Travel Tips

Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations – Uganda, Rwanda & Congo

Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations – Uganda, Rwanda & Congo

What are the rules and regulations of Gorilla Trekking?

Gorilla trekking rules and regulations play a significant role not only towards the safety of mountain gorillas but also visitors’ safety in the wild. Before embarking on the actual gorilla trek, the park officials or park ranger guide briefs trekkers on the set rules and regulations.

Mountain gorillas are a few most endangered species on the planet and a total of only 1063 of these rare species still thrives in the world. Tours to the mountain gorillas are only done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Southwestern Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).Baby Gorilla in the Jungle

Below are some of the set rules and regulations to follow while on the actual hike in search for the mountain gorillas in the Jungle;

  • Low Voices

While on a search for mountain gorillas, trekkers are advised to keep their voices low at all times. However, you are free to ask as many questions as you can.

  • Communicable Diseases

Visitors with communicable diseases like TB, cough and flu won’t be allowed to trek mountain gorillas. About 98% of the mountain gorillas’ DNA is similar to that of humans making them very susceptible to human infectious diseases. You should cover your mouth while coughing.

  • Number of Visitors

Each day, only 8 tourists are allowed to trek 1 (one) habituated gorilla family. A group is led by an experienced park ranger guide and tracker. This experience is restricted to 8 visitors because it is one way to ensure their daily behaviour in the wild isn’t destabilized and avoid overcrowding.

  • Don’t litter

Leave the gorilla habitat the way you found or even better. Trekkers are advised not to throw rubbish anyhow and carry back anything they went with on a trek to where there is a rubbish bin. This rule and regulation intend to ensure the jungle is kept clean and the health of mountain gorillas is kept appropriately.

  • Wash your hands prior the trek

Wash your hands prior to setting off on the actual trek. Before you set off to search for gorilla family assigned to you, you need to wash your hand. This measure is essential in preventing the spread of infectious diseases to these endangered species.

  • Hiking Time

Trekkers have only one hour with mountain gorillas. The entire trek may cover 2-6 hours, however, you will have only 1 hour to strike for your imaginations, take photos, and explore their behaviours. This measure is aimed at limiting destabilizing the general behaviour of the gorillas while in their natural habitat.

  • Keep Distance

You must keep a distance of seven meters from the Mountain gorillas. This is enough distance for you to observe them, take pictures and photos.

Morning Briefing about gorilla trekking experience

Morning Briefing about gorilla trekking experience

      • Smoking & Eating in the Jungle

No smoking, and eating while on a gorilla trek. This is highly prohibited in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. This rule and regulation aim at preventing the spread of infectious diseases to mountain gorillas. Note, these species shared about 98 per cent of their DNA with humans which makes them very susceptible to human infectious diseases. During the hike, the rangers give you a break where you can eat your packed lunch or snacks.

      • Always stay within your group

When trekking to see mountain gorillas, make sure you keep around your group you came with. This is to avoid cases of getting lost in the rainforest and limiting cases of wildlife harming in the wild.

      • Stand still in case the gorilla charges

In case the gorilla charges, please follow the guide’s instructions, stay calm and don’t run.

      • Flashlight Cameras

No flashlight camera is allowed when taking photos of mountain gorillas. Flashlight cameras tend to irritate gorillas a behaviour which may cause harm to them. To avoid such cases, you are advised to turn off your flashlight camera or come with a camera with no flashlight.

      • Don’t touch Gorillas

Even when mountain gorillas come close to you or rub their bodies on you, don’t be tempted to touch them. This rule is essential in minimizing the spread of human infectious diseases.

      • Gorilla Permit

To trek mountain gorillas, you should have a valid gorilla permit. Each gorilla permit lets you trek one habituated family. This rule is intended to control the number of tourists visiting each gorilla family every day which may destabilize the behaviour of mountain gorillas.

