GORILLA

GORILLA GENERAL INFORMATION


PACKING TIPS: You are advised to travel lightly. On international flights, each person is allowed a maximum of two pieces of luggage. We recommend two smaller bags rather than one large suitcase. Hotels do offer storage facilities for extra luggage while you're on safari. The baggage allowance on regional flights in East Africa is about 30 pounds or 40Kgs.
Important things to pack:
Insect repellent
Imodium anti-diarrhoeal medicine
Sun block with Titanium dioxide,
Sunglasses,
Sun hat with a wide brim
Long-sleeved shirt and trousers preferably Khaki/Tan.
Trekking shoes,
lightweight raincoat or jacket, and a swimsuit (some lodges have pools.)
Take at least three changes of clothes for a week on safari, plus your own detergent to wash a few things.

ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES: Most guests to Uganda arrive by air, landing at the Entebbe International Airport; approximately 45 minutes drive from the capital Kampala. If not included in the tour, transfers to and from the airport are available for any size group.

VISAS: All PTA countries, EEC countries, Japan and USA are required to have visas. Visas are available at Uganda’s representative missions abroad and can also be availed at border entry points including Entebbe airport.

CLIMATE: Uganda enjoys ideal weather conditions ranging from the warmth of the lowlands to the coolness of the highlands. Mean temperatures are between 21 C and 31 C all the year round. Wet seasons are March - May and October - November.

SEASONS: June - October, and December - March are the dry seasons and the busiest. The dirt roads may be dusty, but should not prove to be a major discomfort. The relatively "rainy" season includes the month of April, May, and November. During this time the landscape is beautifully green, and there are fewer tourists. Expect showers interspersed with beautiful sunny skies. Many travelers prefer to go on safari during these months.

GORILLA BOOKINGS: Gorilla trekking permits are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and are usually sold 2 years in advance. Only members of the Association Of the Uganda Tour Operators(AUTO) have a privilege of securing these permits ahead of time . ONCE

THERE IS AVAILABILITY, CONFIRMATION REQUIRES ONE TO SEND A DEPOSIT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE DUE TO THE VERY HIGH DEMAND
CLOTHING:
Light summer clothing supplemented by a sweater or jacket should be sufficient all year round. Usually dressing is informal. Cotton slacks and flat-heeled comfortable walking shoes are recommended on safari. Don’t forget to bring a hat for sun protection and a swimsuit. Umbrellas and windbreakers are recommended in the wet seasons. Request additional details at the time of booking.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS: Malaria risk is general and a prophylaxis should be taken. The following are some of the recommended Anti Malaria drugs: atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or primaquine (in special circumstances). It is advisable to start anti-malarial medications 10 days prior to arrival and continue with the same until 14 days after leaving East Africa. Certificates are required for vaccination against yellow fever. Check current medical advice on typhoid, cholera and hepatitis. Private hospitals are the best for emergency care while on safari. You should have supplemental medical coverage insurance including transportation back home.

SECURITY: Precautions should be taken as in any major city. Unless safety deposit boxes are available in you hotel or lodge, always carry travel documents, travelers checks, cash and other valuables with you at all times. Although it is generally safe, we recommend that you do not walk late in the night but instead take a taxi.

ELECTRICITY: Electricity Supply in Uganda is 220/240 volts 50Hz. Sockets are usually three pin plug. Charging is available at most of the top lodges on tour however, it is advisable that for appliances such as video cameras or battery chargers should have an in built adapter or an external one: You can also charge these in the comfort of your safari vehicle.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES ON SAFARI OR IN KAMPALA/ENTEBBE:
I Bwindi

(I) - Water Falls trail: 3-hour walk to explore the freshness of the Munyaga waterfalls. Other monkeys and birds are also seen.
(2) - Village walk: 3 hour cultural walk through villages to see a local herbalist, beer brewing and pygmies entertainment.
(3) – Game drives are possible from Bwindi to the Ishasha plains where Lions Climb trees.

Queen Elizabeth National Park
(1) - Bird hide where birds are viewed in concealment in some kind of Bunker.
(2) - Katwe salt mines. Here, one witnesses the process of extraction of salt from the crater Lakes
(3) – Maramagambo forest walk to the bat caves where a resident African Rock Python feeds on bats.
(4) – Chambura gorge for primate trekking.

