Uganda the Pearl of Africa as it sometimes referred to and it was named by Sir Winston Churchill, it was name so due to very many unbelievable attractions that inhabit the country and many of which are untouched just waiting for you to explore. Uganda like its neighbor Rwanda is a landlocked country, it has no seaport.
Uganda is an African country which deceits across the equator in Eastern Africa between longitudes 291/2 east and 350 east and between 41/2 south. The country occupies an area of about 236,580sq.km and over 16% is covered by water. Uganda is a sovereign nation and it received its independence from the United Kingdom on October 9th 1962. Uganda neighbors Kenya to the East, DR. Congo to the West, Tanzania and Rwanda to the South and South Sudan to the North.
Uganda is a lavish fertile country with extraordinary scenery with abundant wildlife, thus justifying its depiction ‘’the Pearl of Africa. Its wildlife species is supreme; the country offers more than what you can imagine. It harbors 10 national parks and a big number of game reserves each hosting unique attractions a number of which are u seen elsewhere in the world. The legendary snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains, Dense tropical forest, rolling savannah, fresh water lakes and magnificent waters on the Rive Nile among many others are some of the bizarrely attractions you must not love to miss to see once you take a safari to Uganda with Mum and Dad Uganda Tours.
Uganda’s capital Kampala is just about 47kilometes from the Entebbe international airport the main entry point to Uganda. Kampala is also known as a center to very many tourist tractions and it’s a must stopover to any traveler before enduring to his/her destination.
Uganda Safari Destinations
Uganda’s main safari destination/ national parks a must visit while on a Uganda tour include but not limited to Queen Elizabeth national park known as a home to a wide biodiversity of animal species its known as a famous park for housing the rare tree climbing lions suitable to watch when sited on tree figs or tree blanches. Queen Elizabeth national park is known as one of the most visited Uganda parks, the park is located in the western part of Uganda just a drive of about 6-7 hours’ from the capital city Kampala.
Murchison falls national park is regarded as Uganda’s biggest park located in the North Eastern part of Uganda just a drive of about 6-7 hours from Kampala. The park houses a big number of animal species and birds. The top of the falls on the Nile River is worth to visit while in the park. The Nile River also gives a chance to explore the Nile on a boat for a chance to view more species of animals that live and feed on the river including hippos, crocodiles and many species of birds.
Kibale forest national park Uganda’s re-known park with over 13 specie s of primates, the most known is the Chimpanzees the closest relative to human sharing almost 98% of human DNA make-up, the park is located in the South Western part of Uganda and it’s just about a drive of about 5-6 hours from the capital city Kampala.
Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla forest national parks both parks are known for hosting the rare mountain gorillas which are only inhabited in three African countries including Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Gorilla trekking is known as the most done adventurous safari activity in Uganda attracting a big number of travelers worldwide to the country. Only 8 members are only allowed to visit the gorillas per day after fully paying a gorilla permit of USD750 per person and only one hour is allowed to stay with the gorillas ounce they are met. Both Bwindi and Mgahinga Parks are located in the South Western part of Uganda and they can be reached in a drive of bout 8-9 hour from the capital city Kampala. Very many tourists who visit Uganda come specifically to trek the mountain gorillas in natural habitat.
Lake Mburo national park, this park is known as the most closest park to the capital city Kampala, the park is just a bout 3-4 hours’ drive from Kampala, and its known for hosting a huge number of wildlife species and birds some of which can’t be seen elsewhere in other parks including the zebras
Semulik valley national park, this park is majorly known for its birdlife and primate species, it’s as well as known for its hot springs one of its kind, at the hot spring you can boil the eggs and them fresh.
Kidepo national park is one of the top visited Uganda national park with a lot of many attractions. The park is located in the far northern part of Uganda about 12 hours’ drive from the Kampala capital city. It’s advisable to plan for a 2 days transfer from Kampala, however if interested you can use a charter flight which run from Kajansi in Entebbe to Apoka. The park hosts very many species of wildlife some of which are untouched, it’s known as the less visited park in Uganda due to its remoteness yet it offers a lot and those who have made it to the park can testify to it.
Mountain Rwenzori is also Uganda’s top tourist destinations and it’s referred to as the third tallest mountain in Africa after Mt. Kirimanjaro and Mt. Kenya. Mountain Rwenzori is sometimes known as the snow-capped mountain and the park is located in the south western part of Uganda it offers the best hiking experience unseen elsewhere.
Mountain Elgon is located in the Eastern part of Uganda, the park is most known for better sighting of the Sipi falls one of its kind in Africa. Uganda is gifted by nature and it has a lot to offer, just add Uganda on your must list countries to visit this year with Mum and Dad Uganda Tours you won’t be a regret.
How to reach Uganda?
Uganda has only one international airport known as Entebbe International Airport which is located just about 45km from the capital city Kampala, all international flights land direct to Entebbe airport and there is no airport tax levied on passengers upon boarding at the airport. At the airport, there are very many departure taxes and travelers must pay a departure flight tax of $40 in most cases this fee is included on the airline ticket.
