Uganda Gorilla Shortbreak Trip Notes

Uganda Gorilla Shortbreak

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017


Last Modified: 11 Aug 2016
Uganda Gorilla Shortbreak
Trip code: YGAG-B
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Travel to Uganda and embark on a journey to meet one of the world's most endangered species - the noble mountain gorilla. Encounter Uganda's birdlife, frogs and butterflies while hiking through the thick jungle with an experienced local tracker in search of these majestic creatures. The first glimpses of mountain gorillas will be sure to capture hearts and render most speechless - a just reward for the challenging trek. This Ugandan adventure is action packed and sure to satisfy.
Table of Contents
StyleYour fellow travellersFinish point description
ThemesAccommodationFinishing point instructions
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionEmergency contact
Why we love itMealsVisas
MapMoney mattersWhat to take
ItineraryGroup leaderClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyHealth
Physical ratingJoining pointTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Important notesJoining point instructionsFeedback
Group sizeFinish point
Style
Basix
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Is this trip right for you?
- Trekking to find the gorillas can be a challenging and long hike.
- You will spend only one hour with the gorillas. There is an option to pre-purchase another gorilla permit to visit the gorillas on both days 2 & 3.
- Day 4 is a long travel day as you head back to Kampala.
- This is one of our Short Breaks and is slightly different to our group tours. There is no group leader but rather a local guide with the idea being that you maintain a level of independence during down time. You'll most likely travel on a join-in basis, which means you may or may not be joined by others for activities and transportation, depending on demand.
Why we love it
- Enjoy a game drive through Lake Mburo National Park
- Trek through mountainous forest terrain in search of a gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Meet Uganda's majestic mountain gorillas for one breath taking hour
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Kampala/Lake Mburo
Ki kati! Welcome to Uganda.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 09:00am at our joining point hotel.
After the meeting we make our way to Lake Mburo National Park ( approximately 270km, 3hrs ).
The flora of Lake Mburo National Park is acacia woodland, different to most other parks in East Africa, which means its fauna is also different to other reserves. It's the best place in the country to see the gigantic eland antelope and has about 68 different species of mammals including zebras, impalas, buffalo, leopards, hyenas and jackals. There are five lakes within the park which are home to hippos, crocodiles and a variety of waterbirds, while the papyrus swamps provide cover for the sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. This small park is less well-known among tourists so it's much quieter than some of the more famous East African parks.
This afternoon we take a game drive through the park before settling into our accommodation in Mbarara for the night.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Meals
1 dinner
Day 2-3 Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
This morning we rise early and make our way towards Bwindi Impenetrable forest ( approx. 3hrs ).

Famous for its remarkable biodiversity, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to many endangered species including roughly half of the world's remaining mountain gorillas.
Visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance or transmission of disease to the animals.

The group may be split up into different trekking groups during the day or even over two days depending on the time of permit issue and group size. There's a maximum group size of 8 on each gorilla visit and only 24 gorilla trekking permits available each day.

Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable and may reach altitudes of almost 2000 metres above sea level. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid, but the sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours - up and down hill. We can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself. Once a trekking group encounters one of the gorilla families, your visit with the gorillas will last one unforgettable hour.

We will be trekking on either Day 2 or Day 3 depending on the availability of permits. The other day will be free to check out some of the local sights and optional activities.
Our campsite for the next 2 nights is located on the edge of Bunyoni Lake just 6km from Kabale. Facilities include restaurant, bar and fireplace, laundry service, TV, and internet connection. We will be camping in fixed mobile tents and all bedding is provided.
Upgrades into furnished safari tents or self contained cottages may be arranged locally subject to availability.
Included Activities
  • Bwindi Gorilla Trek & Permit
    Optional Activities
    • Bwindi Forest Nature Walk - USD50
    • Village visit and cultural performance - USD20
      Accommodation
      Camping (with facilities) (2 nt)
      Meals
      2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
      Day 4 Kampala
      Today is a long travel day as we make tracks back to Kampala stopping along the way to take pictures at the equator and enjoy a picnic lunch.


      This tour ends at our finish point hotel at approximately 4pm. No accommodation is included tonight. If you would like to stay longer, we can book your post-tour accommodation at our finish point hotel if required. If you are planning to fly out tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 9pm to allow for any delays.
      Meals
      1 breakfast, 1 lunch
      Itinerary disclaimer
      ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

      OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
      Physical rating

      Included activities
      Bwindi Gorilla Trek & Permit
      Important notes
      1.There is a minimum age of 16 years for the gorilla tracking. Please see trip notes (Important notes) for more details.

      2. This trip requires an additional non-refundable deposit ( AUD1000, USD1000, EUR800, NZD1250, GBP650, CAD1000, ZAR8000, CHF900 ) in order to secure a gorilla permit. We also require a scanned copy of your passport at time of booking. Please see trip notes (Important notes) for more details.

      3. This trip begins with a welcome meeting at the start point hotel at 9:00am on Day 1. Please make sure you arrive in time for this important meeting. We will be departing shortly after the meeting.

