FAQS (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You are required to purchase a tourist visa before you enter Uganda. However citizens from the 33 countries http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Uganda can visit Uganda without a visa for up to 3 months. Tourist visas can be bought in advance at one of the Ugandan Embassies abroad see contacts for Ugandan Embassies worldwide or simply purchased upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport or at any overland border. Photos are not required and a Uganda tourist visa costs US$ 50 per person for up to 90 days stay in Uganda. There is a planned introduction of a single entry visa for the East African Community member states.
As a way to mitigate contact and long queues at the immigrations, all travelers are now mandated to make online visa applications and payments using this link: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/
The decision taken on the application will be sent electronically through the email provided by the applicant, once approved, an approval letter will be sent as an attachment to the email provided. Print it out and present it together with a valid passport / travel document at the port of entry or Airport.
Information about documents required in the online visa application can be found at the foolowing link: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/#/help/visa
Some of the documents require for the tourist visa single entry include: Passport copy (bio-data page), Recent Passport-size Photograph, Vaccination Certificate (Yellow Fever) and Visa fees -$50 per person.
An East African Tourist Visa (multiple – entry) to Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda can also be obtained the same way – on line at $100 dollars per person.
We strongly recommend that you take out all the necessary Travel Insurance before commencing on your journey. However, we can assist with local insurance companies to cover health, baggage and any other insurance related issues.
Ganyana Safaris is registered with AMREF Flying Doctors a company, wholly owned by the African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), an international non-government organization based in Kenya, which is the largest and best-known air ambulance service in the region. AMREF Flying Doctors provides 24 hour emergency air ambulance evacuations in East Africa and, where clearance can be obtained, beyond. It has a low cost Emergency Air Evacuation package specifically tailored for Tour operators and their clients. The tourist Evacuation Scheme is a thirty day cover offering you total peace of mind and is hassle-free to acquire yet at a minimal cost. The objective of this scheme is to ensure that clients receive the best and professional medical evacuation services in the case of a medical emergency. Interested tourists can let us know whether to include the scheme on their itinerary.
Only a few banks accept ATM cards or Visa credit cards for money withdrawal in Uganda. While you can withdraw a limited amount of cash per day from ATM machines in Kampala, there are very few opportunities to withdraw cash once you are on safari in Uganda. Credit cards can be used only in major Hotels and Forex Bureau.
Speke Uganda Holidays also accepts payments by credit card
A handful of places in Uganda accept MasterCard. In addition to cash, we suggest you bring a Visa debit card.
You can cancel your tour at any time prior to departure. The date of receipt at Ganyana safaris is the decisive factor for our cancellation policy. Kindly declare any cancellation in written form. For cancellation of the travel contract prior to departure as well as any cases of non-participation on the tour, the following cancellation charges are asserted:
- 40 days + prior to departure: 15% of total amount
- 39 to 22 days prior to departure: 30% of total amount
- 21 to 15 days prior to departure: 60% of total amount
- 14 to 6 days prior to departure: 80% of total amount
- 5 to 0 days prior to departure: 100% of total amount
Ganyana Safaris provide open roofed 4WD (four wheel drive) safari vehicles for all our tours. Our comfortable Land Cruisers seat two to six people. Vehicles all have a pop-up roof for game viewing. We also own 4WD Toyota Minivans which can take a maximum of 9 people. To ensure that everybody has a window seat to enjoy the best views of Uganda, we usually limit the number of people to 7 in these 4WD safari vans. Limiting the number of people per vehicle also means plenty of legroom and luggage storage. The challenging condition of the roads means that safari vehicles are well serviced by SUH company mechanics after every trip. For larger groups we run these in 4×4
Safari accommodations in Uganda fall into three categories: budget, mid-range or luxury. Budget accommodation may be simple and basic rooms, bandas or tents, with double/twin beds and mosquito nets when necessary. Private bathrooms are not always available and you may have to share bathroom facilities. Some lodges use solar power since some areas do not have electricity and are located in the game parks with eco friendly toilets. 3-star, 4-star and 5-star accommodation offer comfortable rooms or luxury furnished safari tents with a private bathroom. Flush toilets and hot or cold running water are available. Mosquito nets will be provided where necessary. The majority of safari lodges and hotels are small-scale, offering a unique location, ambiance and usually have a maximum of eight rooms.
