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Check Out The Frequently Asked Questions..

Where is Uganda Located?

Uganda is a landlocked country that lies astride the equator in the East African region between longitudes 29 east and 35east and between latitudes 4 north and south, at an average altitude of 1,100 meters above sea- level. the total area is 236,580sq.km.

How do I get a Ugandan Visa?

You can acquire a visa at Uganda’s High Commission or embassy in your country of residence or on arrival at Entebbe International Airport.

When do you book Gorilla permits?

Gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly so its always advised to book your gorilla permit in advance. At Churchill Safaris we advise that you book your safaris on time 3-4 months in advance to avoid short notice disappointments. Gorilla permits tend to run out during high seasons of June, July , August, September, December, January and February each year. Please contact us about the availability of gorilla permits on info@churchillsafaris.com

What is the price of a Gorilla tour in Uganda?

When looking at the price of a gorilla tour in Uganda and Rwanda. You need to consider three main components, that is gorilla permit , accommodation and transport to and from the park.
A budget of gorilla trekking normally ranges from USD 490 to USD 520 per person sharing excluding permits. A gorilla permit price in Uganda currently costs USD 600, in Rwanda it is USD 1500 and then gorilla habituation experience permits cost USD 1500. A budget for accommodation ranges from USD 50 to USD 500 and more for luxury lodges per person sharing.

How many people trek per Gorilla family?

Only a minimum of 8 people are allowed to trek or visit a given gorilla family in Bwindi, Mgahinga and Volcanoes National Park.
Bwindi has about 14 habituated gorilla families allowing only 8 people per day per hour

What is Gorilla Trekking?

Gorilla trekking is an activity where tourists / people go searching for gorillas in the wild(not actual dictionary definition). Gorilla trekking is currently available in three African countries of Uganda, Rwanda and DRC. The process of gorilla trekking involves hiking or trekking in search for the rare mountain gorillas

When is the best time trek Gorillas?

Every client wants to get the best out of the fee paid for gorilla safaris in either Rwanda or Uganda and the first question that arises is when is the best time for gorilla trekking
While mountain gorilla in Uganda and Rwanda can be trekked throughout the whole year, drier months of June, July, August and early September then December up to February are the most preferred.

Where is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?

Bwindi is located in south western Uganda and is divided into four regions. Buhoma region in the North, Ruhija region in the East, Rushaga and Nkuringo in the South, each region has habituated gorilla families for gorilla tracking.

When should I book my Gorilla permit / tour?

You are advised to book your gorilla permit at least three months in advanced to shortage most especially during high season.

What is included in a Gorilla permit?

A gorilla permit allows you one hour with mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga or Volcanoes National Park. Included in the cost are park entry fees for the respective parks, services of National Park guides/ranges who will escort you to the forest.

How to get gorilla permits?

Gorilla tracking is limited to only 18 people per day and the permits are available only for people above 18 years. These can be obtained from the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

What is the age limit for trekking Gorillas?

The age limit for gorilla tracking (Uganda and Rwanda) and golden monkey trekking (Uganda) is 15years. The authorities are very strict on this, so kindly make sure all clients and children are 15 or older in order to avoid any sad incidents like guest(s) kids being refused to track!…
The age limit for trekking chimpanzees in Uganda is 12yrs old and children 10yrs and older are allowed to trek golden monkeys in Rwanda as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

What should I pack for Gorilla trekking?

You need to prepare very well for your gorilla trek, we advise trousers, long sleeved shirts or blouses, long socks to enable you tack in your trousers, garden gloves, a hat, sun glasses, hiking boots, insect repellents and some energy giving foods.

What is Gorilla Habituation?

A gorilla habituation experience is the process where wild mountain gorillas get used to the presence of humans. In Uganda, gorilla habituation is only done in the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in the Rushaga region

What are the requirements for arriving passengers to Uganda?

Arriving passengers should hold a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate issued within 72 hours from the time of sample collection to boarding aircraft leaving country of origin

What are the other requirements/arrival process for arriving passengers?

Before departure from the country of origin to Entebbe International Airport, passengers are advised to pay an online fee of 30 US Dollars for a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test to be conducted on arrival at the airport (https://covidpay.postbank.co.ug). For those unable to pay online, there are other payment options on arrival detailed in 3 (below)
On arrival at the airport, all passengers will be required to go through the recommended Port Health procedure of identifying body temperature, symptoms and thereafter directed to a team of laboratory specialists to take a COVID-19 swab for testing. The arrival test only applies to those entering the country (transit passengers are exempted)
After taking their swab, passengers will be directed back to the terminal to go through the immigration process. From the arrival immigration counters, passengers will proceed to the conveyor belts to pick their respective baggage and then go through customs clearance processes, in case of any taxable items.
From the customs area, passengers will exit the terminal to an arranged passenger holding area to wait for their PCR test results, which shall be availed to them after about two hours and thirty minutes or less.

What should passengers expect at the passenger holding area?

Passengers that may not have paid for their testing fees online will have the opportunity to pay for their testing fees at the various Post Bank kiosks located in the holding area.
Passengers will be able to exchange currency and also have an option of paying for their testing fees using mobile money services, visa, credit cards or make cash payments at the various Post Bank Uganda kiosks

How long do passengers have to wait for their PCR test results?

From the time when a sample is collected on arrival, the passenger is expected to wait for a maximum of two hours and thirty minutes before release of the test results.
Results will be sent to passengers by SMS or WhatsApp. Display monitors strategically placed in the holding area will also be used as well as the public address system to announce readiness of results
On receipt of the results, only passengers with negative COVID-19 PCR test certificates will be permitted to leave the holding area to proceed to their final destinations. Passengers with positive COVID-19 PCR test results will be isolated by the Port Health staff and treated according to the Ministry of Health protocol for COVID-19.
There is a dedicated tourism desk to facilitate tourists.

