18 Mar Here are the questions first-time visitors to Uganda ask us before booking their holidays
Uganda is a beautiful country with amazing wildlife and scenery, and a rich culture waiting to be explored. As Uganda is our home we know it like the back of our hand. However, we understand that this might be your first time visiting us. With that in mind, we’ve put together our most frequently asked questions, so you get a better idea of what to expect when planning your trip and visiting us in Uganda.
How safe is Uganda?
This is a popular question because so many people know so little about Uganda and are, therefore, unsure of what to expect when they come here on holiday. In short, the answer is, yes, Uganda is safe. In fact, our clients often tell us how welcoming and friendly the Ugandan people are and how safe they feel in the country. Want to see for yourself? Check out our TripAdvisor reviews here.
In addition to the friendly people and relaxed vibe, all our holidays are escorted by professional guides who drive you from one location to another. They know where to find animals and birds and will share their knowledge of wildlife and culture. Our guides are also available 24/7 to help you check in to hotels and activities, while generally helping with any questions or issues. You are free to call our Kampala office at any time too.
Like anywhere you visit, there can be problems with petty crime and riskier parts of town and Uganda is no different. But it is our home and we want you to love it as we do. We know the best places to visit and hotels to stay in and how to keep you safe, so we will organise your itinerary with all this in mind. We also offer advice before and during your trip to ensure you have the best experience.
At Venture, we are with you every step of the way from planning your adventure to getting you on the plane home in time. Now that question is out of the way, tell us what you are interested in and we will plan the adventure of a lifetime, just for you
When is the best time of year to travel to Uganda and what is the weather like?
The simple answer to this question is you can visit Uganda any time of year and have a fantastic experience. Depending on what activities you want to do during your trip, for example, if you are a birder, hiker, climber or photographer, then you might have special requirements that are best suited to certain times of the year. We are more than happy to offer advice on this.
Generally, the climate in Uganda is pleasant, and the temperature averages in the mid-20oCs throughout the entire year. Despite the unwavering temperature, Uganda has two main types of seasons: the dry seasons and the rainy seasons.
Over the years, the seasons have become less predictable due to the impact of a changing climate, but Uganda considers its dry seasons to be December to February and June to September, while the rainy seasons happen in October to November and March to May.
Uganda’s biodiversity means that whatever time of year you come, you’re sure to find plenty of wildlife, and our travel consultants and safari guides know the best places to visit in the different seasons.
Will I be fit enough to track gorillas?
Gorilla tracking is an incredible experience that we encourage everyone to take part in. While some areas of the forest may be a little steep and slippery, we can accommodate nearly all levels of ability, to ensure everyone can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
During the morning briefing, you will be allocated to a group depending on your fitness/ability, to ensure you have the most enjoyable experience. Those who are less able or injured will take the easiest trek of the day. You will be given a walking stick, and you can also hire a porter to carry your bags and generally assist you (which we recommend).
Gorilla tracking isn’t a race though, so rangers and porters will make sure to go at your pace, sharing their knowledge of flora, fauna, and culture on your journey. And there will be plenty of stops along the way for a water break or while rangers are deciding which way to go or clearing the path. If you are disabled, injured, or elderly but still an adventure seeker at heart, you can join us by being carried by 4 porters on a seat, at an extra cost. This, of course, requires a little flexibility and patience, but with an open mind and a good sense of humour, the trek is a wonderful experience.
How much does a holiday in Uganda cost?
Like most things, the price of our holidays depends on the activities you want to do, where you want to stay and how long your holiday is, but Venture Uganda strives to customise itineraries to suit everyone, from budget to high-end clients.
We won’t beat about the bush, Uganda is regarded as an expensive destination. It is still a little underdeveloped for tourism and so the laws of supply and demand apply. An example of this is accommodation, which may be expensive at peak times when rooms can be hard to find. However, Uganda is one of only two places in the world where you can safely track gorillas. The other option is Rwanda, which costs twice the price.
Our local knowledge is worth its weight in gold. At Venture, we know all the hotels and can recommend the best in the category, advise on where to compromise and where not to, and we have a few tricks up our sleeves to shave a little off the cost.
If you’re looking for a cheaper way to travel, we recommend gathering a group of friends and family members to split the cost, and we can create an itinerary that accommodates everyone. Overall though, Uganda is a fantastic destination that will leave you with stories and memories made for a lifetime, so it’s worth every single penny!
