Uganda Trip — Miscellaneous Information
For Kampala: When visiting communities, women should wear light-weight skirts that come below the knee. Light t-shirts or blouses are fine, as are sleeveless shirts. We take our cue from the Ugandan women who dress modestly, so please avoid short skirts or low cut tops. Around town Capri pants are fine. Bring a wrap or shawl as nights can get slightly chilly.
On safari: Lightweight, easy-dry material is popular in the Park, and it is fine to dress casually and wear shorts on safari. Pants that zip into shorts are useful. A hat with a visor or brim is essential. For village visits, you will want to use the same dress suggestions as for Kampala.
Laundry service is available in most lodges where two or more nights are spent, so you can replenish your supply of clean clothing, as you need it. Lightweight, comfortable shoes are recommended. Walking shoes, tennis shoes, or sandals will do. Heavy footwear is not necessary. A hat or cap is necessary since you will be in the sun a great deal and it is easy to sunburn very quickly.
You will not need formal clothing – a jacket and tie, or a dress or skirt. Pack a swimsuit, as most of the facilities are equipped with small pools.
Camera and Film
Your experience with photography will dictate the equipment you should bring. Remember to bring extra batteries for every camera and flash unit. Also recommended are a few plastic Ziploc bags that also come in handy in protecting your camera since it is especially dusty in some parts. Try to find a size that the entire camera will fit into.
During the safari, you are welcome to take unlimited number of photos. When we are in communities or visiting people, you will need to be more sensitive about taking photos. Generally it is respectful to ask permission before taking any photos of people, and you may be asked for a small “tip” by the person you take the photo of.
Kampala accommodation has phone and fax service, but while in Murchison Falls, the service will be quite limited. Email is available in Kampala. For emergencies, your trip leader will have a cell phone at all times. You will be given that contact number before the trip.
Credit Cards and Cash
Credit card use is limited in Uganda and most purchases are best made with cash. The local currency is the Uganda Shilling. There is a better exchange rate for large US bills so bring 100’s rather than 20’s. Make sure that the bills are newer than 2006. You can cash travelers checks in Kampala, but it is more difficult and you will get a bad exchange rate. ATMs are now widespread so it is easy to get Shillings that way. At the airport, there are several ATMs just to the right of the doors as you leave the customs area.
The voltage is 220 as in Europe; however, the plugs are different than in America or most part of Europe. As outlets sometimes vary, if you plan to operate electric appliances, we suggest that you travel with a set of international adapter plugs as well as a voltage converter.
Laundry service is available at accommodations where two or more nights are spent. Dry cleaning is not available. You will probably do some washing yourself, so bring along a travel laundry soap.
Should you require emergency medical assistance, there are decent medical facilities available in Kampala at the Kampala International Hospital. For more severe medical emergencies, you will likely be airlifted to Nairobi, Kenya, through your med/evac insurance.
Passport and Visas
Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the trip duration. It is always important in international travel to guard your passport carefully. Also make 2 copies of your passport information page – one to leave with a relative or friend at home and one to give to the tour leader. It is also useful to have extra passport photos with you in the event you needed to replace your passport in Africa.
Visas are required for Uganda and must be purchased on-line in advance for $50. https://visas.immigration.go.ug/
In general, Uganda is a very safe country. You should exercise the same common sense as you would in the U.S. or any other part of the world. Normal care and sensible precautions should be taken.
Please do not leave cash, jewelry or Travelers’ Checks unattended in hotel rooms. Every lodge and hotel has safe deposit facilities for your valuables. As a precautionary measure, do not wear flashy jewelry or leave handbags unattended in public places.
You will be able to go shopping in traditional outdoor African markets, numerous small merchant shops, and stores and boutiques in Kampala. For the most part, prices in markets are negotiated, and those in stores are set.
It is not safe to drink tap water in Uganda. The lodges will generally provide you with bottled water or boiled water that is safe to drink. In an effort to reduce the use of disposable plastic water bottles, Conservation Concepts provides re-usable bottles for all trips and endeavors to have drinking water available at all times to re-fill those bottles.
The following is a checklist of items suggested for your trip:
Adapter, 3-hole type for electric items. (Please note that
Uganda uses 220-volt electricity).
Any special medicine or prescription you need
Correspondence/postcard address list
Electrical/battery operated items: razors, hair dryers, etc.
Extra pair of prescription sunglasses if you wear them (extra copy of your prescription)
Extra set of luggage keys (if applicable)
Face cloth, if desired (often not provided)
Hat, visor or scarf
Laundry soap, if you plan on hand washing
Passport, health card, travelers checks, credit cards, driver’s license (copies of your passport should be given to tour leader)
Reading material, journal
Several pairs of shorts/slacks/shirts/blouses/skirts
Small lightweight flashlight
Small travel alarm clock
Suntan lotion and sun screen
Tennis shoes/casual shoes/sandals
Wash-n-Dry towelettes, Kleenex packets