For your vacation holiday to East Africa find below the common questions we get from clients as they prepare for their Uganda safari or Rwanda safari. Please also see our Terms and Conditions for more information.
Which airlines access
Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport has the following airlines: Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Fly Dubai, RwandAir, Fly-SAX and Uganda Airlines.
Kigali International Airport has the following flights: RwandAir, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Kenya Airways, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways and Coastal Aviation.
Can I fly internally?
Yes you can fly internally while on safari in Uganda, there are internal scheduled flights to some of the safari destinations and where unavailable there are charter flights to most of the safari destinations. Let us know you prefer flights instead of driving or a mix of both.
Yes you can fly internally in Rwanda by charter helicopter offered by Akagera Aviation to all the safari destinations.
What is the road network like?
The main roads in Uganda are tarmacked but secondary roads vary in quality. Be prepared for long and sometimes bumpy car rides especially as you approach the national parks.
The roads in Rwanda connecting the various tourist attractions are mostly tarmacked except a small stretch while connecting to Akagera national park.
Do you provide Travel Insurance?
Kagera Safaris does not provide travel insurance to clients. It’s the responsibility of the Agent/Client. All clients must have adequate insurance for the duration of the tour, which should include evacuation cover in case of an emergency
Do I need to carry medication?
Please bring all personal medications required. Medical services and facilities are basic.
You are advised to take malaria ‘prophylactics’ (prevention medication) in addition to carrying a mosquito repellent. Be sure to use the mosquito nets, which are provided at your place of accommodation. Consult your doctor before traveling for more information
Clients must be fit and healthy to undertake adventurous activities such as mountaineering and hiking, gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking. White-water rafting, canoeing, and kayaking may pose additional risks and should be undertaken with care and caution.
Are vaccinations required for my safari tour?
There are a number of vaccinations recommended and/or required. The government of Uganda requiresproof of yellow fever vaccination as of 2016. Recommended immunisations against DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and Hepatitis A, meningitis, tetanus and typhoid. Yellow fever card vaccination is not compulsory for Rwanda except if you are from a region that has a high risk of yellow fever.
Seek advice from your home country on vaccination and inoculation requirements.
Is tap water safe for drinking in Uganda and Rwanda?
Tap water is not suitable for drinking, use bottled water which is often available in your safari car and at accommodations or you can buy while at the lodge.
Do I need a visa to enter Uganda and Rwanda?
You are required to purchase a visa before you enter Uganda. Single entry tourist visas (usually three month) are available on arrival at Entebbe International airport priced for US$50 and at the land borders – please state clearly that you require three months or else you can be given two weeks. You should however apply for them online before your travel. There is a single entry East African visa for Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda costing US$100.
Your passport must have a minimum six months validity remaining. Contact the airline or your travel agent for more information.
Uganda follows a policy of reciprocity (if your Country requires a Visa for Ugandans to enter, Uganda will impose the same). In case of any changes in Visa regulations, you will be informed.
Foreign Nationals wishing to visit Rwandan will get a visa on arrival at the airport or border crossing. The visa is US$30 valid for 30 days. In view of bilateral agreements, nationals of the following Countries may visit Rwanda without a visa for a period up to 90 days: Hong Kong, Philippines, Mauritius, Singapore, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Citizens of countries members to the following international organizations; African Union, Commonwealth and La Francophonie get visa upon arrival and are waived visa fees for a visit of 30 days.
A single East African visa has been introduced for Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda costing $100. Your passport must have a minimum six months validity remaining. Contact the airline or your travel agent for more information.
Can I use my ATM card or credit card in Uganda?
You can use ATM and Visa credit cards for money withdrawal in Uganda but there is a limit to how much you can withdraw per day. You need to alert your bank before using your card abroad to avoid it being blocked.
Some establishments do not accept credit cards for payments and in cases where they are accepted, it may attract 5 – 10% additional charges.
Traveler’s cheques are no longer accepted in Uganda.
You can use ATM and Visa credit cards for money withdrawal in Rwanda but there is a limit to how much you can withdraw per day. Most establishments accept credit cards for payments. You need to alert your bank before using your card abroad to avoid it being blocked.