From the airport to down towns in Kampala taxis charges from 4000-7000 UGX, however if you hire from a car rental company pick-up they will charge you between $30-$50 for the 40km from the airport to Kampala Uganda’s capital city. It’s about an hour’s drive from Entebbe airport to the capital city Kampala. The best way to get around the city is by a metered taxi or on motorcycle taxis called boda bodas. Many car rental companies are available; you can book a car on a self-drive or with a driver to take you around the city including 4x4ugandacarrentals an affordable and trustworthy car rentals company
Several international flights land direct to Entebbe international to mention them include the Brussels Airlines, British Airways(BA) , Qatar Airways (QR), Delta airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL), Turkish Airlines (TK), Egypt air(MS) Kenya Airways (KQ) Rwanda air (WB), Fly Dubai (FZ), South African Airways (SAA).
Uganda also has many airstrips which allow charter flight, this means you can reach various destinations in Uganda using chartered flights. You can use the Asante Aviation, Eagle Air, and Aero Link Uganda. All these arrange chartered flights within an hour you reach the destination with the country.
Not only air transport means, but you can also reach Uganda by road from border countries, when in Kenya you can pass via the Busia boarder, for travelers in Rwanda they can enter Uganda via the Gatuna border, there are many buses or public means which are used to connect these neighboring countries to Kampala, from Nairobi in Kenya, Juba in south Sudan, Dar es salaam in Tanzania, Kigali in Rwanda, Bujumbura in Burundi and Goma in the Congo. If you are in any of these countries you can enter Uganda by road transport.
Entry/ Exit Requirements to or from Uganda
No visitor to Uganda is allowed to enter without a legal passport with an expiry date ranging from 6 months and beyond and a return ticket. Visas are very important for most of the visitors to be allowed to enter the country. The Ugandan visas are issued at the Uganda High Commissions and Embassies abroad and also at all Entry/Exist points.
However people from the following countries are visa free including Eritrea, Angola, Antigua, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Swaziland, Grenada, Lesotho, Malta, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Madagascar, Seychelles and Burundi.
In case you are planning to obtain a visa at Entebbe international Airport, you should first confirm in advance that your home airline allows you to board without visa. The cost for a Single entry visa to Uganda is at a fee of $50 and its valid for a period of 3 months and $100 for multiple entries and it’s also valid for 6 months from the date of arrival. In order to avoid disruption and fines, travelers are advised to pay special attentions to the legitimacy of their visas.
Getting Around Uganda
Various ways can be used to travel around Uganda, Uganda has improved transport and communication network. So one can easily travel within the country by using either public or private means; however the means used depends on one’s time limits and budget.
Touring around Uganda is a true adventure, travelling by road is known as the most accessible and probably the cheapest means around Uganda.
Uganda has many car hiring companies which are available to rent you a car either on self-drive or with a driver. With a driver you just sit at the back and leave everything to the driver, while with self-drive your explore Uganda on your own. Buses, taxis, VIP vans and several touring trucks are available to take you around. Motorcycles/Boda bodas as they are locally known can also be used to travel for short distance around the towns in Uganda, they are commonly used to you around the city and other areas and they are situated on various stages.
Self- drive options is available and more suitable for clients who want to explore the country on their own and those who want to drive on their own pace. Many tour operators hiring cars can offer you this service on request, if you need to hire a car on a self-drive, contact us in case you need to go on self-drive tour in Uganda click on 4X4ugandacarrentals for your self-drive car rentals. And in case you need to hire a car with a local driver who will also give you an interpretive commentary while you enjoy the scenic view.
Uganda is known as one of the countries worldwide with a lovely warm tropical client which makes the country visited any time of the year. Uganda’s mean temperatures are between 21o c all year round. The country is characterized of two seasons, the dry season and the wet seasons. The rainy season slower travel and trekking becomes more difficult, the roads become impassable and mountainous areas tend to become much older than the plains and it receives more rains. The rainy season starts from March to May and October to November. Whereas the dry season is from June to October, December up to February. Many travelers prefer travelling during the dry seasons, the fact is, during the runny season, the roads becomes passable even in the remote areas you can navigate well. Not only that, but during the dry seasons, gorilla and chimp trekking are most done during these months, The dry season is also good for wild game viewing, thirsty brings most of the games to the drinking point hence offering nice views and photography. In a nut shell, there is no bad time to visit Uganda, visiting Uganda depends on your interest, what you’re going to do and your budget. Lodges, parks and other facilities are open throughout the year.
Uganda is one of the countries world-wide with a rich culture, the country is gifted with over 50 different languages belonging to five different linguistic. These languages bear some similarities while others are totally different and exclusive in their way of life. The Kyoga forms the northern boundary for the Bantu speaking people who dominate the East, Central and Southern Africa. They include the Baganda who largely dominates the central part of Uganda, mainly known for their strong kingship in Uganda and Baganda constitutes the largest number of people in Uganda.
