Important Information About Flights & Airfare to Africa
Round-trip airfare from the U.S. to Entebbe, Uganda, with departure from Kigali, Rwanda, is NOT included in the cost of the trip package. An airline form will be enclosed in your registration packet, and there are instructions about who to call at Classic Escapes to make your international airline reservations for this trip.
Here are the current flight schedules and prices for Africa flights from the U.S to Entebbe, Uganda and flights and rates from Kigali, Rwanda to the U.S.:
May 12, 2014: Ethiopean Airlines #501 departs Washington DC/Dulles (IAD) at 11:00 a.m. and arrives Addis Ababa at 7:30 a.m. (May 13)
May 13: Ethiopean Airlines #811 departs Addis Ababa at 10:40 a.m. and arrives Entebbe, Uganda at 1:05 p.m.
May 23: Ethiopean Airlines #811 Kigali, Rwanda at 3:30 p.m. and arrives Addis Ababa at 8:25 p.m.
May 23: Ethiopean Airlines #500 departs Addis Ababa at 10:15 a.m. and arrives Washington DC (IAD) at 8:30 a.m. (May 24).
Price Per Person (Economy Class): $2,100 includes departure taxes/fuel surcharges.
(Please note that all flight numbers and current air schedules are subject to change with no advance notice! If flights are changed and additional nights incurred, you will be advised of additional costs.)
When you register for this trip, an Airline Reservation Form is enclosed in your registration packet. You need to complete the form and send/fax/email it to our air agent who will be booking your air.
Passport & Visas for Traveling to Uganda & Rwanda in Africa
Citizens of the United States must possess a valid U.S. passport for travel to Uganda and Rwanda, East Africa. For Uganda, your passport must be valid for 1 year beyond your intended stay in Africa, and for Rwanda your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your intended stay.
U.S. citizens are required to get a visa for travel to Uganda, but Rwanda does NOT require a visa for U.S. citizens. Make sure you have 4-6 completely empty Visa pages facing each other in your passport.
If you do not have a passport, apply now! Please do not wait until the last minute. You should always carry 2 extra passport photographs with you, in case of emergency (if your passport/visa is lost or stolen).
Please see the information about Uganda and Rwanda visas at the end of this itinerary. Follow the directions carefully to send for your Uganda visa.
Addendum for Uganda & Rwanda Visas
1. Uganda Visa for U.S. Citizens
American nationals holding USA passports need an entry visa for Uganda. Naturalized American citizens of Uganda descent need an entry visa for Uganda. Nationals of the countries listed below are exempted from visa requirements for travel to Uganda. They do, however, need to have a current passport issued by their respective countries.
Members of COMESA: Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Eritrea, Kenya, MalawiMauritius, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Others exempted are: Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Jamaica, Lesotho, Malta, Sierra Leone, Singapore Solomon Islands St Vincent & the Grenadines, Tonga, Vanuatu, Italy (Only diplomatic passport holders) and Cyprus.
- One dully filled Application form by each applicant, which can be accessed at this link: http://www.ugandaembassy.com/Forms/application-visa.pdf
- Every section of the application form must be completed. Incomplete forms will not be processed.
- 2 passport size photographs
- Must submit original Passport valid 6 months from your date of departure from Uganda.
- Correct visa fee ($50 for a single entry).
- Applicants may be requested to submit additional supporting documentation.
- An international Inoculation Certificate against yellow fever.
- A prepaid self-addressed USPS Express Overnight return envelope only must be included with applications sent by mail.
Note: You are advised to ensure that your passport has a validity of 6 months from the date of your intended travel. Processing time for a visa is 5 working days.
Visa fees and other details:
a) US$ 50 for single entry: Valid for three months from the date of arrival. (Apply for your visa in March, 2014).
b) Visa fees must be paid by money order payable to UGANDA EMBASSY, on submission of visa application. Personal Checks are not accepted. Please note that the visa fee is non-refundable.
c) Make sure your passport has at least 2 blank visa pages when you send it in for your Uganda visa.
Note: Failure to complete the application form fully may result in the issuance of a visa being delayed or refused. The visa enables the holder to proceed to a port of entry where he/she must comply with the laws and regulations governing the admission of persons to the Republic of Uganda.
2. Rwanda Visa for U.S. Citizens
Rwanda does NOT require a tourist visa for citizens of United States for a stay up to 90 days.
What else do I need to know while planning a trip to Rwanda?
• First, check the current validity of your passport.
Your passport should be valid for 6 months after your departure date from Rwanda (this is different from Uganda, which now requires 1 year).
• Second, make sure your passport has blank Visa pages.
3. Empty Visa Pages in your Passport
Most destinations, including Rwanda and Uganda, require that you have adequate un-used pages in your passport, allowing for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure. We recommend that you have at least four – six free pages in the Visas section of your passport before any international travel, and specifically on this trip.U.S. citizens can get extra passport pages added to their passports as fast as within 24 hours.
