How to get to Uganda for Safari – Planning a Uganda safari – How do I travel to Uganda?
How to get to Uganda for safari – Beginning at the main point of arrival at Entebbe International Airport, most safaris will head west to the broad belt of national parks that form the western border. Due to the country being situated right on the meeting point of the eastern savannah and western jungle ecosystems, Uganda has excellent terrain for a wide variety of safaris, from the traditional game, drives through golden grassland seeking lion or elephant to strapping on your hiking boots and trekking through lush rainforest.
Bird watching is superlative, with the variation in habitat attracting a vast array of species, including the crowning glory of the shoebill, a highly sought-after sight for the true bird watcher. The traditional Big Five parks of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Murchison Falls do not yet match the game densities of their contemporaries to the east. That said, the game viewing is still very much alive and well and the parks boast a mere fraction of the tourist numbers that may dilute the experience for those visiting the more developed destinations. A sighting of a lion, elephant, or leopard here is a moment to treasure and is seldom shared with other vehicles.
Book Your Tour Activities and Lodging
Next, you need to decide whether you’re going to travel solo or with the help tour guide. If you opt for an all-inclusive guided safari, your tour operator should organize details like accommodations and tours for you.
Even if you decide to book everything yourself, you’ll probably have to arrange treks and safaris through a specialized local safari company (unless you’re taking a self-game drive in easy destinations like lake Mburo National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The best local operator to give you a great experience in planning and during your trip is Great Adventure Safaris. They have been operating Ugandan expeditions for quite a time. Get in touch with your preferred local operator as much as a year beforehand, and it’s a good idea to book your Gorilla permit well in advance because seeing the mountain giants is limited to eight trekkers per habituated Gorilla family.
Book Your Flights
Depending on where you’re flying from, flights to Uganda can be expensive, and a limited number of carriers often mean that seats fill up quickly. For the best rates, book as far in advance as possible.
If you have air miles, make sure to check whether the corresponding airline flies to Entebbe International Airport, if not, use a flight comparison website like Skyscanner.com to guarantee the lowest fare.
Try to communicate your international flights with your local operator when booking, so the ground handler or first night hotel will be responsible for arranging airport transfers.
Buy Travel Insurance
By this time in the planning process of your safari trip to Uganda, you’ll have invested a significant amount of money in flights, tours, and accommodation. It would be best if you had protection at this point. Travel insurance is essential, especially in Africa, where airlines cancel flights without warning regularly, and state hospitals are not places you want to end up after an emergency.
Besides medical costs, your insurance should cover trip cancellation, loss of valuables, baggage loss, or theft. If you’re headed to a particularly remote spot, make sure that your insurance covers medical evacuation as well.
Check Your Visa Requirements
Several months before your departure date, make sure to check with your consulate whether you need a visa. This will be determined based on your nationality, not on your country of residence. Uganda visa rules change at any time, so it’s important to check with an official government source rather than relying on advice given by outdated travel websites.
Uganda’s immigration allows you to purchase a visa upon arrival, but also you can apply online in advance from your home country. Even if you don’t need a visa, there may be some special requirements for your passport; like entering Uganda, your passport should be valid for at least six months from the date of entry for all nationals.
Uganda issues single-entry visas valid for three months from the date of issue and multiple-entry visas valid for six months.
Organize Travel Medication
At least two months before you depart for your Uganda trip, you need to visit a travel clinic and determine what vaccinations are recommended for your destination.
Hepatitis A, typhoid, and rabies are good ones to have. Uganda immigration will require proof of yellow fever vaccination as a condition of entry, while malaria is prevalent throughout most regions. Be sure to consult your doctor before deciding which anti-malaria prophylactic to take as all of them have different side effects. Pregnant women should be aware that the Zika virus is also a problem in some areas.
Buy Your Travel Equipment
Now comes the fun part of planning your impending safari trip to Uganda: buying all of your specialized equipment. Your shopping list may include items from mosquito repellents to a good set of binoculars and a pair of durable hiking shoes.
Be prepared for all kinds of weather because, even in the Dry season, nights can be incredibly cold. Think about preserving your memories. Whether that means investing in a quality camera or buying a scrapbook and a spare set of pens, one essential purchase is a first aid kit, complete with any personal medications as well as all items you’ll need to treat minor injuries.