Uganda is partly an expensive destination. The low tourist turnover makes it hard for many legitimate businesses to continue their operations in Uganda. Those that have survived over the years maintain their businesses by charging fees that some people have found somewhat unfair.
At the end of the day, a Uganda safari might turn out to be relatively more expensive than a visit to Dubai or Bali. However, there is some hope that the services and the prices will get better given the new efforts underway to push tourism in Uganda.
Once the tourist numbers improve, even the competition will increase thus making the prices better. As we wait for things to get better. Here are some tips to help foreign none residents cut their safari expenses in Uganda.
Pay everything online before arrival
Paying for the services online before arrival will save you from the risk of getting around Uganda with a lot of cash. It is not safe to travel with a lot of cash in Uganda. Accidents are not common but in case any accident happens, there is a likelihood you will lose all the cash money.
Only carry $50 and $100 notes
Whether you are coming from the European Union where the Euro is more prevalent; it is highly recommended that you get some dollars. Uganda is more of a dollar-driven economy. US Dollars will always earn a better rate than Euros in Uganda.
However, it is also important to note that USD notes with any form of marks or ink will earn you a less forex change rate. Bills smaller than $50 will also get you a poor exchange rate. It is therefore recommended that you carry bigger bills.
Stick to your itinerary
Uganda offers a number of interesting activities. It is very easy to learn of a number of activities to do in Uganda while in Uganda. But it is always recommended that you stick to your itinerary to avoid doing things that you didn’t plan for.
Alternatively, you can replan your trip while in Uganda. However, avoid detours as much as possible unless you planned for them.
Buy from grocery stores to avoid “ignorance of the buyer” exploitation
Always buy items from places that have price tags. It is common to find prices inflated for foreigners. The only leveled ground is in places that have price tags.
Opt for self-guided tour/ self-drive holidays
One of the easiest ways to cut your Uganda safari expenses is to opt for a self-drive safari. This requires you to consider a number of service providers in the car rental in Uganda field.
Self-drive holidays could be a little bit tiresome in case it is not well planned but relatively cheaper than an all-inclusive safari package. They are one of the best ways to cut expenses on a Uganda safari.
Hire a car with a professional guide
Self-drive is relatively tiresome. Hiring a car with a driver saves you from the hustle of getting lost due to wrong Google pins as well as outdated maps. When you hire a car with a driver, you get the same services would you have gotten if you booked an all-inclusive safari with a tour operator.
Book accommodation through a tour operator for better rates
Tour operators are often offered better rates. There are good hotel rates at Booking.com but there are so many lodges that are not on booking.com. In order to get better rates, it is recommended you book your lodges through a tour operator like Get Around Uganda.