ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
Volunteers are accommodated in dormitory-style volunteer houses in the Kitende area, approximately 45 minutes outside of Kampala City. Each volunteer house accommodates up to 10 volunteers and volunteers can expect to share a bedroom with two to four other volunteers of the same gender. The volunteer houses are safe and secure in a quiet area. The bathrooms in the homes have western toilets and showers. There is electricity and running water, however it is common for power or water to occasionally be cut off in Uganda. Bedding is provided and volunteers will need to bring their own towels. There are staff who clean the accommodation throughout the week, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms and common areas tidy. It is recommended that volunteers bring their own mosquito net, however these can be purchased once in Uganda, if you do not have much room in your luggage.
Volunteers are provided with three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), prepared by an on-site local cook. If you wish to snack or eat outside of meal times, this will be at your own cost and there are local shops within the villages where you can purchase snacks. Breakfast generally includes tea, eggs, bread and fruit. For lunch and dinner, there is a revolving menu of local dishes, which include typical Ugandan stews (beef, chicken, pork, goat, fish and vegetable), beans, rice, chapatti, groundnuts and vegetables. Starchy foods such as white bread, white rice, pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes, matoke (boiled green bananas), and cassava are dietary staples. The tropical climate of Uganda also contributes to a healthy choice of seasonal fruits, including bananas, watermelon, papayas, mangos, jackfruit, and pineapples. Bottled drinking water is readily available in Uganda and volunteers should budget approximately US$5 per week for this.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know well in advance of your program so our local team can make arrangements for you. We do, however need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.
Orientation is hosted by our Uganda team at the volunteer base in Kitende. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Uganda – Introduction to Uganda, Culture and Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Language Basics (Luganda), Travel Opportunities, Introduction to Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Weekdays: Volunteers work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day. A typical schedule is as follows:
7.00 AM – Breakfast at the volunteer house, prepared by the local cook.
7.30 AM – Volunteers travel to their placements either by taxi or by walking. Start time and daily workload depends on the project that the individual volunteer is participating on.
1.00 PM – Volunteers break for lunch. Volunteers either travel back to the volunteer house or eat a packed lunch at their placement. After lunch, volunteers continue with their volunteer work (where applicable).
3.00 PM - 4.00 PM – Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to return to the volunteer house, plan for the following day’s activities or use their free time as they wish.
7.00 PM – Dinner at the volunteer house, prepared by a local cook.
Please note, this schedule will vary depending on the particular project the volunteer is participating on.
There is no shortage of things to do in Kampala or further afield in Uganda, so volunteers can fill their free time with safaris, adventurous activities, markets or simply exploring parts of the local town. Uganda is a popular tourist location for gorilla trekking as well as game safaris and bird-watching. There are beautiful national parks and great opportunities for adventure activities such as white water rafting. Volunteers staying for longer durations, or who wish to travel before or after their program, can visit areas further afield in Uganda and neighboring countries such as Kenya and Tanzania.
See our Uganda Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Uganda!