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Travel Tips

Travel Tips General Information On East Africa

The majority of visitors arrive at Entebbe International airport, 34 kilometers south of Kampala. Overland arrival is usually through the following border crossings: Arua, Busia, Kisoro, Lwakhakha, Malaba, and Mutukula. There are also other numerous border crossings.

Visa and Immigration Requirements
A valid passport is required for entry into Uganda. Most visitors are required to obtain a visa (with exception of a few exempted countries). For Information on the visas you are advised to contact Uganda's diplomatic and consular Missions a broad, or write to Immigration department, P. O Box 7166 Kampala Uganda.

Health Requirements
Certificates may be required for vaccinations against yellow fever. Check current medical advice on typhoid, cholera and hepatitis. The risk for contracting malaria is high if the anopheles mosquito bites you, however it is treatable. It’s advisable to start anti-malaria medication 10-14 days prior to your travel date and continue with the same for 14 days after departing East Africa.

More adventurous activities such as mountaineering and hiking, gorilla and chimp tracking, white-water rafting, canoeing and kayaking may have heath restrictions. Only fit and healthy clients would qualify.

National Park Authorities reserve the right to deny permits for Gorilla and Chimp trekking to individuals who have signs of a communicable disease such as colds, flu and other airborne diseases. Because Chimps and gorillas are highly susceptible to human diseases and it is therefore essential that clients declare all illnesses and seek our advice the way forward.

Please bring all personal medications required. Medical services and facilities are basic. Clients are fully responsible for securing adequate medical insurance which should include evacuation cover.

It is recommended that you drink bottled or boiled water only.

Currency and Banking
The unit of currency is the Ugandan shilling and is available dominations of 50,100,200,500,1000,5000,10,000,20,000 and 50,000 shillings. Foreign currency may be exchanged at banks, forex bureaux/bureaux de change,licensed hotels and through tour operators. Major credit cards may be accepted at the larger hotels and through some tour operators. Banking hours are generally 09.00 to 15.00, Monday to Friday and 09.00 to 12.00 Saturdays.

Climate and language
Uganda enjoys tropical climate and uncomfortable extremes of heat are rare. Mean annual temperatures range between 210C and 260C except in higher altitudes where temperatures will be considerably cooler. The majority of the country experiences two rainy seasons; from April to May and from August to November( towards the north there tends to be one rainy season; from April to November). The driest season across the whole country is from December to March. Humidity is generally low in the dry seasons.
The official language of Uganda is English. Many different languages and local diaects exist in Uganda but both be Luganda and Kiswahili are commonly spoken throughout the country.

Light summer cotton clothing supplemented by a sweater or jacket should be sufficient all year round for most of East Africa. In the hilly and mountainous areas, waterproof jackets or ponchos, strong waterproof walking boots and warmer fleece or heavy sweaters will be required in the evening.

Informal dressing is usual, although Africans appreciate modest dressing. Cotton slacks and flat comfortable walking shoes are recommended on safari. Don’t forget to bring a hat and sun protection, along with your swimsuit.

Request additional information at the time of booking for specific requirements tied to adventure or activities.

Occasional security issues may arise; however basic precautions should be taken and common sense used as in all countries. Voyager African Safaris maintains up-to-date information on all parts of the region and will advise clients accordingly at the time of booking.

It is not advised to display expensive jewellery, leave bags unattended to or money lying around. Most hotels and lodges have safe deposit boxes available.

We recommend that you leave original travel documents and passports with us in our safe (if you wish) and travel with photocopies. East African residents will need to show a copy of Passports and Work Permits to obtain resident discounts

Taking photographs of, or near military buildings, diplomatic offices or soldiers is not allowed.

It is only polite to ask people before taking their photographs. Film is available in Uganda. Fast film (400-1600 ASA) is recommended for gorilla tracking and forest walks. For digital photography, we recommended you bring extra batteries and a car charger.


International telephone communication is good throughout the East African countries. There are both landlines, and competent mobile network services. Mobile service providers include: Vodafone, Orange, MTN, Airtel, Warid Telecom, Safaricom and Uganda Telecom adequately servicing the areas. Local SIM cards can be purchased right from the airports or from any accessible area throughout the region. International roaming facilities are also available.

Dial up Internet services are widely available in major towns through internet cafes. In addition the mobile networks offer Internet services on special arrangements and would normally require compatible handsets. Wireless connections are also available at major hotels, and hotspots.

All our drivers/guides have cell phones and maintain contact with the Head Office throughout safaris.


Generally electricity supply is stable however there are occasional power black outs due to major faults or load shedding (power rationing). In anticipation of this kind of circumstances, most facilities maintain a stand by generator.

In East Africa, the standard sockets used are the 3-pin (square) sockets of 240 volts. It is recommended that you bring your own adaptor. Most hotels, lodges or camps may make arrangements for recharging batteries. Please ask us during booking if you have specific requirements.

Several brands of local and international beer are available. However most spirits and wines are imported and are readily available.

Alcoholic sales are restricted but available to all drinking joints, bars, supermarkets and hotels.

Drinking and driving is prohibited

Purchase of alcohol for persons under the age of 18 years is illegal.

Each country in the region has staple foods, and unique cultural affiliations.

All the East African countries operate a cash economy. However it is not safe to carry large sums of money. Travellers are advised to keep minimum cash and instead use travellers’ Cheques and credit cards, which are widely accepted.

Important Things to Observe!
Public show of affection is frowned upon in all the East African countries.  

In Rwanda there is a total ban on plastics (strictly enforced). However, in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania the law was passed but is poorly enforced.

In Kenya smoking in public is prohibited, and offenders are heavily fined.

Poaching is illegal in all the East African countries

Arm possession is illegal in all the East African countries

When driving in Uganda, Tanzania, & Kenya you keep left. In Rwanda, drivers keep right.

We do not recommend clients giving money to beggars or street children as this only lends to the culture of begging and dependency.

Donations can be made to established international and local charities that work with the homeless, street children or orphans. We can arrange visits to local projects or institutions on request. If personal donations are preferred, we would suggest clothing, exercise books, pens or pencils as useful gifts.

Tips are not obligatory but it is polite to tip the room boy, and porter upon departure. For meals tips usually depend on the heart of the giver and are in relations to good service.

Our Final Word
Things work more slowly on the African continent. Unexpected delays and difficulties may be experienced. In such circumstances our advice to you is to be patient and enjoy the more relaxed rhythm of life. You're on holiday after all!






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