      • Age
With the Gorillas

Gorilla Encounter

Only persons above 15 years are eligible to purchase gorilla permits and visit the gorillas. This is because children usually carry communicable diseases and to reduce any risk of them spreading to mountain gorillas, this rule has to be observed. Also, children can scream in the jungle when scared by the gorillas, thus destabilizing the peace of the gentle giants.

      • Clothes

Wear environmentally friendly clothes. Make sure you avoid shouting colours as they may scare off mountain gorillas.

      • Easing your self

In case of need to help yourself while in the forest, please burry your wastes as per the instructions of the guide.

The above rules and regulations must be followed during the gorilla trek in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Congo Republic. All this information and more is available for you to read at all park headquarters in Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga, Virunga, Kahuzi Biega and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Additionally, during the morning briefing about gorilla trekking adventure, the park ranger will tell you about all these and more rules and regulations, do’s and dont’s while on the gorilla trek.

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Africa Gorilla Trekking Age Limit

Africa Gorilla Trekking Age Limit

What if my child is less the age limit but is physically fit? Can he trek gorillas?

Gorilla trekking is best described as a lifetime experience and most significantly, it comes with strict rules and regulations of which age limit is one main area of concern. Usually, before you set off to take part in this life-changing experience, it is significant that you take time and look at all the requirements that you need whether you intend to track mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The most important factor every intending trekker must look at is the accepted age limit or rather the minimum age for one to take part in this tremendous primate adventure. Gorilla treks are conducted in habituated groups of Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga National Park-southwestern Uganda, Virunga National Park eastern DRC and Volcanoes National Park Northwestern Rwanda.

Black Back Gorilla Playing in the wild

Black Back Gorilla Playing in the wild

Mountain gorillas are listed as the most endangered species with not more than 1004 of them now left on earth. Given their current status, a number of measures have been put in place to ensure that they are well-protected and that they continue thriving for now and future generations.

The one important measure is age limit where all the 3 countries where these creatures thrive have agreed that only persons above 15 years are eligible to purchase a gorilla permit that allows a person to track one habituated family.

There are many reasons that explain this and they include-the fact this creature share about 98 per cent of their DNA with humans, they susceptible to human infectious diseases and usually, children are prone to contagious diseases that can easily spread to these creatures and to avoid such cases, the policy was devised that in order for someone to take part in this lovely adventure he or she must be above 15 years.

The other reason is that it is not easy to predict children’s behaviour or how they can react in the presence of a group of mountain gorillas especially at a time of magical encounter with them in the wild. Such unpredictable behaviours may make these creatures charge which may cause harm to other people as well.

In most cases, children can easily be frightened and in the process, they can shout or even opt to run away thus irritating gorillas. Also, treks to see mountain gorillas can be that tiring and requires some physical wellness for you to hike through the thick rainforest and steep slopes.

Baby Gorilla in Africa

Baby Gorilla in Africa

However, to a certain extent, the age limit can be reconsidered especially if the parents can prove that the child is about to get to his or her 15th birthday. Meaning, he or she is in the late 14th and strong enough to hike through the rainforest in search of habituated family. This means that a parent of that child must provide details of the minor or a child and this should include the current photos and passport.

Gorilla trekking minimum Age and permits

To be part of gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda or DR Congo, a permit is a must to have and only persons above 15 years are eligible. In Uganda, you can obtain one at $700 per person, $1500 for those of you who wish to track gorillas in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park and $400 in DR Congo. You can obtain your permit through a ground tour operator/company by contacting the reservationist or through reservationist of respective authority and in Uganda, you can contact reservationist at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), in Rwanda-the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and in DRC-the Virunga national park authority. You are encouraged to book for your gorilla permit early enough to avoid any kind of disappointment.

In conclusion, in order for you to track gorillas, a number of strict measures do apply and age limit is one of them. This is of benefit to you as a trekker and also to gorillas themselves.

