Now that you have set your mind on traveling to the Pearl of Africa, here’s what you need to know about the types of tours available in Uganda. Essentially, there are 2 types – Private tours and group joining tours.
Read on to know in depth the difference between these 2 tours and choose the one that suits you best.
Group joining tours allow travelers to join an existing group who are doing the same tour on the same dates. These tours in Uganda are primarily focused on solo travelers, couples and small groups who are traveling on a tight budget. The number of clients in a group joining tour is 4-6 people from diverse backgrounds. All the resources such as the vehicle, guide, driver, schedule, and add-ons will be shared by the entire group and offers very little room for flexibility/changes.
For customers traveling with family, elderly or professional wildlife photographers we highly recommend a private tour, as it would give you a great degree of flexibility, privacy and an overall personalized and delightful experience.
Before you go ahead and make your choice of tour, the information below will provide you with a good insight on what suits you best.
For all the Gorilla Trekking tours, we are restricted by the availability of the permits and availability of groups to join for required dates. Gorilla trekking permits are regulated by the UWA – Uganda Wildlife Authority.
- Private departures are run every day based on the availability of permits.
- Group Departures can be provided based on the availability of the groups and the permits for the required dates.
- We would require 2-4 Days to check for the accommodation availability for the required dates.
Group joining tours – The vehicle used for Group Joining Safaris is a Safari Van with a maximum seating capacity of up to 6 clients (+driver) and is equipped with a pop-up roof to assist with better viewing and photography.
- All vehicles have the facility of air conditioning.
- All standard packages quoted are inclusive of the 4×4 Safari Van prices.
Private tour – Private tours and safaris use 2 kinds of vehicles, the safari van or the 4×4 land cruiser. Each of these vehicles can seat a maximum of 6 people in them.
While the Safari van and the Land Cruiser can sit a maximum of 6 people each, the 4×4 land cruiser is more spacious and luxurious. Whatever your choice be, both the vehicles have pop-up roofs and air conditioning as standard.
- All vehicles have the facilities of air conditioning.
- All standard packages are inclusive of the 4×4 Safari Van prices.
- Upgrade to 4×4 Land Cruiser – USD 160 per day upon request and availability.
Group joining tour – Pick up would be provided from specific locations in Entebbe, Kampala or Kigali as per the itinerary selected. We would recommend clients to book flights accordingly, if not arrive a day prior to the tour start date to also rest and relax for the tour.
Slight delays can be expected due to unforeseen circumstances such as flight delays.We will try our best to avoid any delays from our end.
- Airport/Hotel transfers are not included in the package prices for Day 1 and the last day of the tour, any additional transfers will be charged an additional fee.
- Note that in case of any extreme delay – a few activities may be skipped.
Private tour – Pick up would be provided from the Airport or any hotel in Entebbe, Kampala or Kigali based on the specific itinerary selected. We would recommend clients to book flights accordingly, if not arrive a day prior to the tour start date to also rest and relax for the tour.
- We recommend clients to arrive a day prior to their tour start date and if that is not possible, then to look for flights such that the tour can start by 7:00 am from Entebbe or Kampala or Kigali.
- Please inform us regarding your pick up / drop off details and flight details during the time of booking.
- Extra night accommodations before or after the tour is available in Entebbe / Kampala / Kigali at additional costs.
BRIEFING AND BALANCE PAYMENT
Briefing about the tour and collection of the balance payment will be done one day prior to the tour start day, but if customers are staying outside the city or arriving on the start day itself, it will be done on the day of the tour.
Balance payment is accepted by cash in USD upon start of the tour. Clients can also opt to wire transfer the balance amount upto 1 month prior to the tour start date.
Group joining tour –
Customers in group joining safaris are requested to maintain group decorum and not cause inconvenience to fellow travelers. It is highly expected in the interest of all customers to rotate seats during the tour with mutual understanding. Any and all disputes regarding seating will be decided by the driver/guide as per their judgement.
Private tour –
These issues will not exist in a private safari but it is highly expected of our clients and also our guides vis-a-vis to have a sense of mutual respect of views, opinions and cultures.
TREK / SAFARI / DRIVE DURATION
Group joining tour –
Total travel time for group joining tours will be about 9-11 hours per day (inclusive of pick up from hotel, game drive/trek ,drop back to hotel) and can not be customized. Clients staying in a different choice of accommodations in the same group can expect some delays in the drop and pick up on a daily basis as per the itinerary, but generally, groups with clients staying in similar and closely located accommodations are provided for convenience.
Private tour –
Game drive timings for private safaris are flexible and as per the request of customers. However we would try to follow the itinerary as mentioned with certain amount of leisure time.
Customers opting GROUP JOINING TOURS are requested to bring only 1-2 duffel bags or backpacks per client. Having more luggage will cause great inconvenience to fellow travelers and also congest the vehicle.
Clients opting for the PRIVATE TOURS are also requested to pack and travel light for the tour. This facilitates for an easy and comfortable journey.
Private tour – Customers in private safaris can opt for Add-on activities (at extra cost) while on tour like Batwa Cultural Tour , Canoe ride in Lake Bunyonyi , Bigodi Swamp Walk etc pertaining to each of the exotic locations.
Group joining tour – In group joining itineraries, some of the Add-on activities may not be possible as the entire group needs to stick to the same schedule. If everyone in the group unanimously agree on the add-on activity, it can be possible.
On the whole, private tour and group joining tour have their own pros and cons. If you are looking for a little extra comfort, convenience and your own schedule, Private tours are the way to go. However, for those on tight budget and are travelling solo, group joining tours are a good value for money.