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Uganda is a landlocked country located in East-central Africa. The Republic of Uganda is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the north by South Sudan, to the South by Tanzania and to the south-west by Rwanda. The country is located on the East African plateau and lies in the African Great Lakes Region, as its southern part is dominated by a substantial portion of Lake Victoria. Uganda mostly lies between latitudes 4°N and 2°S and longitudes 29° and 35°E. It has an average of about 1,100 meters (3609 ft) above sea level.
Kampala Is the capital city of Uganda, and Is also the largest city in the country. Kampala was ranked the 13th fastest growing city in the world, with an annual population growth rate of 4.03% by city mayors. Mercer, a global development consulting agency based in New York recently ranked Kampala the best city to live in, ahead of Kigali and Nairobi. Situated in the southern part of the country, north of Lake Victoria, the city was originally built on seven hills but its size has since increased to occupy more hills. The original seven hills are; Kibuli hill, Mengo hill, Kasubi hill, Namirembe hill, lubaga hill, Nsambya hill and Kampala hill.
Although Uganda’s current political temperature is at fever-pitch, cases of political instability, strikes and uprisings are a rare occasion. Because of the rebel operations in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda is considered to be vulnerable to attack yet cases of terrorism and organised crime are unheard of in the country. Also, the increase of police on the streets has reduced reported incidents of crime by half in the Kampala metropolitan area. In spite of all the policies and measures put in place by the government to curb crime and guarantee safety, tourists and visitors are encouraged to take safety precautions and also deliberately watch out for their personal belongings especially when in public places. Uganda is generally viewed as a safe, secure and politically stable country in the region.
Uganda is a remarkable tourist destination. Basing on the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) annual performance report statistics, Uganda registered 1.32 million tourist arrivals in 2017. The recorded boarder posts reveal a 4.1% increase in tourism traffic from the previous years. In 2016, the country received an estimated one million tourists. According to the 2017 Uganda Tourism Board report, majority of the tourist arrivals were from Africa. 79.2% of the tourists came from Africa, 8.3% came from Europe, 5.5% came in from Asia and 5.4 % were from America. Rwanda contributed the highest number of arrivals with 362,865 individuals registered. Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan followed in line. The average number of tourists who visit Uganda annually can be rated at an estimate one million individuals.
The nature of your safari or choice tour package should determine the time you decide to visit Uganda. The country’s raised topography makes the climate relatively cool throughout the year. For the best tourism experience, Uganda is divided into seasons; the months of June – August and December – February are considered to be the best time for visiting all the parks. The months of June – September are regarded as ‘high season’. The months of March – May and October – November are considered ‘low season’ because of the heavy rainfalls. June – July and January – February have little rainfall, making a great time to explore Uganda. The best time to go gorilla trekking is during the year’s main dry season; January – February and June – September. As for game viewing, the best time for the adventure is at the end of the dry season; February – March and September – October when wildlife is concentrated around water sources. Birding can be done throughout the year but it is at its peak between November and April when migrant species are present. Also, it is best not to travel to Uganda during the heavy rains of April and May.
In Uganda, mountain gorillas can only be trekked in two parks; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park situated in south-western region and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also found in the south-Western region. As of the year 2018 – 2019, the price of a gorilla trekking permit has been set to 600 dollars per person for foreign non-residents, 500 dollars per person for foreign residents living in Uganda, and 250,000 Uganda shillings per person for Ugandans and other people from the East African community.
Mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done in Volcanoes National Park. As of May 2017, the price of a trekking permit was raised from 750 dollars to 1500 dollars per person. The price of a mountain gorilla trekking permit can be reduced when a person chooses to engage in a safari that comprises of a visit to three of Rwanda’s National Parks. For example, if a person is visiting Volcanoes National Park, Nyugwe National Park and Akagera National Park, they are given a 30% discount on their gorilla trekking permit. Mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda is best done during the dry season; from the months of June – September and January – February. These are the driest months in the year, yet the climate in the Virungas is typically dump throughout, with day time temperatures averaging 10 degrees Celsius.