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The Spectacular Kamiranzovu Waterfalls In Rwanda

The Spectacular Kamiranzovu Waterfalls In Rwanda

If you are ready to go off-the-beaten-track, then you are one of the few tourists to explore the breathtaking Kamiranzovu waterfalls, found at the heart of the Nyungwe Forest National Park. Nyungwe is a thick protected rainforest within the south-western corner of remarkable Rwanda and approximately 225 kilometers/5 hours drive from Kigali City.

The Nyungwe Forest National Park is popular for being the catchment area for Rwanda and harboring the furthest source of the Nile River but unlike other waterfalls in Rwanda such as the Rusumo Falls on the border with Tanzania, trekkers have to hike for at least 90 minutes through the jungles to reach the Kamiranzovu waterfalls. The other waterfalls in Rwanda and other countries are beautiful and easy to reach, which is not the case with the Kamiranzovu which you have to reach after a challenging but enjoyable walk.

While in the company of a professional local guide, you will start the hike to the waterfalls from the border of the forest at a stone’s throw away from lush tea plantations. The adventure usually begins with a briefing about the forest and waterfalls where trekkers are advised to leave the forest the way they found it, to ensure its conservation for generations. The source of this waterfall is the Kamiranzovu marshland also within the Nyungwe Forest National Park and the walk to the Falls is about 10 kilometers both ways but due to the dense vegetation as well as hilly landscape, it usually becomes challenging to walk through the forest.

There are several stops to allow tourists to learn about the forest especially the medicinal trees, fruits and plants that are loved by primates but also edible to humans. Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to more than 1000 plant species as well as 38 species of reptiles but what makes the hike through the forest interesting is the fact that all you will see is trees, birds, and animals that you had never seen before. Situated at about 10 kilometers from the start of the hike, the Kamiranzovu waterfalls are approximately 50 meters high and when you approach it, you will be welcomed by the refreshing mist that feels like raindrops

The volume and speed of the waterfalls usually depend on the season but interestingly, the Forest receives high rainfall (totaling to over 2000 millimeters) for 9 months in a year hence the beauty of the waterfalls remains most times of the year. When you see the waterfalls, you will discover that it has two parts-the lower section on giant rocks and is considered the most spectacular spot for photography while the second section is in front of the falling water. For safety and pleasure reasons, hikers to the waterfalls are advised to explore the waterfalls in groups

What to carry or wear when hiking to the Kamiranzovu waterfalls?

Due to the difficulty of predicting the weather, trekkers have to wear long trousers, strong waterproof hiking boots, long-sleeved shirts, rain jackets and carry a backpack, snacks or packed lunch, enough drinking water, a walking stick and a camera for filming experience in Africa.

However, Nyungwe Forest National Park is also known for other exciting attractions and activities that include the invigorating canopy walk, bird watching, chimpanzee tracking, hiking/nature walks involving more than 10 hiking trails and a tour of the nearby tea plantations.

In conclusion, hiking to see the magnificent Kamiranzovu waterfall is a must-do activity for every tourist visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park due to the breathtaking scenery of the waterfalls in addition to numerous attractions that are likely to be encountered during the hike.

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Magical Islands In Rwanda

If there are a few magical tourist sites that for long have not been fully explored then most of the islands in Rwanda are among them. Nearly everyone who comes to this country for a safari feels the best to do is only to track the rare mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in the northwestern part and yet in reality, there is a lot more for one to discover. Rwanda boasts of about 16 stunning islands, all of which straddle within Karongi district which the 5 are found in Kibuye. An Island per say denotes a mass of land bordered by water and you can find them even distributed around Lake Kivu. Most of these are ideal for a number of activities for instance swimming, fishing, lush plantations as well as tourism. They include among others;

  • Idjwi Island

This is the 10th most extensive inland island in the world, expanding for about 25 miles down Lake Kivu center, covering an area of about 110 square miles. About two miles wide in areas, the island features an expansive shoreline relative to its area. It is rugged features rugged mountains and limited infrastructure thus transport to and fro this island is by boat. Transport on the island is a big challenge. This island lies on Lake Kivu just at a border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with an area coverage of about 340 square kilometers making it also the second largest inland in African continent. About 220000 people depend on this island for many reasons including fishing, farming, hunting, pottery and many more.