Is MasterCard accepted?
Very few places in Uganda accept MasterCard. Consider bringing cash, which you can change to Ugandan shillings upon arrival. Banks and Forex bureaus will exchange cash. Please note: US dollars bills issued before 2006 are NOT accepted in Uganda and Rwanda. Small denomination dollar bills (anything less than a USD 50 bill) attracts a lower exchange rate. Poor quality foreign currency notes may be rejected. Please ensure you bring with you new or excellent condition notes with no stains or tears.
What is the currency
The currency in Uganda is the Uganda Shilling, which is issued in denominations of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 Uganda Shillings notes. Coins are available for smaller denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 shillings.
The currency in Rwanda is the Rwandan Francs, which is issued in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 Rwandan Francs notes. Coins are available for smaller denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 francs.
How do you deal with tipping?
Tipping in Uganda and Rwanda is usually according to level of service and there are no fixed rates. Salaries are generally low in both countries and tips are highly appreciated. On average tips are in the rage of: 5-10% in restaurants; US$10 per day, per client for safari driver/guides and Ranger Guides; US$ 5 per day for porters on mountaineering/hiking safaris and Forest Walk guides.
Remember that tips are very personal and ultimately you decide how much you want to tip.
Is Uganda/Rwanda safe?
The quick answer is yes, the two countries are safe but occasional issues may arise as in any other country therefore basic precautions should be taken. Do not leave bags or money unattended to – avoid displaying expensive jewelry.
Is Kampala and Kigali safe cities for tourists?
They are both some of the safest capital cities in Africa – but again do not leave valuables unattended. Ask your driver guide where unsure. There is generally no hassle directed to tourists only petty pick pocket thieves that target residents.
How safe is it for homosexuals to visit Uganda?
Despite some negative press, Uganda is a safe country for gay and lesbian travelers. However, we recommend discretion as Uganda is a conservative country.
Can I do gorilla trekking in Uganda and or Rwanda?
Yes and you are required to buy a gorilla permit in advance of your trip. Only eight people are allowed to visit each gorilla group per day, in some seasons the demand is high. You can ask our tour consultant to advise on the location of the gorilla trekking depending on your budget and interest.
To buy your gorilla permit, you will need to provide us with your full names, nationality, birth-date, passport number, preferred date of trekking, your home address and gorilla permit fee. The minimum age for visiting the gorillas is 15 years. A certain level of fitness is required for the gorilla tracking, and you may not be allowed gorilla trekking if you are suffering from a communicable disease.
What should I wear when gorilla trekking?
We recommend: lightweight rain jacket, long-sleeved shirt and trousers, waterproof walking boots, leather gardening type gloves, sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses, insect repellent, comfortable day pack for carrying water and minimum amount of personal items. In case of sighting Gorillas, no flash photography is allowed and fast film is therefore recommended.
What items should I bring for my safari?
General: Antiseptic hand wash, Comfortable day Pack for carrying water and some personal items, Sunscreen, Flashlight, Insect repellent, Water proof bags to protect equipment, Electric plug adapters for 240 volts AC 50 Hz – UK style square-pin in plugs are used
Clothing: It is preferable for you to use soft luggage as space in vehicles is limited. Good walking shoes, Sun hat or cap, Sandals or other light shoes, Waterproof jacket, Lighter clothing with layers for evening, Warm clothing for mountainous regions, waterproof walking boots, Sunglasses, Swimsuit.
Equipment: Binoculars(water proof ones), Cameras, changes of batteries, several 1GB cards instead of one large one to avoid losing all your photos in case something goes wrong.
What should I know about photography?
No photographs of, or near, bridges, military buildings or soldiers are allowed. It is polite to ask people before taking their photographs.
How long in advance do I need to book my safari?
If your safari includes gorilla and chimpanzee trekking consider booking as far in advance as possible – recommended is 3 months but if you look to travel in the peak season even 6 months is recommended. The gorilla and chimpanzee permits are booked and paid for at the same time.
How can I pay for my safari?
Most of our clients pay by wire transfers or credit card. We provide the bank details upon request. Credit card payments can be made after approval, but will incur a 4% surcharge using an online link we send to you.
