African Safari Tips – Advice – Information for Uganda the Pearl of Africa

Posted by on June 22, 2019

African Safari Tips – Advice – Information for Uganda

Know before you Go – Practical and Helpful African Safari Tips for Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.

Safari – 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 and what activities you would like to take part in such as visiting the Mountain Gorillas on a Trek or spend 4 hours with them on the Gorilla Habituation Experience, Chimpanzee tracking or All-Day Habituation, Volcano Climbing and much more.

Safari Tips and Advice will prepare you for the Safari ahead of you.  We will help you make your time in Africa a success.  It is all about knowing Before you arrive for your Safari in the Pearl of Africa, Uganda.

Know before you go. Know what to expect while on Safari, what to bring, what to wear, entrance requirements for Uganda, health tips, and more. 

Knowing before going enriches your time on Safari. It prepares you ahead of time since you know what to expect.

If you are on Safari with us, feel free to contact us and ask your question you might have.

African Safari Tips – Advice – Information for Uganda

 Planning your African Safari

Planning your activities, planning the safari in Africa also involves preparation at home.  It is good to read about the country that you will be visiting, knowing the requirements about a Safari and of course what to pack and bring for your safari in Africa.

The information we have gathered here will help 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.

Your Safari begins with planning  – You can also use one of the Safaris we have online, and we can tailor it to make it just right for you.

 Getting to Uganda by flying to Entebbe-Uganda or Kigali-Rwanda:

You have to get here, and there are two ways that you can, and that will make things easier on you in regards to drive-times once you get here.

You can fly into Entebbe International Airport and go on Safari with us, most often ending up in Southwest Uganda for Gorilla Trekking.

The other way, especially if you are coming here for Gorilla Trekking only is to fly into Kigali, Rwanda and we take you to Uganda for Gorilla Trekking and other activities such as Chimpanzee Trekking and Wildlife.  This is an option that about 60% are now considering, often flying into one country and flying out of the other.

Most of our Clients choose to fly into Kigali and fly out of Entebbe at the End of their Safari or the other way around cutting down on long drive-times.

 Common Sense:

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 and a bit of patience.

 What about my Tourist Visa:

If your Safari is in Uganda only, then you can apply for a Uganda Tourist Visa online with Uganda Immigration.

Most, however, prefer the more convenient on Arrival Visa at the point of Entry into Uganda. The visa on arrival is not by design but by default since the online system has not been consistent at times

As of January 1 -2018 all Tourists to Rwanda can obtain a Rwanda Tourist Visa on arrival

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 three countries as a tourist.  You must apply to the country that you will be visiting first.

Tourism Visas for Uganda and Rwanda – online or on Arrival.

 Yellow Fever Certificate:

Here you will find the Yellow Fever Immunization requirement for both Uganda and Rwanda.  You are entering the Yellow Fever Zone, a belt that circumvents the world and where yellow fever vaccination is required for entrance into the country.  Both in Rwanda and Uganda, if you want to enter without the certificate, you must receive n inoculation.  It takes ten days for vaccination to be effective.  It is, however, suitable for a lifetime.

There are no reported cases of Yellow Fever in either Rwanda or Uganda.  There was an outbreak in Angola, now contained that started the requirement for Travelers in most East African Countries, before that it was only required if you were coming from a country where yellow fever is endemic.  For 99 % plus of Travelers, this is not a problem. We did have one cancellation due to it.

What document will I need with me while on Safari?

 Documents you should have in your possession for your Safari:

Have one sizeable 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 essential 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 six months after returning to your home country (make a copy of passport)
  • You should have at least two free pages in the passport for each country you are visiting
  • You should have a photocopy 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 Uganda and Rwanda.  Below you will find more information that might come in handy during your time in Africa.

Uganda Money Information

Rwanda Money Information

Tipping in Uganda – Rwanda

What about Health and Well-Being Concerns?

