10 Travel Tips for Uganda & Rwanda Visitors

Planning a trip to a new destination is ideally so stressful and can be worse when there is no information to make you aware of what that destination is all about. For starters, Uganda and Rwanda are among the 3 countries in the world where mountain gorillas thrive. A trip to see a group of these magical creatures in any of this African states rewards travel endeavors with life changing experiences.

For first time travelers, a trip to Uganda or Rwanda is never discriminatory regardless of what your travel interests are. When you think of a safari to Uganda or Rwanda, expect to see more than just the rare mountain gorillas. There is a lot more for you to enjoy right from the scenic beauty, diversity of culture, historical monuments, ideal climatic conditions and the wonderful hospitality. Most importantly, your safety and security in any of these destinations is highly a concern of every government and the national park management. Remarkably, Uganda and Rwanda peace and security has prevailed in these countries.

1. Preparation

Before you get to Uganda or Rwanda, you need to be fully prepared and organized. The best way to have a well-planned safari, it is important that you choose or deal with a trust worthy tour company to make your travel dreams come true. That said, we are that one recognized and trust worthy Tour Company you can deal with and we shall have your dreams achieved in a destination of your choice. Check our website and stay up-to-date as we help you make sound and informed decision. As well, check through local newspapers, watch national geographic films especially ‘Gorillas in the Mist.’

2. Packing for your trip to Uganda or Rwanda

How you pack for your trip matters a lot depending on your travel needs. If you wish to take part gorilla treks in Uganda and Rwanda, there is no need to pack bulky items. The most essential items to consider in your packing list include waterproof hiking boots, daypack, rain jacket or poncho, bottled water, snacks, long sleeved shirt or t-shirt, hat, camera with no flash light, walking stick which you can find at the park headquarters, first aid kit and others.

3. Reasons to visit Uganda and Rwanda?

You have a million reasons to visit Uganda and Rwanda. The two countries boast of their unique natural wonders with mainly mountain gorillas featuring as their prime or star attractions. However, there is more than just magical encounters with these unusual creatures-a trip to Uganda or Rwanda is a great opportunity for you to explore the abundant bird species, diversity of cultures, scenic beauty, and ideal climatic conditions, historical sites and adrenaline adventures at the source of the Nile. In Rwanda gorilla treks are done in Volcanoes National Park and permits cost $1500 and in Uganda in Mgahinga National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. As well, expect to see the big game (elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, leopards, lions) plus other several savanna grassland wildlife dwellers.

4. When to visit Uganda and Rwanda

Uganda and Rwanda are strategically located a stride Equator and due to this, pleasantly warm and tropical climate is experienced. A visit to these destinations can be done at any time of the year however, there is need for you to take note of two significant seasons-the dry and wet seasons. The dry season is usually the most preferred time by most travelers on gorilla safari and this starts from June to September and December to February. The dry season is characterized by low rainfall amount and normally the ground remains relatively drier making it easier for one to trek to see mountain gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda. The wet season is also important on its own and it starts from March to May and October to November. This season comes with heavy rainfall and in most cases, the ground becomes slippery and muddy making it a bit more challenging for one to hike through the steep slopes to search for these special creatures. However, it is a season when there is plenty of forage for these apes to feed on and in most cases they keep around thus making it easier for you trek compared to dry season when they tend to move to search for what to eat and this means longer hours of trek.

5. Health tips

Before you embark on actual trip you are expected to be okay health wise. In most cases visitors are required to get a yellow fever certificate and also immunize against other diseases. If you are planning to track mountain gorillas, you need to be free from any illness as these creatures are very susceptible to human infectious diseases. Equally, while at the destination, be mindful of places where you eat out from and try to avoid street food as much as possible. There are classic restaurants and hotels in Kampala or Kigali for you to have something for yourself.

6. Money tips

Both Uganda and Rwanda are cash based countries however, other currencies are also welcome especially the US dollar that is mostly used in the tourism sector. To ease your transaction, you may have to exchange your currency into local currency and most importantly, there are ATM machines in most banks in Kampala or Kigali. 

7. Obtaining a visa for Rwanda and Uganda

Travel visa can be obtained by applying online with the Rwanda immigration or visit the nearby Rwanda Embassy in your country.  As well, you can get the tourist visa and you will still enter Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya. To apply for this type of visa, visit East African visa Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania or East African Tourist Visa.

8. Tipping

Tipping is not a must to do but it is one way to appreciate those who did offer a service to you. You can tip the driver guide, park guide, waitress, waiters or any service provider for the good work done. What you offer may not that much but what it will do for the families of those who get is incredibly one thing not to forget.

9. Mobile or cell phones usage

Uganda and Rwanda feature the best cell phone network and you can as well unlocked cell phone then purchase a Ugandan sim card for MTN, AfriCell or Airtel.  For those who may need to make international calls to Europe, Asia and North America you may incur a charge of 20 cents per minute, but if you are keen enough, you can also enjoy promotion charges especially for countries like US or UK, India and Pakistan.

10. Internet services

Internet can be accessed in various parts of Uganda and Rwanda. Amazingly, most hotels, lodges, guest houses have Wi-Fi services and can be used free. As well, you can purchase your data in case you have a smart phone or a laptop.

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