Health Requirements, Physical Condition & Health Insurance
Vaccinations: A yellow fever vaccine is mandatory for entering Uganda. There are no other mandatory immunizations required for U.S. residents visiting Uganda and Rwanda. However, please consult with your personal physician, local health department, travel clinic, or immunization center about any vaccinations you may need to update (tetanus, typhoid, polio, Hepatitis A & B), or others that may be personally recommended for you based on your age, health, and past vaccination history. Anti-malaria medication is recommended.
Your Physical Condition: Although this safari is rated as moderate in general, the gorilla trekking portion of the trip is rated as High Energy. Finding a gorilla group can take as little as half an hour or as long as 12 hours. If it rains, hiking conditions may become muddy and slick. We are hiking through dense jungle in steep terrain, where the downs are as unforgiving as the ups. You must be mentally, in addition to physically, prepared for a day of strenuous exercise, and be in excellent condition, without any heart problems. It is possible that we may join our trackers in jungle bushwhacking—cutting our own paths through the steep, jungle hillsides.
Health Insurance: You must have your own health insurance, and have no physical problems or conditions that would be adversely affected by riding in 4×4 vehicles on rough, bumpy roads or trekking “high energy” trails through the jungle in search of gorillas!
Our Professional Naturalist African Guide: Albert Mitcho Karisa
Albert Mitcho Karisa is one of the best and most experienced tour guides currently leading tours in East Africa. He has been a guide on AdventureWomen’s two safaris in Kenya (2010 and 2011), and two Uganda/Rwanda Gorilla Treks in 2012. We are very excited that he is joining us again on the 2014 Uganda and Rwanda Safari.
Always ready to pass on his knowledge in combination with a vibrant sense of humor, travelers comment that “Albert makes learning about the animals, environment, and culture an especially fun experience.” A native of Rwanda, he has led trips to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Congo, Morocco, and France. His birding abilities are unequaled and his expertise with photography can help you get that perfect picture. His unbounded energy stems from his long-distance running, and his interests include herbal medicine and the cultures of Africa.
We recommend that you drink only bottled water while on safari. Bottled water is always available in our vehicles and at nightly accommodations.
We strongly suggest you leave all electrical appliances (hair dryers, etc.) at home except those that operate with batteries (your cameras).
Water & Food
If the tap water in our lodges/camps/hotels is not safe to drink, there is a thermos or a carafe of drinking water in your room. Or, we are supplied with bottled, boiled, or filtered water. Bottled water is available to us during the daytime on safari. It is important to take the advice of our guides whenever you are unsure about the safety of water. During safari, all food is very well prepared and safe to eat.
Currency, Credit Cards & Gratuities
Credit cards (Visa, MC, and sometimes AM EX) are accepted only in larger towns and some hotels but not in the markets and small towns. You should bring $600-$800 minimum U.S. cash (this should include your tip money), in small bills ($1s, $5s, $10s, and $20s). Make sure the money you bring is in NEW bills, not worn or torn bills.
It is very difficult or impossible to pay by credit card outside Kampala and Kigali. Uganda’s currency is the Ugandan Shilling. The currency of Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc.
You usually get the best money exchange rate at the airport upon arrival, and at a bank. Changing money in the hotels does not yield as good a rate.
Foreign exchange and ATM facilities are very limited in Uganda and Rwanda (outside Kampala, Entebbe, and Kigali). So it is best to bring enough money with you for the duration of your trip (in US Dollars, Euros, or Pound Sterling) and exchange it for local currency at banks or Forex bureaus in large towns.
The US dollar is traditionally the preferred currency, but the Euro and Pound Sterling are also widely accepted. Please check the latest exchange rates before you go to Uganda or Rwanda.
For Tips/Gratuities, you can leave U.S. dollars or Uganda shillings (in Uganda) and U.S. dollars or Rwandan Francs (in Rwanda).
Returning U.S. residents are allowed to bring back $800 worth of merchandise, duty free. Expensive camera equipment and jewelry purchased in the U.S. (we recommend NEVER bringing or wearing expensive jewelry) should be registered with U.S. customs prior to your departure; or you may retain your sales receipts as documentation for re-entering the U.S.
Part of what AdventureWomen hopes to foster is the taking of more self-responsibility for our own lives, health, and safety. Please read the Liability Form carefully, sign it, and return it with your final payment by February 7, 2014.
Cancellations & Refunds
Notification of cancellations must be received in writing and the following per person cancellation/refund fees are applicable on this specific AdventureWomen trip, due to non-refundable gorilla and chimp permit fees:
Full payment is due 95 days prior to departure date, and your full $1,500 deposit is non-refundable. This deposit includes the full non-refundable fees for 2 gorilla permits ($500 + $750 = $1,250), $150 for the chimpanzee permit, plus administrative and cancellation fees. These permits have already been purchased by AdventureWomen and they are non-refundable.
You are highly encouraged to purchase trip cancellation insurance to cover emergency situations and trip cancellation. Information is sent to you in your registration packet.