Why Self Driving Can be a Bad Idea for First Time Visitors

While some tourists prefer self drive car rental in Uganda, most people would rather not risk it most especially first time visitors. Surprisingly, Ugandans are generally friendly, welcoming and courteous but that patience and courtesy disappears when they get behind the wheel, and it’s when you will see ruthless people on the road. Like any other country, Traffic laws exist in Uganda but you will be shocked but most road users don’t obey them and neither are they enforced except when there are traffic police on the road. Overtaking on blind curves, over speeding and using the road direction during driving is what you will see in Uganda thus the reason for high rates of accidents. Therefore, it is an insane idea for you to undertake a self drive trip when exploring the different attractions within this destination and shockingly, it like swimming in the same place with crocodiles.

As for Rwanda, self drive safaris are a perfect idea because of the improved road conditions and strict procedures when enforcing traffic laws thus the drop in road accidents hence you would rather do it within the land of a thousand hills. Therefore, the following are the reasons why self drive safaris in Uganda are sometimes a bad idea;

Several obstacles on the road

It is in Uganda that you can see cows in the City or crossing highways but not only that, you will encounter other wildlife species especially elephants, buffaloes and antelopes crossing the roads near National Parks. There have been recorded cases of vehicles knocking elephants on the Kampala-Gulu highway thus likely to cause accidents. If you accidently knock domestic animals like cows, goats and chicken near rural areas, make sure to report to the nearest Police Station to avoid being beaten by the locals.

No one obeys traffic laws except when there are traffic police

In Uganda, everyone is a King on the road and road users especially motorcycles riders commonly known as Boda-boda don’t obey traffic laws with most of them riding on the wrong sides of the road including Pedestrian Pavements. Over speeding and overtaking on wrong road sides are common thus you would be risking. So its better to use a trained and qualified driver who knows how things in Uganda works and will be able to drive you safely to your final destination.

Horrible road conditions in most regions

Most roads in Uganda especially the ones leading to the National Parks are murram while others are full of potholes thus it would be a bad idea to go on self drives but rather with a qualified chauffeur who are used to the roads.

It is very dangerous to drive at night

Driving in Uganda at night is the worst mistake you will ever do in your life, especially if you are a first-time visitor and driver. Shockingly, traffic rule always change at night with many driving without headlights and drunk driving being another common thing.

In conclusion, self drive safaris in Uganda are a bad idea because it the associated dangers of driving at night, there are many obstacle on the roads, the roads are also in horrible state and most road users don’t obey the traffic rules (even when there are many good laws) thus just leave the driving to the qualified drivers provided by the tour and travel companies or Car rental companies.

Exploring Uganda on Budget

Being the pearl of Africa, Uganda has the best weather year round conducive for travel from one place to another. Tourist attractions in a few kilometer road distance from the international airport at Entebbe. Beaches, gardens, Lakes, and natural forest reserves are the first spotted even to visitors driving on the highway. Other attractions include the national parks, cultural sites, rain forests, waterfalls, Islands etc.

While in Uganda moving from one place to another is mostly by road using public or private means of transport, water by ferry or boat and Air using chatter plains. All transport means are privatized and mostly owned by private individuals. Connections can be made any time of day depending on where you heading. However the cheapest way of travelling around Uganda is by bus and Tax though water crossing journeys can be involved at some point and crossing is by boat or ferry especially if you want to visit a stunning island on Lake Victoria. Only five US dollars can move you from Kampala to Jinja using public taxes which are boarded from Kampala Old Park and still drop you to Jinja town.

As you know Jinja is one of the most visited towns in Uganda with many things to do and experience, white water Rafting, Bungee jumping, source of the Nile visit, birding, community walks and cycling, Quad biking etc. Sometimes you get surprised finding that even the night accommodation goes for only $5-15 dollars in tents and dorms at different campsites around the lake. The town is calm with less traffic and worthy resting when it comes to spending some days out of the city. Despite the new changes of former Bujagali falls, the city still attracts many tourists from all over the globe to engage in different adventures including chilling at the Nile watching local cultural dancers.

Different buses offer the same service at the same fee leaving Kampala all day from morning to evening. You can get on and off whenever you want along one of their set routes and you can buy ticket as you get into the bus .However buses to western Districts of Kabale, Kisoro, Kasese, masindi are quite more expensive since they drive for longer hours from Kampala. Many travelers use these buses to connect to Uganda national park especially Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Queen Elizabeth National Park for Gorillas and wildlife safaris tours.

