at least 2 free pages in the passport for each country you are visiting
- You should have a photo copy of your passport.
- Your Travel Insurance policy
- Emergency phone numbers
- Copies of any medical prescriptions
- Vaccination Certificates such as Yellow Fever for Uganda and Rwanda.
What about Money?
There are some things you need to do when coming on safari in Rwanda that will save you some dollars and cents.
If you plan to use an ATM card or credit card it would be good to notify your Bank that you will be using your Credit Card or Debit Card for purchases or cash withdrawals from an ATM in Rwanda or Uganda.
The USD is the currency of choice in much of Africa and it is in Rwanda and Rwanda. Below you will find more information that might come in handy during your time in Africa.
Most people incur no health problems while visiting Uganda or Rwanda but simply enjoy themselves during the time on Safari.
Do however read our health page and take advantage of the information found there
Vaccination Certificates such as Yellow Fever.
Bring sufficient amount of your prescriptions.
2nd set of eye glasses
Eye-Drops if you wear contacts – we are a bit on the dusty side in Africa.
Preventing Malaria Using the right Insect Repellent.
When packing for a Safari – keep it to just the essentials and keep it light – most people pack too much
For a safari, pack clothing, neutral in color – bring along some insect repellent – the Australian Rid product is most effective against mosquitoes and even Tsetse flies. If you are hiking, gorilla or chimpanzee tracking – pack a light pair of hiking boots. If you are going on a flying safari in Uganda – it is best to pack light. Packing for your flying safari in Uganda
If you are visiting a school, orphanage, clinic, pack with purpose adding a few books, deflated soccer balls, dolls, crayons, colored pencils, stethoscope, blood pressure kit and more to name just a few. Keep from bringing sweets, candies, gum.
Keep it simple – Plain and Practical for your comfort while on Safari in Uganda – definitely do not try to look like a big Bwana of old on Safari.
Wear comfortable clothing, jeans, otherwise neutral colors, sturdy shoes, a hat come in handy for most. Khaki is good for its color, easy to wash and feels good as you wear it. A rain jacket also comes in quite handy and long-sleeved shirts offer good protection for you from thorns and insects
Jeans may not be recommended however they prove to be some of the best long trousers for a safari, they hide the dirt, give more protection and in our climate they dry the same day after being washed at a lodge. (Please Note- there is a taboo against washing another person’s undergarments – buy some small packets of soap and do it your self).
The key is casual, plain and practical – enjoy your safari in Uganda.
What to wear Gorilla Tracking. The kind of shoes needed for a safari in Uganda. Binoculars for your Rwanda -Uganda Safari.
Please note – if you are combining a Safari with business in Uganda-there is a different dress-code in Kampala than on Safari – the same applies in Rwanda.
Simple Responsible Tourism Eco-Friendly Safari Tips that will enhance your time in Uganda A Code of Conduct for Safari Visitors to Africa that respects Communities –the Environment – the Wildlife.
Before you arrive for your Safari in Africa – take part in planning your safari by taking an active part in creating your safari and we will help in making a responsible tourism Safari just for you
No off-road game driving, no garbage thrown out of windows, simply practical tips you already adhere to in the West
Take nothing with you – but memories and pictures – leave nothing behind but footprints.
If you look at many itineraries on-line and if you checked lodging facilities that were selected for you, the quality would often be what one could call abysmal, even when it comes to budget facilities we only use budget facilities that in most cases have self-contained rooms.
Lodging is an important aspect of your safari in Uganda and we do not take it lightly. If our clients complain about a lodging accommodation facility – our response – it goes off our list and we remove our recommendation of it from our website.
Safari Lodging experiences depend on many things – the mood of those who receive you and wait upon you, the management. We have found that things can change and we do our best to ensure that your stay at a lodge is satisfactory.
What you eat and the quality of food that is served to you on safari depends on the kind of lodges you are using.
If you want quality safari Food that is of Restaurant Quality than stay in upmarket lodges, Moderate lodge will be ok most of the time serving sumptuous – tasty meals.
When you go to budget lodges, you are often receiving fried foods like fish and chips, stews where the meat may not be tender. Breakfast will be just eggs and toast along with instant coffee.
What if you are a vegetarian or vegan and going on Safari? Most of the time you are just fine with certain precautions taken.
Drinks – Juice -Wine – Coffee on Safari:
You will not get thirsty on Safari in Uganda and Rwanda. There is bottled water in both countries, upmarket lodges will have some in your room.
Coke and Pepsi Products, 7-Up, Mountain Dew, Schweppes. Diet Sodas are rare, though Coke-1 can be found in some supermarkets. Sparkling water is not to be found except in a few supermarkets.
Lodges have plenty of Beer both brewed in Rwanda and Uganda, Juices, some of which are squeezed freshly and sodas.
Wine is served from boxes and can be disappointing, here is our solution.
