Travel Information

FAQ

Q: Is Uganda a safe country to visit?
A. When visiting Uganda expect to enjoy your safari in any part of the country. In the National parks, security has been put in place by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to protect visitors through training ranger guides who monitor any threats of insecurity.

Q: What is the best period to travel in Uganda?
A. Uganda has good climate throughout the year with two seasons though climates seem to be changing and it makes more difficult for us to predict the weather during safari. The temperatures are very stable and pleasant, with sunshine usually throughout the entire year. During the day the temperature ranges between 20 and 31°C, though it can cool down in the night. There are two seasons in the year where most heavy rains are received in the month of March-May, and November and December. April and November receive more rains in the year on average of between 500mm to 2500 mm & the relative humidity is 70% -100% – these seasons allow the planting and harvesting of crops in most parts of the country without the use of irrigation. The weather conditions allow you to travel to Uganda either in the dry, dusty months or in the wet, rainy season.

Q: Do I need a visa before coming to Uganda?
A. You need your passport to be valid at least 6 months before traveling. You can obtain your tourist visa upon arrival at the Entebbe Airport at cost of $50 USD per person single entry.

Q: Are vaccinations required for my visit to Uganda?
A. Consult with your local travel clinic for details and updated advice on what vaccinations are required and recommended before traveling to Uganda. Before you travel, you are required to have vaccinations against yellow fever. Besides vaccination you are advised to bring insect repellent. We advise you to take malaria prevention medications.

Q: What is included and excluded in the cost of your trip?
A. The cost of the safari includes:

  • Ground transport in a comfortable 4WD safari vehicle
  • Visit to all mentioned places on the program
  • Service of an English speaking driver and guide
  • National park entrance fees
  • All the activities mentioned on the itinerary
  • Accommodations ranging from tents, safari lodges, hotels with single, double or family room arrangements
  • Meals as stated on the program
  • Bottled mineral water
  • Government taxes
  • All game drives and ranger guides fees

Excluded in the costs are:

  • International and domestic flights unless requested to be included
  • Visa fees which shall be paid on arrival at the airport
  • Any alcoholic drinks and beverages other than the bottled mineral water
  • Tips and gratuities for the guides
  • Souvenirs and crafts

Q: What is the group size in a safari?
A. We have no requirement for a minimum number of participants as we offer tailor-made safaris for every number of participants in a group. The larger the group, the more attractive the cost of the safari will be.

Q: What kind of clothes should I bring with me for my safari?
A: It is good to wear lighter clothing during the travel days. For safaris, you will need good hiking boots, a sun hat, gloves for tracking gorillas and chimps, rain gear, long sleeve shirt, sunscreen, and sun glasses. Most lodges have swimming pools so remember your swimsuits! Some places may be cold in the evenings, especially in Bwindi, Mgahinga, Kabale area of Lake Bunyonyi, the Virungas – we advise you to bring a jacket and or sweater to keep you warm.

Q: Can I do the gorilla tracking?
A. You can only confirm tracking gorillas IF you have a permit, the permits are issued on first come, first serve basis with a cash payment. Mountain gorilla safari can either be done in Uganda, Congo or Rwanda depending on where the permit is available. Eight people are allowed per day in each gorilla group to track. Demands for the permits from people from around the world are high. We would be glad to assist you with purchasing your permit; all we need to know is your preferred date. In order to be able to buy the gorilla permit you have to provide us with your full names, nationality, and passport number. You are required to be physically fit and healthy to trek the gorilla. If you are sick you are advised not to take this adventure and children under 15 years will not be allowed to track the gorillas.

Q: What type of transport do you offer for the safari?
A: We transport our clients in 4WD vehicles seating with pop up safari roofs. This allows our clients to stretch their legs while in the game viewing, get exciting views of the flora and fauna, as well as better photographs. For smaller groups land cruisers can be arranged. For larger groups, coaster buses can be arranged.

Q: How can I pay for my safari?
A. Once you confirm the final itinerary with us, we require that you transfer 50% deposit for the safari. In case gorilla tracking is included in the program we also ask you to make a full prepayment for the gorilla permits. We do not guarantee the availability of the permits and accommodations until the deposits have been made or secured. When you are sure of your trip in Uganda, you will transfer the amount to us through the account details that shall be provided to you in dollars. Please note that all bank charges in Uganda shall be included in the cost, but other bank charges shall be made by you in your country. The remaining balance of 50% should be paid before your safari date.

