Travel tips


ENTERING THE COUNTRY


Non-residents of Uganda will be required to purchase a visa when they arrive in Uganda. 90 day Tourist Visas can be obtained at the airport upon arrival at a cost of $50 US Dollars. You must pay in cash US Dollars only and make sure that bills are issued post-2001. Uganda also requires that all visitors are vaccinated against Yellow Fever. While they may not always check, we strongly recommend that you bring proof of this vaccination with you when arriving in the country.

GOVERNMENT

Form of government:Republic
Head of state:President
Legislature:Unicameral legislature
Constituation: 8 October 1995

WEATHER

Uganda is sunny most of the year, with temperatures rarely rising above 29 degrees Celcius / 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The heavy rainy season is March-May, light rainy season November-December, though there will always be a few hours of sunshine. June is usually dry, but showers can still be expected.

LANGUAGE

The official language in Uganda is English. Luganda and Swahili are also widely spoken.

ELECTRICITY

230/245 volts. British-style plugs with three pins are used.

FOOD AND DRINK

Uganda, with its agricultural resource, combined with the conducive climate, produces a wide range of food products. Bananas, millet, maize, sorghum, rice, wheat, sweet potatoes, irish potatoes and cassava grow in abundance. Fruits and other vegetables are also plentiful - watermelon, passion fruits, pineapples, mangoes, tomatoes, aubergine, green peppers. You will probably eat better here than you do at home! Tea and coffee is readily available almost everywhere with coffee houses and cafes conveniently located. Soda (coke, fanta, sprite, bitter lemon, etc) are sold by the (glass) bottle, which are returnable and recycled. Local beer (lagers only) are as good as any international beer and there are many to choose from including - Bell, Club, ESB, Pilsner, Nile Special, Eagle, Castle, Guinness. All are brewed in Uganda, but it is important to remember that these are considerably stronger than what you may be used to.

CURRENCY

The official currency for Uganda is the Uganda Shilling. Ugandan shilling notes of shs 500 and smaller are no longer legal tender and have been replaced with coins (50, 100, 200 and 500). Larger notes are 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000.

Banks and Changing Money

There is a wide array of banks and forex bureau's to choose from, with several international banks represented (Barclays, Standard Chartered, Stanbic). The US dollar and the pound sterling are the strongest currencies used in Uganda and are the easiest to exchange. Us dollar notes dated prior to 2001 are turned away and therefore recommend bringing US dollar notes issued no earlier than 2001. Also, notes smaller than US$50 attract a far lower exchange rate. We suggest you bring cash and/or credit cards with you as traveler check exchange rates are not as competitive. For convenience you may change money at the airport upon arrival however, the airport exchange is not as competitive as forex bureaus in Kampala. We suggest you change only as much as you need to get you you through the first day or so (recommend US$50-100 only).

Credit Cards

Despite what some guidebooks claim, credit cards are not widely accepted and where they can be used, mainly with the larger hotels and companies, hefty surcharges are common. Barclays Bank (open Mon-Fri, 9.00 am - 3.00 pm), however, offers cash advances against credit cards with a small surcharge

Must See Places

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary Ngamba Island is part of the Koome group of islands located on Lake Victoria, 23km southwest of Entebbe, Uganda...