What you should know when travelling through Uganda
It’s not complicated at all.
If you have planned your Uganda Safari well through an Agent or independently, it is not that hard once you have arrived in Uganda. Everything will work. Uganda receives tourists and business travellers throughout the year and you will most likely meet someone from your home country at some attraction point or activity, you will meet different people from countries around the world in Uganda and you will realize you are not the only person on a safari in Uganda.
It may seem scary just throwing yourself out there and talking to strangers anywhere in the world, but you are safe in Uganda because Ugandan people are friendly and hospital. They like to make travellers feel welcome and they like to share stories. They will offer to help with any info you require. That being said, do not flash your valuable items and money, just like in any society there are petty thieves in Uganda.
People all over Uganda are amazing with a good sense of humour. In most villages the children will call out to you saying Muzungu, muzungu , give me my money! Please desist from giving them money, a candy, a pen, pencil or any scholastic material will be the perfect gift and they will be very happy to receive one.All over Uganda you will meet people who will go out of their way to help and that can be life changing and makes the spirit of togetherness come alive. I learned not to assume the worst always about strangers especially in Uganda. Most times especially if you are a tourist on a safari through Uganda, people are just trying to be friendly.
Travelling through Uganda will teach you a few things about our diverse culture and customs. You will experience different regions with different tribes and languages and they will surely teach you to be more social, to adapt and be more flexible and most importantly learn a few Ugandan ways. There’s no reason to be scared.
It’s good to try new things while travelling through Uganda
Travelling through Uganda has helped me expand my views of Uganda and taught me to become less rigid but more adventurous. Are you the adventurous type, then Uganda is your ultimate adventure destination in East Africa. There are numerous exciting adventurous activities for any visitor who is willing to scare themselves once in a while. From adrenaline pumping activities like, rafting, kayaking and Bunjee jumping on the Nile to Gorilla trekking, chimp trekking, Hiking, walking safaris and Ruwenzor climbing. Some of these i am yet to try.
Gorilla trekking is one of the most exciting activity that can be done while in Uganda for a fee of $600 and $450 for the months of April, May and November. It is a challenging experience but very exciting too. I would recommend be in good health and physical shape for this activity even if your permit allocation is for the easy to track families of Gorillas. Gorilla permits are to be booked and paid for way in advance.
There is no such thing as a mistake while travelling through Uganda
No matter what happens on the road or during your safari, it’s never a mistake. When you feel delayed because of a bad weather or roads, just let everything unfold ahead of you, there’s no reason to have regrets or think you made a mistake. It is all part of the adventure at the end of the day.
Uganda is not a cheap destination in terms of accommodation and transportation while on a long safari. When you travel on a budget it’s not easy to be cheap throughout. Accommodations in Uganda are graded as Luxury, Comfort and Budget. I have come across travellers who booked into a budget hotel or lodge only to arrive and the accommodation is basic not even budget and they have to spend more to look for an option and have ended up paying more than they had planned to spend. In terms of transportation, always go for a 4WD and spend more to be comfortable and safe than spend less and have vehicle troubles throughout the safari which will eventually lead you to spend more.
While travelling through Uganda Don’t be so glued to a guide book. You can travel fine without it, especially with a guide/driver. Most times the guide book will tell you one thing and it will take awhile before the book is updated with the most recent info concerning your route, activity and what to expect. Things in Uganda keep changing and the local guide is your best consultant. For example a guide book will tell you its about 4hrs drive to get to point B from A. the same guide book will not tell you when the weather changes what happens and what to expect.
Life is amazing while travelling through Uganda, so you can relax and enjoy what Uganda is offering you at the moment, could be unique and beautiful landscapes to unforgettable cultural encounter. I have met travellers who get so caught up in trying to see all the must sees in their bucket list and completely miss out on amazing things happening around. Well you cannot control Mother Nature to cater to your needs as you wish. Some animals are spotted by chance, just be on the lookout and enjoy everything as it unfolds while you travel.