A Complete Guide to Planning Your Uganda Safari

A Complete Guide to Planning Your Uganda Safari - Arcadia Safaris

A Complete Guide to Planning Your Uganda Safari


A Complete Guide to Planning your Uganda safari. The recommended vaccinations for Uganda include: tetanus, diphtheria, polio, hepatitis A, typhoid, cholera, hepatitis B, meningitis and tuberculosis. The rabies vaccination is recommended if you’re going to have contact with wild or domestic animals or if you’re going to be in a remote location far from medical assistance. Vaccinations for yellow fever are recommended for all travellers (and for children aged nine months and older).

There’s a high risk of malaria in Uganda. Consult your doctor about taking malaria prophylactics during your travels and do your best to prevent mosquito bites by wearing long trousers and shirts, using repellent and always sleeping under a mosquito net.

Health and Emergencies in Uganda

To stay healthy in Uganda, you should only drink bottled, boiled or treated water and avoid eating any unpeeled fruits or vegetables; If you eat street food make sure that you buy it from a vendor that is busy and has a high turnover of food to ensure that it’s fresh, and watch that the food is cooked and packed/served in your observance.

Uganda has a high risk of malaria and you should take antimalarial medication and prevent mosquito bites by using repellent on your skin and clothes, wear long trousers and shirts in the early morning and evenings and sleep under a mosquito net.

There’s a risk of contracting dengue fever, chikungunya and the Zika virus in Uganda. All three illnesses are transmitted by mosquitos but there are no preventative medications for them. Again, try to prevent mosquito bites as best you can.

There’s also a risk of contracting bilharzia – a parasitic disease transmitted by freshwater snails. Avoid swimming or wading in any fresh water (a hotel swimming pool is safe).

Health care system.

Uganda has both public and private healthcare facilities. Public healthcare facilities are understaffed and lack medical equipment and drugs. If you have a health problem or medical emergency you should visit a private clinic or hospital, where you’ll need to pay for your treatment and then get reimbursed by your travel insurance

Medical emergencies.

If your medical emergency is not serious, then get to the closest town and try to find a private clinic or hospital; For more serious emergencies, unless you’re in Kampala and can reach a private clinic, then you need to inform a representative (Arcadia Safaris Guide) or contact a medical evacuation service (such as MAF on +256 772 777 208) which will transport you by plane to the closest private hospital for treatment.


Any person intending to enter into Uganda or any other country of interest should do so only for lawful purposes and in accordance with national laws, guidelines and formalities.

Visa Exemptions (Uganda).

Nationalities that do not require a Visa to enter Uganda:

COMESA: Angola, Eritrea, Malawi, Madagascar, Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia, Comoros, Kenya, Mauritius, Zimbabwe

EAC: Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, South Sudan

OTHERS: Antigua, Barbados, Fiji, Grenada, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Cyprus, Bahamas, Belize, Gambia, Jamaica, Malta, Singapore, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Types of Visas

  • Visas to Uganda

The Embassy issues single entry visas for a maximum duration of 3 months and multiple entry visas for a maximum duration of 6 months. Any extensions of this period, can be applied for at the Immigration Office in Kampala.

How to Apply for a Ugandan Visa.

All persons intending to travel to Uganda for holiday, tourism, business, study, visit, and/or medical are required to apply and obtain a visa online. Applications should be filled at the following link: https://visas.immigration.go.ug

Note: Applicants must apply for a visa using the E-Visa portal.

Issues regarding visas can be referred to the following email: Kkasibayo@ugandaembassyus.org  please leave your name and a reliable call back number.


You will be required to upload proof of yellow fever vaccination in addition to other requirements like a copy of your passport bio-data page, most recent passport photograph of the applicant (you), travel itinerary (in place of invitation letter)

EAC Visas (East African Community)

The East Africa Tourist Visa allows travel between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with the same multiple entry visa. This visa is the result of a joint initiative made by the Heads of States of the respective partner countries to boost regional travel and create opportunities for tourists to explore the diversity of East Africa.

Travelers from any country can obtain a multiple entry visa that will allow entry to the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda, and the Republic of Uganda for tourism over period of 90 days.

Please note that this visa does NOT grant entry into the United Republic of Tanzania, Burundi or South Sudan.

Information and Eligability.

Eligible Person: Tourist, no restrictions on country of origin

Dependents: All persons must apply in their own right.

Travel Documents: All tourists must have an official and genuine international passport, valid for not less than 6 months from the time of visa application.

Visa Fees: 100 USD per visa

Validity of Visa: 90 days

Single of Multiple Entry: Multiple entry to all three countries

Work or no Work: Work is not permitted on a vistor /tourist visa

Visa Extension: An East Africa Tourist Visa cannot be extended.

Country of Entry: The holder of the East Africa Tourist Visa must enter the region from the country that issued the visa and move within the two other countries without applying for another visa or paying another visa fee.

Movement of persons: The holder shall also be allowed to move out of the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda, and the Republic of Uganda and return without having to pay for another visa. This will only be applicable for the validity period of the visa (90 days from visa approval).

Payment for Visas (Be cautious of online Fraudsters)

All applications and payment must be made online through the following link: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/.


Ugandan Tourist Visa Costs $50 US Dollars.

East African Tourist Visa Costs $100 US Dollars

Please note that there  will be NO Refund made for payments made into the Embassy Bank Account.

Issuance of visas at Uganda Missions Abroad (Embassies):

E-visas and e-permits are centrally approved but can be personalized at Point of Entry or Missions Abroad that have been equipped with the e-immigration system; The Ugandan Embassy Washington, DC provides this personalization visa service for travellers that prefer not to receive their visas upon arrival in Uganda. This service is offered between the hours of 10:00 – 15:00 hrs.

Important: Ensure your Visa is cleared and a copy of confirmation readily available and accessible with you when required.


We always get this difficult question from our clients concerning how much to Tip a Driver-Guide, Park Ranger, Waitresses or Waiters. As it depends largely on the level of gratitude one has felt and his/her budget. None the less it could be $10, $15, $20, etc. Per day or at the end of the trip (encouraged) as you say “Goodbye”

NB: Tipping is not mandatory but something encouraged as a sign of gratitude


Armed rangers undertake routine patrol within the park to ensure that everything is in order on both parties i.e Tourists, Drivers/Guides, and wildlife as well; This is a must in Kidepo National Park and in Pian-Upe though other parks can be explored even without an armed guard/ranger on board.


The assigned driver-guide maintains contact with the park authority in case of any suspicious person (s) trailing him and client. There is also a routine patrol by armed rangers within the parks to ensure safety of tourists, driver-guide and wildlife.


We do provide and use either safari van or safari land-cruiser depending on whichever is available on our esteem clients date or clients’ preference. Both cars are comfortable enough. As Arcadia Safaris we always endeavor to see that all our safari vehicles are serviced and well maintained. However, in the unfortunate event that that the car breaks down and a rescue becomes necessary, we do arrange and send a rescue car to ensure minimal disruption and discomfort.


Try to keep it simple, plain and practical for your stable comfort while on safari. If your safari activities include hiking, gorilla and chimpanzee trekking we advise to pack trekking shoes or jungle boots for hiking, long sleeved shirts to protect you from thorny wild plants and insects, long stockings(if putting on shorts), comfortable jeans (pants/trousers).

Other may include a hat or cap, some comfortable shorts, dresses, blouses (female), a rain jacket also comes in quite candy

NB: Arcadia Safaris provides all our clients and the driver-guide with a branded hat/cap and an umbrella throughout the safari/trip period.


It is possible to withdraw money from the ATM at the airport and in major towns along your safari route. We advise that you always notify your bank if you’re planning to use an ATM or a credit card

Our local currency in Uganda is in Ugandan Shillings (Ug. Shs/Ugx) in denominations of 50,000/ 20,000 / 10,000 / 5,000 / 2,000 / 1,000 / (500 / 200 / 100 / 50 “coins”).

Note: Incase you wish to have some local currency; the assigned tour driver-guide can always lead you to the nearby forex point.


Most of our recommended Hotel/Camps and Lodges have Wi-Fi internet access and. However at times the connection speed may not be so good. Whenever you are at these accommodations, it will be possible for you to keep in touch with family and friends via emails, Skype, and other communication modes of your preference.

Note: As Arcadia Safaris we care about you staying connected wherever you are during your trip, that’s why all our safari vehicles have free Wi-Fi Internet for you.


Should you desire to bring some gifts/handouts for the children and community members that you may encounter during your trip, please note that sweets, chocolate, or any other edible (though they create more pleasure) are not encouraged. However, items like clothes, shoes, sandals, scholastic materials would be much appreciated.


Lastly but most important, please kindly remember to carry some patience with you. The African wilds is so rich and captivating but remember nothing is predictable. Your impatience could cause you that pride of lions, that leopard, that shoebill stork among others.