Most people incur no health problems while visiting Uganda or but 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 a sufficient amount of your prescriptions.
2nd set of eyeglasses
Eye-Drops if you wear contacts – we are a bit on the dusty side in Africa.
Preventing Malaria    Using the right Insect Repellent  Preventing Bilharzia

No Client of ours has ever become Ill on Safari, contracted Malaria or any other ailment.  Many have the fear that they will become ill on Safari, which is not the reality.

 Packing for your African Safari:

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 Rid Australian 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 a 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.

 What to wear on Safari:

Keep it simple – Plain and Practical for your comfort while on Safari in Uganda – 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 proper 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 yourself).

The key is casual, every day, 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.

Responsible Tourism Travel Safari Tips for Uganda:

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 role 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, merely practical tips you already adhere to in the West

Pack in and pack out.  On a Gorilla Trek be sure to carry out what you carried in.

Take nothing with you – but memories and pictures – leave nothing behind but footprints.

 Safari Lodging Tips and Advice:

If you look at many itineraries online 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 essential 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 make sure that your stay at a lodge is satisfactory.

Safari Food and Meals:

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 lodges will be ok 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.

Taste of Uganda

Vegan or Vegetarians on Safari

 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 a budget and many moderate lodges you are served instant with powdered milk and sugar.  Here is our Solution.

Safari Driver or Tour Guide?

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 hand-pick the tour guides based on their experience, and we use the feedback from our clients.

Customer service and satisfaction are 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.

 Tipping Practices on Safari:

Tipping is showing one’s gratitude for excellent service.  Uganda and Rwanda are both culturally non-tipping countries.

Fortunately, Visitors of Uganda think differently in most cases.  Here you will find help in what is a right tip, for lodge and restaurant staff while on a Safari.

What to tip a ranger that takes you gorilla trekking, or on a game drive.  Often our clients write to us about tipping.

Most of what you need to know is found here.

Those in the tourism industry forget at times that tips are not an entitlement but an acknowledgment for excellent service that has been given.  We do not have a list of minimum tips and find such in bad taste bordering on greediness. This is especially true when it comes to Gorilla Trekking.

 Gorilla Trekking Tips and Advice:

Most Safari Goers want to take in Gorilla Trekking in either Uganda or Rwanda.  Gorilla Trekking is different from a wildlife Safari in Uganda or other parts of Africa.

It takes some different preparations, things to know about and how to get permits for your Trek.

In Uganda, there is also the exclusive, one of a kind all day Gorilla Habituation Experience where you spend 4 hours with a Gorilla Family.  We also have tips and advice for that activity.

Gorilla Trekking can be done in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda.

Gorilla Trekking is different from other safari activities, and it is best to be informed, to know before you go on a trek.

Gorilla Habituation Experience Tips and Advice:

 Safari Safety and Security:

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 the form of our Tourism Police, and when you go on a game drive, an armed ranger is with you.

There are no Guerillas on a Safari only Mountain Gorillas.  Gorilla Trekking, like other Safari activities in Uganda, is safe. There have been no security incidents in Uganda.

The safest place to be in Uganda is on a safari. Your driver-guide and our staff will do our best to make your safari in Africa a safe one.

Safaris in Uganda remain safe and secure, in part due to the security precautions by the government.

 Kabiza Wilderness Safaris – our Safaris 

Our Safaris include Honeymoon, Gorilla, Chimpanzee, Family,  Hiking safaris in Uganda, combined safaris that include Uganda Rwanda Safaris and we have missed the safari that you wanted – we will do so.

We know Uganda and Rwanda, we live here, we have driven to every part of both countries, we know the lodges, parks, cultural places, 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 that we do “Hakuna Matata Style” meaning no-worries, leave that to us.

We do not dabble in selling Safaris all over Africa, Uganda is our Focus.  Our Safaris extend into Rwanda since Kigali is often our starting point for a Safari, especially for Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

We know Uganda, and beyond the Guidebooks, Forums, Blogs, we live and work here.


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