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Blog

Trackers Haven Lodge: The Ultimate Comfort Away From Home

For trackers, Uganda offers an ultimate comfort away from home through participating in numerous tourism activities in the country. The most paramount activities for trackers include gorilla tracking and Chimpanzee tracking. Gorilla tracking in Uganda is carried out in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National park. For lovers of chimpanzee tracking, the activity is carried out in Kibale forest National Park. Within this park, there are habituated groups of gorillas for viewing

The best season for trackers ultimate comfort Away from home

For trackers, this Easter Season should be considered as the best time to leave your home and come and enjoy comfort away from your home. As you plan  ahead of to go along with your family or a group, or with your children or only you and the wife Easter season  is the best time to get  away from home.

The activities to participate in this season

Gorilla tracking.

For experienced travelers in Uganda, the unique activity you can best participate in is gorilla tracking. This activity is carried out in the Republic of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic republic of Congo. In Uganda the activity of Gorilla tracking is carried out in Bwindi Impentrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla National park. These are purely mountain gorillas.

In case you wish to see the low land Gorillas, you are recommended to visit Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the north of the Congo near the border with Gabon.  This park is one of Africa’s oldest national parks, covering over 1,360 million hectares of pristine rain forest. It is an integral part of the Congo Basin ecosystem.

To simply track the Mountain gorillas of Uganda this season, you will visit Bwindi Forest. This park has been considered as one the Africa’s richest forest.  A part from the mountain gorillas, it has got other many attractions including; 350 bird species, 200 trees, over 300 butterflies, 50 reptiles and over 100 mammals  and hundreds of primates including  the rare black and white colobus and blue monkeys. These will make you participate in wildlife viewing, nature walk and photography. Do not leave behind your camera because you will need to take some photographs during the tracking expeditions.

The cost of Gorilla Tracking.

During this Easter season, the activity is quiet expensive this calls  for your preparedness, You will have to be well prepared since the demand is a bit  high. You will have to obtain a gorilla permit t of $ 600 which is approximately 2.1 million for the   foreign residents. The Uganda residents need to obtain a gorilla tracking permit at Ugandan shillings 250,000 for an hour tracking. All these permits are offered by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.  After you have paid this fee, it will include;   fee for guiding and fee for entering the park.

Where to stay.

There are many hotels, lodges and Guest houses within the country to offers you the best accommodation. These are found all over the country with the best ones being in Kampala and in Uganda’s national parks.  Within Kampala, you can opt to spend a night at Serena hotel and Sheraton among others. In the national parks, there many of these hotels and these include; Chobe hotel in Murchison falls, the Lodge Bella Vista in Kabarole,  The Kipling Lodge The Paraa Safari Lodge in Murchison falls,   Kyaninga Lodge  in  Kibale, the Mweya Safari Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National park ,the Primate Lodge Kibale The Rain-forest Lodge The Arcadia Lodges in Lake Mburo and lake  Bunyonyi.

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Experiences

Experience the Royal Mile Inside Budongo Forest

Are you looking for an authentic place to visit within Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom? Then add the Royal Mile Trail inside Budongo Forest reserve on your itinerary, especially if you are planning to visit Murchison Falls National Park and the Budongo Forest Reserve. The Royal Mile trail is one of the most spectacular trails you shouldn’t miss to explore while on a cultural Safari in Uganda.

It was constructed by one of the Kings of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom for exhilarating nature walks and leisure activities and believe it or not, it is one of the most interesting trails for tourists who visit Budongo Forest Reserve near the Nyabyeya Forestry College found in Budongo sub-county of Masindi district.

This trail is the most perfect place for birding safaris within this large tropical rainforest. It is said that Omukama (King) Kabalega Chwa II-born in 1853 and died in 1923 of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom used to often visit Budongo Forest, together with his Queen for recreational activities or to supervise the Abarusuura (his army) that were undergoing training and to perform rituals within the tropical rainforest.  All the activities he used to do were within a place known as the “Royal Mile”-a paradise for numerous wild animals and bird species that capture the attention of tourists. It is undeniable that this trail was named after the unforgettable activities of the historic Omukama Kabalega.

The terrain of this site is flat which is perfect for nature walks, taking care of all the travelling conditions for tourists. The Royal Mile is a magnificent and long trail in Budongo Forest, on the Southern side of the Forest. Budongo Forest Reserve, covering over 739 square kilometers lies at the border of the Albertine Rift Valley and is part of the Southern side Murchison Falls National Park.

