How to Plan an Affordable Self Drive Safari in Uganda
Self-drive safaris in Uganda are bucket list dream for most solo travelers on African safari holiday but require adequate planning to make them more pocket friendly. Whereas others opt for guided safaris, Uganda is also best to discover on self-drive tour. With our wide-range of self-drive safari cars, solo travelers are never left stranded. Besides, our experienced experts have crafted several of tailor-made packages all suited within solo travelers’ needs.
Let your budget not limit your travel dreams. To embark on self-drive in Uganda at affordable rate, make sure you have booked your trip early. Most accommodation facilities tend to reduce on the rates for the accommodation and you can be one of the beneficiaries. It also helps you secure your dream self-drive safari car and have everything done early.
Know when to visit
Choose your season that you plan to embark on solo trip. Depending on your budget, the low season is preferably the best for budget travelers. During the low season, fewer visitors travel and higher chances are that most accommodation facilities are forced to cut down on their rates.
Get in touch with our safari experts
A well-planned self-drive tour involves combining ideas and so contacting our reservation team for assistance is very key. Get in touch with our reservation team and let us plan your trip together. Note, not all lodges give allowances to solo travelers and that is why we exist to do the rest of the groundwork.
Inform our experts
Make sure you let our experts early about your travel preferences so that they can make a package for you. The essential information required from is if you wish to dine alone-the choice does matter, do you wish to join the scheduled departure safari with a group or entirely independent, reason for your travel-wildlife, birding, mountain gorillas or golden monkey tracking; whom do you plan to travel with-children or friends and the accommodation type.
Choose budget accommodation
Depending on the destination you plan to visit on solo/self-drive tour, Uganda consists of various budget accommodation options. They are pocket friendly and everyone is covered. You can also choose to camp/rent one of our rooftop cars and save a lot more or spend a night in a budget safari lodge or hotel.
Choose the best car
Make your self-drive tour in Uganda absolute by booking our classic budget self-drive safari cars. Our self-drive safari rental cars to book include 4×4 Toyota Rav4-you can opt for automatic or manual transmission (rent one at $45), our Rav4 rental cars are compact and comfortable for your self-drive tour in Uganda; Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Hiace, Super Custom or Toyota Land Cruiser roof top tent. All our self-drive rental cars are well serviced and maintained-ever in better mechanical conditions for you to hit the road comfortably.
In summary, get in touch with our reservation team and let us have your self-drive safari holiday planned within your travel desires. We are available 24/7.Read More
Kibale Forest is Free from Ebola
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has confirmed that Kibale National Park is safe and far from Kibale district, the epic entry of the deadly Ebola disease.
The wildlife body said the national park, a home to chimpanzees and famous for chimp-tracking activities, is functioning normally and far from the Ebola threat.
The authority in a statement signed by the acting executive director, Dr. Andrew Sseguya noted that the park which straddles the districts of Kamwenge and Kabarole is over 90km from Kibale district.
“The chimpanzees in Kibale National Park are not the cause of the Ebola outbreak and they are safe to track,” Seguya noted in the statement.
Chimpanzee Tracking is a major source of revenue for Uganda’s tourism industry. The national park is currently handling up to 50 tourists a day from all corners of the world. Other nearby game parks like Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are also operating normally.
But Uganda Wildlife Authority acknowledged the threat and a number of safety tips, advising tourists to among other things avoid making unnecessary stopovers en route to the national parks and also desist from shaking hands with anyone.
The authority advised tour companies to ascertain in advance the safety routes to national parks and cautioned tourists and their minders to avoid eating in restaurants outside their places of abode.
For about 2 weeks now no new Ebola patient case has been registered and no deaths have been reported. The situation is getting better and the doctors in Kagadi Hospital are hope full.
30 people suspected to have come in contact with Ebola patients were monitored, tested and confirmed are Ebola free, there fore released at the beginning of last week.Read More
Nsenene (Grass Hoppers) – A Local Delicacy in Uganda
In our coverage of Bizzare Foods that people enjoy around the world, today lets look Nsenene, the long horned grasshoppers. Known as Nsenene in the local Kiganda Language, one of the local dialects the most spoken in Uganda, these grasshoppers are a great delicacy enjoyed mostly within the central and south western region of Uganda. The Nsenene has been a delicacy for centuries and among the Baganda Tribe, it is one of the 52 clans.
These grasshoppers are common in the wet seasons – April to May and November to December. This is the time when they are known to swarm. Within these months, you will find people employed to catch and collect these flying insects. During these months, the buzz around Kampala about their capture, sale, distribution, preparation and culinary enjoyment.
Nsenene are flying insects and do like lights. The local people trap these insects using large metal pans and lighting systems and then collected for sale in local markets. Today it is a business for many people in the central region to trap these insects and sell them.
Most of the sales are within Kampala, the capital city of Uganda and Masaka Town. Grasshoppers are also imported from areas as far as Burundi by the Ugandan traders and a great source of income.
How they are Prepared
Nsenene can be prepared in various ways. Most preparations involve boiling or frying these insects. To give a great taste grasshoppers can be fried with onions and salt while others enjoying adding raw onions or garlic cut into small pieces to the already boiled or fried nsenene. Before they are boiled or fried, the legs and wings are plucked off.