  • Munini Island

This island is also known as the Napoleon’s Island. It was named so due to its sharp that looks like Napoleon’s hat. It is a refuge to so many fruit bats and supports a huge population of avifaunal species.

  • Iwawa Island 

This Island lies within the heart of Lake Kivu and has Iwawa Rehabilitation and Vocational Skills Development Centre. This center was established by the Rwanda Ministry of Youth to solve the ever increasing challenge of youth related drug problems. It main goal is to rehabilitate and cultivate sober minds as well as skills development like building, carpentry and tailoring.

  • Amahoro Island

Amahoro Island is privately owned and bordered by several other islands. It is one of the developed areas and a major tourist site of its own and features many camping facilities, bar, restaurant and ideal for swimming. Besides, it is also good for bird watching and many water sport activities. It comprises of many peninsulas especially Mpembe that is ideal for a four kilometer nature walk. This peninsula can easily be reached by boat from Kibuye and it is also privately owned although it is tourist site with several camping facilities and a birds’ sanctuary. The other is Nyakarwa peninsula which is ideal for bird watching and recreational walk via the Lake. Exploring the magical islands on Lake Kivu can be best done while you are on a boat cruise and you can do so by contacting an agent to help you arrange your safari.

  • Mpembe Island

This can be accessed by boat from Kibuye and it is one of the stunning islands on Lake Kivu. It is linked by a bridge to the Mpembe peninsula and it boasts of its unbeatable beauty and diversity thus making an island with lots of hidden treasures.

  • The Peace Island

This island comes with a number of incredible avifaunal species, lush vegetation and beach area. Compared to Napoleon’s Island, this inhabits humans who practice crop farming and cattle keeping.

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Bird Watching On The Shores Of Lake Kivu

Bird Watching On The Shores Of Lake Kivu

Situated in the western corner of Rwanda, Lake Kivu forms the physical boundary between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This Lake is one of the magnificent African Great Lakes with three main sections including Cyangugu (Southern side), Kibuye (central) and Gisenyi (Northern side) and a haven to wide range of bird species, especially the aquatic and wetland species hence making it one of the bird lover’s Paradise. Rwanda is a small landlocked country known for mainly the critically endangered mountain gorillas that live within the Volcanoes National Park in north-western part of the country. However, there are also over 750 species of birds in Rwanda with the highlights being the Albertine Rift endemics.

Among the country’s most remarkable birding spots is Lake Kivu, especially the shores of the Lake in areas such as Kibuye and Gisenyi among others. This Lake lies at an elevation of 1460 meters above sea level with a minimum depth of 480 meters. Lake Kivu is also popular for being one of the few Lakes in the World that experience limnic eruptions which always take place when gases in the water body especially Carbon monoxide and methane  are eventually released into the atmosphere thus leading to instant death of humans and animals.

If you explore Kibuye area, you will be excited to encounter extraordinary bird species including the common kestrel, African Pied Wagtail, Tropical Boubou, Common Waxbill, spotted Yellow-throated Greenbul, Speckled Pigeons, Chin-spot Batis, Ashy Flycatcher, Cardinal Woodpecker, Bronzed Sunbirds, African Pied Wagtail, White tailed Blue Flycatcher and many others.

Also, the shores of Lake Kivu offer opportunities of spotting the colorful Southern Red Bishop, Red-chested sunbirds, Hadada Ibis, Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Scarlet-chested, Spectacled Weaver, Striated Heron, Common Waxbill, Black-headed Heron, Red-billed Firefinch, Little bee-eater, Yellow-fronted Canary, Sacred Ibis, Holub’s Golden Weaver, Variable Sunbird, Bronzed Manakin, Black-headed Weaver, Yellow-bellied Waxbill and many others.