At the moment no increase in VAT has been implemented. We are waiting for July 2014 when the budget will be read to hear the verdict on that.
We offer tailor-made safaris for any number of participants. We offer fixed departure Tours with a minimum of 4 Pax. The larger the group, the more attractive the price will be.
Single travelers are very welcome! However, to minimize your costs we would suggest joining a group. Although we can try and arrange this for you, we cannot guarantee we can find a group whose interests, budget and preferred route correspond to yours, especially during low season. If you would like to stay in a single room please notify us well in advance and we will try to meet your request. Please bear in mind that single rooms are not common and it is more likely that you will be offered single occupancy of a double room. A single room supplement will apply.
If you are interested in Chimp trekking in Uganda you are required to buy a chimp permit. These permits cost differently according to where the trekking is to be done. Kibale National Park is most popular for chimp trekking and a permit costs $150, in Kyambura located in Queen Elizabeth National Park a chimp permit will cost $50 and in Kaniyo $60. Chimp trekking can be done in the morning or afternoon. Chimp Permits quotes are usually included in our Tour Qu
The minimum age for Chimp trekking is 12years. Some National parks like Kibale National Park have children activities for children below the age of 12 years to keep them busy as their parents go for chimp trekking. A team of well trained and experienced ranger guides teach them about the ecosystem and its inhabitants through interesting walks, games and creative activities.
Officially, Uganda’s dry seasons are from December/January through to mid March and from June through to mid-September. These dry months are the most popular with tourists, with July, August, Christmas and New Year being the peak seasons. However, Uganda has an equatorial climate, with daily temperatures varying between 20°c and 27°c and a minimum average temperature of 18°c, though the temperatures can sometimes dip to 12°c. The highest temperatures are usually in the north of the country while the lowest occur on the peaks of Mount Rwenzori. Most parts of Uganda receive an average annual rainfall of between 1,000mm and 2,000mm, with the North having some areas with the average annual rainfall as low as 100mm.
Nonetheless you can trust that after rain comes sunshine!
Uganda is a safe country for gay and lesbian travelers. However, it is a conservative country and we do recommend discretion.
How much to tip in Uganda depends entirely on your level of satisfaction of course, but even a small tip to show your gratitude will be highly appreciated. You might consider $10 per day if you are happy with the service of your safari guide and 5-10% tip in up market hotels and restaurants
A number of different vaccinations are recommended and/or required before entering Uganda. A certificate proving you have had the Yellow Fever vaccination is advisable for entry into Uganda if you plan to Visit Northern Uganda for more than 2 weeks. Immunizations against DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and Hepatitis A are recommended as well. Besides bringing mosquito repellent, we also advise you to take malaria ‘prophylactics’ (prevention medication).
Before you depart for gorilla trekking, the national parks administration office will call for an early morning meeting. Since more than 8 visitors would disturb the gorillas, the participants will be divided into groups. Besides you receive important introductions and rules like:
- A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group of habituated gorillas in a day, to minimize behavioral disturbances to the gorilla and the risk of their exposure to human bone diseases.
- Do not leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back with you.
- Take pictures WITHOUT flash (choose appropriate photo equipment, as it is very dark in the forest)
- Move quietly and avoid noises as well as sudden movements.
- Stay with the group and sit or kneel up.
- Try to keep a minimum distance of 7 meters to the animals.
- While viewing gorillas, smoking or feeding is not permitted.
- Please do not respond on touches of gorillas but move slowly backwards.
- In case of any problems with the Silverback (attacks) strictly follow the ranger’s instructions.
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You are unlikely to fall sick while you are in Uganda but do take all recommended preventive measures. If you take any regular medication, please bring it with you. Take your Malaria medication as directed – before, during and possibly after – your visit to Uganda (depending on the Malaria prophylactic you take). Although HIV/AIDS infection rates are lower than many countries in Africa, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS infection is certainly higher than in most Western countries. Therefore play safe. Please take your sexual health seriously.