For long the local Baganda used to eat these insects and the neighboring tribes could laugh at them! However these days, with the mix-up of tribes in Uganda, you will find that almost all locals including the non Baganda enjoy these grasshoppers. Even the Bazungu Tourists who are free-minded have tasted these grasshoppers. I was surprised to learn from a Mzungu who enjoyed these insects and said there were “crunchy and delicious”.Read More
Uganda Gets Ready for e-Visa in June
Uganda, the Pearl of Africa will launch e-Visa applications effective 1st June, 2016. For several years, Uganda has been lagged behind in joining the trend for e-Visa applications that have been proved to be working well in neighboring countries such as Rwanda and Kenya.
The government of Uganda through the Immigration Department has announced that the infrastructure to launch e-Visa applications will be available by June 2016. The details which could be obtained read as follows:
1) Anyone arriving from 1st June 2016 who require Visas must have applied online, and on completion and submitting the application, intending travelers will receive a bar coded email notification.
2) On arrival at any border post, airport or land borders, that email must be presented and the bar code will be scanned into the immigration system. A Visa sticker will then be printed, including a scanned in picture and will be inserted into the passport on payment of the respective Visa fee.
3) For any Visa extensions, again the process is due to be completed on line though it is thought that anyone in Kampala may apply in person at the Immigration Headquarters at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
4) These applications will be for regular single entry Visa, the common East African Tourist Visa (covering Kenya and Rwanda besides Uganda), multiple entry Visa and Business Visa.
5) Access to the application platform can be found at www.visas.immigration.go.ug
It is not yet known if Uganda, like Kenya, will also, for the time being, allow a parallel process of Visa on arrival, and we will share this information with our readers once clarification is sought.Read More
Uganda Named Among Top 20 World’s Beautiful Countries
Uganda, the Pearl of Africa was listed the thirteenth most beautiful country in the world by BuzzFeed, one of the popular social media today. Uganda’s beauty beats many interesting countries including Australia, Norway, Brazil, India and more.
Though Uganda is a small country in East Africa, it has many interesting things to see including having the Source of the world’s longest river, the River Nile, a mystery that adventurers from Europe had quest to find till 1852 when John Speke from the Royal Geographic Society reached Jinja and found it with assistance from the local Basoga and Baganda Tribes who share boundaries with this amazing river.
The country is also home to Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest lake. The lake is shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
Uganda is one of the best wildlife viewing destinations on earth thanks to a large part to the stunning Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park .
South Africa was the most beautiful country.Read More
British Airways Suspends Flights to Uganda
British Airways has confirmed its flight suspension from Heathrow to Entebbe International Airport in Uganda. The Airline Regional manager Edward Frost has announced that the airline will have its last flight to Entebbe on 2nd October, 2015 and out of Entebbe to Heathrow on 3rd October 2015. The airline suspension is due to commercial reasons with some sources reporting low profitability on this route.
Frost while announcing the chances said that “Looking at the plans British Airways had for Uganda in the past six years a lot has changed”. The airline was committed to serve the travel market that was a main factor to host more flights between Entebbe and Heathrow.
Reasons for British Airways to embark on this route in the past 6 years were; the discovery of Oil in Uganda, the 2010 world cup in South Africa that was expected to increase visitors to southern Africa, and the 2012 Olympic Games that were held in London. During the time, the airline increased its flights to the country from three to five a week due to the high demand. However after the World cup, the Uganda Oil production delays by years made British airways to weigh the Uganda market as not viable to sustain its operations making it cut its flights back to three.
Insider Reasons for Suspension if Airlines
In 2014 the Airline grow prospects where high with plans of looking at East Africa as a region instead of a single destination. The airways announced to increase its flights from 3 – 4 times a week. This plan saw failures in some months later due to the increase of the ground handling rates by the Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority something it had never done for a period of 20years.
The authority believed that the older rates did not make business sense. Tariffs for a Boeing 737 (B737) aircraft, for example, initially used to be $1,100 per turnaround. However, the tariff was increased to $1,200. Depending on the category of the aircraft, tariffs can go up to $2,500 per turnaround. The increase made Entebbe airport lose some bit of its competitive edge, although the rates were still lower than those at the busier and bigger Jomo Kenyatta airport in neighboring Kenya.
Also the escalating volumes of trade between Uganda and countries in the Middle East have recently attracted several airlines offering services to countries like UAE, China and Turkey among others. There is now a record five Middle East based airlines operating in Uganda, including Fly Emirates, Fly Dubai, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Brussels airlines and Etihad Airways. Besides the best option airlines to London and USA.
In the meantime, all customers who booked flights with British airways after 3 October 2015 will be given a full refund or can alternatively be re-booked, says Edward Frost, the airline’s commercial manager for East and Southern Africa though he wasn’t clear how many staff will be affected by the decision.Read More
Uganda Increases Visa Fees – Shocks Tourists on Arrival
Tourists to Uganda have been shocked on arrival at the Entebbe International Airport (EBB) by the doubled fees charged for visas that have been hiked from US$50 to US$100.
