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Uganda Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Uganda in 2023

Uganda Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Uganda in 2023

Welcome to Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa, bordered by Kenya and Tanzania to the north, Rwanda and South Sudan to the west, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the east, and Ethiopia to the south. The capital city of Kampala is situated on Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa. It's also home to the oldest national park in Africa, Queen Elizabeth National Park, which was established in 1925.

Uganda is a great destination for nature lovers, with its diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes. The country is home to over ten national parks, including Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale National Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. These parks are home to some of the world's most endangered species such as mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and elephants.

Interesting? Here is the ultimate Uganda travel guide to help you plan a smooth trip to the stunning country.

Document checklist for Uganda

  • Visa

  • Health Declaration

  • Valid passport

  • Sufficient funds

  • Return airline ticket

Essential Uganda travel information

  • Currency - Ugandan shilling (UGX). USD 1 is equivalent to approx. UGX 3652,33

  • Daily budget for 1 person - Per day is UGX 309,948 (USD 84).

  • Languages - The official languages are English, and Swahili. There are 70 other languages that are also widely spoken.

  • Socket type - For Uganda, the associated plug type is G. Uganda operates on a 240V supply voltage and 50Hz

  • Time zone - East Africa Time (GMT+3).

  • Top 3 cities to visit - Kampala, Fort Portal, and Jinja.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Murchison Falls National Park.

Visa information for Uganda

You will need a visa depending on your nationality and what you will do in Uganda. We invite you to make use of our Checker Visa Tool to see if you need a visa to enter Uganda.

For now, we will explain the Uganda visas that we offer to help you enjoy your adventure in the pearl of Africa.

Uganda Tourist Visa explained

The Uganda tourist visa is an official document that allow you to travel to Uganda for tourism purposes. It is a Single Entry tourist visa.

East Africa Visa explained

Suppose you are among the foreign nationals interested in a Multiple Entry Uganda visa. In that case, you can opt for the East Africa Visa online, which allows you to visit Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. This works as a Multiple Entry visa without needing separate visas.

Uganda Transit Visa explained

All travelers transiting through Uganda for a period not exceeding 2 days in total are eligible to apply for the Uganda transit visa.

Typical costs and budget for Uganda

It is good to know what budget you should have for your trip to explore Uganda. So here we mention it.

Daily spending per person - A daily budget is UGX 309,948 (USD 84).

  • Meals - For food is UGX 80351,15 (USD 22).

  • Transport - Local transportation is UGX 60,260 (USD 16).

  • Hotel - For one person in mid range hotels, the accommodation is UGX137,178 (USD 37,56) and UGX 274,355 (USD 75,13 for a couple).

A trip to Uganda for one week usually costs around UGX 2,169,634 for one person. So, a trip to Uganda for two people costs around UGX 4,339,268 for one week.

Transport and ways to travel around Uganda

Knowing the different transport options, you can choose to travel to Uganda over short or long distances, is essential.

  • Rent a car- Renting a car is one of the best options for touring Uganda and its tourist sites. The best thing is that if you are not a driver with great experience, renting a car with a local driver is better. You can use this service with a tour guide, for example, and have a Ugandan Safari. Many tour companies offer car rental services with tour operators.

  • Bus-This method is trendy among locals; you can find them in Kampala, with several short and long-distance routes. This is much cheaper than a taxi, so it can be fantastic for those who want to travel on a budget and enjoy the landscape.

  • Mini bus or Taxi- Minivans take approximately 14 people to their destination. Knowing where you are going and negotiating the price before getting on the van is advisable. This means of transport is very popular in the capital city and major cities.

  • Boda Boda-This means of transport is a motorcycle taxi, very popular in the major towns. It is a straightforward way to avoid traffic. To take care of yourself, always ride in a Boda that has a helmet to reduce the risk of injury if there is an accident.

  • Air plan- There are domestic flights with some airlines like Eagle Air Fly or Missionary Aviation Fellowship to travel to tourist places of Uganda or even to remote places you want to discover.

If you want to do a Ugandan safari, as we mentioned before, the most common and recommended is to join excursions as they are in protected wildlife areas and you will need a tourist guide and a safari cart.

