CLIMATE

Temperatures vary little throughout Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. Our travel areas cover an average of about 26°C during the day and about 16°C at night throughout the year. The rainy seasons, in general, are from Mid March-May and October-November. Humidity is variable outside of the wet seasons but can be generally low.

CLOTHING

Recommended for the field is light-weight, neutral-coloured that easily rinse out and quickly dry. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants will help aid protection from insects, thorny plants, and sunburn. Shorts will be appropriate for some occasions. A sweater or jacket is useful for possible cooler nights and early mornings, especially around montane areas like Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in UgandaNyungwe and Volcanoes in Rwanda and Mountain Kenya

We recommend that you bring rain gear. Sturdy- soled shoes or hiking boots are essential. The dress is casual throughout. Laundry service will be available regularly during our tours at accommodation facilities, making use of laundry service means you will not need to bring as many items of clothing as you would otherwise. Note; WILD INTENSE does not include this service in tour costs. 

ELECTRICITY

230V, but power failures, surges and troughs are common. Bring a universal adaptor and a flash-light or headlamp.

ACCOMMODATION

Things have gotten better in East Africa, a variety of accommodation for deferent budgets are now available. In the National Parks, WILD INTENSE prefers using tented camps, hotels and Lodges. We book the most appropriate accommodation given the budget but regardless, we do not compromise on hygiene quality and good food.

FOOD AND DRINKS

Fresh tropical fruits and vegetables are available throughout. Exotic dishes, both traditional and international, are served in the hotels and restaurants. 

All accommodation facilities pay good attention to diet restrictions.

When out buying food by yourself or when served, it is good to remember that sniffing food is considered rude among East African cultures. 

Drinking tap water is highly not recommended, and we always have enough water for consumption during our tours. 

AIRLINES

Several airlines service operate regularly to major international airports like Jomo Kenyatta, Entebbe and Kigali

There are also several reputable domestic charter companies to choose from; therefore, long-distance drives are affordably avoidable.

HEALTH

Yellow Fever Vaccination is now mandatory. Malaria risk in general, it is wise to take anti-malaria prophylactics as prescribed by the physician. We recommend you pack insect repellent and sleep under a mosquito net. Accommodation facilities in more affected areas, have mosquito nets installed. 

For special medical conditions, please carry prescribed drugs, spare glasses, contact lenses and solution as well as sunscreen and cream. HIV/AIDS is widespread, be cautious when you visit. 

BAGGAGE TO CARRY

WILD INTENSE emphasise a window seat for every participant on tour and consider a maximum of seven guests per vehicle full-time 4DW. This is how we can all get good un inconvenienced views and better photography opportunities. 

One travel bag or suitcase and a daypack are appropriate even when there is a big group to travel on your tour. For special equipment that will require more bags when joining a group tour, please consult with our office staff. 

For customised trips of fewer travellers, you can pack more there is only you on tour and much space to fill. 

SECURITY

Safety is quite variable but generally safe, however but don’t invite temptation. Keep an eye on your belongings. Don’t walk alone on streets in towns or cities late in the night. Take a taxi, don’t carry cameras or large amounts of cash, and be aware of pickpockets

Use hotel safety deposit boxes to safeguard valuables and obtain a receipt. Leave valuable jewellery at home.

Where you are not sure, talk to our field guides for a recommendation.

SHOPPING

The tourist areas and hotels sell a wide range of souvenirs, jewellery and trinkets. Don’t be afraid to haggle at roadside stalls

TIME ZONE

Uganda and Kenya GMT +3

Rwanda GMT +2

LANGUAGE

English is a national all popular language in the cities; however, not much of it in the villages. A few words of greetings like Habari when in Kenya, Oli Otya and Agandi in Uganda and Bite while in Rwanda. 

BANKING SERVICES

Banks are readily available all over the urban spots. Forex bureaus are also more accessible than ten years ago. 

Auto teller machines (ATM) are widespread, and they accept several cards, including AMEX, VISA, MASTERCARD, among others.

THE SAFARI

In some places, distances are too vast, and travel by road can be wearing. Keep your distance from animals and be quiet to avoid stressing the wildlife. Follow instructions from your guide even when it does not seem to make sense. 

PHOTOGRAPHY

High-speed cameras are ideal for wildlife photographs. Please consult with your equipment shop for more information. It is generally dusty here; you will need good dust cover for your cameras. 

It is courteous to ask permission before photographing local people

If you intend to take a lot of people pictures, it will be helpful to bring an instant camera with you so that you can leave a picture of the people you photograph. We recommend that you bring a pair of binoculars along with you.

There are no charges for the use of personal cameras and video recorders, but there may be a charge for commercial cameras in some places like in the National parks. Travellers will be responsible for such fees.

CULTURE

African cultures are nearly opposite to western civilisations in many ways. When in a rural village, it is essential to respect the local culture so you will always be welcome. Most of the locals to encounter in remote areas have had little exposure to foreigners.

Greetings are essential, and spending time socialising is also valued. The locals are generally very accommodating and helpful to outsiders. Your friends, local family, and local co-workers will often accompany you and want to help you in any way possible. As a guest, some people may want to serve you.

Be aware that this may make you feel uncomfortable, but their goal is to make you as comfortable as possible. East Africans are incredibly friendly and welcoming people and do not be surprised to get invited frequently to peoples’ homes for “chai” (tea). They will offer you drinks or food. Sometimes, they will consider turning down a food invite; however, do not consume things you are uncomfortable with. Also, understand that it is generally culturally unacceptable to refuse a gift. 

Whoever invites people for drinks or a meal pays typically for everything instead of splitting the bill. If other people pay for your drinks or meals, do not be surprised.

Be prepared that people will ask you to give them things, pay for something, or buy items, some tourists often interpret this as people trying to take advantage of them! There is simply a cultural difference of sharing whatever you have coupled with an assumption that you have a lot to give. This is opposite to Western culture, where independence is valued. People here say no to each other, so you can say no too if you do not find the request worth. Besides, at the time, they do not expect you to make it up to them.

You can always consult your guide before attending to such if you are not sure. 

PRIVACY

While privacy is critical in western cultures, it is practically non-existent in East Africa. People may openly stare at you, and may ask questions that seem personal, such as “are you married, any children, what religion are you?”

GENDER RELATIONS

Men and women are generally not such fond friends. You may, of course, become friends with people of different genders, but be aware that if you spend much time with any individual of the opposite sex, the community might assume you are having an affair. Public displays of affection between members of the opposite sex are considered offensive to the rural population. On the other hand, do not be surprised to see men holding hands in friendship. Women, in particular, may experience badgering from men, including numerous marriage proposals. Wearing a wedding ring and telling people you are married, go a long way.

Best Travel Tips: GIFTS

Do not indiscriminately hand out pens, money and sweets– it encourages the begging culture. As anywhere, gifts should be given as a true expression of friendship, appreciation or thanks.

We encourage a collective donation to schools, health facilities and homes. 

Consult WILD INTENSE office staff about what you want to pack for giving away or talk to our field guide for recommendations.