If you visit the Gisenyi area, you will come across the Bronze Sunbird, White-browed Robin-chat, Long-tailed Cormorant, Speckled Mousebirds, Grassland Pipit, Olive Pigeons, African Black Swift, Angola Swallow, Mosque Swallow, the Black Crake, Common (Rock) Kestrels, swifts, African fish eagles, Yellow-throated Greenbuls, Pin-tailed Whydah, Grey-rumped Swallow , Common Bulbul, Spot-flanked Barbet, Red-rumped Swallow, Black Saw-wing, Lesser-striped Swallow, Black-crowned Waxbills, Holub’s Golden Weaver and many others.

Taking a boat trip to Akeza Island rewards bird enthusiasts with the views of the great cormorants, the Water Thick-knees, Grey-capped Warbler, Common Fiscal, Green-headed Sunbird, Common Waxbill, Red-chested Sunbird, Common (Rock) Kestrels, Pin-tailed Whydah, Bronze Sunbird and Baglafecht Weaver among others.

Therefore in addition to the common birding areas; Akagera National Park, Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe Forest as well as the wetland like Akanyaru, Lake Kivu is also an important Birding Area with a diversity of aquatic and wetland bird species that wander around the shores of the Lake.

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Titus Gorilla Family – Rwanda

Titus Gorilla Family – Rwanda

When it comes to safaris to Rwanda, the most prominent attractions that never miss out in most of the travelers’ bucket list are the rare mountain gorillas. These unique apes feature as among the very few tourist attractions in the world that offer visitors with the most thrilling experiences that come once in a lifetime. They are only found in 3 (three) destinations; Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These rare apes share about 98% of their DNA with humans making them a few most vulnerable species on earth. In Rwanda, they are only located in Volcanoes National Park, northwestern part of the country takes trekkers approximately 2 hours’ drive off Kigali International Airport. Volcanoes National Park comprises of ten (10) habituated gorilla groups that have been set for visitor experiences.

Titus gorilla group derived its name from Titus gorilla silverback that was born on 24th August 1974 at a time when Dian Fossey conducting her research at Karisoke Research Centre. Titus was monitored by Kelly Stewart who later named the group after him. Unfortunately, he lost his family members to poachers which included his uncle, brother, sister and father. This was the most challenging moment in Titus’s life. The family then never had females for a period of more than 8 (eight) years and the males were monitored in homosexual behavior till when five females from other families joined his family. Titus led the group for longer period of time and it is estimated that he led the family up to 2007 till Beetsme silverback succeeded his leadership in 2009.

He led the family till he passed on in 2012 and he became one of the male gorillas with several infants and managed the biggest gorilla family. He was protective to the female whereby he was sighted biting a female when she was caught up mating secretly with his son Kuryama. Beetsme featured as a good silverback till he passed on. Titus group features as one of the families that have thrived for longer time. Today, this troop features both new and old individuals that are all peacefully surviving in the same group. Titus was however got when he was dead in his nest surrounded by his group members and he was declared to have died of natural causes. At the age of 35 years, this gorilla king was famous as the most successful gorilla in the Land of a Thousand Hills with numerous infants compared to any other gorilla. This family still serves research needs but recently tourists have been accepted to track through it especially when the permits are overbooked for the main ten habituated families. Titus family is found between Karisimbi and Visoke Volcanoes.

In conclusion, Titus gorilla family is one of the oldest families in Volcanoes National Park. A visit to this group offers tourists a chance to explore more about Titus that features as the oldest silverback that thrived for long and also sired many infants.

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Best Things To Do In Kigali

Best Things To Do In Kigali

Are you planning your vacation to Kigali but you do not know which things to do while on safari in Rwanda? Do you love city tours and you need to get out of the usual environment? Well, Kigali is Rwanda’s most remarkable capital city. It features among safest and cleanest cities making it one of the rarest commercial centers in Africa and the world at large.

