Welcome to the AJWS Study Tour to Uganda! Now that your space is reserved, it’s time to start planning your trip. Please follow the checklist below and contact Neely Grobani (212.792.2800; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Stefanie Rubin (212.792.2938; email@example.com) with any questions.
- Complete and submit your participant paperwork. All forms are due 60 days prior to the trip (12/28/2016).
Participant Information Form
Agreement and Waiver of Liability
- Purchase trip cancellation insurance. We highly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance to protect you from unexpected changes to your availability. In order to qualify, most policies require that you purchase cancellation insurance within two weeks of submitting your deposit to AJWS.
Here are a few options for purchasing insurance:
- Squaremouth allows you to quote, compare and purchase travel insurance plans using Squaremouth’s comparison engine and over 35,000 customer reviews. www.squaremouth.com
- Travel Insured offers an array of travel insurance protection benefits including Emergency Assistance and Evacuation, Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Protection, Medical Insurance, Baggage Insurance, Airline Ticket Protection, and more. www.travelinsured.com
- MH Ross provides plans with benefits to protect the cost of your travel arrangements; your belongings; and most importantly, you. www.mhross.com
- RoamRight is a global provider of travel insurance plans and assistance services. Their travel insurance plans protect leisure, business, student, and group travelers with both domestic and international trips. www.roamright.com
- Contact Absolute Travel, our partner tour operator, for all your logistical needs. Absolute Travel is available to help you with all Study Tour logistics, including visa and passport questions, booking flights, paying for additional nights at the hotel, trip extensions, and any additional services you may need. Please be in touch with Leslie Overton from Absolute Travel at 212.627.1950 or firstname.lastname@example.org and mention that you are traveling on an AJWS Study Tour.
- Passport and travel visa: Check your passport to be sure it is valid for at least 6 months from the date you depart. Participants traveling with a U.S. passport must obtain a visa to travel to Uganda. The cost of the tourist visa is $50. For more information, visit washington.mofa.go.ug/data-smenu-53-Visa-Requirements.html.
- Booking your flight: It’s never too early to start looking into flights, especially if you plan to use air miles. You should book a roundtrip ticket into Entebbe arriving by the afternoon of Sunday, February 26, 2017 and departing on the afternoon of Sunday, March 5, 2017. If you are traveling on the optional extension, you will need to book a departing flight from Kigali, Rwanda on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
*If you are booking your flights on your own we ask that you have Absolute Travel review your itinerary prior to booking to confirm your arrival and departure times. Once you have finalized your travel plans, please remember to share your itinerary with Absolute Travel.
- Additional nights at the hotel: If you will be arriving before February 26, 2017 or departing after March 5, 2017 please be in touch with Absolute Travel to reserve and pay for your additional nights at the hotel.
- Optional Trip Extension: There will be an optional tourism extension to do gorilla trekking in Rwanda from March 5 to March 8, 2017. If you would like to participate in this extension, or plan your own, Absolute Travel can help you with all of your booking needs. Your flight from Uganda to Rwanda is included as part of the extension fee.
- See your doctor for medical approval and travel vaccinations. You will need your doctor’s approval to travel with AJWS. If you have not traveled to a developing country within the last two to three years, you may need vaccinations and medications. We recommend seeing a doctor specializing in travel medicine. For more information on recommended vaccinations, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (The CDC) webpage here to learn about staying healthy in Uganda.
- Staying safe while abroad: We do everything we can to ensure your trip abroad with us is a safe and pleasant one, including conducting scouting trips to countries we have not traveled to before and consulting with private travel safety and security experts. However, travel to the developing world always will have a certain degree of risk not found in travel to Western countries. We strongly recommend reviewing the US State Department, CIA, and Center for Disease Control’s recommendations for travelers prior to your departure.
- US State Department: www.state.gov/p/af/ci/ug/
- CIA factbook: www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ug.html
- Center for Disease Control (CDC): wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/uganda
- Familiarize yourself with the country and culture. To get the most of out of your journey, you may want to research the country and culture prior to your arrival. You will receive a handbook in the mail with more detailed background information on Uganda and the grantees we are scheduled to visit with. In the meantime, now is a great time to begin familiarizing yourself with Uganda’s unique history. You can find a list of recommended resources here.
- Make photocopies of your important documents and leave them with someone you trust. It’s always better to be safe than sorry which is why we recommend making two photocopies of your visa and passport and leaving them with a friend or family member while traveling.
- Exchange rate and making purchases abroad. At the time this document was written the exchange rate was 1.00 USD= 3,328.04 UGX. For the most up to date exchange rate information please refer to www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?Amount=1&From=USD&To=UGX.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover are accepted at the hotels in Kampala and Entebbe and they have ATMs as well. Outside of the cities the best form of currency to use is cash. You can exchange a small amount of cash at the airport or hotel upon your arrival. We recommend keeping the majority of your money locked up safely in the hotel, bringing only what you need with you for the day.
Remember, your accommodations, meals and ground transportation will all be taken care of so the only items you should need cash for are souvenirs, alcoholic beverages, and gratuities for the guides and drivers (about $10 – $15 per day for the guides and about half that for the drivers). We also strongly recommend leaving copies of your credit cards and their emergency contact numbers at home in case any of your cards are lost while abroad.
- Don’t forget your toothbrush! Click here to download our recommended packing list for Uganda.