Next to the edge of Budongo Forest is the spectacular Lake Kanyege, a home to numerous aquatic bird species and several butterfly species. Not only that, chimpanzees within habituated communities can be tracked during a primate safari in Uganda and the best time is to track them as early as possible hence overnight within the Forest is recommended.

There are several bird species within the Royal Mile. And 2 species are endemic to the trail-the Illadopsis puveli and the yellow-footed flycatcher and other numerous species endemic to the Albertine Rift region. Some of the notable bird species you will encounter within the Royal Mile Trail include the Hairy-breasted Barbet, the Blue-breasted Kingfisher, the Nahan’s Francolin, the Cassin’s Spinetail, the Fire-crested Alethe, the Dwarf Kingfisher, the Black-capped Apalis, the Blue-throated Roller, the Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, the Ituri Batis, the Lemon-bellied Crombec, the Rufous-crowned Eremomela, the Western-black Headed Oriole, the Piping Hornbill, the Spotted Greenbul, the Yellow-browed Camaroptera, the Sabine’s Spinetail, the Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, the Yellow-billed Barbet, the Grey-headed Sunbird, the Yellow-spotted Barbet, the Brown-eared Woodpecker, the Chestnut-caped Flycatcher, the Yellow-crested Woodpecker, the White-spotted Flufftail, the White-thighed Hornbill, the African Crowned Eagle and the Red-capped Robin-Chat, to mention but a few.

In conclusion, the Royal Mile Trail within Budongo Forest Reserve is one of the most interesting trails in western Uganda because it allows tourists walk through the same path used by the former King of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom (Omukama Kabalega Chwa II) and explore numerous bird species including the Cassin’s Spinetail, the Fire-crested Alethe, the Dwarf Kingfisher, ituri batis and the Black-capped Apalis among others.

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Places to Visit

Kasubi Tombs: Where Four Kings of Buganda Rest

Kampala is not only a visitors’ center for visitors to Uganda, it also has many historical, cultural, manmade and religious attractions. The Kampala’s most famous attraction is the Kasubi tombs. From Kampala, the Kasubi Tombs is located 5 kilometers away on Kasubi hill. The ground is a royal burial place for four kings of Buganda, anciently known as Kabakas. Now the burial ground of kings holds importance in the Ganda culture as it symbolizes the Ganda’s culture and history.

The tombs and palaces are great exemplary of ancient African architecture, hut made of reeds, different types of spears and their pet animals. The entire area shows their lifestyle. All year round, traditional customs, ceremonies are carried out in this place. On the new moon night, a ceremony and consultation medium is held between the tribal people and the kings. But the ceremonies are carried in very secretive manner, hidden from the outsiders, within the building.

The Baganda is a part of the tribe of Uganda who speak Bantu. The history of the king of the Baganda is said to be that first Kabaka (king) was Kintu who came here in Uganda with his wife Nambi. He did not die in battle or by something else, but he got lost in the forest of Magonga, and was never to be known.

The palace at the burial ground was first constructed by Kabaka Mutesa I in 1882. The traditional of the Baganda is very interesting like according to the tradition of Baganda, the if the king dies, he should be buried at different site, and his jawbone was to be removed and place in the a royal shrine which should be made at different site as it was said that jawbone carried the spirit. But when Kabaka Mutesa I died (1856-1884), he was buried in his previous palace with his jawbone.

Later his son, Mwanga II who happens as expected like his father Mutesa. But he was staying at the Seychelles Islands, and when he died (1910) his remaining were brought from there and buried beside his father. The Mwanga II also had a son, Daudi Chwa II; even he ruled and died in 1939. He got respectful burial, like his fathers, at the tombs too.

Daudi Chwa’s son, Edward Muteesa, took over his father position and with changing world; he became governor of the Uganda province. After achieving so much, he died in London in 1966. His body was brought here and united with his father and ancestors, in the tomb.
The reason why the tombs of the great kings hold so much significance is because old traditions was broken at the site when Four kings of Baganda were obscured simultaneously. Since then, every descendent of the 4 kabakas are buried behind the main shrine. It has become a royal cemetery of Buganda kingdom.

As soon as you reach the royal burial as well as the religious place of Buganda, the first thing you will notice is the magnificent gatehouse, known as Bujjabukula, which is an entrance to the site. The roof of the gatehouse is supported by the wooden poles and wall is built of interwoven reeds. The gate goes to small circular house, called as House of Royal drums. There are many small houses, which was dwelling place for the Kabakas widows, and for other rituals in the main courtyard.

