The pearl of Africa, not only because of its natural wonders but of its people.
General Tips to travel to Uganda
Your first words in Swahili:
Hello: Ki kati the ki
Thank you: Weeba
Si/No: Weewawo/ Nedda
Currency: Ugandan shilling (UGX)
Population: 42, 86 million
Main religion: Christianity
Safety Rating: According to the Global Peaceful Index, Uganda is the number 105 out of 163 countries.
Solo Female Traveler: It is not safe for a girl to go alone especially in big cities during the night. Do not feel insecure during the day (do not walk alone in empty streets) but avoid night walks.
Uganda is located in the equator however its temperatures depends on the altitude.
There are two main seasons:
The rainy season is from March to May and from September to November.
Dry Season is from December to February and June to August.
The north has a dry and hot climate, an average temperature of 33 ° C (91,4 ºC). On the other hand, the south and the banks of the lakes stand out for their heavy rains and more moderate temperatures, an average of 20 ° C (68 ºF). The northeast, near southern Sudan, is semi-arid.
Typology and prices of accommodation in Uganda depend on the area of the country. It all depends if we are talking about accommodation in the city or in a national park.
In the cities, the concept of shared rooms are not common, instead, you are going to find individual rooms with a private bathroom for 8 $/night.
In the national parks, you are going to find campsites that are very affordable accommodations. This campsite can provide you with tents or you can bring your own (this option will be cheaper). A night in a well-located camping spot inside the national parks will cost around 15 $ / night.
The main international airport in Uganda is located in Entebbe. Recommendation: Entebbe is a beautiful place to spend some nights during your travel. I would recommend staying in Entebbe rather than in Kampala once you arrive in the country.
To travel between cities they use Matutu, a crowded local bus always used by locals. This option might be a little bit crazy at the beginning but you will get used to it. They full the bus of people and animals to the top! Clearly it is a new experience for most people and it is also a very cheap mean of transport.
Boda-Boda is how they call the motorbike taxi in the cities. It is very cheap, but be careful who are you traveling with and do not pick this vehicle at night; because of the conditions of the road, it may be dangerous.
Recommendation: In case you are traveling for a short period of time and you need help to optimize your days, I can recommend one guide for you. He will provide you with a private car and he will manage your planning for it to be fully optimized. His name is Issac. He will always try to save as much money as possible while he drives you all around Uganda. Contact me in case you need his contact! E-mail me to Gabriela@nomadicmindtravel.com.
The most typical food in Uganda is the “Matoke” and the “Chapati”.
Matoke is a dish made mainly from cooked green plantain, meat(usual poultry) garlic, onion, and pepper. All the aforementioned condiments are stirred and served on the table with a peanut sauce to complement its flavor.
Chapati is a kind of bread made with salt white flour, oil and water.
There is another typical street dish cooked by locals, the“Rolleggs”. As the name says, it is eggs rolled in chapati bread.
5 things to do in Uganda
Spend a day in the Entebbe’s LakeShore
This is probably going to be your first stop in this country as it is where the airport is located. Do not underestimate the city and spend one night with the amazing lake views Entebbe has.
Murchison falls national park
This national park has everything you need on your vacations. Nature, relax and animals. Several activities can be done here. Safari in the national park with its incredible landscape, you’ll be able to see a lot of animals (if you are lucky…you never know with nature). Also, you will be able to do a safari on a boat, a more uncommon safari but highly recommended. These safaris are done after lunch when the sun is up and animals are thirsty so they go to drink water and clean themselves to the river (Incredible views!!)
You will be able to do a trekking to the waterfalls; this activity is stunning and recommended.
Bwindi national park
This national park is where all the gorillas are hidden. It is located in the southwest of Uganda at an altitude ranging from 1160 to 2607 meters above sea level. It is a very expensive activity but it could be worth it if you get to see gorillas!
Crater lakes in Fort Portal
The crater lakes region lies in western Uganda. It has a total of 86 crater lakes located, as the name says, inside volcano crater and guarded by the mighty Virunga and Rwenzori mountain range. It is believed that these lakes were formed in extremely violent, volcanic explosions about 10,000 years ago. Doing a day-trekking, discovering the main crater lakes is such an experience!
Rafting the source of the Nile in Jinja
the Jinja is located in the east of Uganda. It is famous as the historic source of the Nile River,Jinja is now the adrenaline capital of East Africa due to the level 5 rafting in the Nile. Do not miss this great adventure!
Be careful with Malaria in this country! Below 1600 m mosquitoes that transmit this disease are everywhere. Be careful and follow the doctor’s instructions to prevent it before traveling!