What are the COVID 19 PCR test requirements in relation to children?

Children below six (6) years will be exempted from the requirement for a negative PCR test certificate if they are accompanied by parents holding a negative COVID -19 PCR test certificate. They will also be exempted from the arrival test.

What is the cost of a PCR test undertaken on arrival?

30 US Dollars or equivalent.

How will passengers who test positive on arrival be handled?

Passengers who test positive on arrival will be provided psychosocial support and transferred to the gazetted public and private treatment facilities where they will be managed for 7 days and discharged following a negative PCR test. The treatment will be free in public hospitals. However, passengers who opt for private hospitals will meet their own costs
In the case of arriving tourists, if they are asymptomatic or with mild disease, they will be managed in the designated tourist hotels. The tourists who may progress to severe disease will be transferred to hospitals of their choice.

What are the requirements for departing passengers?

Passengers departing Uganda through Entebbe International Airport (EIA) must have an authentic negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate issued within 72 hours from the time of sample collection to boarding aircraft. In case the destination country’s PCR test time requirements defer, they take priority.
All COVID-19 PCR test certificates for departing passengers MUST indicate TRAVEL as the intended purpose of test.
Passengers departing EIA are required to know, understand, and interpret COVID-19 requirements of the country they are travelling to.

How do passengers overcome curfew restrictions while in Uganda?

Passengers departing in curfew time with a valid air ticket shall be allowed to proceed to their destination airport by presentation of the passenger ticket to the authorities as evidence of going to the airport. Similarly, arriving passengers can present their passenger ticket or boarding pass as evidence of travel from the airport. Branded Airport taxis are also available from the airport.

What are the requirements for air transportation of human remains into the country?

The following conditions should be fulfilled:
• Medical certificate of cause of death
• Post-mortem report or Comprehensive Medical Report from the attending doctor/ health facility
• Embalming certificate (including embalming certificate for death due to COVID-19).
• Copy of passport/identification document of the deceased (The original passport/travel document/identification document to be presented to immigration authorities)
• Import license/import authorization from the Director General of Health Services.
• Appropriate packaging – wrapped in a water proof body bag then placed in a zinc lined coffin and outer metal or wooden box.
• The documents will be verified by Port Health and the casket shall be decontaminated by Port Health on arrival.
• The burial of bodies of COVID-19 victims will be conducted following the existing procedure for scientific burials.

What to apply on your skin to repel wasps while tracking Gorillas?

Several commercial bug spray products are available that use plant-based oils as a wasp repellent. Taking cues from these ingredients, you will find that eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, and lemon oil are found in natural insect repellents.

One word of caution is to be careful about the types of essential oil you put on your skin because some can cause reactions in those who are sensitive, and make sure that you only use oils marked as food grade and approved for use in and on the body. Some plants are considered to be helpful as wasp repellents, and that can be used on your skin include:
• Spearmint
• Peppermint
• Thyme
• Eucalyptus
• Clove
• Lemongrass
You can mix these essential oils with a little water in a spray bottle, spray your skin directly, or spray your clothing. Make sure to shake the mixture before spraying, and you will have to reapply it every few hours. These oils might help convince the wasps to move on to more attractive targets, but there is no guarantee, especially when wasps become more aggressive in the late summer and fall.
Knowing what smells deter wasps can help, too. Citronella will also keep them away, but you can’t use this on your skin. Using a citronella candle or oil torch can help keep many types of flying insects away from your gathering. Cucumbers have a chemical in them that is a natural wasp repellent, too.

Is gorilla trekking safe?

Gorilla trekking involves entering the natural habitat of wild animals, and there are inherent risks involved. However, with the right precautions and guidance from experienced guides, gorilla trekking can be a safe and unforgettable experience. It’s essential to understand the behavior of gorillas, follow park regulations and guidelines, and take necessary precautions before and during the trek. Gorilla trekking provides an opportunity to see these incredible creatures up close, learn about their behavior and natural habitat, and support conservation efforts. So, if you’re up for a unique adventure, gorilla trekking can be an experience of a lifetime, there are specific safety measures taken to ensure the safety of both humans and gorillas. Here are some safety measures taken during gorilla trekking:
– Experienced guides: Gorilla trekking is not allowed without an experienced guide. Guides are trained to understand gorilla behavior, identify potential risks, and ensure the safety of both humans and gorillas.
– Keeping a safe distance: It’s essential to keep a safe distance from the gorillas and not get too close. The recommended distance is at least 7 meters, and guides will ensure that this distance is maintained.
– Minimal disturbance: It’s essential to minimize disturbance to the gorillas’ natural habitat and avoid making sudden movements or loud noises. This can cause stress to the gorillas and potentially lead to aggression.
– No direct eye contact: Direct eye contact can be perceived as a threat by gorillas. It’s essential to avoid direct eye contact and keep your head down when in close proximity to the gorillas.

Why Uganda is the Best Destination for Gorilla Trekking?

One of the biggest advantages of choosing Uganda as your gorilla trekking destination is the affordability. Compared to neighboring countries like Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda offers a more budget-friendly option for travelers. The cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda is currently $700, while in Rwanda it’s $1,500 and in the Democratic Republic of Congo it’s $400. Additionally, Uganda offers a variety of accommodation options to fit different budgets, from luxury lodges to budget-friendly campsites.

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