Behind the Kasubi and other royal tombs has back door, which leads to the forest. Inside the forest, the royal kabakas tombs are kept and most of the ceremonies like new moon and other rituals are carried there only. The back door is cover with cloth curtain and only kabakas widows and their descendents are allowed to go in there.

However, the Kasubi Tombs is a great place to view royal insignia like drums, spears, photographs, shields and medals of the buried Kabakas. The structure is very impressive to see – the wooden poles structure draped in backcloth, the ground are swathe with palms leaves mats and grass. The thatching of the roof was done by the Ngeye Clan and the Leopard clan carried out the work of decorating the poles. The backcloths used to decorate the poles are made of soft back of a fig tree. The fig tree has a very important in the Uganda’s rituals.

There is a unique tradition or rule, cant say, but people at that time didn’t allowed the Thatchers to have intercourse until the thatching work doesn’t get completed and plus, ladies were not allowed to enter the house as believed that it would cause leakage in monsoon. The Ganda culture’s 52 clans are signifying in the 52 rings that support the roof of the structure.

The Kasubi Tombs are great exemplary of heritage as well as rich tradition of the Baganda people. Inhabitants consider that every person’s death has a sacred origin and there is communication linked between the dead and the living. The people of Uganda have great respect for this place as their fore fathers, rulers and tradition lie here even today.

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Safari Guide

Best Safaris in Western Uganda

Uganda is a land locked country in East Africa located bordered by Kenya in the East, Tanzania in the north, Democratic Republic of Congo in the west and Sudan in the north. Uganda is blessed with geographical and cultural diversities including a number of lakes, rivers, mountains, forests, savannahs, grasslands, woodlands, water falls, traditional customs among others. It is the reason for the name Uganda the pearl of Africa as named by Sir Winston Churchill in his book “My African Journey”.

However the western region of Uganda hosts majority of the National parks and tourist attractions that attract travelers over and over including Bwindi impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National park in south western Uganda known for gorilla trekking, Kibale National park known for chimpanzee trekking other primate walking, Queen Elizabeth National park the second largest National park after Murchison Falls National park with the highest concentration of wild life, Lake Mburo National park well known for game viewing, Semuliki National park with sempaya hot springs that attract travelers because their water is too hot to the extent of boiling eggs and make them ready, mountain Rwenzori National park the highest block mountain in Uganda and second highest in Africa after mountain Kilimanjaro. Each of these National parks offers different experiences on your safari to western Uganda. Western Uganda has the most breath taking and memorable safaris which include;

Mountain gorilla trekking safaris

Mountain gorillas are endangered species that are found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo only in the Africa and the whole world. But mountain gorilla safaris in western Uganda are done in Bwindi and Mgahinga National parks situated in south western Uganda in the extreme end of Kanungu and Kisoro district respectively.

Bwindi impenetrable National park is home to over 450 mountain gorillas and almost half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. Bwindi impenetrable National park has 4 sectors where gorillas are found and gorilla trekking is carried out including Buhoma sector in the north, Ruhija sector in the east, Nkuringo and Rushaga sectors in the southern part of the park. These sectors have over 18 gorilla families that can be trekked by people who are 15 years and above. Mgahinga National park has only one gorilla family called Nyakagezi habituated for trekking bringing it to a total of 19 habituated gorilla families in Uganda.

Gorilla trekking is done throughout the year but best advisable during the months of January, February, June, July, August and December when there is little or no rain fall and when the trails are less slippery.

Gorilla safaris in western Uganda makes your safari memorable as you encounter with the endangered species in their natural habitats very early in the morning guided by the ranger guides. Each gorilla family allows only 8 members per day for a maximum of 1 hour for observation and photography.

Gorilla trekking in western Uganda costs 600 US dollars per person currently but it will increase to 700 US dollars starting 1st July 2020 for foreign nonresidents, 600 for foreign residents and 250,000 Ugandan shillings for East African residents.

However, there is gorilla habituation as well in Bwindi impenetrable National park in Rushaga sector which allows travelers to spend 4 hours in the presence of the mountain gorillas compared to trekking which only allows only 1 hour, but the cost for gorilla habituation is 1500 US dollars for foreign nonresidents and 1000 US dollars for foreign residents.

However your gorilla safari can over chances to the Batwa community the ancient people of the forest, this can be done in the evening after gorilla trekking and learn about their ancient life style in the forest, traditional dances and other forms of entertain which makes your safari memorable.