It is occupied by almost 1000000 people making it also one of the unique cities where chaos isn’t the order of the day as it is the case with most cities. It is ideally traveler’s most friendly towns compared to most African capital cities. Today, this city isn’t only the busiest business center but also best tourist site given its diverse attractions that are worth exploring while on city tour or any Rwanda safari.

Below are some of the amazing things for you to do in Kigali

Visit the Kigali genocide memorial site, Gisozi genocide memorial site

If you are planning for your trip to Rwanda, never miss to pay a visit to Kigali-Gisozi memorial site. This is one of the sacred sites where about 250000 innocent people lost their lives in cold war in 1994 during the Rwanda genocide. This remarkable memorial place is situated near the center of town and it offers travelers opportunity to explore more about terrific event that took place within 100 days. A visit to this sacred place is for strong hearted as some of the videos, images and displays will be touching at the depth of the soul. However, today, Rwanda is re-establishing itself and they have vowed ‘Never Again.’

Richard Kandt House Museum of Natural History

Dr. Richard Kandt established the Kigali of today way back in 1907 to 1908. It was officially designated by the German governor in Dar-es-salaam as the town of Kigali. Richard Kandt was the famous explorer and discoverer and featured as the first official representative of Germany in Rwanda as Resident of Kigali. He spread the coffee plant around Rwanda and promoted coffee farming in the country. Today, most travelers pay a visit to his former home and gardens restored by the German Government and home to Rwanda Museum of Natural History. A museum where new displays are being added overtime making it an even more exciting site to explore. The Rwandan government started the president Museum of natural history in 2008 with main aim of exposing Rwandans and travelers to the biological and geological diversity in the country.

Visiting the state house museum allows you to explore more about the former Presidential Palace as well as events that led to the Rwandan genocide. There are some displays and secret rooms that are waiting for you to explore while on safari in Rwanda. At the garden wall, tourists can have a view of the remaining wreckage from Juvenal Habyarimana’s presidential plane and where it was shot down.

Hotel des Mille Collins

This hotel was made popular in the movie of Hotel Rwanda that gives insight of the story of how the hotel served as refuge for many during the Rwanda genocide in 1994. You can have a drink at the pool bar and traditional African music with live entertainment during weekends.

Guided safari to the Muslim quarter of Nyamirambo

This is part of Kigali where life goes on after dark with quaint pubs and sites where visitors can grab some goat brochettes and enjoy the evening with good friends newly created while on safari in Rwanda. The Nyamirambo Women’s Center provides guided walking safaris of the Muslim Quarter of Nyamirambo. This is one of Kigali’s most diverse and stunning neighborhoods. The safari takes visitors via homes with their Arab influences, the market, hair salons, recording studio, West African tailors and many more. One of the hosts will invite you to one of their homes where you will have opportunity to learn how to prepare the Rwandan menus.

Belgian soldier memorial center

Around 7th April, 1994, about 10 (ten) Belgian soldiers all privates were killed. They were guarding Madame Agathe Uwiligiyimana, the Rwandan prime Minister and her family. On 7th April, 2000 the Belgian Government revealed a memorial to the ten soldiers on the grounds of the former military camp in Kigali. It features a simple three room structure where the bullet holes of the attacking soldiers of the Forces Armees Rwandaises (FAR) sprayed the hide out with bullets and murdered those who had taken refuge to this area.

Horseback riding

This is another most exciting and rewarding activity that you need to par take while on safari in Kigali. It takes visitors through hills, sights, villages and many more areas in and round city center. Your rides will take you through Mount Kigali and many other areas that will fill you with the most thrilling experiences of lifetime. You can embark on this adventure in the morning.

Inema art center

The site was opened around 2012 as way to display and offer opportunities for local Rwandan artists. Inema art center has become one of the most stunning modern art galleries in the city centre with paintings, sculptures and traditional crafts. It features many pieces that are also for sale and can be shipped internationally making it one of the remarkable of a kind souvenir. The site also provides the best ground for dance and music performances and courses.

