Tips for organizers of school, students, youth groups and group tours to Uganda- Africa.
Organising school trips or youth group trips to Africa-Uganda can be a daunting challenge. The paperwork burden, risk minimisation and need to secure buy-in from parents can put many teachers off the prospect of offering learning outside the classroom experiences to their pupils.
While the planning and arranging of Uganda school trips can be seen as stressful and time-consuming, there are ways to streamline the process and ensure that the trip runs smoothly.
When you book with Msafiri Tours we are always on hand to help your plan your trip and to answer any questions you may have. Some of the tips below will help you get started with organizing your group tour or school trip to Uganda.
Contact us early to start planning.
Ideally, you should start planning 12 months in advance of your Uganda trip. There is a lot to organise, so it is best to give yourself plenty of time. Not only will this make the process less stressful for you, but it also gives parents more time to budget for the trip, thereby making it more affordable.
Don’t make the trip too long
Some students travelling for the first time can be prone to homesickness, so we will advise on sorter Uganda trip itineraries but speak to us about this. You may consider taking your students on short overnight stay trips in your country to introduce them to the idea of being away from home and will help to improve their independence without it being too overwhelming for them.
Make a clear plan and stick to it
Take a piece of paper and write down your Uganda tour objectives and then contact Msafiri tours. What exactly do you want the tour to deliver to your students? It could be to focus on one key area of your curriculum, to provide a broader understanding of a subject, cross-curricular subjects, be within a certain budget, or simply leave from a certain airport/station. When you contact Msafiri tours ensure that these objectives are passed on clearly so are happy and confident that the proposed Uganda tour can be delivered.
Uganda Itinerary planning
Ensure the Uganda itinerary we suggest is suited to the needs of the students and let us know if all students are able to take part and if activities will be optional or compulsory. At the end of the day, it is all about the learning outcomes. From the point of initial contact with us, double-check that our planned visits meet your learning objectives.
One added benefit of working with Msafiri tours is the round the clock support you get for a whole range of emergency situations – delayed flights, sick students, extreme weather and so on. We will provide 24-hour emergency support for you and should be able to provide solutions to help your Uganda trip to still run smoothly should there be problems of this nature.
Assuring health and safety credentials
When school trips are proposed, fears of legal action and the fear of unfortunate events while away can be a real barrier preventing buy-in from schools and parents alike. We know the importance of maintaining health and safety standards, and we go above and beyond our duty of care.
The benefits of local knowledge
Understanding Uganda and the local area for incoming students is crucial, we believe this can also determine how much visiting students will learn and how much they appreciate Uganda. We pride ourselves in local knowledge so we can give you local support to help with planning the finer details.
Our costs will cover everything you need while on tour in Uganda; Meals, entrance fees, guides, local transport, local tourist taxes and tips – these costs can add up and mean your tour cost is higher than you think. Msafiri tours have good relationships with suppliers who we do business with regularly. The more business we do, the better rates we get, so we will get a better price for accommodation, ferries, visits and restaurants in Uganda.
If you are leading a group tour or Uganda school tours, please have a look at these very useful and important Tips.
- If you are travelling with a school, academy or college group to East Africa, you will need written authorization from parents, senior management teams or school administration.
- On the day of travel, allow plenty of time for getting to the airport and checking in.
- It is good practice to have all group members give their passports to the trip leader to ensure that nobody accidentally leaves his/her passport behind on the day of departure.
- All travellers should visit their doctor or local travel clinic at least 6 weeks prior to departure to discuss relevant vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis, if applicable. Some countries will permit entry if you do not have the necessary evidence of certain vaccinations. Group leaders and Msafiri Tours should be made aware of any pre-existing medical conditions and any special requirements of any group members.
- Establish a home contact (e.g. headteacher, church leader, club leader) who will be available while the group is in Africa.
- Ensure that everyone has read and understood the suggested packing list and pre-departure information provided by Msafiri Tours and that belonging are packed properly.
- It is best practice for everyone to travel on the same insurance policy if you are travelling as a group. Ensure that you are covered for your particular destination and any activities you plan to undertake. Your policy must satisfy the minimum standards laid down by Msafiri Tours. Take copies of your insurance details with you when you travel.
- Check that all passports are valid for the entire trip and for at least six (6) months after your return date. Visas for Uganda can be pre-arranged or purchased at Entebbe International Airport upon arrival. However, for Kenya and Rwanda, you must buy your visa prior to travelling. If you are unsure about the visa requirements for your trip, contact Msafiri Tours immediately. If you will be purchasing a visa upon arrival on African soil, ensure that all members of the group have all of the requirements needed (photos and all necessary documentation).
Organizing your paperwork
Organizing your documentation in an orderly fashion is vital for the efficient management of a trip, especially in the event of an unforeseen incident. It is best practice for all adults on the trip to carry copies of vital documents, emergency procedures, contact numbers and personal information. For schools, a copy of this information should be held by the designated home contact and may also be carried on a USB stick and/or emailed as an attachment to a global access email account.
Suggested documents and information to be carried
- Passports & visas
- Photocopies of passports & visas
- Flight tickets*
- Your itinerary & flight details*
- Travel Insurance policy information & travel insurance emergency contact number
- Medical vaccination certificates (e.g. Yellow Fever)
- Local tour operator contact information*
- 24-hour emergency contact number for the tour operator*
- The 24-hour contact number of a designated group representative
- Personal information of all group members, including names, ages, dates of birth, passport details, and medical issues/allergies
- A recent photo of all participants
- The contact number of the local embassy or consulate*
- Risk Assessment (for school groups)*
- Paper & pen to record incidents or events
* indicates items supplied by Msafiri Tours
- Ensure sound procedures are in place well before you travel.
- Identify “what if” scenarios and plan accordingly.
- Ensure all members of staff (on a group trip) understand their roles.
- Schools should put together a contingency plan and policies for dealing with and informing parents, local and national media, and other students in case of an incident.
- Establish an emergency fund.