Chimpanzee trekking safaris

Chimpanzees are also apes under the primate class which are close relatives of humans with 98% human DNA. Chimpanzees in western Uganda can be found in several destinations including Kibale National park the major destination for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and the whole world.

Kibale National park has over 1500 and highest number of chimpanzees and other 12 primate species, bird species, Kyambura gorge game reserve in Queen Elizabeth National park with variety of chimpanzees, Budongo forest reserve with quite a number chimpanzees after Kibale National park, Toro Semuliki forest reserve also chimpanzee trekking destination and Kalinzu forest in Bushenyi district close to Queen Elizabeth with over 50 habituated chimpanzees.

Chimpanzee trekking is done early in the guided by the ranger guides to locate the chimpanzees, on encounter with the primates, travelers are allowed only 1 hour in the presence of the chimpanzees by people who are 15 years and above. Kibale National park and Budongo forest reserve also offers chimpanzee habituation experiences which allow travelers to spend the whole day in the presence of the chimpanzees.

Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National park costs 150 US dollars currently and will be 200 US dollars starting 1st July 2020 while habituation is also 200 US dollars, chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura, Toro Semuliki and Kalinzu is 50 US dollars all managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority and chimpanzee trekking in Budongo is 80 US dollars but managed by Budongo Eco lodge.

Wildlife safaris

The western Uganda wildlife safari offers different wild animals which are found in the different National park destinations in western Uganda. There is a hug diversity of wild animals that can be seen on your wildlife safari including, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, leopards, warthogs, spotted hyenas, Uganda kobs, giraffes, zebras, oribis, Topis, duikers, water bucks, cheetahs, jackals among others.

Wild life safaris in western Uganda are done in Queen Elizabeth National park in western Uganda stunning the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge and Rubirizi. Queen Elizabeth National park is the second biggest National park in Uganda with variety of wild animals like elephants, lions, antelopes, hippos, crocodiles, impalas, Elands and so on which are normally sighted during game drives, primates like chimpanzees, monkey species like black and white colubus, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, L’hoest’s monkeys, civet monkeys among others.

There are several sectors in the different parts of Queen Elizabeth National park where wild animals can be sighted including Mweya peninsular, Kasenyi plains, Kazinga channel, Kyambura game reserve, Maramagambo forest, Kalinzu forest and Ishasha sector which is famous for tree climbing lions.

Wildlife safaris can also be done in Lake Mburo National park located in Kiruhura district which approximately 244 km from Kampala. Lake Mburo is the smallest savannah park in Uganda famous for wildlife viewing. Lake Mburo is home to over 68 animals including zebras, impalas, Topis, Elands, giraffes, Uganda kobs, buffaloes, bush bucks, leopards, hyenas, jackals among others. However it is important to note that there are no elephants and lions in Lake Mburo National park.

Wildlife safaris are done in Semuliki National situated in Bundibugyo district at the border with Democratic Republic of Congo. Semuliki National park also is home to over 60 mammal species including African elephants, leopard, Mona monkeys, buffalos, hippos, African civet among others that are seen during game drives in the park.

Murchison falls is another destination for wildlife safaris and game viewing. It is the largest National park located in north western Uganda covering an area of 3840 square kilometers. The vegetation of Murchison falls National Park is made up savannah, riverine forest, woodland which shelter several animal species like elephants, lions, leopards, Rothschild giraffes, chimpanzees, kobs, hartebeests, hippos, oribis among others that are viewed the game drives.

Boat safaris

Western Uganda is one of the best places for boat safaris and there is popular destination for boat cruise including boat cruise on Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth National park.

Boat cruise on Kazinga channel. Kazinga channel is the longest and widest natural channel in Africa with the highest concentration of wild animals and bird species. There are over 400 bird species, elephants, buffaloes, hippos among others. The boat cruise on kazinga channel is done in the morning and afternoon for 2 hours, it is one of the activities that you cannot miss when you come to Queen Elizabeth National park.

Boat cruise on Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa after Lake Tanganyika with 29 islands. It is also known as a bird paradise because it hosts very many bird species where it derives its name Bunyonyi meaning “small birds” in the native language. There is boat cruise on lake Bunyonyi which offers memorable experiences especially cruising to the different island with different historical back ground like the punishment island where the bakiga girls who got pregnant before marriage were taken in isolation to die, then the Akacuraniko which means upside down and many others with their own history that also shelter many wild animals, birds and primate species.

Boat safari on Lake Mutanda. A visit to Lake Mutanda is an interesting adventure that cannot be missed on your safari to western Uganda. The lake has many interesting activities that can be engaged in on your visit for a boat cruise especially after gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable National park. The activities include nature walks, birding, game viewing among others.

