Things to know before travelling to Uganda

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THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE TRAVELLING TO UGANDA

Uganda is in east-central Africa and about the size of Great Britain. The country is populated by dozens of ethnic groups. The English language and Christianity help unite these diverse peoples, who come together in the cosmopolitan capital of Kampala, a verdant city whose plan includes dozens of small parks and public gardens and a scenic promenade along the shore of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest freshwater lake.

The country’s diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria. Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and wildlife such as hippos.

Just like any other destination, you need to know a few things before you travel. Below are some of the things you should know about before going to Uganda.

Visa requirement

Just like other countries, you will need a visa before entering Uganda. The only difference is that it might be a little easier to get. The visa can be processed online using e-visa application form on the website of Uganda immigration or else you may acquire it upon entry either at the airport of borders. The visa usually costs $50 for a period of less than 3 months.

Make sure you don’t forget to carry your yellow fever card as it is required. Those who don’t have might be put into quarantine and administered the vaccine. I guess no one would want to go through all this when on there vacation to the country.

Getting around

Transport price is much fair in Kampala from public taxis to motorcycles “bodaboda”. You could also opt for special hires like uber, quick taxi or taxify. And just like any other big cities, traffic can get really crazy in Kampala. If you are in a rush, I would advise taking a “bodaboda” and these are able to take you up to your exact destination.

Social life

people in Uganda especially in Kampala know how to have fun and party like there is no tomorrow. Bars and clubs are always open throughout the week, beaches fully packed over the weekend, cinema halls to see your favourite movie, you have a variety of options to choose from while in Kampala. The cost of living is not expensive, you will be able to enjoy most of the things around.

Be street smart

Regardless of how friendly people are, you will need to take extra precaution as you walk on the streets of Kampala. Tourists are normally charged highly when making any purchase so be sure to use your bargaining skills, you might just get the product at an unbelievable price.

Hospitality nature

People in Uganda are so hospitable and very friendly, so expect to see people smiling at you now and then. Expect glances as you move around and if you are from the western countries the locals will call you “mzungu” which means a white person. Some might even want to engage you in a conversation if you are up for it and will most definitely be willing to offer help if you need it. However, a few people may expect some coins as a thank you tip.

Dress code

Basically, there are no restrictions on what you should or not wear. Anything decent is fine. You will only be required to cover up only when visiting places of worship like Namugongo martyrs’ shrine, Gadhafi mosque, Bahai temple among others.

Languages

Uganda is a multilingual country with over 50 languages. It is a country full of diversity in terms of tribes, each tribe has a different language and culture. But the majorly spoken language in Uganda is Luganda which was originally only for Baganda but now widely spoken by other tribes too.

English is the official language and is spoken by most of the citizens.

Currency used

The Ugandan shilling is the official national currency. Us dollars are acceptable in some high-end places, but I would advise using shillings for day to day transactions, so as not to be cheated in regards of exchange rates. Credit cards are accepted in some places more so big businesses and more especially in tourism and hotel business.

With the above information, I hope you now know what to expect while in Uganda. Feel free to contact us in case you need to know more about this great country.