Uganda Tourism Board To License Tour Operators And Travel Agents
Many Uganda Tour and Travel operators have been working without anyone looking into their operations but now Uganda Tourism Board To License Tour Operators And Travel Agents. Through the director Quality Assurance of Uganda Tourism Board Mr Semakula. The body will license all tours and travel operators and monitor their work so as to set standards for Uganda tourism. This is aimed at eliminating un professionals who were taking tourists’ money and offer no services. This was mentioned to the media and tours and travel operators of Uganda in a meeting held early 2020
Earlier in 2014, in a sensitization meeting held at Uganda Museum by Uganda Tourism Board, it was decided that effective August 2014, Uganda Tourism Board will take over the mandate of licensing Tour Operators, Travel Agents and Tour Guides from the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife. This was mentioned by The Deputy Executive Director of Uganda Tourism Board at a well-attended meeting at Uganda museum on 11th July 2014
He said that according to Uganda Tourism Act of 2008, Uganda Tourism Board will be in charge of licensing, and inspecting of all tour operators, travel agents in Uganda. That the tourism act empowers Uganda Tourism Board to charge Uganda Shillings 250,000 from Tour Operators, Travel Guide and Tourist Guides per year for them to be recognized as genuine operators.
He said that this will only take place after sensitization meetings to educate all stake holders. He further said that this was one of the ways to effect quality assurance to all our tourists. That those who will not be licensed will not be allowed to operate.
He further said that the benefits of being licensed will be many, including discounts for tour operators on international trade fairs, listing and advertising on UTB website, advice on Search engine optimization among other.
He assured members present that the meeting was to bring to their attention of an existing law and then the procedures of how the above will be implemented will be decided I consultation with major Tourist associations that included AUTO (The Uganda Association of Tour Operators), TUGATA (The Uganda Association of Travel Agents) USAGA (Uganda Safari Guides Association) among others.
He ended by encouraging individuals and companies to join Associations in order to have a voice and lobbying powers to achieve more. He was quick to mentioned that to associate is a right and that even if companies are not in any association, they will be licensed.
Members present welcomed the idea but questioned on how this will be implemented. We wait and see how things will unfold.
How To Make a Uganda Safari Booking
Depending on what you want to participate in during Uganda safari, you send an enquiry and our safari consultant gets back to you.
You need to know the number of days you wish to be on safari, number of people travelling with, do you need gorilla trekking or chimpanzee trekking permits, the dates when you wish to do your Uganda Safari and so on.
In case you are doing gorilla trekking, our consultant has to check for availability and get back to you as soon as possible. This however doesn’t guarantee that the status quo of the permits will remain the same. Tour operators have no right to hold Uganda gorilla permits without payment. Its order with cash first come first served basis.
Our licensed tours consultant makes a quote for you according to the details you provide. Our Uganda Safari packages are based on Luxury, Modest or budget safari plans.
We request all our clients to pay for their gorilla trekking permits as soon as possible because they get sold out quickly since few released to the public each day. Each gorilla family has only 8 permits released to the public to book each day.
When Is The Best Time To Book Uganda Safari
All year round Uganda is open for tourists to visit but the peak seasons are June to September and December to Mid January. The Uganda National park are busy even accommodations of all budgets are at full bed capacity during this period.
With some Uganda Safari activities like gorilla trekking, you need to book the permit in advance at least 3 months prior because they get scarce as the peak season draws in. To avoid last minute panic to secure a gorilla permit you need to purchase it earlier.
This also helps with booking accommodation for your Uganda safari especially when hoping to do gorilla trekking. You must first know where the gorilla permit is booked because sleeping in another area and do gorilla trekking in another is disturbing. You have to wake up very early to drive long distances in order to catch up with briefing.
The low seasons March to May and November are less visited but this doesn’t mean you cannot book a Uganda safari during this time. It’s the time when grass is higher but many infants are born this time so they have plenty to feed on and even hide from predators.
Sometimes the low seasons call for discounted Uganda safari prices like on lodges and other services. Chances of having an unplanned for exclusive moment are common in the low seasons. You may trek the mountain gorillas alone, have the lodge to yourself with all attention towards you alone. What better way to make memories of your Africa safari.
Is Uganda Safe For Safaris
Uganda is safe for doing safaris in Africa. The introduction of the Uganda Tourism police in collaboration with the park rangers and others security operatives in the country are aimed at ensuring tourist are safe.
Personal safety starts with you too while on Uganda safari. Do not count large sum of money in public. This may call for skimmers to steal it from you. Avoid wearing expensive ornaments during your safari to avoid attracting thieves. When walking the streets hold your bags tight because snatchers and pick pocketers are ready to grab it from you.
