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Exploring Uganda On Self Drive – A Hand Guide

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After your self-drive tour in Uganda, you won’t disagree that indeed Uganda is the pearl of Africa. The country boasts in a variety of birdlife, vast plains, jungle, primates, rolling hills, and some of the friendliest people in Africa. The South west of Uganda holds the world’s largest population of mountain gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park. A road trip through Uganda highlights the wide range of wildlife in different national parks spread all over the country.

Roads to major tour destinations are in perfect conditions and all you need to be aware of is the traffic rules just like any other country does. Remember to keep left as you drive on Ugandan roads. This interesting journey will lead you to some of the best safari destinations which include;

Lake Bunyonyi

It has been said that Lake Bunyonyi may be one of the most beautiful lakes in Africa. You will spend time exploring the different islands on this lake as you watch several bird species canoeing on a small engine boat with a local guide. You will be amazed at the insightful knowledge of the guide as he/she share the history of this small lake that runs through the high hills of Kigezi.

If you’re interested in birding, Lake Bunyonyi the place to be due to the high number of bird species. Some of the most popular islands to visit include; Akampene, Bucuranuka, Bushara, Kyahugye, Njuyeera and Bwama. If you want a peaceful place to go relax looking at the beautiful environment, Bunyonyi is the place.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi National Forest is well known for its high population of mountain gorillas. The amazing Gorilla trekking experience in the impenetrable forest to watch the endangered gorillas makes Bwindi the most visited tourist destination in Uganda. You can be part of this incredible African experience on your self-drive road trip.

Gorilla trekking permits are sold at $600 per person but you won’t feel the expense after watching these most eye-catching creatures in their natural habitat. 20 gorilla families have been habituated and are available to be tracked by tourists every day. Other than Gorilla tracking, visitors can also do hiking to beautiful waterfalls and birding in the Ruhija and Rushaga sectors of the park. Accommodation is available for all classes ranging from budget, mid-range and high end travelers. Camping sites are also available at most accommodation facilities in the park on arrangement.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park covers 1978 sq.km with over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species. The park is the perfect stop before or after Bwindi National Park. You drive to the southern entrance of Queen Elizabeth known as Ishasha. It is a great spot to go in search of some famous tree-climbing lions.

You can self-drive through the park for a chance of spotting Africa’s famous wildlife including large herds of elephants, buffaloes, antelopes and several bird species. From there we set out to see the crater lakes of the park for some of the most stunning views in all of Africa.

Accommodation at this park is available for all categories of travelers in the Ishasha sector and other parts of the park.

Kibale National Park

Kibale National Forest is home for a high number of our closest living relatives-the Chimps. It is located about an hour’s drive from Fort Portal and is the primate capital of the world. With 13 different species of primates living in the same forest in harmony.

Chimpanzee tracking permits are available at USD 150 and are issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority and can be booked through a trusted tour operator in Uganda and are booked before the date of travel. Multitudes of visitors go to this park to track the chimps and are allowed to spend one hour studying their behavior and taking pictures.

Accommodation is available at lodges like Primate Lodge which is a five-minute walk away from the Kibale forest entrance. Their Bandas are spread out to allow complete privacy for all guests and their meals are exceptional.

Murchison Falls National Park

The Nile River squeezes itself through a 7-meter wide gap making the magnificent Murchison Falls that has attracted millions of travelers to Uganda. The waterfall is 43 meters high and makes the most impressive sight to see.

Murchison National Park is home to over 76 species of mammals and 451 birds. It also holds Uganda’s largest population of crocodiles, so avoid sunbathing along the river banks. A boat trip to the base of the falls runs visitors $30 per person and will reward you with great views of the falls.

We recommend Red Chili rest camp for your accommodation for travelers on self-drive visiting Murchison. They have a full restaurant and bar.

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo lies next to Sudan and Kenya in the northern region of Uganda in the Karamoja area. It takes about 9 hours to get to from Kampala and can also be accessed from Murchison falls national park making the park isolated.

It shelters over 77 different species of mammals including the Zebras and Elands that are rare in Uganda. The park can best be visited during the dry season when animals flock to the few watering holes near Apoka. Apoka safari Lodge and Apoka rest Camp are the best accommodation facilities if you like camping.

Jinja

Jinja is nicknamed “the adventure capital of East Africa,” and for good reason. Jinja is found at the source of the Nile River. The world’s longest river starts there making it a hotspot for tourist in Uganda. white water rafting down the Nile. You will enjoy White water rafting on the Nile is which is a breathtaking experience of a life time as you dive in heights of deep waters of the Nile. The trip begins at about 9 am near where you stay for a night. You will be put in another group of tourists if you’re few with an experienced rafter and spend a good deal of time instructing you on the basics of paddling and what to do in emergencies. If you’re not interested in water sports, you can opt for bungee jumping over the Nile. Or you can opt for a brewery tour of the Nile brewery.

Kampala/Entebbe

Most Uganda trips will possibly involve the capital Kampala which is a 1 or less than an hour drive to the international airport at Entebbe. Kampala has a lot of traffic and if you want to dodge the city pollution and traffic it would be good hanging out in Entebbe relaxing on the shores of Lake Victoria in a hotel. If time allows head to the Mabamba Swamp where the rare Shoebill stork can be spotted. Alternatively, take a boat ride on Lake Victoria or relax in the Entebbe Botanical Gardens. A variety of hotels are available and are always available for you to choose.

In Conclusion; making your self-drive fun is entirely on you and if you can visit the major travel destinations as highlighted above, you will have great memories of a real road trip to Uganda.

 

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