Therefore, Rwanda safaris are not only for wildlife but also for visitors to explore what Kigali capital city holds for the world travelers. Visit this prominent city center and be filled with lifetime experiences.

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Things To Do Before Undertaking An Overseas Trip

Things To Do Before Undertaking An Overseas Trip

Things To Do Before Undertaking An Overseas Or International Trip

Travelling overseas is always everyone’s dream come true but preparation for such journeys involves a lot of legwork, the fact that you are traveling to another country. It’s not always a surprise that that Holidays may not always go as expected but with advance planning, you are guaranteed of having a good trip, mainly if you are visiting a different country.

In most cases, putting together an itinerary and creating a packing list about all the items needed before traveling internationally is challenging for tourists thus with this information, you will be able to know about all the important things you will need when undertaking an International Trip;

Find out about what Travel documents are required before entering the country

It’s not only finding out what documents are needed but make sure they are up to date. Tourists traveling to Uganda are required to present passport and visa valid for at least 90 days after entering the country, thus make sure it is renewed for the mentioned time before expiry.

Research and find out the weather/season before traveling

Knowing the weather will help you to know what clothes you will need to pack for the safari. If it’s a rainy season, you will definitely need a rain jacket, umbrella, sweater and heavy clothes.

Research and learn about the local language of the country being visited

Learning some few words in the local language of the destination shows courtesy and respect for the people and their cultures. Once you are good to the locals, their will offer their best to helping and making your safari memorable.

Print or make copies of all your travel documents, itinerary and confirmations

Many tourists have been victims to lost passports during safaris in Uganda, which is why travelers are always advised to make backup copies for the “incase” situations. Not only that, most destinations you will visit in Uganda don’t have internet or WiFi to prove you confirmed your trip hence you will need hard copies. This is important because sometimes Safari Lodges or Hotels may make mistakes in your reservations and may overcharge you for last minute bookings thus if you have the printed copy of your itinerary, you will be on a safer side.

Read about the local culture, customs and etiquette of the destination you are visiting

Different areas have unique culture and customs that you ought to respect even if you don’t agree with them. When you are a female traveler to Uganda, you will need to dress in certain way (long skirts and dresses and avoid trousers) to show respect to the community you are visiting.

Check for travel advisories and warnings

Always make sure to first find out whether your country of origin has issued any travel warnings for the country you are planning to travel to and this is usually don’t for your own safety and security during the safari. Another reason you need to check this is because most insurance providers don’t cover trips to countries that are under travel advisories and warnings.

Research about the country-specific vaccinations

Go to the immigration website to find out the health information and vaccination requirements for Uganda, where yellow fever vaccination is a must for tourists. Besides that, you will need to get your shots at least two months before departure to achieve maximum protection.

Carry some emergency Cash at hand

Having cards full of money may not help you during your trip because there are places in Uganda without Banks and even if they do, some don’t accept Credit and Debit Cards or even the Travelers cheques thus the reason you will need to have cash (preferably local currency) for making small purchases in supermarkets, grocery stores of even paying for meals or accommodation.

Inform your Bank to inform them that you will be traveling

Having your credit, Debit and ATM Cards is not enough because you may need to withdraw money which may not be accepted (if it’s in another country) thus you will need to first inform your Bank to allow you use your cards to withdraw or make purchases while overseas. Similarly, make sure to first pay all upcoming bills before undertaking your International trip.

Reach out to your insurance provider or Personal Doctor

Checking out with your doctor will be helpful if you need any prescription medication or vaccinations before undertaking your International Trip while the insurance Provider will insurance your trip against injuries, luggage loss and delayed bookings among others.

Also, any tourist undertaking an International trip should make sure to first purchase some of the tickets for destinations you wish to visit before even leaving, find out what you can actually bring or not bring when entering the country, carry the country-appropriate adapters or converters for your electronic gadgets, first conduct research about the best and cheaper ways to reach your hotel from the Airport and also check some of the entrance and exit fees to pay for the country.

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