On the ground

What are the accommodation and meals like?

Where you stay during your time as a volunteer can have a huge impact on your ability to enjoy the experience. That’s why all of our projects ensure that the accommodation we provide is safe, secure and comfortable. The type of accommodation depends very much on the project you are working with, but generally it will fall into one of the following categories: Home-stay; Hostel; Volunteer Guest House, a rented house or lodge /House sharing with other volunteers; Private apartment; tented camp (for expeditions); Eco-Camp. We offer simple but clean, safe and comfortable living spaces where volunteers can reside in either a single or share a room with fellow volunteer of the same gender.

Living is basic but the volunteer houses have electricity and running water (most of the time – sometime running water does run out). However, some rural accommodation may not have electricity or running water during times of drought. Most of our accommodations are within a short walking distance though in other projects the volunteer will have to take a public transport to get to the project site. Volunteers have the option to stay with a home-stay arrangement or at our rented volunteer’s guesthouses or at a hotel. Housing will be arranged on a case by case basis to ensure the comfort of each volunteer. Private rooms are available upon request. Amenities include:

All our volunteers are provided with a well prepared furnished room with access to clean linen and a mosquito net
Hot, running water is available at some accommodations, and there are several options in town for volunteers to do their laundry.
Internet is available at a small fee at the project site; however, Internet service in Uganda can be unreliable. There are several Internet cafes in town with good rates and we can assist you with recommendations.
Note: While bedding is provided it is recommended that volunteers bring their own sleeping bag for any trips away. Volunteers will also have to bring their own, bathing soap, washing detergents, body creams etc (these can also be bought in Uganda if you do not have much room in your bag).

Who am I sharing a room with?

Our accommodation are two of three single beds per room so you may be sharing with another fellow volunteer.

It is strongly against Ugandan culture for a non married male and female to share a room. For this reason we will only place married couples together in a room. AVA understand this can be upsetting for friends traveling together however we work hard to maintain a positive relationship with our partnering countries and and we have to abide by the laws of the country.

The rooms not mixed sex.

What will the food be like?

Ugandan food is tasty, diverse and volunteers can expect to experience a myriad of flavors and meals during their Ugandan experience. If volunteers wish to eat out, there are a large numbers of restaurants and diners to suit all tastes and budgets. If you have special eating needs (such as vegetarian), please let us know ahead of time so that we can make arrangements for you. However, we 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.

Bottled water is readily available in Uganda and volunteers should budget approximately US$5 per week for this (2 liters per day). Volunteers are provided with 3 meals each day. If you wish to eat or drink outside of meal times, that will be at your own cost. There are local shops within the villages where you can buy snacks (among other things). Breakfast is served at around 8am, lunch at 1:00pm and dinner is served between 7:00pm -8:00pm. These are usually buffet. Tea and coffee is served in the late afternoons (5pm).

Breakfast food choices generally include tea, coffee, hot chocolate, bread with jam, margarine, or peanut butter and some type of egg (boiled or scrambled). For lunch and dinner, there is a revolving menu of dishes which include beans, rice, sautéed cabbage, avocado, potatoes, noodles, cooked spinach, sautéed eggplant, etc. Chicken and beef dishes are served several times a week. Starchy foods (i.e. white bread, potatoes, white rice, pasta, matooke (boiled bananas) manioc, and cassava) are dietary staples so you’ll have no shortage of carbs. Also, the country’s tropical climate contributes to a healthy choice of fruits which include bananas, watermelon, papayas, mangoes, jackfruit, and pineapples.

What are the bathrooms like?

Bathroom facilities depend up on the location and project. Most of our Guest Houses and host families have running water and western style toilets. However, in some projects/accommodations there are varying toilet and bathroom situations.

What is the laundry like?

In most cases, laundry will be washed by hand. It is the responsibility of volunteers.

How safe is it to volunteer?

We work very hard to ensure you are placed in safe environments while volunteering. Uganda has a democratic electoral process and a stable economy. You should use common sense as you would anywhere, particularly in the cities, but generally the Ugandan people are very warm and friendly towards foreigners, so you will be well looked after.

What is the climate like in Uganda?

Although generally equatorial, the climate is not uniform as the altitude modifies the climate. Lightweight clothing and rain wear is recommended as well as warmer clothing for the evenings (light jacket and/or light sweaters). A solid pair of walking shoes is highly recommended for trekking.