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Preparations and expenses for traveling to Uganda (With Gorillas and Rwenzori)

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Today we are going to tell you all the details that we have prepared for travel to Uganda. A country that we really wanted after watching a documentary of the mountains of the Moon. A country that has two things that I think we love. Animals everywhere you can usually only see in zoos and not least, hiking trails the best we can find.


Travel to Uganda in 14 days - Rwenzori

Travel to Uganda

What awaits us in Uganda?

Our trip to Uganda has been divided into two very different parts. In fact, the trip came out with a single objective that was later expanded when seeing everything that the area gave. The mission was to climb the Margarita peakin the mountains of Rwenzori. A peak greater than 5000 meters, the third highest in Africa after Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, in addition to housing one of the last glaciers on the continent.


Travel to Uganda in 14 days

The second part of the trip was much quieter since it was based on visiting several national parks in safari plan or simple walking routes along the Kibale ForestQueen Elizabeth National Park and visit the Gorillas in Bwindi.


Travel to Uganda in 14 days

Uganda Security

Safety is an important point to check on any trip. Uganda is located in a conflict zone, where bloody civil wars have been lived where some areas have not yet recovered. Without discounting a neighbor who is still at war like Congo or other recent and very bloody conflicts such as Rwanda.


Travel to Uganda in 14 days

Even so, the area to visit is relatively stable, located east of the lake victoria and very close to the border of the Congo. This area is quiet, without any risk. Particularly the only area to avoid in Uganda is the north, specifically the area bordering southern Sudan. However, in most foreign countries Uganda is still considered a country with some risk.

On our return we found it a safe country, although it may crash to see many UN vehicles or refugee camps. Only in the capital, Kampala, there are certain places to avoid as well as walking at night.

Preparations and expenses for traveling to Uganda

Visa for Uganda

Most tourists traveling to Uganda must obtain their visa upon arrival at the international airport of Entebbe or by any of its border posts. The cost is 50$ in cash and per person unless you want to spend more than 6 months, whose cost is increasing. There are very few visa-free countries in Europe to enter Uganda, just Malta, Cyprus and Ireland. In America more of the same happens, just Jamaica, Belize and some Caribbean islands are exempt.


Visa for Uganda

Travel insurance to Uganda

As in any foreign country we visit, good travel insurance is necessary, especially in those places where the health guarantee may not meet our expectations. From Travel by Free we recommend Iati, which has always worked phenomenally.

Ask for travel insurance budget

Also in Uganda to do mountaineering at height, like the one we are going to do, insurance is required.

Climate in Uganda

We are in a country cut in two by the Ecuador line. It means that there are no 4 stations as we know them. Here or it is dry season or rainy season. We have chosen to travel between the months of December and February for being dry season and the best for hiking. June and July is usually dry too.


Travel to Uganda in 14 days - Crater Lakes

Anyway, the mountains of Rwenzori are famous for raining 350 days a year, so water will fall if or if.

Uganda plugs

Uganda was a British colony and this means that they have inherited several things. One is to drive on the left side and another is its awkward plugs, type G.

Airports

The only international airport is that ofEntebbe,famous years ago for an Israeli armed incursion with the mission of rescuing civilians who were kidnapped. Therefore, if we arrive by plane, it is more than likely that we will pass through here. Then in the country there are more airports, although we can call them aerodromes because of their small size and many of them with a dirt track.

Internal flights are usually very expensive and by plane. The cost is around 250$ the path

Internal transport

Most tourists prefer to travel calmly and in the fastest way. That is our case and we decided to take an internal plane until Kasese to be as close as possible to Rwenzori. However, all agencies offer private or collective transport, the cost of which varies depending on the people they transport. Of course, traveling 300km in this country by road can take more than 8 hours ...

Currency

The local currency is the shilling. This currency is highly devalued, the euro being for more than 4000 shillings. In fact, tourists in the main hotels usually pay in dollars or euros, so sometimes it is better to travel with this currency if we go to succulent hotels and just in case some shillings In case we buy some food or travel by public transport.

All hotels accept dollars or euros, but those of low cost They prefer local currency. If we pay in dollars / euros ... they will make the change to your currency and we will probably lose out.

