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Useful advice for travelers to Uganda

Traveling to any country, people should know the cultural and historical context, at least a little bit. It is the biggest misbelief that people are almost the same in different parts of the world and their life rules are alike. That’s why for comfortable and safe traveling it’s always a good idea to learn some facts beforehand. Be better prepared and informed and you can show your respect to the country you visit.

There is a great number of myths and misconceptions about Africa. Some of them are like from the horrors, others are too far from the truth. But there is just a simple list of rules to know as in any foreign country. Speaking about Uganda and its cultural context nowadays, we have to advise you to keep all your precious things with you and do not leave them around. Do not walk alone at night and buy tours with professional guides. In Uganda modest clothes is more appreciated. According to the climate there, it’s better to dress in cotton. When traveling to the African country the tourists should think about 3 points: currency, safety and health.

 What should you know about money in Uganda? First of all, the banks and currency exchanges are just in the big towns. Paying for accommodation you can use Visa or MasterCard, hotels and lodges honor a card. Take cash in small denominations with you too for tips, for example. As for currency, Us dollars are accepted, except old ones and of high denomination. It may bring a small discomfort.

Safety is very important in foreign country, especially in Africa. Despite Uganda is very safe for tourism, run by your guides, they know for sure all the traditions, the conditions and potentially unsafe areas. You can walk in cities, parks and excursions, but avoid deserted areas. The wildlife is much more closer than you can picture it. Health problems can be easily avoided by consulting with your doctor before your travel for advice. Before the trip, it is worth getting vaccinated for yellow fever, which ensures the safety of tourists around the world in countries with tropical climates. Also, prevention of malaria will be useful. As for food and water, there is an abundance of products familiar to the tourists. In Uganda shopping is well-organized. You can find small shops, mini-markets and open-air markets in the streets of any town. There is an interesting fact about buying fizzy drinks in bottles. Tourists are usually followed by a boy, till they finish drinking because you should return a bottle to the shop you bought it at. That’s why the boy helps you not to turn back to the shop.

Of course, don’t forget your passport. Relating to visa, it needs to figure out because the requirements of the Ugandan embassy vary according to the nationality of the tourists. One more important thing is travel insurance. Take care about suitable insurance before the departure. It should cover any medical situation, canceling or changing of arrangements and baggage.

Last, but not least – photography question.  It is allowed to take photos in Uganda, except for the objects connected with the government and the army. Bring additional memory cards and batteries if it’s necessary, they are not available everywhere. We advise asking permission for photo shooting in residents. Unfortunately, drones are not allowed in the conservation areas, the wildlife is highly protected from the harmful impact.

All in all, now you are forewarned, forearmed. Good luck in planning your trip to Uganda. Talk to the travel specialist, make reservations and let it be your perfect experience. We are sure that Uganda is an excellent place for traveling and getting new and sincere emotions.

What should you know about gorillas’ tracks?

One of the most popular activities for travelers in Uganda is gorillas tracking. It’s an amazing time, be sure. Mountain gorillas don’t live in any zoo, they can’t survive there, in detention. Moreover, they can be seen just in three countries in Africa. Isn’t it enough motivating to try? But you should be prepared and familiar with all the opportunities it gives. Wildlife is thrilling, adventurous, but dangerous at the same time. It’s unlike anything to keep an eye out for mountain gorillas in their untouchable place of living. It’s so exciting to see them undisturbed in their everyday routine. So if you are ready, the best place for it is the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, because almost half of the population lives there. That’s it as for the place. As for the time, the tours can be taken around the year, but it’s easier to set in the dry season. The dry season is during the summer months and also September, December. The temperatures are acceptable. The track has no any special demands, but hiking can be long and tough. That’s why tracking for a long period of days will be easier for those, who are more prepared in sports, strong and sturdy. Don’t forget, they are mountain gorillas. But you can always ask for a group due to your physical fitness level.  The hike is usually led through the rainforest and bamboo slopes of the park. Of course, the expert is guiding you and leading the way all the time. It’s allowed to walk near the gorillas in 6 meters for an hour in a group of six or eight people. It is an amazing feeling to be right in the heart of nature and take part in the life of these rare creatures, isn’t it?

There are some items you should think about for gorilla trekking. First of all, choose the tour. It can be from one to three days tour, or even more. Secondly, the accommodation place. The operators offer lodges at different prices and comfort. We advise you to book the place as close as possible to the tracking point and beforehand. Needless to say, such activity is not the cheapest one, but you can try to find some quotes. The price for gorilla trekking varies from 1000 to 6000 dollars per person without a hotel stay. The high price is easily explained by conserving the population in the parks, except entrance fees, cars, guides.

