uganda on the road
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Sep 17, 2012 1:44 PM Last Post By: lunakat
Aug 23, 2012 8:13 AM
uganda on the roadHello everyone, we are Stephen and Sonia, after long thinking we decided to organize a trip to Uganda!. We leave on 20 th december and we'll stay there for a month. The idea would be to make a fairly complete tour of the country, traveling in principle always by public transport and sleeping in small guesthouse or places where you can put a tent (I've seen that there are many around the country ). We arrive at Entebbe at 3.30 a.m. (sigh!!) and we have not yet decided whether to stay maybe one day in Kampala to orient or go away directly. Anyway below list the places that we want to see so if anyone can give us some useful advice and show us places where you can stay and even better to live in contact with the locals. From Entebbe we thought leaving in the direction of Mount Elgon (to make a trek of two or three days) before we are thinking stop in Jinja there or somewhere else in the area. Then try to visit a reserve which is called Pian Upe of which almost no one speaks and then go in the north / east of Karamoja to visit the National Park Kidepo and perhaps stay here for two days. We thought we would go around counterclockwise, because from what we understand the most difficult part to reach by public transport is to the north east, so you have plenty of time compared to the last days of the trip. Then we head towards the Murchison Falls and we don't know if first it is possible to visit something in the center of Uganda (the area of Lake Kyoga?) And to the northwest, in the areas of Gulu and Lira and populations Alcholi (advice?). Then we go down to the south east and go in the direction of Kibale Forest and Queen Elizabeth Park, to Fort Portal and the Semliki Valley. Next, get to the park and Rwenzori also make a trek there at least a couple of days even to visit the people who are on the slopes of the mountains. We are very undecided whether to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Park (just to make a trip to the villages of the Pygmies, but certainly not to see the gorillas because so much expensive) and instead move towards the extreme south-west to Kisoro where the Mganhinga for trekking to the villages Batwa and to areas of volcanic Virunga mountains to the Mutanda or Bunyony lakes. Then go to Lake Mburo and then to close the circle and go back to Kampala a few days to Ssese Island. This is the first embryonic journey that will change a thousand times, but we would love not only to have some other information, advice and suggestions on places to go that we have escaped, or places where someone has stayed, eaten or seen that deserve a visit, or places not recommended (we certainly do some selection among the many things that we would like to see!).As mentioned we will travel by public transport, but to visit the parks do we need own car? Or in the parks there are guides that take you in the car? But it seems to me that in some parks you can also make walking tours with guide. And finally, you have some direct news on the cases of Ebola in Uganda, because the WHO has not given restrictions on travel in the country, however, advise against travel to the area of Kibale, we are willing to go and still missing a lot of time but understand a little 'of what is happening would be interesting.
Thank you all
Aug 23, 2012 9:16 AM
I spent 6 weeks in Uganda at the end of last year, visiting some of the places on your itinerary, although we did not go to the northern part of the country.
I posted my trip report (in 3 parts) here, if you use the advanced search for my posts in Jan or Feb, hopefully you'll be able to find my posts, which may be of some help.
I thoroughly enjoyed the country, there is plenty to do, the scenery and people are great - sure you'll have a wonderful time!
Aug 23, 2012 9:18 AM
2This is a useful website, I found it pretty much up to date for prices etc.
uganda travel planner
Aug 23, 2012 5:19 PM
3Hi S & S - Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve gets a mention in the Bradt Guide for Uganda (6th ed - pages 456-457). Daily fees around $20 US - the book advises its about 90 km from Mbale (follow Mbale-Moroto road). There is also mention about the state of the road - expect it to be rough; also mentions accommodation - 4 bandas at the park headquarters, costing around $8 per day per double - limited canteen service - drinks, but take everything else you will need. Hope this helps.
Aug 24, 2012 7:26 AM
4Would you consider renting a vehicle? It would be much easier to get to the national parks and other remote places. We've rented a Rav4 with Roadtrip Uganda (http://www.roadtripuganda.com/) for a week in June. RT Uganda can rent the car fully equipped with a tent, sleeping bags and other camping gear, which can definitely help cut on costs. I've met a few other people who used their services and were very satisfied. We paid 55USD per day for ours (no equipment - we had our own). The longer you rent the car, the cheapest it gets per day.
I would add a stop to Sipi Falls on your way to Mount Elgon.
Aug 26, 2012 2:09 AM
5Dear Stephan & Sonia,
Uganda is indeed great for camping. You could have a look at roadtrip uganda website as many propsoed itiniaries and tips on camp sites are listed there which might be of help. Regars, Laura
Aug 28, 2012 1:49 AM
6Thank you all for your answers. Our journey has changed, we decided to see the same places but in a clockwise direction. It 'was the advice of a friend who has been already in uganda; he says that Karamoja is the most difficult to reach, we thought so better get in the last days, when you are already experienced in the country. The places to see are those written in the first topic. The first step should be to Lake Mburo. We thought we'd go directly from the airport when it becomes morning and immediately take a bus. Someone mentions the "post bus" you know tell us what they are and how they work? And has anyone had experience of arriving in Karamoja by public transport? It is difficult or dangerous? Then as you did to visit the park Kidepo without your car?
For "road tripuganda" thanks for the suggestion. We are still considering whether to rent a car, we have some doubts about the road conditions and the difficulty of driving without a driver.
thanks again to everyone and we hope you will still give us useful information
Aug 28, 2012 6:43 AM
7The post buses are fairly smart red coaches which travel the main routes between the larger towns every day except Sundays, leaving early morning (7 or 7.30am) each day.
They depart and arrive at the main post offices in the towns, rather than using the bus and taxi parks, so there's a bit less chaos to negotiate and the buses are reasonably reliable and comfortable. You need to be there about half an hour before the departure time to buy your tickets.
There seems to be an idea that the post buses are safer, although in my experience the drivers seemed just as reckless as those of other bus companies.
I don't think there's a post bus from Entebbe though (although someone may correct me!) so it won't be much use to you until later in your journey.
Sep 17, 2012 1:44 PM
8I just got back from Uganda and in my personal experience I am very happy that I did not rent my own vehicle. I did consider it very briefly. The conditions on a lot of roads and the other reckless drivers made me very happy that I was not behind the wheel. I felt also that I would have gotten lost so easily! There are not a lot of detailed maps in circulation(I searched and found one half decent one) and also not a lot of good sign postings. Once it is dark, it is DARK..not ideal for driving..and certainly not ideal for getting lost! A lot of camp sites and lodges don't have signs, and are located kilometers down small roads...I have no idea if a GPS could even locate these places. Another thing to consider, is the police. We were stopped a few times for no reason at all, we were with a driver who was used to dealing with Ugandan police, otherwise I'm not sure what the outcome would have been.
I guess some people do hire their own vehicle, It can of course be done, Bradt guide gives a survival guide to self drive in Uganda. However I would recommend public transport or a driver.
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