Though most Ugandan High Commissions and Embassies are unaware of the changes, many tourists have been shocked on arrival on finding that this beautiful country in Eastern Africa has increased the fees. Up to today many embassy websites and travel guides still show the fee of US$50 per person, yet on arrival the tourists are asked to pay USD100.
Uganda is one of the upcoming destinations on the African continent attracting many adventure seeking tourists interested in taking gorilla safaris and chimpanzee watching. The country is arguably the best place to see primates that include the rare and endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park, chimpanzees that live in Kibale forest and several other tropical rain forests, golden monkeys in Mgahinga and more. The country is also home to the most known Source of the Nile “discovered” by John Speke of the Royal Geographical Society ending the quest by many European Explorers who were traveling to Africa during those days to find the source of the world’s second longest river.
Travelers to Uganda can also take advantage of buying an East African tourist visa that permits them entry to Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. The visa costs US$100 and this visa is available on arrival in any of the three countries.
The increment in visa fees to Uganda has raised mixed reactions with many tour operators in the country calling off the authorities to look into the issue and revise what seems to be very high fees. According to one of the tour operators Uganda is not doing well in tourist arrivals if compared with the last 5 years, partly due to that the country is expensive if compared with other destinations like Rwanda, Kenya, Botswana, South Africa and more. Therefore an increment in visa fees makes the country more expensive – adding more fees on the 18% VAT that was introduced on hotels and safari lodges, raised gorilla permits fees from USD500 to USD600. Therefore the government needs to come up with better and revised policies that will make the country affordable to all kinds of tourists including budget travellers and backpackers.Read More
Uganda Registers More Tourism Receipts
Tourism receipts have overtaken the remittances by Ugandans who are working abroad as the country’s top export earner; says Bank of Uganda’s monetary policy statement. According to the reports from Uganda’s central bank, the tourism sector is ranking high among other sectors of the economy. Reports show that in the 2013/14 financial year, the sector received $1.4bn. This money will help in developing the Uganda’s economy as as well as the tourism sector.
At the event at Uganda celebrated the World tourism day, the ministry of tourism, wildlife and Antiquities also launched the developed tourism master plan in Kampala for the period 2013 – 2023. The master plan shows the importance of tourism in Uganda‘s development, one of the top source of foreign exchange earnings in the country.
Uganda is a beautiful country with amazing scenery, cultures and people, as well as rich flora and fauna. All of which combine it a discerning traveler’s paradise that once Sir Winston Churchill called the Pearl of Africa. The country located in East Africa has unique attractions that have greatly attracted many tourists including the rare and endangered mountain gorillas within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Many travelers have traveled to Uganda to enjoy gorilla trekking, game viewing in several national parks, bird watching, sightseeing including visiting the Source of the Nile, the world’s second longest river! The country is also home to incredible wildlife including the tree climbing lions in the Ishasha Sector.
Uganda is well known in tourist circles and both seasoned travelers and allocentrics visit the country to discover its immense treasures! No wonder the country was voted by the popular travel magazine the Lonely Planet, as the world’s number one destination to visit in the year 2012. some of its notable national parks that have been voted as the best in the world include the Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls, National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Uganda also continues to earn from tourism pales when compared to what a country such as Kenya earns. Also bridging the gap requires more effort, more investment in the sector. The government has also tried to invest in the country’s infrastructure though speculators say that the investment is relatively little and more funds are needed in marketing the country and developing new innovative new products. The country has a lot of potential sites that can be developed for tourism if compared to competing African countries. Therefore an increase in funds towards marketing will also help in increasing the number of tourists traveling for safaris to Uganda.
Uganda also needs to pay more attention to culture and history which would make Uganda more competitive, this can also include; ma museum which can be contrasted dedicated to former president Idi Amin which would be a master stroke of the country. Uganda has also got many other attractions which are found within the country and these include; the mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, bird species, wildlife species, national parks, mountains, lakes and rivers and many more, these have greatly attracted many people to come for safari tours to the countryRead More
President Museveni Attacks UTB & UWA
The Uganda President has attacked the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) over failure to market Uganda tourism internationally.
The president attacked the bodies during a conference at Serena hotel arguing that the two only promotes specific animals like Mountain Gorillas leaving the beauty in parks.
He admitted that marketing mountain gorillas is good but they also need to market the beauty of other Uganda national parks. He noted that there is no reason why tourists should only be coming in Uganda for gorilla tracking and go to other neighboring countries like Kenya and Tanzania to see wildlife as buffaloes, lions, elephants when Uganda has plenty of these in her national parks such as Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park among others.
The President called the general manager of UTB, Mr Cuthbert Baguma, to explain why they only have promotions of mountain gorillas but he was speechless.
He lashed out at UWA for being ruthless while evicting people from national parks.He said people should be told that the revenue from tourism is better than that from farming and link them to park hotels to buy their crafts instead of ordering them off park land like they have no stake in Uganda.
“I need to see these confused UWA people. Telling people to vacate for better revenue does not need much thinking,” he said.
He urged UWA officials to design proper user-friendly methods of ordering people to leave national parks than using a lot of force to evict them.