Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best time to go on a Gorilla tracking safari or any other tour in Uganda and Rwanda?
A: Both Countries have almost the same climate and terrain. It is possible to travel all year round but the best times to travel are between June to October and December to February however they are also characterized with a greater number of visitors and rainy seasons. This makes the prices of accommodation and transport high making the safari abit on the high side. Though November, March to June would be ideal for best prices being a low season but all said you can visit both countries all year round.
Q: What should I wear or carry along for my Gorilla tracking safari?
A: Shorts, light weight tops and sneakers for travel days; good hiking boots, sun hat, sweat band & gloves (for gorilla tracking Safaris & chimps tracking/Habituation; light weight rain gear, long sleeve shirt and pants (for any type of walking safari), a light backpack, sunscreen, and sun glasses. Most up-market lodges have swimming pools, so remember your swim suits! Khaki colored clothing is advised since it does not attract insects and it is cooler to wear. Evenings may get cooler or cold, especially in mountainous areas like, Bwindi, Mgahinga or the Volcanoes /Virungas (Rwanda) so bring a jacket and / or sweater. Also remember the Insect repellant, especially if you are going to do any walking in the forests. Favorite snacks, enough memory cards, rechargeable batteries and a diary may also be packed.
Trackers undertaking MUST wear long trousers. The weather is unpredictable sometimes so rain gear should also be packed.
Q: What does it take to do a Gorilla tracking Safari or a wildlife safari?
A: There may be no training needed but some level of fitness is required. Gorilla tracking will involve walking and may involve hiking up and down hills, negotiating over muddy areas or small streams and sometimes going off track through dense forests. For clients who are gorilla tracking, porters can be hired to carry your back packs and help you up and down more mountainous terrain. Once the Gorillas are located, all backpacks must be left with the porters or accompanying Park personnel. It is advisable to stretch your arms, back and legs before and after your tracking. Keep any valuables, money, camera film and anything else you do not want to be separated from in your pockets! It could take anywhere between 1 hour to 9 hours for Gorilla tracking. Time depends on the season of food plenty or scarcity as well as fitness of the people in the group though from our experience any person of any age can comfortably trek or track the gorillas and have the most memorable experience
Q: Is there age limit for any Gorilla tracking or Wildlife safaris?
A: Wildlife Safaris are without and age limit but there is only age limit for gorilla tracking, and chimpanzee tracking, which is 15 years. The primates and apes are prone to human diseases so to avoid this and the time/distance involved in these two activities make it hard for children to participate. Chimp tracking may last from 1 to 5 hours. As time goes by, chimps get more habituated and are easier to find and less time is spent in tracking. The same is true of Gorilla Tracking, but usually longer distances have to be traversed to find the various Gorilla family groups. The length of time for forest walks may be decided by how far the chimpanzee/gorillas are in the forest or the other members of your hiking group. The children however have other optional activities they can do in this time in the national parks as will be advised by the travel agent.
Q: What do I do with the children while I go Gorilla tracking or Chimpanzee tracking?
A: Most Lodges and Parks have games and activities that will keep children occupied while parents are going for Gorilla or Chimpanzee tracking. Lodges can usually provide a baby sitter to watch children while parents are busy. Ugandans generally love children and are very good with them. You will find that they will develop a good relationship with your children! They could take children on short, easy, guided walks or stay with them in the vehicle or Lodge (whatever your preference will be) while you go on longer outings.
Q: What are the medical precautions I should take before I start my Safari or travel?
A: Get a medical checkup before coming on safari if you have had previous medical concerns, especially if you are tracking gorillas. If you wear prescription glasses or contacts bring a copy of your prescription. Carry all important medications and documents in your hand luggage and if need be, please let us know of any medical conditions for better planning and service. He good news is that there are medical facilities in the large towns and places near the tourist areas. You will also require a Yellow fever vaccination and card for both Uganda and Rwanda. So, we encourage you to contact your insurance company to be fully insured before you travel. Also, to mention are the malaria pills as per the prescription of your doctor before the travel. We do not offer travel insurance. We suggest you arrange your travel insurance before leaving home. All of our safari vehicles are covered with comprehensive insurance.
Q: What kind of accommodation will I be able to stay in?
A: At Mambo Gorilla Safaris, we consider comfort and value for money so the accommodations we usually recommend have the following: A clean comfortable Twin or Double bed, has a private bathroom, good and safe scenic view, running water (This water is treated and good for bathing but not safe for drinking so we provide bottled drinking water in the car for the entire journey). Some extras may include: swimming pools, Massage services, Laundry services available at an extra pay and upon request. We use Luxury, Mid-range and standard rooms. These accommodations have a resident Chef and they provide all meals including the packed meals with mostly fresh food to
Q: What are the roads to wildlife and gorilla tracking like in Uganda and Rwanda?
A: Most of the roads are paved roads especially on the highway to most of the national parks. Usually these major and secondary roads are well maintained in Both Countries. Roads do tend to deteriorate with heavy rains especially on the Ugandan side, which are frequent in the whole region –so there may be portions of roads that are in between maintenance, which could be better. Just be prepared for such instances and take them in stride as part of your African safari experience! A 4X4 car would be advised to use at all times for better comfort and experience and as K Safaris we only Use 4X4 safari vehicles to avoid delays and inconveniences
Q: Can I use my credit card for purchases made while on a Uganda safari?
A: Credit cards are accepted in hotels, camps, lodges and major cities and towns, but are not widely accepted elsewhere. Local currency can be drawn against Visa and other major credit cards at selected ATMs in Kampala, at Entebbe International Airport, and in a few other large towns.
Q: What are the local currencies, and where can I exchange currency?
A: The official currency is the Uganda shilling. The US dollar is traditionally the hard currency of preference, but euro and pound sterling are also widely accepted. Most hotels and camps accept Credit/Debit cards. US dollar notes that are older than year 2000 are not accepted everywhere and can be very difficult to exchange. Major currencies such as the dollar and the euro are easily exchanged at the airport, banks and private bureaux de change in all large towns, but traveler’s checks are not widely accepted outside Kampala.