Q. How much should I tip?
A. Of course giving gratuity fully depends on the level of your satisfaction, but even a small amount to show your gratitude will be highly appreciated. You can think of US$5-10 per day if you were happy with the service of the guide and 5-10% in restaurants.

Travel Tips

Airfare: Most of our prepared itineraries start from Kampala, Uganda. If you require accommodation in Kampala, then let us know before so that we can make arrangements for you. Various airfare services go to Uganda regularly and they include: Qatar Air line, Air Tanzania, Rwanda Air, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Brussels Airlines, South African Airways, KLM, and more. There are daily connections from Nairobi.

Drinking Water: We recommend that you do not drink the tap water. Most hotels and restaurants provide drinking water that has been boiled and is now safe to drink. Bottled mineral water is also available upon request.

Banking: Several international banks operate in Kampala including Barclay’s bank, Standard Chartered bank and Stanbic bank. Many local banks and foreign exchange bureaus operate across the country. Generally the banking hours are 8.30a.m to 4:00p.m – Monday to Friday, though some institutions are open longer hours and on Saturdays. You can change dollars or pounds into local shillings very easily.

Clothing: Light summer clothing supplemented by a sweater or jacket should be sufficient. Usually dressing is informal. Cotton slacks and flat-heeled comfortable walking shoes are recommended on safari. Do not forget to bring a hat for sun protection and a swimsuit. Umbrellas and windbreakers are recommended in the wet seasons.

Credit Cards: Visa and Master Card are only accepted at a few choice establishments and in banks in the cities. You can now use your visa card to withdraw money from your account by using ATMs. We however advise that you take cash to be on the safe side.

Currency: The Ugandan Shilling is the currency used but some people will take dollars and pounds in cash. The exchange rates vary from time to time but are readily available from banks and Forex bureaus.

Foods: Fresh tropical fruits and vegetables are plentiful throughout East Africa.  A wide range of dishes, both traditional and international, are served in the hotels and restaurants. We will make sure that you have a variety of good food while on your visit with Rafiki Adventures. We recommend that you exercise great scrutiny when purchasing food from a street vendor.

Tipping and Gratuity: Our general recommendation is to tip moderately – in accordance with the level and quality of service provided. The following guidelines are generally accepted practice (per person): Safari guide(s) – US $5 -$10 per day; Lodge staff – US $3 – $5 per day, as a pooled tip to be shared among the housekeepers and waiters; driver/guides – US $2- $5. For porters and waiters at hotels and for taxi drivers in cities, the customary tip is approximately 10%. The traditional gratuity to safari guides or lodge staff is not included in the price of your tour and is completely discretionary.

Climate: Uganda enjoys ideal weather conditions ranging from the warmth of the lowlands to the coolness of the highlands. Temperatures range between 21C and 35C all year around. You can check for more up-to-date weather conditions in Uganda on a weather website before traveling.

Visas: All clients to Uganda must get an entry tourist visa. Visas are generally available at all entry points including Entebbe airport.

Health Requirements: Certificates are required for vaccination against yellow fever. Check current medical advice on typhoid and hepatitis. It is advisable to start anti-malaria medications 10 days prior to arrival and continue with the same until 14 days after leaving East Africa. Our clients are encouraged to make their own insurance arrangements for the time they will be in Uganda. You need to consult with your local Doctor for advice on medication.

Get immunized: Stop worrying about nasties like yellow fever and Hepatitis B by getting the right immunizations. Yellow fever vaccination is required and you may have to show proof of vaccination before you can enter the country.

Protect yourself from insects: Malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever are transmitted by bug bites. Cover up with clothes, use insect repellent, and sleep under a mosquito net.

Think before you take a dip in the river: Schistosomiasis (also known as bilharzia) is a parasitic-carried disease that you can catch by swimming, bathing, or paddling in fresh water lakes in East Africa.

Respect the Heat: Take time to acclimate, drink plenty of bottled water, and take it easy in the heat of the day.

Bring sturdy footwear: Sore feet can ruin a trip, and blisters, chafing and other injuries are common causes of major foot infections.

Security: Precautions should be taken as in any major city. Unless safety deposit boxes are available in your hotel or lodge, always carry travel documents, cash and other valuables with you at all times. We recommend that you do not walk late in the night but instead take a taxi if you have too. Remember that you are a visitor traveling in one of the poorest countries. Travel as lightly and as modestly as possible without flashy expensive jewelry, gadgets and lots of luggage.