Accommodation

During the route to Rwenzori is not something that should concern us. Total we will sleep in our sleeping bag under some tarps and in the best case in a small mountain shelter. For the rest of the trip we will have accommodations for all tastes. Since campsites very cheap for5,000 / 10,000 Sh per person to succulent hotels between 60$ and 200$. This means that in general it is cheap if we are not very foodies.

All the exclusive resorts within the national parks have their respective campsite. Therefore for all prices.

Fees in National Parks and reserves

This is something we must assume and the daily costs in some cases is high. The rates we must pay are the following:

  • Rwenzori: the daily cost is 35$.
  • Queens Elizabeth national park: the cost is 40$. Vehicle 50$. To this we must add 30$ per person (minimum 3 people) if we choose to guide us on the safari, something highly recommended if we really want to see animals easily.
  • Kibale National Forest: the cost is 40$. 150$ If we want to do a trekking to see the Chimpances.
  • Gorillas in Bwindi or Mgahinga: the permit costs 600$. Includes guide and it is necessary to make the reservation in advance. Small groups.

Travel to Uganda in 14 days

The rest of the parks usually have a similar cost ($ 40).

Itinerary to travel to Uganda in 14 days

Maybe 14 days are many days to visit Uganda. This on our trip makes some sense and is the route to the Margarita peak in Rwenzori. Only this route demands 8 days and sometimes more. Therefore, between transfers and other necessities, for the safaris we only leave about 4 days, no more.


Uganda map

Trekking in Rwenzori

Our mission is to climb the Margarita peak of 5109m, the third highest in Africa. To carry it out, there are two routes to reach the peak. One part from Kilembe and another from Nyakalengija. Basically the choice will depend on the company you use to do the trekking, since it is mandatory to hire it. But there is an important detail, the trekking that starts from Kilembe is more abrupt and wild since it was an open route in 2010 and with more austere camps. The latter made us choose Kilembe :-D.


Travel to Uganda in 14 days - Rwenzori

Stages to climb Marguerita peak (5109m)

  • Day 1: Kilembe - Sine Camp
  • Day 2: Sine Camp - Mutinda Camp
  • Day 3: Mutinda camp - Bugata Camp
  • Day 4: Bugata Camp - Hunwick's camp
  • Day 5: Hunwick's camp - Marguerita camp
  • Day 6: Marguerita camp - Marguerita Peak - Hunwick's camp
  • Day 7: Hunwick's camp - Kiharo camp
  • Day 8: Kiharo camp - Kilembe

This trekking can be hired from the country of origin through specialized agencies or directly with the two local agencies that manage it, since finally all foreign agencies will end up outsourcing them. One is Rwenzori Trekking Services which makes the route from Kilembe and the other is Rwenzori Mountaineering Services what does the route fromNyakalengija. From what we have investigated, the first agency is the one that provides the best service.

The cost will depend on the number of members in the expedition, being an average calculation of 1200$ + tips. Includes park fees, guide, one carrier per person (20kg of load), part of the climbing equipment if we do not have (not recommended) and food for the entire route.

From Safari through Uganda

On day 8 once the trekking is finished we will leave for Kibale National Forest Where we will spend the night and rest. The rest of the days are displayed as follows:

  • Day 9: Quiet day where we will make an excursion to Crater lakes. A set of lakes housed in ancient craters.
  • Day 10: Hiking trail in Kibale National Forest to meet the Chimpances. On our return we will go to Kigezi Game Reserve.
  • Day 11: Safari by Kigezi Game Reserve to enjoy the climbing lions. These are hard to see since they usually cross into the Congo.
  • Day 12: Early we will leave forQueen Elizabeth National Park. We will do a brief safari and then rest.
  • Day 13: Safari through Queen Elizabeth National Park. Later we will take a boat to navigate rivers and lakes and enjoy crocodiles, hippos, elephants and other species. This may be the best day.
  • Day 14: We will leave early for Kasese Where we will take the return flight.

Travel to Uganda in 14 days

The costs will be counted on return. This is our idea, then what is reflected may be different.


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