Before you Visit Uganda, Here is Everything you need to know before you take that flight or Road Trip! Including Basic Language Translations Recording!
ESSENTIAL Update on Visa Applications below!
Have you ever dreamt of visiting Africa? Specifically, Uganda? Before you visit Uganda, there are a few things we advise you know for a fun, safe and stress free trip. And we can tell you when you do visit Uganda, your life will be changed forever…
Uganda is a beautiful pearl in East Africa, with so much to offer both local and international visitors.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Uganda is a beautiful pearl in East Africa #visituganda #Africa” quote=”Uganda is a beautiful pearl in East Africa”]
But before you take off for Uganda, you need to know what to do, where to stay, Visa requirements, where to go, and how to avoid any tourist scams for a safe trip.
Not forgetting necessary health requirements and your First Aid Kit, like any new destination you may be visiting.
We intend in this post to kit you out with all the basics you need to know before you visit Uganda!
When to Visit Uganda:
Okay, here is the deal, you are going to a Africa not the end of the world and any time is Uganda time.
Yet for many, a visit to Uganda could be for any number of reasons. Could be work related, or may be a DreamTrip. Might it be a city escape in Kampala, a safari in Mweya, a trek to the peak of the Mountains of the Moon or a combination of all of the above!
The seasons are not that much of a hustle to be honest unless you are allergic to Warm…Okay, okay; Dreamy HOT weather.
Uganda has two seasons the dry season and rainy season…They won’t change your fun trip unless you want them to!
Unless you intend to visit in the rain season for research purposes, in which case do your research in advance to ensure you have the kind of trip you intended!
Quick Tip: You won’t need your winter fleece 😉
For Your Adventure or Game Safaris: The best time for this is the weaning aka baby season which is also the dry season. Unless you love muddy splats and boots! We dont want you ruining those cool brogues.
So, target January-March. Or wait for June – September for the cooler back end of the rain season.
If you are visiting family like we usually do, anytime is Uganda time! 😊
Mountains of The Moon and Gorilla Treks: Seriously there is no best time, you can go mountain climbing all year round. However, the Gorilla’s in Mgahinga Forrest may need a more specific time. The wet, rainy season around Easter time; March – May is the very best. It’s also a lil cooler so you won’t be fainting from heat!
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Birdwatching: September though to April is totally cool for the Bird watcher. You will love catching sight of the now less visible Crested Crane. Uganda’s National Flag mascot.
[clickToTweet tweet=”September through to April is totally cool for the Bird watcher. #birdwatchinginuganda” quote=”September through to April is totally cool for the Bird watcher.”]
And frankly you can visit the Capital Kampala all year round. It’s crazy, it can be dusty like most African Cities. Kampala grows on you and soaks into your soul. We guarantee you that!
Watch out for those Boda-Boda drivers…If you have been to India, they are similar to Tuk-Tuk drivers. Crazy #Bornofthesamemama 😊
Before You Visit Uganda – Where to Go:
We imagine that like most travellers to Uganda, you will first arrive in Entebbe, then you might go on to Kampala.
If thats not your destinaton, you could allow for a couple of days in the capital, yes? Take in the vibrant, jolly, friendly, night life in Kampala, before you head off to that safari or whatever the reason for your visit.
Head on to Ange Noir or Silk Club in the industrial area, to get your dance swag on!
For our adventure and thrill seekers definitely go read our post on Adventure Safari in Uganda. We got you covered with details of where to stay, what to do, where to eat, activities etc.!
You will get your game drive/safari on in Uganda. You could either make your way to Sipi falls or Mweya Safari lodge. Any number of National Parks and game reserves.
Maybe you want to visit the Mabira Forests and see them cheeky monkeys. Maybe your dream is to see the source of the Nile river…Whatever your plan, Uganda has you covered. Go read that post.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Whatever your plan, Uganda has you covered. #visitUganda #Adventuresafaris” quote=”Whatever your plan, Uganda has you covered.”]
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Visas, Currency, Health & Language:
Before You Travel: Be sure to check that you have at least 6 months left before the expiry of your Visa for whichever country you currently reside. For instance, make sure your student visa to UK is still valid 6 months from date of your return.
Make sure your passport is still valid of course.