Use a Waistband Pouch: In pouches you can safely stash money, credit cards, a passport, and airline tickets close to your body, where it is less likely to be stolen. If you lose everything else, you can still eat, get home, and fly without difficulty.

Safari Safety: Listen to and stay with your guide: Animals living in game reserves are wild and unpredictable. Don’t panic: If you come face to face with a wild animal, do not panic and do not scream. The animals are just as scared as you are if caught off guard. Follow instructions from your guide. Respect the animals’ space: Too many times, the viewers forget that they are the intruders. Stay still and keep the distance instructed by your guide. Act as your guide advises and keep your movements, slow, controlled, and steady.

Go Green

Rafiki Adventures policies ensure that our impact in Uganda is always positive and never damaging.

Conservation and Environmental Policy:  Rafiki Adventures is very aware of the potential for environmental impact and we are proactively trying to keep our footprint as small as possible in order ensure a healthy Uganda for future visitors. The greatest environmental impact of international travel is the carbon dioxide created from air travel.  Rafiki Adventures works with local conservation projects to protect forests in Uganda. We encourage you to directly offset the carbon from your flights by planting a tree at the end of your trip.

Social Policy:  Rafiki Adventures puts a major focus on social responsibility in places where we work. This is achieved by assisting with animal rescue. Rafiki Adventures is dedicated to sustainable and responsible tourism that directly benefits local communities in Uganda, especially the vulnerable and the poor, and helps to sustain a healthy environment where both people and nature can thrive. We encourage our visitors to respect local cultures and customs and get directly involved with local communities.

Economic Policy: Rafiki Adventures directly contributes to the local economy through encouraging our clients to purchase locally made products to support local businesses and also employing local Ugandan guides.

While in Uganda, we encourage all travelers to observe the following environmentally friendly practices:

  • Dispose of rubbish appropriately
  • Minimize waste
  • Careful use of water
  • Buy locally-produced food and other products
  • Refrain from causing damage to the local environment
  • Do not support activities that damage the environment
  • Careful energy usage

Rafiki Adventures’ environmentally friendly practices:

  • Active recycling – we recycle as much of our office waste as possible!
  • Use of recycled products – where possible we use paper, envelopes and other supplies that are made from a recycled or sustainable source
  • Printing – we encourage customers to use our website rather than requesting a brochure

Terms & Conditions

Rafiki Adventures Booking Terms and Conditions
Rafiki Adventures is a registered company in Uganda.Our booking terms and conditions are for all safaris,tours,Volunteer trips and vacations to Uganda for groups and individuals.
1. Reservations and Payments
The standard policy for Rafiki Adventures is that on booking, a deposit 50% of the safari or trip fare has to be sent back to us along with a completed and signed Reservation Booking Form. Upon receipt of your signed Reservation Form and your deposit, we will, subject to availability, reserve your place on your selected safari. The balance of the safari or trip price is due not later than 8 weeks prior to departure. Upon receipt of your payment, we will send safari information, clothing lists, etc.
2. Cancellations and Refund Policy
The deposit is paid to us and is a sign of your willingness to utilize travel arrangements and accommodation which we have reserved on your behalf. Should you or any member of your booking cancel your holiday, you must do so in writing. Cancellations are only effective upon Rafiki Adventures receipt of written notification by the guest. All cancellations are subject to a certain charge based on estimated losses. For all cancellations given 30 to 60 days before departure, 20% of the safari cost will be forfeited. For all cancellations given 15 to 29 days before departure, 70% of the safari cost will be forfeited. For all cancellations received 14 days or less before departure, 100% of the safari cost will be forfeited. There will be no refund of money spent on gorilla permits as this is the policy of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. However, you can contact your travel insurance and receive a full refund. Please note that if you decide to postpone your holiday to a definite future date, you will not incur any cancellation charges.

Rafiki Adventures shall not be held responsible for occurrences such as strikes, wars, acts of government, or any other cause whatsoever that may make operation of the tour impossible, illegal or inadvisable. Rafiki Adventures is not responsible for any expenses incurred by tour members in preparing for the tour, including non-refundable or penalty-carrying airline tickets, special clothing, visa or passport fees, or other tour-related expenses.

3. Insurance
It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants and traveling companions for the duration of their tour to Africa. This insurance should include coverage in respect of, but not limited to, the following eventualities: cancellation or curtailment of the safari, emergency evacuation expenses, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, damage, theft or loss of personal baggage, money and goods. Rafiki Adventures will take no responsibility for any costs for losses incurred or suffered by the guest, or guest’s dependants or traveling companions, with regards to, but not limited to, any of the above mentioned eventualities. Guests will be charged directly by the relevant service providers for any emergency services they may require, and may find themselves in a position unable to access such services should they not be carrying the relevant insurance coverage.