If you heading to Bwindi forest, it’s advisable to wake up quite early and leave Kampala with the first bus which leaves the terminal at 5.00am arriving in Kabale town late in the afternoon a convenient time for you to get other public means of transport to your lodge of residence. The cost is around normally 15-17 dollars one way. Prior bookings for a Uganda safari are recommended in order not to miss out so booking your bus ticket a day before travel makes sense. Backpackers usually travel light and find this transport option the best and convenient for Uganda cheap holidays. Even for practical travel reasons it’s indeed the best since you get a chance to even visit the local groceries, markets, taste the local meals like a local hence experiencing Africa as locals do.

The best way to travel for cheap is to not pay for it but sometimes it’s risky for foreigners to mix up with people they do not know especially in a public transport mean because some locals have funny characters of taking what isn’t there so a foreigner may lose luggage if he or she travelled with a lot of staff.Still Uganda being a land of lakes and rivers, some National parks and cool Islands can only be accessed by boat and ferry means of transport and the advantage with the ferry travel in Uganda, you move along with your vehicle as well unlike in a bus. Murchison falls National Park and Ssese are the main tourism spots accessed by a ferry. Move and discover most of Uganda main attractions by road and ferry.

How to Save Money on Car Rentals in Uganda

Many people approach Car Rental as a lowest-price-possible contest rather than to concentrate on the value of the deal they eventually would get, in terms of what type of car, whether it has air conditioning and automatic gear shifting functionalities as well as the type of service they are buying.

The fact is, Car Rental in both developed and developing countries has now become a very competitive activity yet rates differences for comparable quality and services are relatively small, sometimes as small as $10 to $20 in developed countries and $45 to $120 in developing African countries like Uganda where cars are scarce. On our recent travel to Uganda, we tried out our look and looked for the best deals on car rental in Uganda and indeed am now acquainted with more ways on how to get the best and save on your next trip. After contacting various car rental agencies, we zeroed down with CarRentalUganda.com, a well established agency and here are the tips on how to how to save on your next trip;

  • Use the internet – It is advisable to book your rental car early enough on most parts of Africa. The quick way to start on your process is by using Google and look out for possible car rental agencies. Though most car rental agencies are offline we had luck and we found out about 10 agencies and they really offered great deals.
  • Look out for discount coupons – this is hard! we only found CarHireUganda.com to be with coupons that can be used to save a few dollars from 1 – 5. Remember these are many beers that you can save. You can find the coupons here http://www.carhireuganda.com/specials.html
  • Buy Gas from major urban areas – It is is advised to buy plenty of gas in urban areas. The more you travel into remote areas, the more expensive prices you will find at the gas stations.
  • Unlimited Mileage – Always ask your agents whether they can get you a car on unlimited mileage. This will help you save more if compared with limited mileage.
  • Make sure that you get a fully inclusive price for your rental car. In Uganda most agencies, their rental fees are all inclusive except fuel. Always look out for that deal! Remember your rental price may not include drop charges for remote destinations and gasoline.
  • Avoid Late Returns – Like everywhere else, in Africa you should also get ready to pay the late return charges in case you returned the car late after the agreed upon time.

Nobody likes to pay higher prices more than supposed to do, thus you are recommended to first shop around, browse the internet and check the various rates available at different car hire companies, or even Internet at comparison sites can simplify the task. Make sure you compare apples to apples and not apples to pears.

Go Gorilla Trekking, Support Conservation

Mountain Gorillas in Uganda are continuously conserved and preserved in order to maintain their increasing numbers within their habitats. This will also help in promoting conservation and tourism in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. There are about 880 mountain gorillas living in the wild of Africa. These gorillas are found in three countries in Africa; Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Within Uganda, mountain gorillas are found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park.

There are over 400 mountain gorillas living with in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the best place to enjoy gorilla trekking in Africa. Over the past 10 years, a significant number of travelers have visited Bwindi Forest and tracked the mountain gorillas. This has improved tourism development as well as better management and conservation of the endangered mountain gorillas.

The conservation of the mountain gorillas within Ugandan national parks is mainly done by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, a government agency which is responsible for taking care of all Uganda’s flora and fauna including the gorillas. Conservation has been done through controlling of poaching and hunting with in the national parks, regulation of tourism activities with the parks etc. The organisation has also worked with the local communities in putting in place laws and regulations which control sustainable use of natural resources and as well encouraged the participation of the local people in the conservation and development of tourism in Uganda. This has greatly helped improved both conservation and tourism development and Uganda has realized an ever increasing the number of tourists!