Cultural safaris

Cultural safaris in western Uganda are a component because Uganda is a culturally diverse country with over 54 tribes. When it comes to cultural safaris in western Uganda Queen Elizabeth National park is the best place to visit with several cultural groups like Nyanzibiri community cave which means 2 lake in the native language, Leopard village located close to muhokya village managed by the socio economical management that promotes culture and wildlife conservation. Those who tour the leopard village have a chance to visit the traditional huts of Basongora, Bakonzo and Nyabindi ethnic groups then kikorongo women community where you enjoy songs, dances, fire making, visit the Kikorongo African art and craft workshop and learn about weaving baskets among others.

A visit to the Batwa community deep in Bwindi and Mgahinga forests. The batwa trail and batwa experience are one of the major cultural activities that cannot be missed on your cultural safari to western Uganda. Learn about the batwa people also referred to as the people of the forests that co-existed with the wild animals before they were evicted after gazetting their areas as national parks. Learn about their way of life as hunters and gathers, enjoy their traditional dances, hand craft making and so on. You can go for the batwa trail in Mgahinga National park of batwa experience in Bwindi impenetrable National park

Visit and encounter the fascinating cultures of Toro on western Uganda cultural tour. Learn about the “Empaako ceremony” which involves giving pet names to the children at birth. The pet names include Akiiki, Amooti, Adyeeri, Ateenyi, Abwooli, Acaali among others, visit the King’s palace overlooking Fort Portal town where the king resides. There is the Karambi tombs where the Toro kings are buried that is visited during your cultural safari in western Uganda.

Mountain hiking safaris

Hiking mountain Rwenzori in western Uganda is the best experience you can have on your safari in western Uganda. Mountain Rwenzori is the highest block mountain Uganda and third highest in Africa after mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania at 5895 meters above sea level, mountain Kenya in Kenya at 5199 meters above sea level then mountain Rwenzori at 5109 meters above sea level with the highest peak known as margherita.

Hiking Mountain Rwenzori is done in seasons, which are from January to March and June to October. Usually January to March is too cold compared to June to October where there are higher chances of encountering snow at the peak.

Western Uganda is a great destination in Uganda where you can go for your different fascinating safaris like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, boat safaris, cultural safari among other which offer you great experiences on your safari.

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Travel Tips

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Renting a Car

Many people turn to car rentals as their best ground transportation while on a vacation, business and political engagements. But sometimes they end up having some misunderstandings between them and the car rental agency and also they may have to pay more money for the car hire services since they have violated the agreement. This results to customers cursing car rentals services. Some people make these mistakes ignorantly while others are just careless or reluctant.

These are the commonest mistakes made by travelers on their car rental services.

They forget to check the condition of the car yet this is a must thing to do on car rental services. The traveler has to check the car before taking for his/her vacation. One is supposed to check if there are some damages and dents on the car and also should check the mechanical condition of the car. It is recommendable to take pictures of the car. This helps one to know which damage she/she is liable for in case one happens. But sometimes, travelers make a mistake of not checking the car thoroughly and end up arguing with the car provider about the damages that may happen to the car i.e. everyone denying the liability of the damages.

Some travelers do not read the terms and conditions carefully. This is the commonest mistake people made on car rental services. Some people do not take a keen eye on some clauses of the car hire agreement and of which these can make them pay more for the car hire services like limited mileage clause, early return and return fuel refilling clause. You have to read the agreement so carefully and do not miss out a single clause because if you go against it, you are likely to pay a big premium for compensation.

Do not search on the internet for the best car rental services. Some people just use the car hire services that they come across other than making some research on the internet to get better deals. There are so many car rental companies offering good services at affordable rates on the web. When one does not use the internet is more likely to get cheated on the prices since he/she might not know the standard price of certain car rental services and end up paying much more money on low priced Uganda car hire services.

Furthermore some people only use the internet to find car rental services leaving out checking offline. Although internet has the best deals, endeavor to check offline too. It is best to check both online and offline, you never know the car provider might have forgotten to update his/her website yet when you go the offices physically you might land on a better deal.

If the above mistakes are put in the mind and amended, the traveler can have the best car rental deals which are comfortable, reliable and safe and pocket friendly.

