Practical information and Travel checklist for tourists to Uganda
Official Name: Republic of Uganda
Area: 236,580 sq km
Population: approximately 32.000.000 (est)
Largest cities, with population Kampala 1,246,000 (2003)
Jinja 86,520 (2002)
Mbale 70,437 (2002)
Entebbe 57,518 (2002)
Roman Catholic 41 percent
Anglican 40 percent
Ethnoreligionists or indigenous beliefs 4 percent
Muslim 5 percent
Others 10 percent
English (official), Luganda, Swahili, other Bantu and Nilo-Saharan languages Lake Kyoga forms northern boundary for the Bantu-speaking peoples, who dominate much of east and central and southern Africa and, in Uganda, include the Buganda, and several other tribes like Busoga, and Bagishu. In the north live the Lango (near Lake Kyoga) and the Acholi (towards the Sudanese border), who speak Nilotic languages. To the east are the Iteso and Karamojong, who are related to the Maasai and who also speak Nilotic languages. Pygmies live in the forest of the west.
It is nice to speak a few words in Luganda when you visit Uganda. It will be respected a lot and you will find out that you will get much more things done. Hereby a list of some words in Luganda:
Good evening/ good night
I am from ...
Nva mu ...
How far is it?
Kiri wala wa
What is your name?
Amannya go gw'ani?
My Name is...
Have a nice day!
How are you?
I am fine!
Where do you come from?
Ova mukitundu ki?
I am fro...
Nva mu ...
Do you speak English?
Can you repeat that?
You can buy your Uganda visa (US $ 50,-) at Entebbe airport. This is valid for 90 days. Please note that your passport has to be valid for 6 months upon departure from Uganda. This is an exception for East African Residents.
If travelling from the tropics, Do not forget to carry your Yellow Fever vaccination card.
When you travel from Uganda to Kenya and/or Tanzania, upon your return to Uganda within 90 days, your visa for Uganda is still valid.
However, if you travel from Uganda to Rwanda, upon your return to Uganda, you have to buy a new visa for Uganda.
Your Rwanda Visa should be bought in advance to avoid hours of waiting at the border (price depends on nationality).
Clients are advised to give a fair, reasonable tip to the local guides, cleaners, drivers etc. Tipping is very important but we can never force clients to tip, as it is voluntary. Our advice for local crew is the following:
5-10 dollars per person per day
5 dollars for half a day (3-4 hours) 10 dollars per day, 1 dollar for porters hotels
Rangers and guides:
10 -15 dollars in total (divided by amount of persons)
5 - 10 % (In cheap restaurants 10%, in expensive restaurants a bitt less)
1 - 2 dollars per person per night
We advise you to bring a bag or suitcase made of soft material. Hard cover suitcases are difficult to place in the car and are likely to break on the bumpy roads in Uganda
What to bring
Before the trip:
- Check your flights and print boarding pass (frequent flyer pass) or bring ticket
- Check if your passport is still valid for 6 months or more
- Get all medical requirements (malaria profilax and injections)
- Get your travel- medical and/ or cancellation insurances.
- Bring a copy of your passport
- Bring your yellow vaccination book
- Get the phone number of your embassy in Uganda
- Bring important phone numbers from home
- Don't forget your wallet, ATM/ credit cards and money
- When you are on medication, bring your medication in a small box or bag. Bring a book/ magazines, some snacks, ear plugs, neck pillow for during the flight
During the trip:
- Flip flops
- Hiking boots
- 2 Long trousers
- 3 Short trousers
- 2 Long sleaved T- shirts
- 5 Short sleaved T-shirts
- 1 or 2 blouses/ shirts
- Swimming costume
- 1 warm sweater
- Rain jacket
- 1 towel
- Small day pack
- Travel guide
- Pocket knife
- Water bottle
- Pen/ pencil + book note
- Money belt
There are several mobile providers including MTN, Vodaphone and Aitel. You can purchase a SIM card for relatively low cost (5 us dollar). Sim cards and airtime for the 3 competitive companies are available all over Uganda. Make sure that your phone is Sim- Lock- Free.
The country code for Uganda is +256
Internet cafés are found all around the country and are now even to be found in remote areas. Realize that internet speed is extremely slow. If you bring your own laptop you can buy a 3 GB wireless internet stick from either orange or MTN. Internet is relativaly quick. Costs for this stick is about 100 us dollar per month (minimum 1 month). This stick can be bought in Entebbe, Jinja and Kampala.
Plugs and Voltage
British-style plugs with three pins: 240 V,50 Hz