      4. This tour ends at our finish point hotel at approximately 4pm on Day 4. If you are planning to fly out tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 9pm to allow for any delays.

      Group size
      Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
      Your fellow travellers
      This trip is operated in "Join-In" basis and you may travel alongside other Intrepid or non-Intrepid travellers during included activities.

      Please note many of our Short Break Adventures operate with a minimum of 1 person, so there may be instances where you are the only person on the trip.
      Accommodation
      Camping (with facilities) (2nt), Hotel (1nt)
      Meals introduction
      Your group leader or representative will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. These instances will be indicated in the Essential Trip Information itinerary. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.

      For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.
      Meals
      3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
      Money matters
      When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

      Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).
      Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.


      MEALS NOT INCLUDED

      Breakfast, dinner and most lunches are included while on our overland safaris and/or lodge based trips.

      For lunches not included, a budget of USD10 to USD15 per meal will be more than sufficient.

      For dinners not included, your leader will normally recommend options and restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

      These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget or are happy to try local food, you can eat cheaper than this.

      If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.


      TIPPING

      Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is an appropriate way to thank them. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

      Usually the equivalent of around USD5 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.


      TIPPING GUIDE

      To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

      - Basic restaurants – When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
      - Local guides – Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD2 to USD3 per person, per day for local guides.
      - Your crew (including leaders, drivers and cooks where applicable) – You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD2 to USD3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.


      EMERGENCY FUNDS

      We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

      CREDIT CARDS, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE:

      Credit cards are generally accepted in tourist shops and some restaurants across Africa. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Foreign currency is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates.

      With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities and even some campsites, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction - please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it's not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries. If you're on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country.

      PLEASE NOTE: Many businesses and banks in Africa, especially East Africa, do not accept US dollar notes older than 2006. If you are bringing USD, we strongly recommend large bills in good condition, 2006 series onwards only. Any old or damaged notes may not be accepted.
      Group leader
      Intrepid Short Break Adventures are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader. Local guides may be used on some itineraries.
      Safety
      Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

      We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

      Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

      For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
      www.intrepidtravel.com/safety


      FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
      Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

      BALCONIES:
      Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

      TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
      Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

      SEAT BELTS:
      Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

      PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
      While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

      WATER SAFETY:
      Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.

      TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE
      We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

      UNFENCED CAMP SITES:
      On some trips you will at times stay in unfenced camp sites within national parks. While this is a fantastic experience, there are a few safety rules to follow. While staying in national parks it's important that you listen to any advice given by your tour leader and the park rangers regarding responsible and safe behaviour.
      Joining point
      Fairway Hotel
      Kafu Road
      Kampala
      UGANDA
      Joining point description
      The Fairway hotel is a simple, clean and comfortable hotel located within walking distance from Kampala City. All rooms have air conditioning, refrigerator, satellite TV and in room safes. The hotel facilities include a gym, swimming pool, restaurant, cafe, several bars and a business centre.
      Joining point instructions
      If you have pre-booked a transfer with us your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals section holding an Intrepid board with your name. The driver will wait for an hour after your scheduled arrival time. If you are unable to find your driver please phone: +256 752 504 301

      If you are delayed beyond one hour after your scheduled arrival time, please make your own way to the hotel.

      The Fairway Hotel is located about 40km ( 1hr drive ) from Entebbe airport.

      If you are making your own way to the hotel there are safe and reliable airport taxis outside the building which should cost approximately US$45-50 oneway, and must be paid in Ugandan Shillings.
      Finish point
      Fairway Hotel
      Kafu Road
      Kampala
      UGANDA
      Finish point description
      The Fairway hotel is a simple, clean and comfortable hotel located within walking distance from Kampala City. All rooms have air conditioning, refrigerator, satellite TV and in room safes. The hotel facilities include a gym, swimming pool, restaurant, cafe, several bars and a business centre.
      Finishing point instructions
      The Fairway Hotel is located about 40km (1hr drive) from Entebbe airport. Taxis should cost approximately US$45-50 oneway, and must be paid in Ugandan Shillings. The hotel reception should be able to arrange a safe and reliable taxi for you.

      Private airport transfers are available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Depending on the trip or package you have purchased, these transfers may be complimentary. Contact your agent for details. Be sure to advise of your flight details at time of booking. Alternatively, your leader or local representative can arrange a transfer for you on the ground.

      If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your local representative and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.

      If you have any problems with departure transfers please first contact your leader or representative. If this is not possible, please contact Intrepid's East Africa Office in Kenya on their 24 hour number +254 733 523 813.
      Emergency contact
      For transfers and accommodation issues, Intrepid's Kenya Office can be reached on their 24 hour number +254 733 523 813

      In case of genuine crisis or emergency (ONLY), you can reach our local operator on: +254 736 213 383.

      For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

      For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

      While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

      We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

      You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

      PEAK Kenya: +254-736-213-383
      Visas
      PASSPORT

      As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

      VISAS

      Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

      We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from countries not listed below must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.


