Uganda 2015

When: July 2015
Duration: 16 days
Distance covered: 1800 km

Uganda_map
This trip was something special – after quite some time, we were accompanied by our daughter. So, the three of us, a small car and a wonderful country with some unique animal species, usually not to be found in other southern and eastern African countries.

We started in Entebbe and then slowly toured through central and south-western Uganda. We visited some of their prime national parks: Murchison Falls, Queen Elisabeth and Lake Mburo – all known for their typical savanna ecosystems; Kibale, known for their chimpanzees and Bwindi, known for mountain gorillas.

People are extremely nice and friendly and the soil must be exceptionally fertile – we have never in Africa seen so large portion of land being cultivated. And this also shows in large quantities of excellent fruit and vegetables being available on every step.

We didn’t do any prior reservation, except for our first night in Entebbe and for the gorilla permits, which were bought half a year in advance. And as it turned out, there actually were no reasons to make advance reservations for camps – surprisingly, despite this being their high tourist season, we were more or less alone in all campsites.

We rented a Toyota RAV4 from Roadtrip Uganda and the car was perfect for this trip. Well, actually, it would have been perfect, if there were only two of us. But for three, it was a little too small, with our personal luggage and complete camping equipment. But with time we got used to it and after few days were able to pack everything inside in just a few minutes.

It is a norm for foreign tourists in Uganda (or in East Africa in general?) to rent a car together with a driver/guide. But I if we were to do it again, we would certainly do it as a self-drive trip again. I understand there are some pros to have a knowledgeable local drive/guide, but doing it all by yourself raises the whole experience to quite a higher level.

Our rough itinerary was:

Day 1:
Upon landing at Entebbe airport early in the afternoon, pick up the car, do a major shopping and spend a night at a guesthouse in Entebbe.

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Day 2-4:
Drive through Kampala to the north, to Murchison Falls National Park. Spend three days there, exploring the park. Camp at one of the camps on the south side of the Nile.

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Day 5, 6:
Drive from Murchison Falls to Fort Portal and camp somewhere in the outskirt of Kibale NP for next two nights. Next day try to find chimpanzees in the park.

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Day 7-9:
Continue to southwest, to Queen Elisabeth National park. Spend three days there, camping at Mweya public campsite.

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Day 10:
Move to the southern sector of the QENP, to Ishasha, spend a night at the campsite there.

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Day 11:
Continue to Bwindi national park, spend a night in the village of Ruhija. Next morning, go to gorilla tracking in the park.

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Day 12:
After finding gorillas, continue to lake Bunyoni. Spend a night at Bunyoni Overland Resort camp.

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Day 13, 14:
Explore Lake Mburo national park. Camp inside the park near the lake.

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Day 15, 16:
On the way back to Entebbe, visit Mabamba swamp, in search for an elusive Shoebill. Continue to Entebbe, overnight there in one of the guesthouses, explore the town of Entebbe and catch a flight back home in the evening.

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Check detailed description of each part of the trip by clicking on the following links.

Trip installments:
Part 1: Murchison Falls NP
Part 2: Kibale NP
Part 3: Queen Elizabeth NP
Part 4: Bwindi Impenetrable NP
Part 5: Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Mburo NP and Mabamba swamp

2 comments

  1. Good morning Jurij
    My name is Lucie and recently I came across you African travel blog.
    In April, we (my husband and 2 teenage chidlren) visited South Africa, driving from Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay and then from Johannesburg to Kruger NP. All self-driving. Up until year ago I did not thing that self-driving and self-organised trip to Africa was even possible. Like you I have fell in love with Africa and would love to explore another countries.
    This is why I am writing to you to ask you an advice. Which country would you recommend for us to visit next in terms of driving difficulty. We do not have any experience with driving 4×4 in difficult terrain. I am very tempted by Uganda or Namibia.
    My husband is terrified by my enthusiasm but then he was when I suggested self-driving in SA.

    Kind regards

    Lucie

    Like

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