Travel Information

A few tips for your information will be a good start. Your holiday may start or continue into a neighbouring country, so here we already wish to post you. Please be assured that we masters of the region and our business is to connect you up.

 

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Current News

Uganda visas now online …

Travel to Uganda will be much easier.  Applications can be filled at: visas.immigration.go.ug

Uganda & Rwanda are a unique destination, which jointly offers Mountain Gorillas, besides chimpanzee, baboons, hippos, crocodile, elephants, lions, leopard, and hundreds of bird species.

Recent Events

Gorilla Permits in Uganda are US$ 600.00 per person. Low Season (April, May & November) incentive rate for Uganda Gorilla Permit is US$ 350.00 per person.

However, anytime of the year Rwanda Gorilla Permit still remains at $750.00 per person. It has just been announced by RDB on May 06th 2017 that Rwanda Gorilla Permits shall henceforth cost US$ 1,500.00 per person. We do not have any further details at the moment. We will issue further updates as more details emerge.

In both countries, children under 15 years of age are not allowed on gorilla treks.

Travel Information

VISA //..

Uganda & Rwanda: Travellers must have current passports valid for 60 days after the expected departure date from Africa. A visa is required for each country and, depending on one’s nationality or age, it costs US$ 50.00 to US$ 100.00 per person upon arrival at airport or border. Visa can be obtained through these countries’ respective embassies in advance of your trip, though this could cost you more.

Kenya: Travellers ought to have current passports valid for 60 days after the expected departure date from Africa. A visa is required and it costs US$ 25.00 or US$ 50.00 per person upon arrival at airport or border, depending on one’s nationality. The visa can be obtained through a Kenya embassy in advance of your trip, but this shall cost you more.

Tanzania: A visa is required and for most nationalities it costs US$50 per person upon arrival at airport or border. However, it costs US$100.00 per person for U.S. Citizens, and US$200.00 per person for Pakistanis. Unless you live in a country that does not have a Tanzania embassy, you can choose to obtain visa in advance of your trip, but this shall cost you more.

ROADS //..

Uganda & Rwanda: Up to 70% of the feeder roads are in good condition. Surface of lesser roads vary. National Parks and reserves roads are regularly graded.

Kenya: Major roads on tourist circuit are paved up to 70%. Surface of lesser roads vary. Many roads within the National Parks and reserves are only navigable by 4x4 in rainy season.

Tanzania: About 65 - 75% of highways are tarred. Only key roads are in good condition. Road conditions in reserves and parks can be rough.

CREDIT CARDS //..

Uganda & Rwanda: Major Kampala & Kigali hotels shall accept credit cards - lodges outside Kampala or Kigali mostly, if not 100% only cash. Traveller’s checks are NOT popular!

Kenya: Most major credit cards (Master Card, Visa) are widely accepted. Diner's Card and American Express are generally not readily accepted. Traveller’s checks are NOT popular!

Tanzania: Most top hotels and lodges around the country accept Visa and MasterCard. In addition to credit cards, clients should bring US dollars cash. Traveller’s checks are NOT popular!

HEALTH //..

Vaccination requirements change from time to time. Tanzania requires advance inoculations for yellow fever (and certificates thereof) that are good for 10 years - Jewelines Safari Services, Limited will advise you of these. Malaria is rare in many parts of Safari circuits. We suggest you consult your local doctor or health department for information on malaria prophylactics and the latest health precautions. If you are on prescription medication, please ensure you have an adequate supply to last the duration of your stay and a copy of your prescription(s).

WATER //..

Avoid drinking water straight from the tap. Complimentary bottled water will be provided on game- viewing drives on all our programs. This will be clearly documented on your pre-safari documentation. Sodas, beer and other beverages can be purchased at the lodges and camps throughout the safari as they have bars and comfortable lounges with fire places for those cool evenings.

BAGGAGE //..

While international flights from North America allow the transport and handling of large pieces of luggage per person, clients are strongly advised to travel very light with one medium sized piece of checked luggage, and a carry-on bag to contain your cameras. On light aircraft flights in East Africa region baggage allowance is limited to a maximum of 33 pounds, including camera and video equipment. Any additional luggage can be stored at the hotel in Nairobi until your return. Luggage and personal effects are at owner’s risk throughout the tour. Baggage insurance is recommended.

CLOTHING //..

Travellers should bring very casual summer clothes that are easily laundered and dry quickly. Visitors on safari have traditionally worn olive, tan or other neutral colors. These clothes reflect the heat, don’t show the inevitable safari dust, and do not stand out when you are trying to look inconspicuous on a game drive. With cool temperatures in the early morning and evening, layering is the best approach. Laundry service is available in most places so you can replenish your supply of clean clothing, as you need it. Much of the time on safari is spent in a van so lightweight and comfortable walking shoes (tennis shoes or desert boots) are appropriate. Hiking boots are not necessary. The style in Africa is casual, even in the evening. For dinners in Kampala or Kigali, dress is smart casual. You will be in the sun a great deal and at these altitudes it is easy to sunburn very quickly. Do pack a swimsuit and cover-up, as some of the properties have lovely swimming pools.

CURRENCY //..

In Uganda, the unit of currency is the Uganda Shilling. In Rwanda the currency is Rwanda Francs. We recommend that you exchange money only as needed. You will find it easiest to make small purchases in local currencies, and will usually receive a better price. Travellers’ cheques are NOT any more the best way to carry your cash. If you do carry them, you will not only get the worst exchange rates, but also so many questions asked, before they are cashed! You will conveniently exchange money at all the lodges and hotels, but at a much lower rate than at a forex bureau. Bank exchange rates are also lower than forex bureau rates. If you happen to bring cash (US dollars), the bills ought to be new, unbroken, latest version, dated 2000 or later for a better exchange rate.

ELECTRICITY //..

The voltage is 220 as in Europe; however, the plugs are different than those in North America or most parts of Europe. As outlets may vary, we suggest you travel with a variety of international adapter plugs as well as a voltage converter, which may be purchased as a set. The most commonly used adapter plug has 3 square prongs. It is important to note that lodges in the game parks may turn off their generators during the day and late at night, meaning that no electricity is available. Plan ahead to recharge video camera batteries at applicable times of the day, or carry extra batteries.

LANGUAGES //..

English is the official language in East Africa, Swahili is the national language. Most people you meet will be able to speak English. In Rwanda French is widely spoken. You may wish to learn and use a few phrases of French and Swahili.

LAUNDRY //..

Laundry services only available at major game lodges, where two or more nights are spent. Dry cleaning is not available. If you wish to do any of your washing yourself, please bring along Woolite® or soap powder.

MEDICAL FACILITIES //..

Kampala has good medical facilities. Nairobi, Kenya has more specialized private medical facilities. Few to almost no camps or lodges have a resident medical officer on call. However, those places which have a medical officer, have one who is experienced with common travel related ailments. We suggest that you make certain your health insurance has adequate coverage, since once your condition requires you to be returned to Kampala or flown to Nairobi, any further medical expenses will be covered by you.

SAFETY //..

Guests should exercise the same common sense as one would in America, UK, rest of Europe or any other parts of the world. Normal care and sensible precautions should be taken! Please do not leave cash, jewellery or travellers’ checks unattended in your hotel, lodge or camp rooms. Most lodges and hotels have safe deposit facilities for your valuables. As a precautionary measure, do not wear flashy jewellery, or leave handbags and photographic equipment unattended in public places.

SHOPPING //..

Attractive, inexpensive baskets, copper jewellery, batik cloth, beads, carvings, Kenya coffee and tea are all for sale in the shops and markets of Nairobi. Boutiques sell fine art and handicrafts, gemstones and jewellery, including a locally mined semiprecious stone called tanzanite. Most popular are items carved from wood, which range from small trinkets, such as animal head salad spoons and letter openers, to world-class ebony sculpture. Carved soapstone from napkin rings and candlesticks to complete chess sets, are also attractive.

Bags woven from sisal and baobab are available in myriad colors, sizes, styles and shapes much more artistic and unique than those reaching the US Market. East African artisans have responded to the increasing appreciation of tribal artifacts with a variety of stunning original pieces and faithful reproductions: drums, headrests, stools, shields, and beaded necklaces and belts from various parts of the region.

Some of the most prized pieces feature elaborately worked silver, malachite and amber beads. We suggest that you take all goods you purchase with you as shipping and duty cost may easily exceed the cost of the item. When purchasing large pieces, if you must have the items shipped, please note you are good to insure your shipment and that freight can run into many hundreds of dollars more expensive than the item price.

WARNING ON SHOPPING //..

Your purchase decision(s) is very personal. You must use your best judgment when deciding whether an item is worth the price being asked. Be especially careful when buying tanzanite, golden articles, animal skins, rugs, large carvings to ship. Jewelines Safari Services, Limited cannot be responsible for any purchases you make. It is only our duty and goal to identify and recommend to you shopping opportunities which highlight unique articles / quality locally produced products with good value.

However, we not responsible for the goods you buy, for any damages, delays or problems you may encounter with shipping your purchase(s). Please do not buy, if you are not sure of the item or if you are not sure of the vendor. You will only have yourself to blame, if you are not satisfied with what you have bought. Please make up your unassisted mind!

CLIMATE //..

The country’s climate is tropical having both dry and rainy seasons. Although Uganda is located on the equator its climate is warm rather than hot, and temperatures vary little throughout the year. Most of the country receives an annual rain fall of at least 30inches. In the Lake Victoria region an annual rainfall of 59 inches is distributed throughout the year, and the average annual temperature is 12.6degrees C (71 degrees F) with a daily range of 7-9degrees C (13-16degrees F).

GEOGRAPHY //..

Situated in eastern Africa, Uganda is mostly a plateau, a compact country occupying an area of 236,580 square kilometres; it lies astride the Equator and has a fine mild climate with copious rainfall that is experienced three times a year and sunny months. Uganda is bordered by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Rwanda and Southern Sudan. Uganda’s Population is roughly 32 million people.

With this brief but very vital information, we believe you are now appropriately equipped to successfully travel with us!

Dancing in Uganda

 

 

 

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