Safety in Uganda

Is Uganda safe? We assume this is one of the main questions haunting your mind. We are here to answer your questions so that you travel safely. We also want to share travel tips so that you can have a peaceful trip to the beautiful pearl of Africa.

Uganda is generally a safe African country to visit. Although the crime rates are high, do not let it sway you from discovering this African beauty. Always be alert and take all necessary precautions but enjoy your trip all the same.

Transportation is unsafe in Uganda. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Uganda has one of the highest rates of vehicle traffic accidents in the world. It is highly recommended that you do not drive in Uganda, as its roads are in poor condition and poorly lit. Stay alert on public transport, as you might get pickpocketed. Renting a car with a driver is still the safest option.

Uganda isn't the safest place for solo female travelers and it is highly advised to avoid remote streets, and not flash your belongings or show money in public.

Check the latest travel advice, and always follow local laws and customs. With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and friendly people, Uganda is an excellent destination for an unforgettable experience.

Weather in Uganda

The best time to visit Uganda is during its two dry seasons: December to February and June to August, when the conditions are perfect to see mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.

That said, temperatures barely change throughout the seasons and sit around 24°C (75.2 F) to 30°C (86 F), so you can visit Uganda all year round.

Popular cities and towns in Uganda

When planning your trip to Uganda, keep these top 5 cities in mind:

  • Kampala is the capital and largest city of Uganda. It's a vibrant city with plenty to see and do, from markets and museums to restaurants and nightlife.

  • Fort Portal is a small town located in western Uganda. It's known for its stunning scenery, lush green hills and tea plantations. It's also home to several national parks, including Kibale National Park and Semuliki National Park.

  • Jinja is a city located on the banks of the Nile River. It's known for its outdoor activities, such as white-water rafting and bungee jumping, as well as its vibrant nightlife.

  • Entebbe is a small town located on the shores of Lake Victoria. It's home to Entebbe International Airport, as well as many beaches, gardens, and wildlife reserves.

  • Gulu is a city located in northern Uganda. It's known for its vibrant nightlife and bustling markets, as well as its nearby wildlife reserves.

Must do and see in Uganda

When you are traveling to Uganda, visit these top 5 attractions to explore the incredible wildlife:

  1. Kibale National Park-Is home to one of Africa's most diverse primate populations, including chimpanzees, red colobus monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabeys.

    • Queen Elizabeth National Park - This is a stunning wildlife reserve located in western Uganda. It'sIt's home to various animals, including elephants, lions, and hippos. 3. Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda's largest national park and home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, elephants, giraffes, and hippos. 4. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to some of the world's most endangered species, including mountain gorillas. 5.* Lake Victoria- This is the largest lake in Africa and a popular spot for fishing, boating, and birdwatching.

Typical Ugandan food to try

One of the most exciting and fun ways to get to know a new country, like your adventure in Uganda, is trying the local food. So here we give you three meals that you should try to eat.

  1. Matoke- This is a traditional Ugandan dish made from steamed green plantains. It's usually served with peanut sauce or stewed vegetables.

  2. Matooke and Beans is a popular Ugandan dish made from mashed plantains and beans cooked in coconut milk.

  3. Chapati- This is a flatbread made from wheat flour and cooked on a hot grill. It's often served with curries or stews.

Vaccine information for Uganda

Here you will find all the information about the COVID-19 vaccine, Yellow Fever vaccination certificate, and other healthy requirements you need to visit Uganda. Just click on the CDC website and be ready for your Uganda trip.

Eat A Rolex

In Uganda, you don't wear Rolex, you eat it. Don't be confused! Rolex is a type of fast food where an omelette is wrapped in a chapati (Roll eggs = Rolex). Ugandans love it so much that they have created an annual Rolex festival that is meant to celebrate this street food.

Fun facts about Uganda

  • Uganda is one of the few places on Earth where you can still find endangered Mountain Gorillas. It is estimated that half of their population lives in Uganda in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

  • Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa. It is also the second-largest freshwater lake in the world. Lake Victoria is one of the sources of the River Nile.

*Always watch what you eat; you might find Grasshoppers on your street food as they are considered delicious in Uganda.

  • Uganda is the second-largest producer of bananas in the world, falling second only to India. The country produces an estimated 12 million tons annually.
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