Useful Phrases

  • Hi – Ki Kati
  • Good morning (literally, How was your night?) – Wasuze otya?
  • Good afternoon or
  • Good evening (literally, How was your day?) – Osiibye otya?
  • How are you? – Oli Otya
  • I am ok – Gyendi
  • My name is… – Nze…
  • Goodbye (to one person) – Weeraba
  • Goodbye (to more than one person) – Mweraba
  • Please – Mwattu
  • Thank you – Weebale
  • Sir – Ssebo
  • Madam – Nnyabo
  • Excuse me (to get someone’s attention) – Owange
  • Ok – Kale
  • No thanks – Nedda
  • I don’t know – Simanyi
  • How much money is it? – Ssente mmekka?
  • Do you speak English? – Omanyi luzungu?
  • I understand – Ntegeera
  • I do not understand – Sitegeera
  • I want – Njagala

Luganda is phonetically similar to Spanish – so “i” is pronounced like the “ee” in “see”, and the “e” at the end of a word is pronounced similar to the “ay” in “say” or the “e” in “wet”, and not left silent as in English.
Thus, “weebale” (thank you) is pronounced “way-ba-lay”.

Using Luganda
Ugandans are generally very friendly and extremely polite – saying “weebale Ssebo” will be much appreciated by your waiter, guide or driver.

Volunteer vacations are a great way to experience Uganda and give back to communities and projects

Soft Power Education








Before heading off on your trip to Uganda consider saving a little space in your suitcase or backpack to bring some school supplies to Uganda’s needy children.

Pack for a Purpose  Details coming soon!

Contact us for more information about Pearls of Uganda


Getting Around Uganda

Travelling around Uganda has never been easier – flexibility exists in use of private or public transport, with the improving transport network and extended communication facilities to upcountry regions.

Travelling around Uganda is a true adventure. There are several ways to get around in Uganda, and the option you choose will depend upon your time constraints and your budget. Travelling by road is the most accessible and probably the cheapest way to travel though domestic flights are available. Public transport connects all major locations, and ventures far off the beaten track.

Tour Operators and Public Transportation

Buses, taxis, VIP vans and several touring trucks operated by individual tour operators are all available to help travelers reach their destinations. Motorcycles or boda bodas, as they are locally known, can always be used for short distances. Safety can be a concern so its not recommended to travel without a helmet.

Consider finding a tour operator to assist with your travel plans.



Self Drive
Self-drive options are best left for return visitors to the country and more seasoned travelers who are accustomed to driving in a variety of road conditions. You may find you are more comfortable leaving the driving up to a local driver guide who will also give you an interpretive commentary while you enjoy the scenic view.

Domestic Flights
Contact one of our leading Pearls of Uganda tour operators to get assistance with your transportation and travel package.

Contact us for more information about Pearls of Uganda

Getting to Uganda

Uganda has become a very accessible destination which you can reach by air, water (across Lake Victoria) or land. 

There are several airlines that can get you into Uganda, including Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, British Airways, Brussels AirEgypt AirEmiratesEthiopian Airways, Gulf AirKenya AirwaysKLM, Precision AirQatar AirwaysSouth African Airways, and Rwandair.

Flights for travelers primarily arrive into the modern Entebbe International Airport (EBB) located one hour from the capital of Kampala.

Need help finding flights?

Contact one of our leading Pearls of Uganda tour operators to get assistance with your flights and travel packages.

The Uganda Tourism Board has a full airline directory so you can search a preferred carrier to find a flight to Uganda.



Contact us for more information about Pearls of Uganda


Before You Leave

  • If booking your tours and accommodation beforehand, try to choose a responsible tour operator and lodge. Those listed on this website all have close community links, and many also take measures to avoid harming the environment, such as installing solar power/water systems, composting toilets and recycling.
  • Think about what to take. Stuff Your Rucksack and Pack for a Purpose provide details of hundreds of projects around the world that need donations of anything from books and stationery to clothing and car parts. A small gift will make a huge difference.
  • A way of reducing your own environmental impact is to use eco-friendly products such as sun screen, soap and shampoos – particularly important in areas where it is hard to dispose of waste water. These are not readily available in Uganda, so think about bringing them with you.

Respect the Communities

  • Respect the local people – don’t take photos of them without asking, dress respectfully and learn how to say please and thank you in the local language (you can learn these and other useful phrases here)– politeness is always appreciated.
  • Tip guides, porters, drivers and waiting staff as you would back home.
  • Haggling over a price is fine – as long as you are prepared to pay a fair amount. Think about the time and craftsmanship that has gone into what you want to buy, and remember the seller is trying to make a living.
  • Use local guides where possible, eat at local restaurants, shop at community craft shops and consider spending part of your trip in community-run accommodation – it will be an exciting, authentic experience for you, and worthwhile for the local village.
  • Ask where the crafts came from before you buy – in some cases they are imported, and will not support local craftspeople.
  • Do not give sweets or money to children as this encourages begging. If you want to give gifts (such as pens or pencils) during a community tour, give them to your guide to distribute afterwards.

Respect the Environment

  • Obey Park rules at all times – do not approach wildlife, drop litter or stray from designated roads/hiking trails. Keep noise to a minimum and follow your guide’s instructions.
  • In many places, fresh water is in short supply, so keep showers short, avoid leaving taps running and reuse towels and linen. In places with solar panels, be aware of your electricity use – turn of lights and all electrical appliances when not is use.
  • Never buy crafts or products made from protected or endangered animals, such as ivory, fur or feathers.
  • Do not buy meat meats such as hippo, bushbuck and buffalo. These are obtained only through illegal poaching, which poses one of the greatest threats to Uganda´s wildlife today.
  • Recycling facilities are limited in Uganda, but many lodges have bins to collect plastic bottles, and all glass bottles should be returned to the place you bought them to be reused.
  • Take all batteries home with you – they cannot be safely disposed of in Uganda. If possible, use rechargeable batteries to reduce toxic waste.

Give Something Back

  • Many communities offer short or long term volunteer placements – in a school, nursery, clinic, reforestation project, or even helping the community work on their tourism business. If you have some time to spare, why not inquire about placements? You are sure to get as much out of it as the people you are there to help!
  • If you would prefer to make a donation, see Travelers Give Back for details.
Contact us for more information about Pearls of Uganda


Travel Resources

Useful Website Links

The Eye Magazine
Uganda Tourism Board
Uganda Wildlife Authority
Nature Uganda

Recommended Reading

Bradt Travel Guide Uganda
Culture and Customs of Uganda
Map of Uganda by Nelles
Travel Resources from Fountain Publishers
Uganda’s Great Rift Valley By Andy Roberts (available from selected outlets in Uganda)
Birding and Wildlife
Birds of East Africa (Collins Field Guides)
The Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi (Princeton Field Guides) [Hardcover – it is a bit hefty but the best bird books usually are because of the number of illustrations they have – which is what most people want!]
The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals (Princeton Pocket Guides)
Wildlife of East Africa (Princeton Illustrated Checklists)
Children’s Books
•    Beatrice’s Goat

•    African Book Center Children’s Series

Contact us for more information about Pearls of Uganda