Public transport (2 questions)
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Oct 18, 2012 12:37 AM Last Post By: treabeard
Oct 15, 2012 6:16 AM
Public transport (2 questions)I’m currently reading the Bradt guide for Uganda and I must say the section “getting there and away” is mainly about having your own transport then using using public transport. Also transport to and from Kampala is always covered. Next time they should send a writer-traveller using public transport in Uganda.
I can’t imagine everyone having their own jeep and always go from Kampala.
Here are my questions:
1) I will visit Ziwa rhino sanctuary from Kampala, taking the bus to Masindi. From the rhino sanctuary I want to go to Fort Portal. In this case the Bradt guide does mention there’s a bus from Hoima to Fort Portal. So, I want to take a bus from Masindi to Hoima and onward to Fort Portal.
But, I’m reading conflicting info about the road condition on this route. Can anyone give me updated info about this stretch using the bus from Hoima ? I have 2 days for this route and I don’t want to go through Kampala. How about costs and travel time ?
2) I stay in Nkingo (Safari Hotel) before and after chimp tracking in Kibale NP. After this I want to go to Kisoro and prepare for my gorilla tracking. I read somewhere on TT forum (I think it was kaz) that the route south via Kamwenge and Ibanda to Mbarara is a difficult route to take. The other option I have is via Fort Portal and Kasese to Kabale. For the total stretch from Kibale NP to Kisoro I’m planning 2 days with public transport.
Does anyone have some firsthand info using public transport ? How about costs and travel time ?
Other options are most welcome.
Oct 15, 2012 12:22 PM
1There is always some means of transport available. Either a bus, a matatu (shared car), a motorbike taxi or a truck - or you hitchhike or ask other tourists for a lift (which I did in the national parks e.g. Murchinson Falls and Bwindi, because they quite often don't have good public transport as they are in the middle of the bush/rainforest). Sometimes it just takes some time. Being flexible is definitely an advantage. Public transport is very cheap.
Oct 16, 2012 3:58 AM
2Why not contact Phillip direct at Bradt with your comments, personally I had no difficulty getting around Uganda using the guide but it is not always possible to cover every route.
Oct 17, 2012 11:06 AM
3I agree, I also thought the Bradt guide directions designed more for those with their own transport - or assumes you are happy to keep back-tracking to Kampala. But 7stern is right, there is always a way - it just might take some time to find it!
You are following the same route as I did - from Masindi, a matatu to Hoima took 2.5hrs, the road is murram and quite rough, so may well take longer if it's wet. It cost 10000Ush, but it was coming up to xmas - the previous week the price had been only 6000. (Prices go up steadily as people head home to their villages for xmas, there were frequent complaints in the newspapers!)
We stayed in Hoima, and on asking the hotel staff for advice about onward travel to Fort Portal, were told it would be simpler to go back to Kampala....
The most direct route from Hoima would be via Kagadi and Kyenjojo, and there would normally be transport available, but when we were there a bridge had washed out and the route wasn't possible at the time. We went via Mubende, which was quite a big detour, but lovely scenery, little country lanes and ladies in traditional dress, hardly any traffic and many people walking. It took about 6hrs (inc. various detours to pick up people from down little tracks in the bush, change vehicle, etc) and cost 20000Ush.
Once you get to Mubende (or Kyenjojo) you are back on the main road and you can flag down one of the big buses coming from Kampala. Link bus from Mubende to FP was just over 2hrs and 15000Ush.
My times and costs for Nkingo to Kisoro (Dec 11) if they might help, were:
Nkingo to Kamwenge - 1hr 20m, 5000Ush (pickup truck)
Kamwenge to Ibande - 2hrs, 8000Ush (shared taxi)
Ibande to Mbarara - 1hr, 6000Ush (shared taxi) - took most of the day to get this far
Mbarara to Kabale - 3hrs, 15000Ush (Horizon bus)
Kabale to Kisoro - 1hr 30m, 15000Ush (shared taxi)
Oct 18, 2012 12:37 AM
4Yes, I looked at your trip report, kaz.
What I read about the road from Hoima to Fort Portal is, that it's not always possible to go. I go from Ziwa sanctuary to Masindi and will decide in Hoima what to do. Hopefully I can go directly to Fort Portal the next day, otherwise I go to Mubende the same day or as close as I can get. I have to do it in 2 days.
The route from Nkingo to Kisoro I have to check while I'm there (ask around a lot). Also have 2 days.
Looking forward to visit Uganda.
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