Kibale
(1) In addition to the usual Chimpanzee trek, one can take part in the Chimpanzee Habituation experience where a troop of Chimpanzees are followed from the overnight nests to the time they get to bed(nest).
Sometimes, one gets as close as 5 metres. Seeing the grooming, feeding, playing, hunting, mating, socializing etc
(2) Bird watching in Kibale for the albertrine endemics

Murchison Falls
(1) - Fishing at the top of the falls for the Monster Nile Perch Fish that grows to over 150 pounds!
(2) – Delta cruises towards the Lake Albert and the Blue Mountains of Congo.
(3) – Visits to the nearby local Fishing villages at Butiaba.

Kampala:
(1) - City tour of Kampala.
(2) – Ndere Cultural Centre on Fridays and Sunday evenings: Features Ugandan traditional dances.
(3) – White water rafting on the Nile. Starts and ends in Kampala. A separate source of the River Nile tour is also possible if one has a full day to spare.

TOUR DEPARTURES: Our tours usually depart with a minimum of two people on a daily basis. This is subject to the availability of accommodations, gorilla permits and others. These tours too can depart with one person after paying a supplement.

SAFARI VEHICLES: We utilize custom-built 4x4 safari vehicles and offer guaranteed window seats for every client. Communication is by cellular phones owing to the fact that the signal is spread all over the country. The vehicles do have game viewing pop up tops that allows for easy game viewing and photographic wildlife.

TYPICAL SAFARI SCHEDULE:
Your typical day on safari begins with a game drive after breakfast. After lunch you'll have time to nap, swim or read about what you're seeing. Maybe, a mid afternoon boat cruise, around 3:00 or 4:00 p.m., there is usually another game drive, until dusk. On some days, there is the possibility of an early sunrise drive, or even a night game drive or a walking safari depending on park rules . When travelling to new game parks, there are often stops to visit interesting features along the way.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Prior to the start of your tour, a number of good hotels are available to choose from in Kampala. However, for the tours that include the first and last night in Kampala or Entebbe, this is not applicable.
We recommend the following
Sheraton Hotel
Emin Pasha Hotel
Grand Imperial Hotel
Hotel Africana

AIRLINES: The following airlines service Uganda regularly include: British Airways, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates Air, SN Brussels, Kenya Airways/KLM and South African Airlines. Most of these connect to Entebbe through Europe.

ALCOHOL: Several brand of local beer are available, including Bell, Club and Nile Special. Most spirits and wines are imported and are readily available at slightly elevated prices. There are no legal limitations on the drinking of alcohol in Uganda save for the drivers.

BANKING: Several international banks operate in Uganda including Barclays, Standard Chartered and Stanbic. Many local banks and forex bureaux also operate across the country. Generally the banking hours are 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday to Friday, though some institutions are open longer hours and on Saturdays. There are no legal restrictions on foreign exchange transactions and currency is easily convertible. Use only USD notes dated after 2001.

CREDIT CARDS: You can withdraw money from your Visa/MasterCard but there is a limit on each card per day. Very few establishments accept credit cards and travelers checks apart from the large Hotels in Kampala and some on tour.

CURRENCY: The Uganda Shilling is the currency used. It is issued in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 UgShs notes. The rates vary from time to time but are readily available from banks and forex bureaux. DRINKING WATER: We recommend that you do not drink tap water. Most hotels and restaurants provide previously boiled drinking water Mineral water is also available and is provided at no charge in the safari vehicles

FOODS: Fresh tropical fruits and vegetables abound throughout the country. A wide range of dishes, both traditional and international, is served in the hotels and restaurants. The food served at most upmarket safari lodges and tented camps is of the highest quality. Gourmet cooks bake fresh breads, and produce soups, salads, and entrees that could easily grace tables at top restaurants around the world.

LANGUAGE: The official language is English though Swahili and Luganda are commonly spoken throughout the country.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Take equipment that you have used before. Take a waterproof pouch to protect your camera from moisture and dust. Take extra batteries and plug-in adapters if you plan to use a video camera. It is smart to take a recharger that works off a vehicle battery. Larger lithium batteries that you can wear on your belt will last longer. We suggest a good 35 mm camera with a 35-70 mm zoom lens, and a longer lens, such as a 80-200 mm to capture the multitude of rare birds you see. Most lodges and camps have facilities for recharging your batteries. For Wildlife photography we recommend a Bean or a rice bag which can be made locally on tour. Pictures of Military Installations are forbidden. Enough memory cards for digital cameras and Make sure to bring plenty of film 200ASA for plains game and 400-800-1600 ASA for the gorillas and Chimps. You can download pictures at major towns at internet cafes.