Uganda is served by the international airport at Entebbe with direct flights to London, Dubai, Amsterdam, Brussels, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg and other major African cities. Good connections mean that flights to and from most European and North American major airports are easy.
Many visitors find it cheaper to fly via Nairobi, where there are good connections.
The following airlines operate flights to Entebbe:
Buses to Kampala leave Nairobi daily and take 12-15 hours.
Tanzania has three international airports: Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro International Airport and Zanzibar Airport serving the north, central and coastal regions respectively. Dar is the major airport and has good connections with most European, African and North American major airports.
The following airlines fly to Tanzania:
There are numerous bus routes into Tanzania including Mombasa to Dar es Salaam, Nairobi to Dar es Salaam, Nairobi to Arusha, and Voi to Moshi.
Uganda has two rainy seasons; March-May and October-November. However, like the rest of the world, the climate is becoming increasingly unpredictable and it can rain at any time of year, especially in the mountainous gorilla parks.
The dry seasons (December-March and June-September) are more popular with tourists but Uganda is an all year round destination. Travel may be slower (and muddy) in the wet season and certain areas unreachable but there is often a greater availability of gorilla permits.
Temperatures vary greatly depending on location and season. On the plains, day time temperatures stay between 21 and 30oC but a fleece is recommended for the cool, breezy evenings. In the mountainous regions, temperatures can drop to 10oC and waterproofs and warm clothing are definitely recommended.
Tanzania has two rainy seasons. The long rains fall from March to June and can make travelling difficult in many unsurfaced areas. The short rains are from November to December, sometimes continuing until mid January.
Temperatures are generally hot throughout the year, but can cool down in the Northern Highlands and regions of high altitude. December to March is hottest, with temperatures ranging from 20-35oC. The cooler period from June to October produces temperatures of 10oC in the Northern Highlands and 24oC around the coast.
Visas and passports
To enter both Uganda and Tanzania, you need a passport that is valid for at least the next six months and a visa. Please check with your local embassy or representative for details.
Visa requirements and prices are subject to change, but in Uganda a tourist visa currently costs US $50 and is valid for 3 months.They are available on arrival at Entebbe airport or from embassies before travel.
For Tanzania a tourist visa currently costs £25 (GBP).
Yellow Fever immunization is mandatory. Immunizations against DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and Hepatitis A are recommended. Hepatitis B immunization is recommended for longer trips or those working with children or where contact with blood is possible.
Mosquitoes can be bad in the wet season and so we recommend taking malaria prevention medication and plenty of repellent. Please consult your doctor or health department for detailed advice.
Remember that in both Uganda and Tanzania the sun can be strong and protection is essential.
Dollars, British pounds and Euros are recognized in many establishments where as other currencies can be difficult to use.
Prices are normally quoted in Ugandan/ Tanzanian shillings and US dollars.
Rates are varying greatly at present, so please use the converter below to get an accurate exchange rate.
Universal Currency Converter ®
It can be difficult to withdraw money in Uganda and outside of the major cities and resorts in Tanzania. Many major credit cards are not accepted in establishments, although some banks allow withdrawals from VISA credit cards (including Barclays and Standard Chartered). Similarly, it can be difficult to exchange Traveller’s Cheques, except in a small number of banks in larger cities (where bank fees and a less favourable exchange rate will be charged).
We recommend taking a mixture of cash (in mixed dominations, although large notes attract a better exchange rate) and Travellers Cheques (preferably American Express). When you have decided upon an itinerary, we can advise you on a plan for exchanging currency, so please don’t worry.
A quick note on tipping. This can be awkward for many people and as in many places in the world, it is discretionary. In restaurants and hotels, if you are pleased with the service, we suggest a ten percent tip. Likewise, for guides, we suggest 5 - 10 dollars a day if you are pleased with the service. This would be a pleasant surprise for guides and is by no means expected.
English is the national language of Uganda and Kiswahili is the national language of Tanzania. However English is widely spoken in both countries.
Both Uganda and Tanzania are three hours ahead of GMT.
For latest information consult the relevant government's consular advice. Basic precautions should be taken, as in all countries, and common sense used. Do not carry excessive valuables or leave them lying around. Use safe deposit boxes where available; secure travel documents and valuables. Do not walk unescorted at night. Ask your guides about any doubts.
EIN News also offers some good updates