Mountain gorillas are considered to be endangered species and this is the main reason why they should be treated well in order to control the reduction in their numbers. These have got fragile bodies since they can easily contact human diseases especially when the humans get into direct contact with them, therefore the tourists are advised to stay far from them which tracking within their habitants. The tourists are also advised not to liter within the national parks where these unique primates are found so as to avoid diseases to the gorillas. This has helped in maintaining their increasing numbers with in Uganda hence increasing gorilla trekking safaris to Uganda.

Uganda has also got many other wildlife species apart from the mountain gorillas, these are found in other national parks like kibale national park, Murchison falls national park, lake Mburo national park, Rwenzori national park and many other game reserves, these animals found in these national parks include; the elephants, lions, crocodiles, monkeys, chimpanzees, antelopes, buffalos, Rhinos, zebras and the giraffes. All these animals have greatly attracted many people to come for safari tours to Uganda.<

Exploring Uganda with a Self Drive Rental Car

Uganda is often called the pearl of Africa due to the very many incredible features it houses. From the endangered gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to savanna parks teemed with roaming lions, there is a lot to see in Uganda. Many travelers from all over the world travel to Uganda to explore its incredible features. There are lots of options for travelers to enjoy traveling this amazing country.

Though guided safaris are the main way to experience this beautiful evergreen country, self drive safaris are also possible and with existence of several car rental agencies, which offer cheap car hire in Uganda. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to explore Uganda, why not a car and take a road trip?

When you mention Uganda many people’s mind rush to the rare endangered species mountain gorillas, as there are only 880 individuals left in the world and Uganda is known as the leading mountain gorilla destination in the world housing over 480 individuals and the majority live in Uganda’s most visited destination; Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga Gorilla national park. The rest remnant mountain gorilla population live in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With a rental car from Uganda, you can still cross over to these neighboring countries.

Meeting the gorillas of Uganda in these two incredible national parks is a walk over! The park is located in the south western part of Uganda in just a drive of about 7-9 hours on a clear weather condition with stopovers at any interesting spot like you can decide to have a stopover at the equator crossing for photography and snack taking, you can as well stop at Mpambire a local drum making place ,if interested you can buy yourself the locally made items, in your convenient time, drive to Mbarara for lunch, with good views and interesting landscape and rolling green hills you will continue up to the park.

The following day you will head to the forest to be among the few sharing the love of gorillas in their natural habitat, this is the most interesting adventurous activity done on earth. This is just a few on what you can enjoy on a Uganda safari if you’re in yourself drive car, you can decide to go for a game drive in Uganda’s breathtaking parks offering rare animals like the Queen Elizabeth national for opportunity to catch up with the tree climbing lions in the Ishasha area of the park, but other games like elephant, buffaloes, waterbuck, bushbuck, warthogs, among other others can be clearly seen in our land cruiser, Nissan patrol, van with pop up tops, you can still explore other parks all with unique features like Murchison falls N.P , lake Mburo N.P, Kibale forest national park and Kidepo valley national park which was recently –named as one of Uganda’s best safari destinations with very many untouched unique features waiting for you to explore, its located in the remote northern part of Uganda but with the courtesy of our good and comfortable cars you can still reach is part of Uganda with a lot easy. Why not cultural encounter with the local people, it’s really a very interesting activity leaning more about the life style of the African people.

Depending on the number of days you have in Uganda, still you can enjoy another adventurous activity at the source of the Nile which is the world’s longest river; enjoy rafting on the Nile or bungee jumping. The Nile is located at Jinja in the eastern part of Uganda. Doesn’t live Uganda without a city tour, indeed these and many other interesting places can be reached with a car hire either self-drive or with a driver from our car hire Uganda service. Rush and book with us one of our comfortable cars of any type.

Gorilla Trekking – A Journey to Encounter Gorillas

This is among the most desired adventurous journeys desired a number of eco tourists today. Meeting the mountain gorillas in the misty forested mountains is a very rewarding wildlife encounter that brings tourists close to some of the closest wild relatives. Mountain gorillas are very rare primate species that today only inhabit the forested jungles of southwestern Uganda (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park) and in the Virunga massif that stretches covers the Mgahinga gorilla park in southwestern Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda and Virunga National Park in eastern Rwanda. These primates adapted to living in the higher slopes of the forested mountains and are covered with thick black fur that helps them withstand the cold environment.