Rwanda and Uganda grow great Arabica Coffee, in budget and many moderate lodges you are served instant with powdered milk and sugar. Here is our Solution.
You can always find a driver in Uganda – the need is for a driver that is also a tour guide. At Kabiza Wilderness Safaris we handpick the tour guides based on their past experience and also we use the feedback from our clients.
Customer service and satisfaction is foremost on the minds of our driver-guides who will go beyond the expected norm to make your safari in Uganda a success. As said – you can always find a driver in Uganda, but you need one to get you there and who knows Uganda, the parks, the wildlife, the culture and more.
Our driver-guides have at least seven years of experience in the Safari-Tour business, they do not need a map-it is in their head, they will know when a bridge is out, a road is being repaired and they will take an alternate route if necessary.
Self-Drive in Uganda or Rwanda is not something we recommend – for good reasons – especially for first time visitors to Africa.
It is one thing to go on a normal safari in a vehicle – however Uganda ahs many places where you can hike and do nature walks in abundance.
Hiking and Walking Safari take extra preparation depending on the time of the year that you venture out on foot into the African Wild of Uganda and where.
Take Gorilla Tracking, that is normally a 5 hour trek, climb a volcano in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and that can be 5 to 10 hours in length and there are things to wear that you will need.
Visit the Ik People in the Morungole Mountain and once again an all-day hike that you need to prepare for in order to be comfortable.
There are great Hiking opportunities within Uganda, they just have to planned into your safari.
This is a question that we often receive before people go on a safari. How do we stay in touch with home? Some up-market lodges have WiFi – most do not. Many still like to come to Africa and still unplug – the other reason is that networks do not always extend into the bush.
There are some practical ways around it – get a local sim card for our smart phone and receive calls for free – you can Skype back home also.
If you are using a laptop – you can buy a local usb connection with data time and you can do the same for a tablet or iPad.
There are ways that you can stay in touch with home – upload your daily safari pictures and update about your travels on your blog or Facebook.
More and more have dropped the habit of pen and ink and keeping an old fashioned safari journal. No matter how you might record your daily memories, do record them.
Dawn comes here in Uganda about 6:30 am – the sun soon rises, arrange for a cup of coffee and write your thoughts – do not think deeply about it all but use free-flow thinking and just write.
Back in your home country you can take those thoughts and even put them up on your blog or website.
Keep a journal of your African Travels – Winston Churchill did – Ernest Hemingway and Karen Blixen did.
Uganda is one of the most stable and secure countries in Africa – it is also one of the top friendliest countries in Africa according to an African Economist Survey.
As a Tourist you even receive extra security in form of our Tourism Police and when you go on a game drive an armed ranger is with you. On a gorilla Trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and an armed escort is also with you in both Rwanda and Uganda.
The safest place to be in Uganda or Rwanda – is on a safari. Your driver-guide and our staff will do our best to make your safari in Africa a safe one.
Some visitors to Uganda have this notion that one can easily arrange their own safari. Uganda – Rwanda is Africa – this is not Europe or North America. Making arrangements in the West are simpler and less complicated.
Most often you do not need a tour-operator in the West – you can easily self-drive – use a map and GPS and you are well under way. Things are relatively predictable. That is not the way it is in Uganda or Rwanda
It is advisable to use a Tour-Operator in Uganda and Rwanda that knows the country, roads, conditions, lodges and culture, you will be glad that you did.
Go on line and do a search about Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda – Uganda and you will get all kinds of wrongful information on forums, sites, even news sites all falling under the category of Safari Myths and Misconceptions.
We look at 7 common Safari Myths and we debunk them with facts and reality.
We live here, we know Uganda and Rwanda and we know those two countries unlike someone sitting in a Travel Office in Seattle Texas and who has never stepped foot into Africa but act like they know.
You will find this quite helpful as you go on Safari in Uganda or Rwanda.
The Safari Tours Kabiza Wilderness Safari Offers in Uganda Our Safari Tour offerings in the Pearl of Africa – Uganda Kabiza Wilderness Safaris – There is only one thing that we do – Create memorable Safaris in the Pearl of Africa – Uganda We offer quality Better Budget and Luxury Private Safaris in the Pearl of Africa.
Our Safaris include Honeymoon, Birding, Gorilla, Chimpanzee, Family, Fishing, Biking, Hiking safaris in Uganda, combined safaris that include Rwanda and Rwanda Safaris and we have missed the safari that you wanted – we will do so.
We know Uganda and Rwanda, live here, we have driven to every part of both countries, we know the lodges, parks, cultural place, allowing us to create for you the Safari, best for you.
There is only one thing that we do “Create Memorable Safaris in the Pearl of Africa – Uganda and the Land of a Thousand Hills – Rwanda.”
Want more African Safari Tips – Advice – Information -write to us