Uganda

Uganda Travel Guide

Key Facts

Time Zone

GMT+3

Money

Ugandan Shilling (UGX)

Dialing Code

+256

  • One of Africa’s most friendly destinations
  • See our simian cousins as you check out chimpanzees and catch a glimpse of the gorillas
  • Marvel at the ‘Mountains of the Moon’, Africa’s highest mountain range
  • Seek out the source of the mighty Nile
  • Go white water rafting for some African adrenaline action!
  • Be caught up in the buzz of Kampala
  • Experience authentic Africa off the beaten track

Kampala is the capital city of Uganda.  This vibrant and captivating capital city is constantly modernising, and exudes charm and confidence as you explore the traditional Ugandan streets, barter in a market or just soak up the atmosphere of authentic Africa.  The people of Kampala are renowned for their friendliness so you can guarantee you’ll find a warm welcome in Uganda’s capital.  Kampala is also a safe and secure city so you can walk where you want without worrying.  As a starting point for your Ugandan odyssey Kampala offers the ideal introduction to Africa. 

  • Visit Rwenzori National Park and see the legendary ‘Mountains of the Moon’ – Africa’s highest mountain range. For the experienced trekker take up the ultimate challenge and take a hike – although trekking conditions are tough it’s well worth the reward at the top!
  • Locate the source of the Nile near Jinja and try some epic white water rafting for an adrenaline rush adventure!
  • Check out Kampala and spend a few days chilling and enjoying the flavours of Africa.
  • Head to Bwindi National Park and see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat  - it will take your breath away!  Not to be missed.
  • Take a boat ride to Murchison Falls National Park and go hippo and croc spotting en route! 
  • Relax by beautiful Lake Bunyonyi and soak up the scenery in Uganda.

A typical Ugandan meal will probably consist of a meat or chicken based stew served with rice, chapatti, a maize porridge called ugali or a plantain mash called matoke.  Fish is also a staple part of the Ugandan diet and often comes served with a delicious peanut sauce.  Sweet treats include a type of doughnut called mandazi and of course there is plenty of delicious fresh fruit. 

Uganda is close to the Equator and is lucky enough to enjoy warm and welcoming weather all year round.  This ideal tropical climate means temperatures average a balmy 26° during the day and around 16° at night.  December to February is the hottest time of year.  There can be tropical rains in April and May, and from September to November but these are only in short bursts and the sun is never far away.  In fact, the sun shines all year round in Uganda! 

Visa

Visas are required for entry to Uganda. They can either be obtained in advance of travel from the Ugandan High Commission in London or at Entebbe Airport on arrival. It is advised that you organise and obtain your visas before you go.

Single/Double entry 3-month visas are available for a cost of US$30/60 (US$20-40 with student ID).  48-hour transit visas cost US$15.

Passport

Passports must be valid for a minimum of one year from date of entry into Uganda.

English is a national language in Uganda, as is Swahili. Indigenous languages spoken include Bantu, Nilotic and Central Sudanic. 

In Uganda the plug sockets are the same as in the UK, so you will not need an adaptor. Plug Type G. 240V

Uganda has a no tolerance policy towards homosexuality and it is still illegal. Current parliamentary rulings may impose further measures against homosexuality, including calls for the death penalty in some cases.  Penalties for drug use or trafficking are severe. 

Gap 360 follows advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and we recommend that you frequently check the FCDO for updated travel advice. You can find the website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-development-office

Health

Speak to your GP about necessary vaccinations well in advance of travel.  There have been some reported incidents of Ebola haemorrhagic fever during 2012.  You will need a valid Yellow Fever Certificate to show on arrival into Uganda.  Outside Kampala, medical facilities are limited and basic.

Avoid drinking the water, drink only boiled or bottled water and avoid ice in drinks.  Get medical attention if you suffer from diarrhoea or fever while in Uganda.

Safety

The FCDO advise against travel to the Karamoja region of Northeast Uganda.  Avoid political gatherings.  There is a generalised threat from terrorism in Uganda and you should remain vigilant, especially in major urban centres. 

Kampala is known to be a relatively safe city but you should exert the usual cautions when visiting.  As in all major cities, theft and pickpocketing is the biggest problem.  There have also been incidents of credit card fraud and it is best to exchange cash instead.  Driving in Uganda can be risky, so take extra care if you do hire a car. 

Please note that Uganda has a strict no tolerance policy to homosexuality and it is currently illegal.

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