      EAST AFRICA TOURIST VISA

      The East Africa Tourist Visa allows for travel between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with the same multiple entry visa. The visa can be issued at any of the diplomatic representations of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, at the immigration offices of the respective countries or online where applicable. The East Africa Tourist Visa is a multiple entry visa and is valid for 90 days. The visa costs USD100 and is the best option for passengers travelling to all 3 countries.

      Rwanda:
      For those beginning their trip in Rwanda, you can apply through the Rwanda Online Visa Application System. Under "Type of Visa" select "East Africa Tourist Visa." For more information contact your local Rwandan embassy.

      Kenya:
      For those beginning their trip in Kenya, you can find information on the visa application process on the consular section of your local Kenya embassy's website.

      Uganda:
      For those beginning their trip in Uganda, you can find information on the visa application process on the consular section of your local Uganda embassy's website.


      UGANDA:

      Australia: Yes – e-Visa required
      Belgium: Yes – e-Visa required
      Canada: Yes – e-Visa required
      Germany: Yes – e-Visa required
      Ireland: Yes - Yes – e-Visa required
      Netherlands: Yes – e-Visa required
      New Zealand: Yes – e-Visa required
      South Africa: Yes – e-Visa required
      Switzerland: Yes – e-Visa required
      United Kingdom: Yes – e-Visa required
      USA: Yes – e-Visa required

      Visas are required for most nationalities, including the EU, US and Australia.
      As of 1st July 2016, electronic visas must be applied for prior to arrival in Uganda. https://visas.immigration.go.ug/
      You will be required to upload a clear copy of your current passport, Yellow Fever vaccination certificate and a passport photo.
      On completion of the online application you will receive a barcoded email notification. Print out this email and bring it with you to Uganda. Upon arrival at any entry point, you must present the barcoded email. The e-Visa must then be paid for. The cost is USD$50 cash only. (Please note, Uganda only accepts USD bills dated 2006 or newer and in excellent condition).

      When also visiting Rwanda on one of our gorilla itineraries, you will require multiple copies of your Uganda e-Visa. However, we recommend purchasing the East Africa Tourist Visa if visiting any combination of Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.

      Some nationalities are not eligible for the Uganda e-Visa and are required to obtain physical visas in advance – it is your responsibility to check your nationalities’ requirements prior to departure.
      What to take
      What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

      Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

      Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

      ESSENTIALS:
      - Closed in shoes. As most of our trips include some bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
      - Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
      - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

      RECOMMENDED:
      - A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the lodges and permanent tented sites at night. Some of these properties have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time.
      - Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening activities when it can be cool.
      - Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening activities including game drives where applicable.
      - Personal medical kit. Large kits will be on hand at the lodges and from your leader (on trips that have a dedicated trip leader) but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
      - Insect repellent.
      - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
      - Camera with spare batteries. Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days but we recommend you take a spare battery. You’ll take more photos than you think.

      OPTIONAL:
      - Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
      - Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate
      - A good book, a journal or an Ipod for the long drives.

      LUGGAGE LIMIT:
      Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15-20kgs in total per person) is essential.We recommend against bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip.

      VALUABLES:
      Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

      BATTERIES/POWER:
      Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. Hotels and lodges have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.
      Climate and seasonal information
      Straddling the equator, there is little year round fluctuation in temperature in Uganda and no real winter or summer. Average temperatures are around 19-27°C.
      The best game viewing months in Uganda are during the dry seasons from June to August and December to February. In the savannah reserves, vegetation is less and animals gather around water sources, making wildlife easier to spot. The skies are clear, there is less rain and more sunshine. It’s also considered the best time for Gorilla trekking. Keep in mind Gorilla habitat (rainforests) is, by default, very wet and you can't avoid rain completely. However, after heavy rain, the skies often open up to bright sunshine.
      March to May and September to November is considered the wet season. Generally distinguished as the low season in Africa, the ‘Green season’ is characterised by the frequent rains. The vegetation is thick and the grass high making wildlife harder to spot and you don’t get a lot of animals congregating around waterholes. What you do get is incredible, lush, green landscapes. Most animals give birth at the beginning of rainy season so you will see plenty of newborns. It’s also a birders paradise with flowers in bloom and many migratory birds arriving back in the area from as far as Asia or Europe.

      It’s a great opportunity to make the most of competitive prices, including on Gorilla permits which are almost half the price, and without the crowds you could find yourself trekking the gorillas with as little as 2 or 3 other people. Don’t worry. It’s unlikely to rain all day. You’ll get a downpour at some stage each day, or even light rain on and off, but there are plenty of blue sky days as well.
      Health
      All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

      You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

      YELLOW FEVER:
      A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

      It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.


      DRINKING WATER:
      As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.


      TSETSE FLY:
      It is best to avoid dark coloured clothes such as blue and black while on safari. These colours can attract the biting tsetse fly.
      Travel insurance
      Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

      When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

      If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
      Responsible Travel
      We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

      Feedback
      After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback