Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s dive in. If you want to understand tourism with BigExpeditions, each of these QUESTIONS will guide you.
WHAT’S THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO COME TO UGANDA?
Uganda is ready and good all the times of the year to receive tourists. Even during the rainy seasons (March – June and October – November) it may rain for not more than three hours and then sun surfaces again. It rarely gets cold, but it is advisable to carry lightweight rain gear in the rainy season. It can slightly get cold at night (especially in highland areas such as Sipi / Mount Elgon, the Rwenzoris and Kisoro / Kabale, Bindibugyo and parts of Kabarole.
WHICH INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES ACCESS UGANDA?
From Europe, major carriers are: Brussels Airlines, The Royal Dutch airlines (KLM) and Turkish Airlines, all of which fly directly to Entebbe. International carriers from Europe connect with most North American carriers. Major African Airlines include: Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Air Tanzania, Egypt air, South African Airways and Rwanda air. From the Middle East and South East Asia, check with Emirates Etihad and Qatar Air.
WHAT OTHER EXPENSES SHOULD I EXPECT AFTER QUOTED SAFARI COSTS?
Unless otherwise stated, tour prices quoted are ex-Kampala activities as well as personal engagements outside the itinerary but include transport with fuel and driver/guide, accommodation, meals on safari, National Park and activity fees associated with your itinerary. Clients will directly be responsible for airfare to/from Uganda, Visa fees, extra airport transfers, meals, accommodation, transport in and around Kampala, with supplemental 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. Coffee and tea are usually available with meals in up-country properties and drinking water may be provided. It is advisable to always check what is included in menu prices.
HOW DO I PAY FOR MY SAFARI?
Most of our clients pay by wire transfers or credit card. Bank details are available upon request. With Managers’ approval, credit card payments can be made, but please note there is a 7-9% surcharge. In Kampala cash payments are accepted in any foreign convertible currency and in Uganda Shillings.
WHAT DEPOSIT DO I NEED TO PAY?
Gorilla tracking safaris require US$600 per permit to secure a permit. For all other safaris, a 50% deposit is required 10 weeks before intended departure or at the time of booking with the balance to be settled 30 days prior to commencement of the tour.
WHAT KIND OF VEHICLE WILL I TRAVEL IN?
We drive you in 4WD safari vehicles, air conditioned with enough leg room and pop up roof for a comfortable safari, making it easier for your game viewing.
CAN I FLY INTERNALLY?
Yes, charter flights are available to almost all safari destinations, but be aware that charter costs are high. A limited number of internal scheduled flights are available so booking in advance is also very essential.
WHAT IS THE DURATION OF BOOKING IN ADVANCE DO I NEED FOR A GORILLA PERMIT?
You can book in advance as far as possible to avoid disappointment since gorilla permits are sold up to 2 years in advance!
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR WHILE TRACKING GORILLA?
We recommend: a breathable and lightweight rain jacket or poncho, a warm jacket or fleece for overcast days and evening, long-sleeved shirt and trousers, sturdy waterproof walking boots (seasoned or well-worn footwear), leather gardening type gloves, sunscreen, cap or sun hat, sunglasses, insect repellent, comfortable day pack for carrying water and minimum number of personal items. Cameras and video cameras are allowed, but bring film and batteries from Kampala.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH TIPPING?
Tipping depends level of service rendered and satisfaction derived from it. There are no fixed or assumed rates. Culturally people may not feel it appropriate to outwardly show their appreciation for money given, however remuneration are generally low in Uganda compared to neighboring tourism destinations and all tips will be greatly appreciated. Tipping will depend on the level of satisfaction you derive from the service offered. Tips are very personal and this is only a guide. Feel free to ask for advice.
DO I NEED TO CARRY MY PASSPORT AND TRAVEL DOCUMENTS?
We recommend that you leave original travel documents and passports with us for safety (if you wish) and travel with photocopies. East African residents will need to show copy of Passports and Work Permits to obtain resident discounts. Most hotels and lodges have safe deposit boxes available as well.
DO THE DRIVERS SPEAK ENGLISH?
Yes, all Big Expedition Safaris drivers/guides speak English. If you require drivers or guides who speak other international languages, please let us know in advance to help us get you the best available options.
IS UGANDA SAFE?
Uganda is safe however; occasional security issues may arise as in any other developing country. Big Expedition Safaris maintains up-to-date information on all parts of the Country and will advise Clients accordingly at the time of booking if any risks appear to be present. Basic precautions will be taken, as in all countries, and common sense should be used. It is not advised to display expensive jewelry, leave language with valuables unattended or leave money lying around. Generally, Uganda is a safe and very welcoming country.