Petty crime is common in the larger cities of Kigali and Kampala. By staying with your guides you will avoid most issues. Don’t wear expensive accessories or watches, and don’t carry large sums of cash. Take particular care with your passport. Travelers should take the same precautions that they would in a major cities in the US and Europe. Pay attention to the advice of your tour leader and hotel reception and take common-sense precautions such as not going into unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night.
Rwanda is on Central African Time, GMT +02:00. Uganda is on East Africa Time Zone, GMT +03:00. Neither Rwanda nor Uganda recognizes Daylight savings time.
You will receive a detailed packing list specific to your tour after you book. A water/windproof jacket, fleece, and sun protection are recommended for all Rwanda/Uganda tours. Fast-drying clothes that can be layered work best for these areas. On Safari, luggage should be limited to two items of baggage per person.
You can book your Rwanda/Uganda tour at any time and generally the earlier you book, the better. Booking early (10-12 months or more recommended) is especially important for travelers visiting during the height of the dry season, Dec-Feb or June-Sept, as many of these departures fill up months in advance. Travelers visiting outside of these busy months can often book a bit more last minute, though a 4-6 month notice is still recommended. Further, we usually recommend that you wait to book your international flights until after your tour is confirmed. The sooner that we arrange your tour, the sooner that you can take advantage of flight deals as they become available.
Due to the high altitude and proximity to the equator, you can expect to find a remarkably pleasant tropical highland climate in Rwanda and Uganda. Rainy seasonruns March to May, during which the rain is fairly constant. June to mid-September is generally noted as the best time to travel. October and November will also be rainy, and there is a short dry season December to February. Even in the dry seasons travelers should expect light rain shower.
Only a limited number of permits are available in each gorilla park per day. It is therefore essential to book well in advance. Permits need to be paid for at the time of the initial safari booking so that they can be purchased immediately. Delay in payment can result in permits not being secured. To protect gorillas from disease, no children under 15 or people with illnesses may go tracking. Trackers must be fit and in good health as tracking in thick forest at heights up to 3,000m traversing steep-sided mountains and ravines can be tough, arduous and wet. Permits are non-refundable. Gorilla viewing can be denied at short notice because of national park or border closures, security changes or gorillas going out of range. In such circumstances refunds are at the discretion of the authority and are not within the company’s control. Obtaining a gorilla permit therefore is not a guarantee of seeing a gorilla. One hour is allowed with the gorillas, at a distance of at least 7 meters. Flash photography is not allowed. Personal DVD recorders are allowed.
Uganda travel advice – tourist visas, tipping, credit cards and money, weather
You are required to purchase a tourist visa before you enter Uganda. Tourist visas can be bought in advance via the embassy or consulate in your country or simply purchased upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport or at any overland border. Photos are not required and a single entry tourist visa costs US$ 100 per person for up to 90 days stay in Uganda. If you are planning to combine Uganda with a visit to Rwanda or Kenya it is recommendable to request for the East African Visa instead of a single entry visa. This special visa costs US$100 per person and allows a 90-days multiple entry to Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. Regretfully, Tanzania is not (yet) a member of the East African community and therefore not part of this special visa arrangement.
All our safaris we use 4WD land cruisers and for group tours we go for 4WD minibuses (carry up to nine passengers) with pop-up tops to allow game viewing for travelers during game drives. Small group safaris (three or less) can travel in 4WD land cruiser. Lager groups of twelve and more people who would like to travel in one vehicle are offered 25-29 seat Coaster buses that have approximately 16 window seats. Overland trucks and fourteen seater minibuses are available on request. But safari Vehicle will totally depend on client’s choice of vehicle.
Yes, all our guides / drivers speak English but can also give you another language speaking guide depending on request from the travelers who may not understand English. It’s very advisable for the traveler to inform us in advance of any language they may be comfortable with.
Once you have confirmed the final itinerary with us, you will be asked to pay a deposit of 30%. Gorilla permits must be paid for in full at the time of booking. Note that availability of accommodation and permits is not guaranteed until officially confirmed by EA AMAZON TOURS. Accommodation, permit and activity reservations will be made as soon as payment has been received on our account. For your convenience, the balance payment of 70% should be settled before the start of your safari. We accept payment by VISA credit card (please include 5% service charge) and bank transfer in either dollars or Euros to our bank accounts in both Rwanda and Uganda. Please note that all bank charges are at the expense of the client.
• Ground transport in a comfortable four wheel drive (4WD) safari vehicle • A visit to all places detailed in the Itinerary • The Excellent services of an experienced English speaking driver/safari guide • National Park entrance fees • Activities as detailed in the itinerary (except for those that are marked optional) • Overnight in the named accommodations, based on sharing a twin or double room • full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner) • 2 liters of bottled mineral water per person per day while travelling in the Great Lakes Safaris vehicle • Government taxes • Park ranger fees