Key Travel Tips Visa
It will be much better to check current requirement with the nearest countries High commission, Embassies, consulates or online.
Virunga Community Programs advise you to take an international adapter with you for your electric equipment. The system used in Rwanda and Uganda is the British system. About DR Congo, they are still using French system.
Baggage on safari is limited to one soft sided bag, plus one small piece of hang baggage per person for the small camera and other portable items. In case of professional photographers are required to bring the big camera bags.
Take out compressive travel insurance to cover loss of baggage or valuables, personnel accident and medical expenses.
Our clients are advised to carry foreign currencies more especial US Dollars, Euros or Pound Starlings. But travellers checks are also accepted and are convertible at banks and forex bureau in main towns and tourists areas.
Credit cards and travelers checks are not accepted outside the main towns. For ATM facilities also are not offered by many banks.
It’s better to buy the gorilla permit early as possible at least before 3 months. This because of the limited number of permits per day and visitors are many. From June to September is not easy to find the gorilla permits because is a high season and December to January too. The local currencies which are commonly used in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo are francs.
A certificate proving that you have received a yellow fever vaccination is obligatory
A health certificate is highly recommendable and yellow fever vaccination is obligatory when you are travelling. All travelers, should carry anti-malaria tables as recommended by your doctor and don’t forget to insect repellent, mosquito net as well as sunscreen, first aid kit, cream for bites or stings and diarrhea remedy.
Please, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist for up to date requirements in case of need. Bottled water or canned drinks are required when you are travelling.
Generally, English language is widely spoken especial in the Great Lakes Region expect in DR Congo.
When to visit
All travelers can visit Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda at any time or any season throughout the year.
What to wear
Where weather conditions are generally warm to hot, bring lots of light clothing while in cold area especially at high altitude like mountain peaks or highland areas you should carry a couple of sweaters and those who may wish to do mountain climbing are supposed to carry waterproof, rucksack, daypack , insulation pad boots, sleeping bag and light walking shoes, balaclava and woolen hat or scarf, snow glovers/sun glasses, gaiters gloves, sweaters /jumpers, pants and jackets (water proof),water bottle, anorak/raincoat, several pairs of socks, first aid kit, insect repellent, sun protection cream and lip salve, personal toiletry requirements, flash light with spare batteries, whistle and some plastic bags, walking stick/ski-pole.
For gorilla trekking: wear comfort shoes and cloth such as rain, coats, jungle boots, jeans, long sleeved t-shirts/shirts it’s jungle.
Safari vehicle and guides
Virunga Community Programs provides clients safari vehicles of 4x4, drive and guides. The guide is responsible for the success of the safari and the well- being of our clients. Virunga Community Programs have taken the responsibility in selecting our guides who are fully trained in all aspects of wildlife identification and good behavior towards clients and vehicle maintenance and good hospitality. Our guides can fluently speak English, French, Swahili and other European languages.
What to bring
A passport and visa is obligatory. When you visit to Game reserves and national parks it is recommendable to carry binoculars and field guides book. Photographers will need a zoom lens for game viewing and don’t forget to carry enough memory cards or films with you.
Driving in Rwanda, DR Congo is on the right-hand side and Uganda is on the left-hand. Visitors without extensive experience with African roads are advised to travel with a 4x4 vehicle driven by a professional driver.
Facilities and accommodations
Bathroom equipment and accommodations can be very basic in Rwanda and DR Congo when touring on a small budget.
In Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo tipping is not always obligatory, but it is normal to be appreciated. Sometimes a tip can be bigger or small depending on one’s wish or services rendered to him or her because a tip is always an exceptional service.