4. Medical Information and Liability Release
It should be noted that your booking is accepted on the understanding that you come on holiday entirely on your own risk due to the fact that there are certain inherent dangers involved with adventure travel. We assume no responsibility whatsoever for injury, personal illness, loss or damage to a person or property in connection with any service resulting directly from an act of God, detention, annoyance delays, quarantine, strikes, theft, discrepancies or changes in hotel services in which Rafiki Adventures has no control.

Participation on a safari or tour to Africa requires that you be in generally good health. All guests must understand that while a high level of fitness is not required, a measure of physical activity is involved in all African safaris and tours. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and/or related dietary restrictions make them known to us well before departure. Anti-malaria precautions should be taken, and these are the sole responsibility of the client. Any required inoculations must be recorded by the client’s health practitioner on a valid vaccination certificate, which the client must carry in his/her possession throughout the tour. Rafiki Adventures will not assume responsibility for the inaccuracy of any medical information. You should consult your doctor or pharmacist for up to date requirements and personal recommendations. By forwarding the tour deposit and the signed Reservations Booking Form, the guest certifies that he/she does not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for him/her or other tour participants.

5. Currency Fluctuation
In order to keep our tour rates as low as possible, we do not build into the price an allowance to cover possible increases from currency fluctuations. Therefore, as currencies do fluctuate constantly around the world, it may be necessary for us to raise the tour cost, at any time before final payment, if there is exceptional cost increases beyond our control. An increase in the tour price shall not be sufficient grounds for any refund of fees already paid for the tour.

6. Airfares and Delays
Airfares are subject to change without notice prior to ticketing. Rafiki Adventures is not responsible for any airline schedule or airfare changes, cancellations, overbooking, damage or loss of baggage and property. Any and all claims for any loss or injury suffered on any airline must be made directly with the airline involved and not Rafiki Adventures. Air schedule changes may necessitate additional nights being added to your tour. These schedule changes are beyond the control of Rafiki Adventures and any resulting additional costs must be borne by the guest. Rafiki Adventures cannot be held liable for any delays or additional costs incurred as a result of airlines not running to schedule.

7. Tour Prices
We reserve the right to change any of the prices for services contained in the itinerary at any time.

8. Guide Replacement
If a guide is unable to lead a pre-scheduled safari or trip due to illness, Rafiki Adventures and its operators in Africa reserve the right to substitute with another guide.

9. Itinerary Changes
We will do our utmost to provide the holiday arrangements that have been confirmed by the guest. However, Rafiki Adventures reserves the right to modify or alter an intinerary if unforeseen circumstances like flight schedule, security matters, or accommodations make such alterations necessary. Although every effort is made to adhere to schedules, it should be noted that we may be obliged to occasionally change routes on trips and safaris as dictated by changing conditions. Such conditions may be brought about by seasonal rainfall on bush tracks, airfields and in game areas, by game migrations from one region to another, or airline and other booking problems.

10. Baggage
All baggage and personal belongings are at all times at the passengers own risk. For safety and because space is restricted, please notify us as to the pieces of luggage you will be bringing with you. Should guests arrive with excess baggage without prior warning, their baggage could be delayed, as we may need to transport the baggage at a later stage at considerable extra cost to the guest. However, should the guests know in advance that their baggage will exceed the limit, we can usually make arrangements.

11. Cultivated Animals
Please be aware that our safaris and trips may take you into close contact with wild animals. Attacks by wild animals are rare, but no safari into the African wilderness can guarantee that this will not occur. Rafiki Adventures cannot be held responsible for any injury or incident on the safari. Please note that the majority of the safari parks are not fenced so that animals can naturally wander and move throughout the land.

12. National Parks
We strongly condemn the collecting of any specimen from the natural world. Our safaris provide the opportunity to watch and photograph wildlife only, not to disturb it.

13. Passports and Visas
The guest must ensure that passports and visas are valid for the countries they plan to visit.

14. Not included
Insurance to cover for cancellation, medical fees, baggage, and emergency evacuation out of Africa, beverages in certain areas, personal laundry at certain camps, gratuities to guides, any excursion not included in the itinerary, and certain meals.

Payments methods accepted:
● Cash
● Certified Personal Check
● Paypal
● Wire Transfer

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