Get your Jabs and Immunisations: Refill your prescriptions, injections/medication, and routine vaccinations. Be sure to get that Yellow fever jab and take that vaccination yellow booklet with you. You can also get the Typhoid, Cholera and Hepatitis A & B top ups.
You MUST TAKE your anti malaria tablets. Trust us when we say Malaria is a bloody pain in the arse…Excuse the french! Not fun.
You could be quarantined when you get back to your country of residence, for months if you take it back as a memento of your trip. Check with your GP for all the above details.
Dont forget your First Aid Kit!
Kampala grows on you and soaks into your soul. #adventuresafaris #visitkampala Click To Tweet
Visa requirements: ESSENTIAL UPDATE
Visa applications to Uganda are now required to be submitted online.
The Uganda High Commission scrapped paper applications and the issuance of visas on arrival at Entebbe. Here is the Portal for application purposes.
Yellow Fever Certificates are now a mandatory requirement and must be uploaded alongside the visa application (by British or Ugandan passport holders). A yellow fever certificate costs from anywhere around £50. Learn more here, information Courtesy of Lillian Nalumansi!
Prior to the above conditions, If you are a national of United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Europe and Australia, an entry visa could be obtained at port of entry at $50 USD. Not any more.
If you will be visiting another East African Country, and are a US national you could obtain a multiple-entries visa online. Not sure if you can do this at port of entry at $100 USD anymore.
Please don’t take our word for it, be sure to check with your embassy or consulate for the most up to date immigration or tourist requirements and information.
Currency: Uganda Shilling (UGX). You can buy some at various Forex Bureaus in Kampala or Entebbe airport before you head off to your jaunts! The top end hotels and establishments accept USD and Visa payments.
Ugandas are quite laid back, friendly and welcoming to international travellers. Yet like any destination, if you are well armed with a few of the local etiquettes, your trip will be so much richer.
Avoid touching others of the opposite sex in public as this may offend some locals, particularly in busy cities. Or attract the wrong attention.
Avoid taking taxis or “Special Hire” without a meter. Our advice is you must insist on an agreed price in Ugandan Currency before embarking on your journey.
Women should dress modestly – especially in the city centre, and lower Kampala areas. Or you may attract unwanted attention and people may not mind the “free show.”
Avoid drinking unbottled water or any juices that aren’t made with bottled water. BUT How would you know? So avoid fresh juices from open markets period. Neither should you use ice-cubes from places you don’t trust!
English is not only the official langiage, it is also widely spoken. Yet one may be easily confused when in Kampala to think that: Luganda a local dialect may be the national languange! As it is definitely spoken by almost everyone.
I speak 4 Languages myself.
Uganda has over 50 languages, you see. Plus in many places Swahili is also spoken. And most vendors speak it, albeit broken. Because swahili is considered more of the “Soldiers Lingo” explanation in short audio below.
The thing is, Swahili is actually spoken all over East Africa that is; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. It is the national language of Tanzania and Kenya! It is less spoken in Burundi and Rwanda.
Below are some phrases that could make your stay in Uganda an interesting experience. I just did the job for you, you don’t need Google translate!
It would be more fun to watch the locals faces go wow when you communicate as below:
Some Basic Swahili:
Yes – Ndio
Hello – Habari (Ha-BAH-ri)
I am Fine – Muzuri
No – Hapana
Thank You – Asante
You are welcome – Karibu or Karibuni
Food – Chakula
Drink – Maji
How Much does it cost – Pesa Ngapi
Some Basic Luganda:
Yes – Yee or Kale
Hello – Olyotya
I am Fine – Gyendi
No – Nedda
Thank You – Weebale
You are welcome – Kale
Food – Mmere
Drink – Mazzi
How Much does it cost – Sente Mmeka
The above Phrases or words have been recorded for you to learn the right pronouncement below. 🙂 Enjoy xoxo
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES BEFORE YOU VISIT UGANDA:
YOUR SMART TRAVEL GUIDE. Its one thing to want a vacation, its another to HAVE AN ENJOYABLE ONE. This Guide will walk you thru the steps to help you do just that, and enjoy more getaways than ever. – LEARN MORE.
ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO TRAVELING WITH KIDS. Never stress again with what to take, how to keep them occupied. How to maintain their routine etc. This is our definitive guide from years of traveling with our children who are now both teenagers. – LEARN HOW.
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Dr. Paul Kalungi
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36 thoughts on “EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU VISIT UGANDA.”
Good post. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi–I hope travelers to Uganda will go on to Malawi, too.
Wow thats amazing Lisa, Malawi is a good choice as well. We havent been yet 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion!
Thanks for sharing this Julie! I want to go back to africa and perhaps Uganda will be my next stop.
You are most welcome Kenny and we hope you do get a chance to visit Uganda 🙂
We are going back to South Africa, probably won’t get to Uganda this time… you have reminded me to check on my jabs as we will go in Zambia again. I love that place
Wow SA we are green right now. Uganda will miss you, Enjoy Zambia too. DO NOT forget your jabs girl. You wnat to have a great time right? 🙂
Thank you for coming to the Blogger’s Pit Stop last week.
Janice, Pit Stop Crew
Thank you Janice 🙂
Wow!! This would be a dream trip indeed! Africa the Beautiful!!
Funny how we do havea DreamTrip to Uganda via our Travel club Tara 🙂
This really is a list of everything I possibly need to know! It’s so important to be completely and thoroughly prepared before traveling abroad, so I appreciate blog posts like this that give a genuine list of what needs to be done beforehand.
There are some destinations that need some good preparation to ensure a great time all round.
Most African and Asian destinations are like that Divya! Am sure you agree on the later! 🙂
Wow, this is awesome. An ultimate tour guide going to Uganda. Thank you for this especially the malaria prevention!
Its a pleasure to share and help other travellers have an epic experience sans Malaria or any tropical unwanted guests 🙂
A great and informational post about Uganda – I have never been there, and this is good and sound advice! Would love to visit some day!
Hey E H hope you do visit Uganda one day, you will live the experience. Esp. if its a Safari 🙂
Some of my family members went close to Uganda for a safari and LOVED every moment of it. They said they are most certainly going to make a return trip back so they can do more sight seeing instead of the safari next time.
Next time they should cross over and have an absolute blast. We believe IUganda is the mos Fun country in East Africa! We are biased of course :p
Great tips. It’s essential to know as much as you can about a place before you visit, as well as the requirements for staying there.
Very true Cindy and thats why we love to share such Guides, and this brings to you everything you need to knwo before you visit uganda. So if anyone ever plans on going feel free to share 🙂
This is such a helpful resource. Uganda has been at the top of my travel list for years, and I would love to go there and do a gorilla trek! I wouldn’t mind going during the rainy or dry season. It sounds like such an amazing country!
OMG you would love the gorilla Trek in Mgahinga Forrest. The Lodge there is Awesome Kait. You would love the experience! 🙂
I have never visited before and it would be nice to see what Uganda can offer. Regardless of where I go, a visit to the doctor with the shots that I need to protect me are a habit. It’s nice to be prepared.
You woud definitely need your jabs before you visit Uganda Carol 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
These are really good to know. I’ve never been to Uganda before and it’s nice to know when you can visit and when it’s the best time to enjoy the good weather. I always liked posts like this! It’s a good guide.
Glad you like out mini guide on everything you need before you visit Uganda 🙂
Uganda or even Africa has never really been on my radar as a vacation spot. However, after reading your post, it sounds like a lovely place to see. I would especially like to visit during the time to see the gorillas in Mgahinga Forest!
Theer are over 200 countries worldwide so its understandable that one has different bcket list destinations 🙂 Uganda is awesome though!
I love Travel blogs so much. I’m always taken on a quick trip there in mind when I read them. I love the vibrancy of the fabrics in the market. You have shared some great tips for people going to visit or planning to. Great post and great shots
We are happy to see you here and entertai you too. Those Kitenges are superb. You would love an outfit made from one 🙂
We love taking our audience on a vicarious trip with us!
Some great tips for travellers here. I’d like to see more of Africa but hadn’t really considered Uganda before.
Uganda Is hopefully on your radar too now 🙂 It is one of the lovely places to visit if we say so ourselves 🙂
You just might fall in love with it!
Love it Julie, it’s almost like a “Uganda for Beginners” guide. Very helpful and highlights a very positive country with lots to offer tourists.. Thanks for sharing.
Awesome, Glad you love Keith, that as our exact intention and we hope this serves lots of travel lovers 🙂
Never thought much about going to Uganda, but this is definitely helpful for anyone looking to go. Thanks for sharing!
Indeed we all have destinations we have never considered until someone speaks about it. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
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