Short-Term Trip FAQ’s

Click here to download a PDF of the FAQ’s

Will I need a passport to come to Uganda?

Yes! You need a passport that is valid six months after your date of travel.  If you do not have a valid passport and need to apply for one, go to www.travel.state.gov or your local post office for application forms.  Make sure to begin this process immediately as it can take several months to receive a passport.

Do I need a visa to come to Uganda? If so, where do I get it?

Yes, you do need a visa to enter Uganda. You will buy your Ugandan visa at Entebbe Airport upon arrival. Visas cost $50 USD. You will need to pay with a crisp, new $50 bill (printed after the year 2001).  The visa expense is NOT included in your trip cost.

What type of housing will we be staying in?

The conditions in Gulu are a bit rustic.  Teams will stay in huts similar to the ones the locals live in that have been built by TTWU on their property.  Despite the primitive lifestyle, we make sure that our team members are safe and in a healthy environment.  Team members will sleep on bunk beds and under mosquito netting.  Bedding will also be provided in Gulu.  TTWU has built latrine “toilets” and a shower house for basin bathing.  The time in Gulu will give team members a real village experience and a chance to live with and among those seeking transformation and restoration in northern Uganda after years of turmoil.

What kind of food will we be eating?

You will be served three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is typically comprised of bread and tea. The menu will be predominately local dishes, including fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, beef and chicken.   We can accommodate for food allergies or vegetarian preferences if notified ahead of time.

Will the people speak English or at least be able to communicate with us? If not, what is the language?

English is the national language of Uganda but is only learned through the school systems.  Therefore, anyone who has received some education will be able to speak English but especially in the north, not all have had the privilege of education.  Most Ugandans, especially in Kampala, speak English and will be able to communicate with you easily. In some more rural areas and in Gulu, the tribal language (Acholi) is spoken.  In those areas you will use interpreters provided by TTWU.  For all people, the language of love is communicated best through a warm smile, handshake, laugh or embrace.

What type of vaccinations do I need? 

Please check with your personal doctor on any specific needs for your health and also consult the Center For Disease Control (www.cdc.gov). Uganda does not currently require any vaccinations although it is necessary to have an up to date tetanus.  Hepatitis A, B, Yellow Fever and typhoid are also suggested.  You will need to take anti-malaria medication during your stay.  There is significant risks of malaria in any part of the country. It is recommended to take either Malarone or Doxycycline for prevention of malaria.  Consult with your doctor for their suggestion and a prescription. TTWU does not allow any team member to use Larium because of the severe psychological side effects associated with this medication.

How much spending money should I bring?

The cost of your trip includes all of your accommodations, meals, transportation, and debrief safari trip. When eating out you may want to have extra money to purchase additional beverages.  TTWU will provide one drink; however if you are the “thirsty” type then plan to pay extra (only $1/$2 for a soda or fresh juice).  Ugandan’s do not drink huge glasses nor will you receive free refills like in the states.  

Also built into the cost of your trip is a small tip ($1 a day) that will be given to staff and community members who will be preparing your food and keeping you safe and comfortable during your stay.   Any additional monetary gifts are completely voluntary.  If you feel led, you can leave funds behind to contribute to a specific TTWU community project or particular need for the ministry that can be discussed with the Country Director.

You will also want to buy souvenirs to remember your trip to Africa.  We will provide opportunities for you to shop at local markets for authentic gifts and paintings.  Visitors commonly bring anywhere from $50 up to $300.  Larger bills ($100’s and $50’s) receive a MUCH better exchange rate and all bills MUST be printed after year 2006.  Bills MUST also be clean with no tears, rips or major markings in order to be exchanged.  You cannot exchange anything smaller than a $20 bill.  Remember you will also need $50 to purchase your visa upon your arrival.

What will I need to wear and bring with me?

The enclosed packing list will give you guidance as to what to pack and bring with you.  Pack lightly and consider that all of your clothes will be washed by hand (our national staff can assist you with this!).  Keep in mind that all clothes will be air-dried so lighter fabrics are advantageous.

The Ugandan culture expects a certain degree of formality and professional appearance in dress for ministry activities.  Men should wear long pants (other than jeans) and collared or button-downed shirts the majority of the time.  Women should wear long skirts (MUST be BELOW the knee, preferably calf or ankle length).  Tops or blouses should be high collared and not v-neck or with a deep neckline.  Anything that would show a bra-strap is highly inappropriate, so full short sleeves are required.  When team members are involved in physical work projects, long jeans are allowed for the men and tee shirts (for men and women) are acceptable as long as they are full coverage and not tight fitting.  For women, even while working long skirts must be worn.  This is to be sensitive to the conservative and traditional culture.  Long pants may be worn by women in the evenings in the TTWU compound only. Outside of the village, men and women may dress casually and women may wear pants or long shorts (bermuda length).  More details are included in your packing list.

It is also highly recommended to leave any valuables and/or jewelry behind.  Do not come with watches or accessories that are expensive or flashy.  For women, come with small stud earrings (preferably basic silver or gold, not diamonds or other precious stones).  Men are fine to wear wedding bands but we would encourage women to leave behind engagement rings.  We request the lack of jewelry not because of a threat of theft but rather the appearance that fine jewelry makes to the very poor that you will be ministering with.

What will I be doing?

Our short term mission trips are designed for you to DISCOVER how God is working in the lives of the people of Uganda and for you to embrace how God is speaking to you through the experience.  You are coming to Uganda to observe, learn and share.  All team members will be plugged into ongoing ministry activities which include children’s programs, bible studies, one-on-one discipleship, community fellowship and prayer outreach.  Teams may also assist and encourage local workers who are engaged in TTWU building projects.  Additionally, TTWU also has agricultural and medical projects that team members can assist with during their stay.  Overall, though, the object is relationship building, being an encouragement and learning from the people of our village who have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.