You can embark on a Uganda safari holiday any time since the country’s climate is relatively cool throughout the year. For the best experience however, you can decide to travel to Uganda in a particular season, depending on the choice of your tour package. The best time to go gorilla trekking for instance is during the year’s main dry season; January – February and June – September. As for game viewing, the best time for the adventure is at the end of the dry season; February – March and September – October when wildlife is concentrated around water sources. Birding can be done throughout the year but it is at its peak between November and April when migrant species are present. Also, it is best not to travel to Uganda during the heavy rains of April and May.
Anyone travelling to Uganda needs to apply for a visa unless they are coming from a visa-exempt country. You can apply for a visa online or you can go to a Uganda embassy in your country of residence. Though most people prefer applying for a visa at an embassy, the process is less tasking when you decide to use the online iVisa service. The application process can take an estimate 15 minutes and your visa can arrive in your e-mail inbox within one business day. The iVisa service has an excellent support service, you are guaranteed help 24/7.
The processing time for a Uganda visa varies from 4 – 1 working days, depending on the cost you are willing to pay:
• Standard processing time; for this option, your visa application is processed within 4 working days. At the cost of $86.30, this stands as the cheapest option.
• Rush processing time; for this option, your visa application is processed within 2 business days. At the cost of $116.30, this option provides faster processing.
• Super rush processing time; this is the fastest available option, your visa is processed and sent your e-mail inbox in one business day at the cost of $150.30.
The type of visa you choose also determines how much you pay for it. The visa type is also available in three options; the Uganda tourist visa, the Uganda transit visa and the East Africa visa. The cost for the tourist and transit visas is the same. The costs described above, according to the processing time apply to both the Uganda tourist visa and the Uganda transit visa. The East Africa visa is slightly more expensive than the other two since it grants you access to all the East African countries. It costs; $148 for standard processing time, $178 for rush processing time and $213 for super rush processing time.
Before you start applying for a Uganda visa, there are certain items you need to have in hand since without them, your application cannot be successful;
• Passport; you must have a passport which holds validity for at least another 6 months from the date of your arrival in Uganda.
• Copy of the passport’s information page.
• Passport sized photo
• Yellow fever vaccination certificate; without this certificate , you are subjected to mandatory yellow fever vaccination when you arrive in Uganda.
Other quarantine measures may also be taken. Also, children under the age of 5 must be given a polio vaccination.
Uganda is a haven of wonders. Because of the country’s astounding beauty and myriad attractions, Sir Winstone Churchill branded Uganda the ‘Pearl of Africa’. Among Uganda’s notable attractions is; half of the world’s population of the endangered mountain gorillas, the source of the world’s longest river – the eminent river Nile, the prominent Rwenzori mountains, a great population of the endangered chimpanzees, and 10 grand national parks – the home of Uganda’s massive wildlife population. Also, the country Is celebrated for its political stability, conducive climate for the most part of the year, and its hospital citizens – the people of Uganda are kind and welcoming.
Uganda is a renowned wildlife hub. The country has a massive population of wildlife spread across its national parks, forest reserves, wildlife reserves, and savannas. Uganda has a population of over; 1062 notable bird species, 364 mammal species, 13 primate species, including a noteworthy population of more than 5000 chimpanzees and 400 mountain gorillas (almost half of the world’s population of these endangered species). Besides the innumerable wildlife species, the country has a numerous number of lakes, rivers, hot springs, waterfalls, forests and mountains. You encounter most of these attractions as you explore the various game parks. Uganda is a marvel of wonders.
Most of Uganda’s wildlife is concentrated in its protected areas – the national parks, situated in the various regions of the country. Uganda has 10 national parks including; Queen Elizabeth National Park – Uganda’s most visited park and a designated biosphere reserve for humanity under UNESCO auspices, Murchison Falls National Park – the home of the raging Murchison Falls and Uganda’s largest park covering 3877 sq km, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – the home of almost half of the world’s population of the endangered mountain gorillas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kidepo Valley National Park – Uganda’s most remote national park and one of Africa’s finest wildernesses, Semuliki National Park – the only park in Uganda primarily composed of tropical lowland forest, Kibale National Park – Uganda’s primate hub, Rwenzori Mountains National Park – the location of the grand Rwenzoris, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Lake Mburo National Park – Uganda’s smallest national park and the location of the ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks.
