What To Know
The main entry point for flights into Uganda is Entebbe International Airport (EBB) located near the town Entebbe, about 46km/29mi from the capital, Kampala. Uganda is a relatively compact country and further transportation within the country is usually done by vehicle. In most cases, your local tour operator will collect you from the airport or hotel and will arrange further transportation as part of your safari package.
Straddling the equator, there is little year-round fluctuation in temperature and no real winter or summer. The hottest months are January and February when the average daytime range is 52-91°F with peaks of up to 104°F in the far north. The south has two wet seasons: from mid-September to November and March to May. The dry season from December to February means only that it rains less and the gorilla parks remain fairly wet during these months. The second dry season- from June and July- is considerably drier. Still, with 39.4-78.7in of rain every year, it can rain at almost any time. The north, including Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley, has one continuous wet season from March to November and a more obvious dry season from December to February.
June to August and December to February – Dry Season
- This is the best time for gorilla tracking because these are the drier months.
- In the savannah reserves, vegetation is less and animals gather around water sources, making wildlife easier to spot.
- Even during the high season (June to September) the parks don’t feel crowded.
- The skies are clear; there is less rain and more sunshine.
- Gorilla permits need to be booked very far in advance.
March to May and September to November – Wet Season
- The scenery of the savannah reserves is greener and it’s low season, resulting in lower rates.
- Although wildlife in the savannah reserves is easier to spot in the dry season, you’ll still see plenty, including newborn animals.
- Some of the roads get very bad and cars often get stuck. Forest trails can become slippery and challenging.
- You won’t be able to change your expensive gorilla permit if it pours with rain. Departures go as scheduled.
Health & Safety
Uganda is, overall, a safe country to visit. All the more so if your visit is primarily an organized safari. Many tourists visit Uganda every year and most visits are trouble-free. There have been several terrorist attacks in the past. Unfortunately, terrorism has become part of life and it is very difficult, if not impossible, to safeguard against it. Fortunately, incidents are very rare and the chance of being a random victim is almost negligent. As with many third-world countries, theft and muggings are relatively common, but most incidents are in cities, Kampala in particular. Walking alone around the city is not recommended. An overnight stay at a reputable hotel or an organized visit to one of the many attractions in or around the city is fairly risk-free.
High risk throughout the country except for high altitude mountains over 2000m, including Mt Elgon and the Ruwenzoris. All safari parks are high-risk zones. The highest risk of transition is during the rainy season (March to May and October to December). See websites below for more detailed advice.
Vaccinations are recommended, see the websites before for more detailed immunization advice.
Australia – www.travelclinic.com.au
Canada – www.iamat.org – Vaccinations / Malaria
Ireland – www.tmb.ie
New Zealand – www.iamat.org – Vaccinations / Malaria
United Kingdom – www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk
United States – wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel