Preparations before and during your visit
There are some important things to take note of as part of your preparations for a successful holiday. These include:
Before Visit<br /> • Take anti-malarial tablets as prescribed by your physician
• Have an insurance cover if possible.
• Pack cloths and gear for the varied activities as described in the Precautions on Activities
• Carry insect and sun sprays or creams along with you.
• A 3 plug power adopter (UK version) for your electric devices
• A power bank or an extra battery for your camera are highly recommended
• A pocket or fore head torch and any other similar things.
• Please follow on ground instructions of your tour guide such as taking photos of people without their consent or how you can do it amicably.
• Kindly have the understanding that while driving, your guide may not be in full position to answer to your to curiosity or converse with you. He may only hold short conversations with you. However, please take advantage of the breaks and free time you will have with him.
• Tips in UG are not a must but it is to everyone’s joy to receive it from a tourist. A recommended modest amount of 10$ per day per person for your guide, 20$ per person for the rangers at Gorilla Tracking, 10$ per person for the ranger at Chimpanzee Tracking and 5$ for the hotel tip boxes. However, the amount of tip can be more, less or nothing at all. It is just a token of appreciation.
Preparations and Precautions on Activities
Please note that depending on the activity to be undertaken during any activity in the African wilderness, there are varying precautions that are to be followed. Whatever is given here is just a simple guideline. However, your tour guide on ground will brief you about your next day’s activities to be undertaken and this includes: what to expect, what it takes and appropriate dress code, possible duration of an activity or journey and many more. As a general rule of thumb, Uganda having equatorial tropical climate which experiences rain and dry seasons, one needs to bring a few warm and light cloths. Below is a summary of the precautions to be followed on each activity in the itineraries.
This is usually the most important activity any nature tourist can ever undertake in Uganda. However, much as it is extremely memorable to meet these gentle giants, it is usually strenuous as the terrain is hilly and the forest is mostly thick. Therefore, good hiking shoes are a must, long sleeved shirt or T-shirt, long enough trousers so that they can be tucked in the socks for protection against safari ants, a rain jacket since the entire park is a rain forest region, an insect spray, hand gloves to help you support yourself on rough branches during the tracking, a pair of walking sticks if necessary, a hat or a cap would be a good idea and definitely water, averagely 2 litres of water which your guide will provide all through the trip. Please be kind enough to understand that for registration purposes, your tour guide will request you to handover your passports or copies (if you bring them along) on the morning before tracking. These will be given back to you as soon the registration is done at the Park’s Information Centre. This is the only activity where your passports will be required for registration purposes. Please endeavour to have your cameras fully charged a night before to give no room for disappointments. You will be accompanied by usually 3 armed rangers from the information office, and then you will meet other rangers (trackers) in the jungle. These trackers leave earlier in the wee hours to trace the several gorilla families so that you don’t have too much difficulty in locating them. How long it takes to reach a gorilla family allocated to you varies on where they last built their nests the previous night. However, viewing is usually limited to 1 hour. Children below 15 years are not permitted to undertake this activity.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest
The main difference between Chimpanzee and Gorilla tracking is the terrain. In this case of Chimps, the terrain is more or less flat and therefore the activity is not as that strenuous. Moreover, the forest is not as thick as Bwindi Forest. Therefore in regard to the dress code, it is the same as that for Gorilla tracking. The time taken can vary between 2 to 5 hours depending on how far the Chimps last built their nests the previous night and feeding grounds.
Rhinos at Ziwa Sanctuary
This activity is done en route to Murchison Falls National Park. It is not strenuous as the terrain is flat and mainly open. You will be briefed by a trained ranger before being accompanied on foot to the location of the rhinos to enable you get to a safe close distance to the rhinos. One can make it in shorts, closed shoes and short sleeved shirt. However, to be on a safer side, long sleeved T-shirt and trousers would be a better choice for comfort. If the former is taken, please don’t forget a sun cream and insect protection. Water will always be provided to you by the guide.
Hiking to the Top of the Falls in Murchison Falls NP
This is done in the afternoon after a morning game drive in Murchison Falls National Park and after a boat ride on the Nile. The terrain is mixed, hilly and some areas flat. In the dry seasons, it can be pretty strenuous due to the sun. Water will be always be provided to you by the guide. As always, for any activity in the open, a rain jacket must always be taken with you, a sun cream and an insect spray. Casual clothes and hiking shoes are recommended.