Yes, you can bring your children on a Uganda safari. Travel monkey tours and travels has safari packages custom-made to favor your entire family. Besides the already existing packages, you can imagine your ideal safari and we create it for you. Also, most of Uganda’s safari destination have family cottages, lodges and tree houses with state of the art facilities to give your children and the entire family a memorable experience. Uganda has standard social amenities to guarantee a comfortable stay for your children while on a safari.
We recommend you book your safari as early as possible; 3 – 6 months in advance to avoid inconveniences that come with late and last minute bookings. During high seasons; July – September and December – January, there is a high competition and massive traffic in bookings, one cannot be guaranteed a place. It is advisable for you to book early especially if you are travelling during high season since most safaris sell out ahead of departure dates.
Yes, there are provision made for travelers with disability. If notified in advance and at an extra cost, any of our tailor-made safari packages can be arranged to suit your needs and guarantee you an amazing experience in spite of your disability. Besides your professional travel guide, an experienced care-taker is hired to ensure you are comfortable throughout your safari trip. If you use a wheel chair, we advice you bring your own small, collapsible chair and a repair kit in case it has to be fixed at some point. Also, you should have an adequate supply of your drugs and a prescription to fill out in case of an emergency.
You do not need to be gymnast to enjoy a typical Uganda safari. You however have to be in a good health condition to be able to enjoy most of the safari activities, especially those that involve hiking and trekking through the country’s vast forest reserves and national parks. Before selecting tour packages like the Rwenzori mountains trekking tour, you have to be an active person, with an active style and the ability to comfortably participate in 6 – 8 hours of daily physical activity. There are also less exerting excursions to favor the average outdoor lover.
A safari to Uganda should be a casual affair – your opportunity to wear whatever you feel like, from shorts to jeans, dresses, sleeveless tops, and all sorts of comfortable clothing. Because of the dump and cold weather that dominates most parks in the early mornings, evenings and nights, we advice you carry warm and long-sleeved clothing. A pair of sunglasses, garden gloves, a scarf and a good hat, are the other things you can consider wearing while on a Uganda safari.
Generally rated, Uganda is a safe country for tourists but we recommend you take general and personal health precautions. To avoid mosquito bites, we advice you carry a mosquito repellent to use while on your safari and also carry long-sleeved shirts and trousers to wear, especially in the evening. Our safari guides ensure that our clients sleep under bed nets during the nights. We advice that you carry your assortment of drugs if you have any form of chronic disease. Also, Uganda has standard health centers and hospitals where you can receive medical attention in case of an emergency.
A typical Uganda safari means encountering the African wildernesses and jungles. As you travel to Uganda, you should consider packing your ‘survival’ kit and assortment of personal necessities. The things you could consider carrying include; a hat, rain gear, suntan lotion, mosquito repellent, warm clothing, flash light, toiletries, sandals, swimsuit, hiking boots, camera, binoculars, a basic medical kit, and all items of a personal nature. Also, you can consider carrying enough cash to use for making personal purchases and also to use in case of an emergency.
Averagely rated, Uganda has a good internet connection. Most of the country’s up-market accommodation facilities and public places have a free wi-fi access. Also, you can carry with you a phone that allows GRPS, buy a local sim card and purchase as much data as you want. Uganda’s internet connection is good enough to allow you; Skype, watsapp and connect to all social networks. You can also download anything, update your website, blog and make all the transactions you want with much ease.
Because of the hazardous effects of smoking, it is not allowed in public places and our safari vehicles. But because Travelmonke aims at giving everyone of our clients a great experience, the safari driver assigned to you can make regular stops along the way for you to enjoy a cigarette. The stops are made at designated areas with restroom facilities for you to ease yourself. Also, there is much room to smoke while in the vast spaces and wildernesses offered by most of Uganda’ national parks.
You can shop as much as you want while on a Uganda safari. Uganda has all kinds of shopping centers ranging from vast malls, to supermarkets, shops and crafts centers. You can purchase; clothes, toiletries, refreshments and everything you need to guarantee you comfort while on your safari. A safari to Uganda is incomplete without purchasing a souvenir from any of the crafts shops found in the national parks and various safari destinations. Most of the craft items are made from authentic African fibre and natural materials.
Do not hesitage to give us a call. We are an expert team and we are happy to talk to you.
+256 701 483088