In addition, any tourist registered for trekking should be prepared from top to toe. The most important for a comfortable hike is special waterproof boots and insect repellents. It’s also good to take a light raincoat, garden gloves, bottled water, snacks. The clothes should be convenient and closed enough.

There is one more interesting activity for tourists, gorillas habituation. The visitors, only 4 people allowed, join the process of training gorillas to humans by researchers. This is special and exciting. Just imagine strong, muscular with long arms mammals, silverback, because of the shade of the hair on their backs. In fact, in 98 percent they are alike with people on a genetic basis.

To sum it up, gorillas trekking is an activity for young people, as for pensioners too. It’s right for those who are seeking new emotions and memories. The spectacularly will stay in your mind forever and you will never regret about efforts giving on this activity. It’s like a story, a novel that you always can tell your friends, kids, or family.  So if you choose the peak season for a trip to Uganda, don’t forget to make reservations and buy permits beforehand.

Traditional Cuisine in Uganda

When you travel you usually look for the accommodation to stay in, the places of interest to visit and the new dishes to taste. Every country has something special in its cuisine, tastes differ, but it’s always a good idea to try something interesting. When you travel to Uganda be ready for the extraordinary meals, that are unlike any others.

Moreover, there are well-organized food tours in Uganda. So if you are bored of parks, safaris and nature, a food tour is right for you. An interesting fact, Uganda is called a food basket of East Africa, which means you won’t be hungry there for sure.

In Uganda, you can try traditional dishes, for most people in the country they are the same and some specific ones that are prepared just in some regions. Taking a food trip you have an opportunity to taste different staple food and also learn secret recipes. So let’s take a look at the various food in Uganda and prepare for future traveling.

As it was already said, the food differs according to the part of the country. So let’s start from the central region of Uganda. The most common food there is Matooke, a dish cooked on steam. The green part of it consists of the banana leaves, that have been prepared earlier. First of all, they are steamed for a while, then they are mashed to make them soft, after it they are put back to the fire to make them softer. Served after been ready with any stew. Grasshoppers, also called Nsenene, are a kind of delicacy for the local people in Uganda. They are usually fried without legs and wings. Ants are also common in this region. Some people eat them right from the hills, some fry before eating, but all in all you cannot miss trying it.

In the eastern part, the sweet potato is the most popular product. The recipe is simple, the potatoes are peeled, wrapped in a banana leaf, then steamed in a pan with water, after placed on the fire to be ready. Usually served with any possible stew. Sometimes the locals fry the sweet potatoes, but frequently in the mornings.

In the western area the Ishabwe is worth trying. It is made from ghee, after keeping milk till it ferments and then the top should be removed. It is usually served with other dishes, like potatoes, Matooke or millet bread.

The north region can offer tourists millet bread and malakwang mixed with ground nuts. Malakwang is a green vegetable, before eating it is boiled, then the water is poured out. Then they add a little bit of water and nut paste.  

Don’t forget about one more pleasure of the food tour, speaking about street food. If we say that you can buy tasty Rolex in Uganda? Yes, that’s it, the Rolex – famous street food in Uganda. It is flat and round, made of the chapatti, which is made of flour. It is fried and after it an egg is added on the top, the final step is to roll it up together. You can add any other ingredients, for example, tomatoes, onion, peppers or meat, etc.

As for breakfast, you should try katogo. It is a great combination of Matooke, beans, ground nuts, meat. The ingredients can be added separately. Some people add ghee to give a special taste to the dish.

One more way is to take a break for the roasted maze. It is one of the top products. The locals and tourists eat it with tea, porridge, or even water. The maize is prepared in a charcoal stove, with a small grill on it.

To enjoy more food, come for the food trip to Uganda. You should think about the trip to get an experience you won’t get anywhere else.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

One of the classical places to go to in Uganda is Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) in the west of the country. QENP is located in Kasese district and its area is almost two thousand square kilometers. It borders with some other national parks, many towns are around it and even lake Edward is not far from it.

The year of the foundation of the park is 1952, but first it was named as Kazinga National Park, a combination of two lakes reserves. Two years later it was renamed due to the visit of Queen Elizabeth II.   

Queen Elizabeth National Park is well-known for its wildness. It’s a home for African elephants and buffalos, lions and hippos, leopards, Nile crocodiles, etc. There you can observe mammals and birds in their ecosystem. One of the most attractive is tree-climbing lions. Do you know that lions can climb? It is rare for most of the breeds, only two populations can climb the trees on an everyday basis. They live in the Ishasha part in the park. It’s a popular tourist attraction, because people always try to guess the reason. They climb because of the flies on the ground level or they try to keep safe from the heat. Frankly speaking, the truth is unknown. The lions usually lie on the branches of the fig trees sleeping or staring down at the kobs on the plains. So now you know, that in Uganda’s areas to climb the tree while been chasing by the lion won’t help you to escape. The route there is unreliable, that’s why we recommend taking any safari tour. There will be an educated agent and appropriate vehicles.