Other Bantu speaking people include the Batoro speaks Lutoro ,the Banyakole who speaks Lunyankole, the Bakiga speaks Lukiga, they mainly live in the Western part of Uganda while the Basoga speaks Lusoga this Bantu speaking group are manly found in the Eastern side of Uganda. Gishu are part of the Bantu and they mainly live on the slopes of Mt Elgon.
They speak Lumasaba closely related to the Luhya of Kenya. In the north and east live the Lango and the Acholi who mainly speak Nilotic languages and the Iteso and Karamojong. The Batwa Pygmies live isolated in the rainforests of western Uganda.
Uganda has a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from budget, midrange to upmarket type of accommodation. It’s within you to decide on where you will spend your overnights from. Kampala Uganda’s capital city has the highest class hotel and modern conferencing facilities to choose from. In various safari destinations or national parks, you can be accommodated in up-market game lodges, bush camps, beach resort, cabins and campsites offering the best, for more information about lodging please contact Mum and Dad Uganda Tours we shall book for you any accommodation of your choice depending on your destination, interest and budget.
Credit cards are rarely used in remote areas; however, they are mostly used and accepted at major hotels, shopping malls, art galleries and craft markets, as well as good restaurants plus souvenir shops. You will be charged a fee of 5% from you and it’s mechanically added on your bill.
Traveler’s cheques are also used, however this will only be accepted at forex bureaus, and you will be requested to present your passport and a proof of purchase. In most places while on safari, cash is highly used for currency conversion. Always larger USD bills earn a better rate of exchange from 50$ and 100$ bills so carry big notes.
Uganda the pearl of Africa is ranked among the safest countries not only in Africa but also in the entire world, most of Uganda’s parts can be visited safely at any time of year. However you should take a note, although Uganda is ranked among the safest countries, we advise you to take the some precautions, take care of your property and life right from the time you arrive at Entebbe airport, towns and to any designated area.
You should avoid walking alone especially during night, don’t leave your belongings an attended to and out of sight. When hired a vehicle on self-drive keep it locked if you are leaving. When in the parks, don’t move with your important and portable items in the backpacks they are unsafe you can leave them in the hotel.
In case you need to know more about the safety measures, please contact your travel agency or tour guide in the course of your safari they will advise accordingly. In case of anything or emergencies you are advised to report or contact any nearest Uganda police station or you can dial 999 for immediate help.
You are advised to carry your immunization certificate against yellow fever and also cholera immunization certificate when travelling. You are also advised to vaccinate against typhoid, hepatitis, polio, diphtheria, and other recommendation include yellow fever and anti-malarial medication and safety measures for short trips.
Some of the activities like hiking, gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, bungee jumping, canoeing and Kayaking requires some levels of physical fitness. All these activities may pose additional risks someone should undertake them with a lot of carefulness. Clients must be fit and healthy.
Travel insurance covering
You are advised to carry your travel insurance, please talk to your travel agent in your home country about the travel insurance needed prior to your travel dates.
Medical Services in Uganda
Uganda has many public, private hospital as well as clinics which provide 24-hours emergency and ambulance services in most parts of the country, you will be advised accordingly and your travel agent will advise you the best one to be recommended to you in case of any need.
Food & Water
Don’t drink tap water, they are considered unsafe for drinking unless boiled, and you are only recommended to drink bottled water. Soda, beer and alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea are generally considered safe. Fresh fruits and juices are prepared with boiled water so don’t get scared to drink it.
There are very many nice restaurants and hotels which prepare African dishes don’t hesitate to taste African dishes. Many restaurants also prepare Chinese, English, French, Indian, Korean, Turkish and any other. Hygiene at the hotel or restaurants is highly considered. Even Roadside hostels or restaurants and markets places sell decent and fairly priced food.
When driving on the Uganda roads, you are advised not to over speed unless overtaking and where it’s needed. Uganda speed limits on the road are 80km/h on major roads and always mark the sign posts on the roads to avoid getting lost and in case you are confused on where you are going always ask locals. There are many potholes on all high traffic and marram roads so be alert when on the road. On top of that you should be aware of the livestock in the road animals can cross at any time, and you must also be careful when driving in the national parks, you are advised drive at a speed limit of 40km/h for more information you can seek help from game rangers.
Carry clothes which are considered vital to your trip depending on the things to do on the safari. However you should consider caring clothes which makes you comfortable like shorts, skirts, sandals and T-shirts, don’t forget warm clothing and light sweaters. Warm clothing is highly necessary in mountain regions. If you are coming for gorilla and chimp tracking don’t forget to pack long sleeved shirts and blouses as well as strong pair of walking shoes. Swimsuits, hats, sunscreen and sensible walking shoes are also very vital especially when visiting Ssese island beaches and resorts. In case you will need an evening entertainment smart casual clothing will be suitable, suits and ties are warm for business and social get-together.