Note that availability of accommodation and permits is not guaranteed until Kagera Safaris officially confirm the safari. Accommodation, permit, and activity reservations will be made as soon as payment has been received on our account.
Please note that all bank charges are at the expense of the client.
What is the Safari accommodation like?
We will work towards finding the perfect accommodation for your needs. The majority of safari lodges and hotels are small-scale, offering a unique experience with few rooms.
The three categories are mainly; budget, mid-range or Upmarket.
Budget accommodation may be simple and basic rooms, bandas or tents, with double/twin beds and mosquito nets when necessary. You may have to share bathroom facilities, as private bathrooms are not always available. Electricity and piped/mains water supply may not always be available. Some remote locations may have ‘long-drop’ or compost (Eco) toilets.
Mid-range or Upmarket accommodation offer comfortable rooms or furnished safari tents with a private bathroom. Flush toilets and hot and cold running water are available.
What vehicles does Kagera Safaris use for safaris?
Kagera Safaris provides ‘pop-up roof’ 4WD safari vehicles for game viewing. The 4WD are either minibuses, coaster buses or Land cruisers where we ensure that everybody has a window seat to enjoy the best views. We limit the number in minibus to seven while for land cruiser some carry six, four, and tow depending on size, to allow plenty of legroom and luggage storage. Groups of twelve and more people who would like to travel in one vehicle use the 25-29 seat Coaster buses that have approximately 16 window seats.
I am traveling on my own. Can I book my safari with Kagera Safaris?
Solo travelers are welcome but please note that the cost of the safari will generally be higher than if you joined a group. We shall advise in case of scheduled safaris but group dynamics will be at play.
How many people are in your group safaris?
We offer tailor-made safaris for any number of participants. Considering the sitting arrangement concerning the cars – the maximum is 8 people for minibus but for everyone to have a window seat we recommend 7. For Land cruisers they range from 3 – 7 individuals. When the numbers are big they will use several vehicles.
What other expenses should I expect after quoted safari costs?
Unless otherwise stated, tour prices quoted include; airport/hotel transfers, transport with fuel and driver/guide, accommodation, drinking water in safari vehicle, National Park and activity fees associated with your itinerary.
The quoted price does not include; airfare to/from Uganda, Visa fees if applicable, optional activities not included in the itinerary, refreshments and beverages (between meal snacks, alcohol, other refreshments), personal items (porterage, telephone calls and souvenirs), tips and gratuities.
In most cases, we will specify the extra charge of optional activities in your itinerary. If it is not clear to you, please contact us so we can confirm any additional fee(s).
Do you have scheduled Safaris?
We currently do not have scheduled safaris.
Do you cater for a special dietary person?
We take care of your dietary needs as far as the hotels cooperate which is usually positive when you let us know in advance to make the necessary arrangements. Make sure that your driver-guide contacts the reception on arrival at the lodge.
What’s the best time of year to come to visit?
There is no bad time of year to visit Uganda or Rwanda. Even during the rainy seasons (April-May and October – November) it may rain for a short while before the sun comes out.
Do the drivers speak English?
Yes but if you require drivers or guides who speak other international languages, this can be arranged; German, Spanish, Chinese speaking guide or translator, but you are required to inform us at the time of inquiry.
How much time should I expect to spend in the vehicle in any one day?
The longest day of travel is for a three-day gorilla tour and this can be up to eight/nine hours in a vehicle. During this journey several stops will be made, including a visit to the Equator, a stop for lunch, and other stops for other facilities. Most itineraries will not require any more than five hours in a vehicle in one day – various stops are made to ensure your comfort.
The longest day of travel is for a three-day chimpanzee tour to Nyungwe forest and this can be up to 5 hours in a vehicle. During this journey, several stops will be made, including a stop for lunch, national museum, and or Kings Palace. Most itineraries will not require any more than four hours in a vehicle in one day.
How can I communicate home while on safari?
International telephone calls are made from most areas in Uganda and Rwanda and local SIM cards can be purchased on arrival. International roaming facilities are available.
Most lodges do have Wi-Fi.
All our drivers/guides have cell phones and maintain contact with the Office throughout safaris.