The park is also famous for its volcanic items, like volcanic cones and craters. Katwe crater lakes can be found on the territory of the park. It is considered as the explosion crater, which means it was violent long time ago, but nowadays it is extinct freeing sulphurous smells. The picture is absolutely charming, hiking in this area is the best decision to take amazing photos and enjoy the moment. You can take Crater Drive that is 27 km long, check out Lake Kitagata, a lake full of salty warm springs with no wildlife around. You can also visit lake Katwe with its long-time salt works.    

As the park strongly differs in ecosystems, there is a chance for visitors to see savannas, humid forests, abundant bogs, and lakes. There’s a heaven of tours. For those who want to enjoy the scenery or for those who always dream to see the wild animals and birds as close as possible. Moreover, tourists can pick up some walks within the territories, bird watching, cruises to the Kasinga Channel.

But not only tours, trips and safari, but Queen Elizabeth National Park also has a bountiful cultural history. The tourists have opportunities to meet the inhabitants of the nearby living centers, to see their lifestyle, to take part in different cultural traditions. The most favored activity among tourists is dancing with the locals. In addition, they can listen to some stories of the citizens or listen to traditional music, etc.

The best time for visiting QENP is from June to September or December to January, but at any time of the year, there are chances to get in here. It depends on climate peculiarities and the living characteristics of the animals there.

 All in all, this place is an amazing spot on the planet. There is a lot of things to see and to take part in. Coming here you will never regret, but remember those fascinating moments of the life as it is. Pictures from here will recall all your memories even many years later.

You should visit Uganda

It’s always a challenge to plan the vacation and first of all choose a place for it. If you are not traveling alone, it’s much more complicated. If you are bored of European sightseeing, seaside resorts, or mountains, there is one more unique place to visit. It is the part of the world that inspires by its originality, danger, primevalness.

A country in East Africa, Uganda, that is situated on the equator. It borders with Tanzania, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Although it is a tiny country, there are so many picturesque landscapes and amazing views to see. From savannahs and impassable forests to snowy mountains. Uganda is also in the African Great Lakes region. And what is more interesting for travelers, most habitations there are close to the borders of the natural parks with wildlife. Lions, elephants, buffalos, great amount of different types of birds, you can even see the endangered mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, isn’t it exciting? Arriving in the country as a visitor, you can look through different variants of full safari trips or short excursions for gorilla trekking.

If it’s not enough, let us mention some more places. The Virunga Volcanoes and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, that is home to the mountain gorillas, the mighty Nile river and lonesome, unharmed Kidepo Valley. In addition, one of the greatest reserve places in the world – Queen Elizabeth National Park, there are almost 120 animal species and more than 500 types of birds.

Uganda is a place for solo travelers and for family vacations too. There are some restrictions for small kids, but you can always find attractions on any taste. There would be no problems with accommodation. There is a wide variety of safari lodges or camps with all conveniences. It is recommended to reserve the place in advance if it’s possible.

You should remember that there is a better season for visiting Uganda, in order not to have problems with roads or trekking. The top season for gorilla trekking is usually from June to November. Speaking about the climate, summer here is usually from October to April. The temperature varies from 18 to 27 degrees Celsius. The winter season is from May to September. The average temperatures are 25/ 16 degrees Celsius. Long rains are from March to May. But the wettest month here is April. You should remember that in the evenings and at night it gets much more cooler than during the daytime.

Uganda safari is one of the best spots with its variety in nature aspect, opportunities to connect with nature, and even mild temperatures. It is impressive in many things. Uganda is an area where the savannah of East Africa meets the jungles of central Africa. It gives a unique opportunity to watch lions and elephants in the plains and then monkeys through a rainforest.

In addition, it is a place of a bounty of water resources. Therefore, there are river adventures that are also worth taking. The most popular are superb white water rafting in Jinja, river cruises looking for swimming hippos and crocodiles.

All in all, Uganda is not visited by a high percentage of tourists, which means the parks and attractions won’t be crowded. It’s an extraordinary place to visit and collect the best memories from such an adventurous vacation. Moreover, English is one of the official languages of the country, that’s why it will be easy to communicate with staff and local citizens. Like any other countries, Uganda has a lot of cultural sites, which are extremely different and fascinating at the same time. So if you are planning your future vacation, think about the African dream trip. You will never regret it. You can write us for more information and details. We’ll answer any questions.