The Ugandan shilling is issued in denominations of 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000 and 50000 shillings for notes, while coins are issued in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 200 and 500 shillings. The local currency can be obtained at authorised facilities (such as banks and foreign exchange bureaus). Foreign currency can also be changed at the airport on arrival. Many establishments will only change USD issued after the year 2003. Be aware that only paper currency will normally be accepted for exchange. Travellers cheques are not widely accepted outside of Kampala. In Uganda, credit card use is usually restricted to major banks and hotels and most shops will not accept other methods of payment other than cash. Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp accepts Visa, MasterCard, Amex and JCB credit cards which attract a surcharge of 5%.
Tipping is not compulsory, nor are there any fixed amounts. The customary gratuity is about 10% of the cost of the service. Tips are usually given in Uganda Shillings or US Dollars.
Driver-Guide in Bwindi: a tip of about US$10 per transfer is appropriate for your transfer driver.
On a Gorilla Track: If you choose to take a porter (highly recommended), the minimum recommended tip is US$15 per traveller per track.
Guides (usually 1 per group), Trackers (usually 2-3 per group) and Security personnel (usually 2-4 per group) do earn salaries.
A recommended tip of about US$20 per day of tracking per traveller may be placed in the appropriate tip box for your gorilla group (found at Park Headquarters) for distribution amongst the staff.
Each traveller must be in possession of a passport that will remain valid for at least six months beyond the completion of his/her trip. Travellers should check for visa requirements pertaining to their citizenship, as entry requirements vary.
Please note: TSA Bans Powerless Devices From Flights
According to recent rules issued by the US Transport Security Administration (TSA), passengers travelling from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to the US must be able to turn on their electronic devices to prove they are genuine, "Powerless devices" - cellphones and computers that cannot be turned on will not be permitted on board the aircraft.
This was followed by an announcement by the UK Department for Transport regarding stepping up some aviation security measures. "In line with the US advice, passengers on some routes into and out of the UK may now also be required to show that electronic devices in their hand luggage are powered up or face not being allowed to bring the device onto the aircraft." According to Reuters, TSA officials singled out smartphones, including the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, for extra security checks on U.S.-bound flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
GMT + 3 hours
English is the official national language. Luganda, the most common of the many indigenous languages, is also widely spoken.
In Uganda days are warm, but it almost invariably rains, except in the very driest months of January and February. It can get very cool at night. The year-round weather stays within this range.
For more information on Uganda travel please visit http://www.visituganda.com/index.php