For your vacation holiday to East Africa – Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania find below the common questions we get from clients as they prepare for their safari. Please also see our Terms and Conditions for more information.
WHICH AIRLINES FLY TO;
Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport has the following airlines: Uganda Airlines, Auric Air, Airline, Air Arabia, Air Tanzania, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Fly Dubai, RwandAir, and Fly-SAX.
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.
Airlines to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi; Kenya Airways, British Airways, American Airlines, Etihad Airways, Air France, Swiss Air, Air India, Korean Air, Uganda Airlines, Auric Air, Air Arabia, Air Tanzania, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Brussels Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Safarilink, Lufthansa, Oman Air, Saudia Fly Dubai, RwandAir, and LAM Mozambique Airlines.
Airlines to Kilimanjaro and Dar-el-salaam International Airport in Tanzania; Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Kenya Airways, British Airways, Fly Dubai, Swiss Air, Uganda Airlines, Auric Air, Airline, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Condor Flugdienst, Qatar Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Safarilink, Lufthansa, Oman Air, RwandAir, and LAM Mozambique Airlines.
CAN I FLY INTERNALLY?
Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania
Yes you can fly internally while on safari in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. 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?
Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania
The main roads are mostly of tar 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 tar 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 to get the appropriate travel insurance. 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 and Tanzania require proof of yellow fever vaccination. 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?
Tap water is not suitable for drinking, use bottled water or filtered water which is often available in your safari car and at accommodations.
DO I NEED A VISA TO TRAVEL TO?
The East African tourist visa for Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda costs US$100 for someone traveling to these three destinations. Your passport must have a minimum six months validity remaining.
You are required to apply online for a visa to Uganda. Tourist visas (usually three month) are no longer available on arrival at Entebbe International airport or at land borders. 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.
Travellers to Kenya are required to obtain an electronic Visa prior to their arrival in Kenya. Kenyan visas are no longer issued on arrival in Kenya or in Kenyan representations. The e-Visa allows entry into the country once for a tourist or business stay or up to 90 days or transit for up to 72 hours.
Travellers to the Republic of Tanzania (mainland and Zanzibar) are required to apply online for a tourist visa before traveling to Tanzania. The applicants passport must have a validity of at least six months and un unused visa page.
you can buy while at the lodge.
CAN I USE MY ATM CARD OR CREDIT CARD?
You can use ATM and Visa credit cards for money withdrawal 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.
IS MASTER CARD ACCEPTED?
MasterCard is accepted but consider bringing some cash which you can change to local currency upon arrival. Banks and Forex bureaus will exchange cash. Please note: US dollars bills issued before 2009 are NOT accepted. 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 banknotes 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 banknotes of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 Rwandan Francs notes. Coins are available for smaller denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 francs.
The currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shillings, which is issued in banknotes of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 shillings. The coins range from 50 cents, 1, 5, 10, 20, and 40 shillings.
The currency in Tanzania is the Tanzania shillings which is issued in banknotes of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000 and coins of 50, 100, 200, 500.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH TIPPING?
Tipping is according to level of service you receive and it is optional, there are no fixed rates. Salaries are generally low 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.
ARE WE SAFE ON SAFARI?
The quick answer is yes, but just like any other country in the world, occasional issues may arise therefore basic precautions should be taken. Do not leave bags or money unattended to – avoid displaying expensive jewelry.
ARE THE CITIES SAFE FOR TOURISTS?
You will always be accompanied by your driver guide while on safari and they will advise on which places based on how they know about the area. Just like in any place, 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.
IS IT SAFE FOR HOMOSEXUALS TO VISIT EAST AFRICA?
Despite some negative press, gay and lesbian travellers are welcome to visit. However, we recommend discretion because of the conservative nature of the countries.
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, 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, 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. Some people may ask for money before you take their photographs, you can choose to negotiate the amount or simply not take the photograph.
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 especially when you have locked in dates of travel. The gorilla and chimpanzee permits are booked and paid for at the same time. However for solo or small parties traveling together, it is possible for last minutes trips.
HOW CAN I PAY FOR MY SAFARI?
Most of our clients pay by wire transfers to the account 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 confirms the safari. Accommodation, permit, and activity reservations will be made as soon as payment is 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 with you to find the perfect accommodation for your needs. The majority of safari lodges and hotels we partner with located in national parks are small exclusive lodges with a few rooms. This often means that for specific lodges, we recommend booking way in adverse of your safari to ensure availability.
The lodges offer comfortable rooms or furnished safari tents with a private bathroom. Flush toilets, hot and cold running water are available.
WHAT VEHICLES DO YOU USE FOR SAFARI?
Kagera Safaris provides ‘pop-up roof’ 4WD safari vehicles for game viewing. The 4WD are either minivans or Land cruisers where we ensure that everybody has a window seat to enjoy the best views. We limit the number in minivans to seven while for land cruiser some carry six, four, and two 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 but no pop up roof.
I AM A SOLO TRAVELER…
Solo travellers are welcome but please note that the cost of the safari will generally be higher than if you joined a group. We generally offer private safaris and rarely have group safaris for you to join in. However where possible, we shall advise in case of scheduled safaris but group dynamics will be at play.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE IN YOUR GROUP SAFARI?
We offer tailor-made safaris for any number of participants. Considering the sitting in the cars – the maximum number is seven for everyone to have a window seat. For Land cruisers they range from 2 – 7 individuals. When the groups is large, we shall have several vehicles on the same tour.
WHAT OTHER EXPENSES SHOULD I EXPECT?
Unless otherwise stated, tour prices quoted include; airport/hotel transfers, transport with fuel and driver/guide, accommodation, drinking water in safari vehicle, conservation fees, park entrance fees and activity fees associated with your itinerary.
The quoted price does not include; international airfare to/from , 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, these have to be organise privately by the travel agent and are received by us a private small group traveling together. However we do not put together small groups by ourselves.
DO YOU CATER FOR SPECIAL DIET?
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. Endevour to inform us when booking your safari and remind the tour guide while on safari.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR FOR SAFARI?
There is no bad time of year to visit Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. Even during the rainy seasons (April-May and October – November) it may rain for a short while before the sun comes out. However most people prefer to travel in the dry seasons of Dec – Feb and June – Sept.
DO THE TOUR GUIDES SPEAK ENGLISH?
Yes but drivers or guides who speak other international languages can be arranged when informed at the time of inquiry. We have; German, Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese speaking guide and or translators, but you are required to inform us at the time of inquiry so that this is included in the quote.
HOW MUCH IS SPENT IN A VEHICLE DAILY?
The time spent in a vehicle depends on the destination of your safari but it ranges from two hours to nine hours. However please note that you will have several stops along the way for stretching, meals and photography. Otherwise, generally you will spend an average of six hours a day. Please note that there are flights to the different destinations in case you are not one for long road trips.
HOW CAN I COMMUNICATE HOME WHILE ON SAFARI?
International telephone calls are made from most areas using local SIM cards can be purchased on arrival. International roaming facilities are available.
Most lodges do have Wi-Fi, you can use this to communicate on email or social media.
All our drivers/guides have cell phones and maintain contact with the Office throughout safaris.