Which National Park Is Best For Uganda Safari
All Uganda national park have unique attractions that make them special individually though some share attractions too. Knowing what is found in a particular Uganda park and what you may wish to see gives you a better choice to make of where you want to go.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to tree climbing lions, Murchison falls National Park has the strongest falls in the world, Kidepo Valley National park home of the rare carnivores, Kibale National park the has the biggest number of habituated African chimpanzees, Lake Mburo National Park home of zebras, Bwindi Forest National park and Mgahinga National park home of the famous mountain gorillas and so many others.
Some of the animals you may find during Uganda safaris include elephants, buffaloes, water bucks, bush bucks, giraffes, lions, leopards, elands, topis, warthogs, uganda Kobs, cheetahs and so much more.
What Is The Cost Of Uganda Safari
Apart from the costs that cut across all packages of Uganda safari that is the gorilla permit which costs $700 per person per trek, Kibale chimpanzee permit at a price of $200 per person, Park entrance fees the rest of the costs vary from package to package.
Other factors that determine the cost of Uganda safari include number of days on safari, number of people travelling with, the accommodation type you select, how many activities to do during Uganda safari, the driver guide’s experience and so much more.
What Is The Age Limit For Uganda Safari
Apart from the renowned gorilla trekking whose Age Limit is 15 years and above and chimpanzee trekking which is 12 years and above, the rest of Uganda safaris are open to any age.
Uganda is gifted by nature and has some of the unique eco-tourism destinations found in few places in the world. Children of all ages are can learn about the eco systems they study about at school from Uganda while on holiday. The Uganda wildlife Education center (UWEC) the former Entebbe zoo is one area worth visiting for children on safari before departing Uganda. It is the summary of all wildlife parks that Uganda is proud of.
How To Book Uganda Gorilla trekking Permits
When you decide which date you wish to do gorilla trekking and send us an Enquiry, our tours consultants gets back to you with availability. Although the gorilla trekking permits were put online for Uganda Tour Operators, you cannot secure them.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority is the only body responsible for saving the gorilla permits and its after payment is done. No one is allowed to preserve an unpaid for permit without payments. Paying for your gorilla permit is the only proof that you are interested in taking this safari.
We later request you to send some personal details like the full names on your passport, nationality, date of birth, passport expiry date and others. These are required when collecting your gorilla permit and some of these details are included on your certificate after gorilla trekking.
In case you wish to do chimpanzee trekking, you go through the same process as above.
Which Park Is Best For Gorilla Trekking Bwindi Impenetrable National park Or Mgahinga National Park
During the Uganda safari and you take gorilla trekking, Bwindi Impenetrable National park has the biggest number of gorilla families.
They are booked according to area and four areas are available that is Buhoma area, Ruhijah area, Nkuringo area and Rushaga area. Each area has gorilla families under it.
Each morning you gather for briefing at the ranger station and then divided to different families. The maximum number of trekkers per gorilla family is 8 people. The ranger guide escorts the entire group into the forest to begin searching.
Follow all the instructions given by the ranger guides because they know better about the condition of the gorilla family. Just like humans, mountain gorillas have mood swings.
When you deviate from what you are advised during briefing, you may through the entire forest into a rampage. Many tourists pay their hard-earned money to have that one hour of gorilla trekking but if the gorillas notice some inappropriate behavior, they may go into hiding.
After gorilla trekking, retreat slowly back to your lodge
Mgahinga National park is one of the still untouched parks in Uganda. Although its known for being home to the mountain gorillas, only one family has so far been habituated. The Nyakagezi gorillas family sometimes meanders into Rwanda, which makes booking its gorilla permits quite challenging.
They are sold when gorillas are confirmed being present in the park. Other activities in Mgahinga National park include birding, hiking the volcanic Virunga Mountains that is Sabyinyo Mountain, Mountain Muhavura and Gahinga Mountain.
What To Pack For Uganda Safari
- Insect repellants to protect your skin from stinging insects that would harm you.
- Bug spray to keep away bugs you might find on safari
- Safari clothing especially Khaki, which are friendly to the wilderness.
- A torch to use at your lodge when lights go out
- First aid box to carry emergency medication in
- A camera to protect memories of your safari that you can turn to later.
- A safari hat to cover your hair from buzzing insects and water that drips on you during forest walks
- Toiletries incase your lodge doesn’t offer this
- A light backpack to keep your belonging together when on safari
- Energy treats to snack on during Uganda safari especially during gorilla or chimpanzee trekking or game drives.
- Pajamas to wear in the night during Uganda safari.
- Packing cubes to have organize travel bags just in case you have to go through check ups.
- A pair of Binoculars to get a clearer look of far ranging attractions.
- Tracking boots for those trekking so as to protect your feet from rough surfaces in the wilderness,
- Flip-flops to wear during game drives because you do not have to get out of your car.
- A poncho or fleece to wear early morning or evening when its cold
- An adapter and charger to recharge your electronic equipment.