Since they live in the forested mountains, mountain gorillas entirely feed on plant leaves are most times are found seated as they grab all the leaves that are in the reach of their hands. By the end of the day, the gorillas eat several kilograms and a fully-grown silverback (male mountain gorilla) can weigh about 200 kilograms. Male mountain gorillas are usually in charge of a mountain gorilla group that usually comprises of the female, juveniles and young mountain gorillas. These groups usually range from 10 and more and the dominant silverback usually determines their activities of the day.

There are habituated mountain gorilla groups that are open to tourist’s visitation. Each of these gorilla groups is open to only 8 tourists a day who only spend an hour with them. This is a conservation measure that was put in place to ensure the sustainability of mountain gorilla conservation because mountain gorillas are very endangered primate species that were on the verge of extinction but were restored after a series of conservation efforts. Tracking the forested mountains to meet any of the mountain gorilla groups gives tourists a chance to explore the major wildlife species in the forest including a number of birds, vegetation species as well insects most of sighted while on the expedition to get to the mountain gorillas.

Only persons above the age of 15 are allowed to take gorilla safaris and this rule must be adhered to. Tourists who are sick are also not allowed to go tracking as they could easily pass on the diseases to the gorillas. On the morning of this great expedition tourists are first briefed about the major regulations that include always following the guide’s instruction especially while in the forest, not littering in the forest, not imitating the mountain gorilla character/behavior, not getting close or attempting to touch a mountain gorilla, keeping a reasonable distance away from the gorillas and always keeping in the tracking groups to avoid getting lost in the middle of the jungle.

The hike starts very in the morning and takes about 1 to 8 hours to get to the mountain gorillas depending on their movement and the tourists luck. This is so because mountain gorillas are very mobile animals that move from one place to another searching for food and new resting areas and therefore sometimes they are also on the move.

Once you draw close to these apes, the anxiety and curiosity increases and however much you try to, nothing prepares you for the encounter as its very touching, intense but very exciting as one looks in to the dark eyes of the mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas are peaceful animals if not provoked and they therefore sit back and continue with their daily routine as tourists look on while taking photographs. After the hour with the gorillas, tourists are led back to the national park headquarters where they are given certificates of participation. Spending time with the mountain gorillas in the jungle is very rewarding and its activity worth anyone’s time.

Planning a Self Drive Safari in Uganda

Uganda is one of the most interesting places to visit in Africa. Most people especially from Europe opt to do it themselves because they think it easy and soft to do it. Yes it’s true, but still you have to take caution of certain things when you choose a self drive safari in Uganda. Getting the best car that will suit your vacation comes in everybody’s mind when sending an e-mail to the would be company in help. Always they choose the 4 wheel drive vans this is good but reliability also has to matter here in terms of break-downs.

Take an example when you are stuck in the most beautiful but remote Kidepo Valley National Park in North Eastern Uganda! You got no rescue in the next 12 hours and when it’s availed in the shorter hours it’s costly because you got to use the UWA vehicles. This is not the point but always try to find out those people who got experience in the game, they know which car can much with every situation and any road in Uganda. Always they look a bit more costly but still reliable because they know where to turn. The vans may not necessarily look new as the ones you left home but at least have been tested on the journeys they are up to; so don’t question the model of the car but ask the reliability.

You got time at your budget because you choose what to see and where to go as you have unlimited mileages to cover on your safari; that’s at self drive safari Uganda. Here we aim at a client’s satisfaction because they always need to cover more but time cannot always be on their side. In this case we give you space to find the best you can cover as you pay a visit to Uganda.

Never book a lodge by yourself because you will always get a “Muzungu” rate which is not the case if we made it for you. We know that you got a budget when you plan your vacation stay in Uganda, but we love it if you did not run past it, that’s why we want to come in not because we like a commission but because we like you recommend our services to other would be visitors to our country. We always define for you the best accommodations where you will have excellent services and value for money and where your interests lie depending on what you like to see. For any memorable vacation, you always long to return because you got more than you expected at less than you planned.

This does not only apply for Uganda only but also in Rwanda. When you got to cover Rwanda and Uganda at once then the terms still apply. Rwanda Safaris are almost the same like in Uganda, the differences is that you got many rolling hills in Rwanda and change the diving side from left to right, but this does not seem very tusky to most visitors who tour both countries. You can have slight changes in the cultures of the people short routes to tourist areas like gorilla trekking points, Genocide sites, and the physical appearance of the two countries has got a difference. A self guided tour is all one would need but still depends on ones desire.