What is Ugandan food like?
One of the best things about Ugandan food is the fresh, local and often organic produce. From delicious tropical fruits, such as bananas, mangoes, pineapple, watermelon, pawpaw, and passion fruit, to fresh fish from the lake, you’ll never go hungry. And wait until you taste the creamy, fresh avocados! Then you can wash it all down with a selection of yummy juices like passion fruit and cocktail mix or the scrumptious sugar cane juice with lemon and ginger.
Although dishes vary across the regions, a standard Ugandan meal often consists of perhaps 2 or 3 ‘foods’ and a sauce: food could be matooke (green bananas), rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, or posho (cornbread) and sauce could be boiled beef, goat’s meat, chicken, fish or ‘pasted meat or fish’ in a groundnut sauce.
Snacking isn’t popular in Uganda, but you will find roasted groundnuts, hard corns and small sweet bananas, known as Ndizi. In many busy roads and towns, you will also find street food, such as roasted cassava, meats and green bananas.
Vegetarian and veganism is only slowly beginning to gain popularity in Uganda, but there are plenty of international cafés and restaurants in the bigger towns and tourist areas. If you are vegetarian or vegan, let us know in advance and we can inform your accommodation about your dietary requirements.
What makes Uganda so special?
Thanks to the broad range of ecosystems, like savannah grasslands, forests, rivers, lakes, mountains and wetlands, Uganda has a large biodiversity. Because of this, Uganda is home to an incredible range of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, herps and lush vegetation. Wildlife lovers and birders will be delighted to spot their bucket-list species out in the wild.
Primates in particular are a speciality here in Uganda. It gives visitors the chance to observe primates in their natural habitats, such as the golden monkey, black and white colobus, red colobus, bush baby, red-tailed monkey and grey-checked mangabey. Majestic mountain gorillas also make Uganda unique, since it’s one of only two places in the world where you can safely track and spend time with this endangered species.
From a cultural perspective, Ugandan people are extremely friendly and always ready to welcome visitors. If you’re passing through the neighbourhood, locals will generally make time to stop and chat. Uganda has over 50 tribes with unique cultures and traditions. If you’re interested in learning more about them on your trip, we can take you to visit them and discover more about their history, while taking part in activities like jewellery making, brewing banana gin, or cooking a traditional meal.
Ugandans are always eager to party, which is why this country is the party capital of East Africa! You’ll find them dancing and drinking the night away at parties, functions and clubs. But if it’s an adventure you seek, then Jinja is the perfect place to take part in activities like white and flat water rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping, tubing, or paddle boarding on the River Nile. Hire a quad bike or mountain bike, swing across the stunning landscape on a zipline, or go horse riding and explore.
Hiking is also a popular reason to visit Uganda, with a good number of mountain climbing and hill walking trails available, so you can soak up the breathtaking scenery, and gain insight into the daily life of villages as you pass through.
Even better, you’re guaranteed sunshine here in Uganda. Yes, even during the rainy seasons! So if you’re looking for some winter sun, whether you’re relaxing by the pool or heading out on adventures, then we’re the perfect destination.
What animals can I see on an Uganda Safari?
One of the biggest reasons people come to Uganda is to go on a safari because of the diverse array of wildlife, birds and plants.
Depending on which area you visit, you’ll find various creatures. Different national parks, for example, have different animals. If you want to see zebras, then head to Lake Mburo or Kidepo Valley National Park. Want to see a rhino up close? Then it’s a trip to Ziwa Rhino sanctuary! The rest of the Big Five, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo, can all be found in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park or Kidepo Valley National Park.
If you want to seek out a particular species, then get in touch with us and we can advise you on where’s best to visit.
Here is a list of some animals you can expect to see on your trip, in addition to the Big Five.
- Uganda Kob
- Water buck
- Wart hog
- Serval cat
- Jacksons Hartebeest
- Golden Monkey
- Olive baboon
- Grey-cheeked Mangabey
- Red-tailed monkey
- Black & White colobus monkey
- Red Colobus monkey
- Vervet monkey
- Patas monkey
- Blue monkey
- L’Hoest Monkey
- De Brazzas monkey
- Civet cat
- Honey Badger
- Bush baby
Reptiles & herps
- Monitor Lizard
- Robin Chats
Have another question about Uganda?
If you want to know more about planning your trip to Uganda, then get in touch with us today and we will help customise your itinerary and answer any questions you have about this wonderful country.