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Blog Trip Planner

Recommended Rental Cars for Family Safaris in Uganda

Are you looking to taking a safari in Uganda with your family? There is nothing funnier than having a self drive in Uganda with your family recorded as one of the best experiences one would get in his/her lifetime. Many people in the world during vacation time, they travel with their family along and most especially during summer holidays. There is that euphoric moment one get when one watches his/her family having a good time and also strengthens the bond with in the family thus leading to a functional family.

Uganda is of no doubt one of those exciting places in the world where one can take his/her family for holidays as it has lots of attractions a family can enjoy for example a family can take up a wildlife safari tour to see those exotic animals that are not usual in their daily life: animals like lions, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, leopards, monkeys, antelopes among the special. There also so many resort beaches and islands where a family can enjoy themselves on the very many water bodies with in Uganda.

However for a family to have a safe and convenience Uganda holiday, they need to rent a car to traverse them everywhere they want to go through some of the most eye catching destinations which are seemingly a distant apart. There is no better ground traveling options to the various holiday destinations for a family other than using Uganda car rentals. Many rental car companies Uganda are found online as one can book with his/her preferred one online or by calling it on the numbers.

Hiring rental cars online comes with lots of merits for a Uganda family holiday and they are as follow:

Convenience and flexibility

It is very easy to hire a car of your choice online, be it an SUV or a van that can best suit for your family holiday. There is always a variety of cars exhibited online; it is always upon you to choice a car of choice, needs and budget. Rental cars Uganda have both luxury cars and cheap cars for their esteemed customers.

In additional to the above, there is nothing like waiting in a long queue. All you need to do is sit on your computer send an email to the car rentals then the car will reserved for you. You can also opt to use the phones as the websites are mobile friendly for reservation and search. Booking is always available 24 hours a day.

Varieties of cars to choose from

Online car rental companies Uganda also display variety of cars for their customers, it is always up to the customer to choose a car that fits his/her needs. There always cars of different kinds that is large, medium, compact, crossovers, sedans, luxury, mid range and budget cars. All you need to do is the disclose the nature of holiday, the family is taking then our sales teams will be at your service to advise you the best car to hire for Uganda holiday.

Privacy and confidentiality

While booking car rentals online, there is always room for you to make a discrete reservation as your personal information only stays with the car rental company. The websites have security certificates where by your information cannot leak to other parties. It is always private and pirate free.

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Blog

A Self Drive Safari In Uganda – What To Know

From your country of origin, have you ever dreamt of seeing an elephant trumpeting its trunk, a lion climbing a tree, or a cheetah sprinting through the grasslands, then the pearl of Africa- Ugandan is one the places you can explore . During your safari when you have rented a car, it is very a thrilling and will give you chance to see wild animals going about their daily lives within their natural habitats. Uganda has a vast number of national parks and wildlife reserves that do offer adventurous opportunities to see wildlife up close. Most research and preparation goes into getting a safari fully arranged, deciding what national park to visit, and finding transportation and accommodation. During a typical self drive safari in Ugandan, it will cater for luxury tourists who have a quick vacation and decide to pre-book a packaged all-inclusive trip without thinking too much about the cost. After you have rented a car, there are several ways, though, to save money on an Ugandan safari.  What you need to be aware of is that just be prepared to spend at least a few United States Dollars which usually depends on your personal choices.

Always package your tours because there are countless companies that offer safari packages for tourists who wish to sit back and not do any planning. Usually, these safari tours are very fitting and are worth the money if you don’t have the time to research or if you want to avoid potential hassles. The high end package deals offer one price and generally cover everything from pickup to drop off and even from the airport, including food, fees, transportation, and lodging. However, with a packaged tour company, you will have to either join a group with a pre-made itinerary. This in most cases is a great option for solo travelers. Also you can customize a safari package with an itinerary to your liking and this option best works best if you are already traveling with a group.

For you to obtain reliable information about the country, there two organization bodies which can provide you with excellent resources for more information on safari and tours in Uganda. These are Uganda Association of Tour Operators, which is locally known as AUTO and Uganda Tourism Board known as UTB. These organizations do aim at promoting and giving credibility to the safari companies that maintain a high level of service and a great value-to-price ratio. You can also do your own safari and here, it is possible that you do a safari on your own, here’s how you can organize your own safari. To successfully enjoy Uganda’s national parks, do rent your vehicle. Nearly all national parks allow you to drive your own vehicle and this opens up opportunities for saving some money as well as allowing for more flexibility in doing exactly what you want.

On the side of accommodation, there are many lodges, hotels, and camp options to choose from, depending on the park you choose. Lodge rooms need to be booked a few weeks in advance, especially during peak season. The camping options will allow you to have an adventurous traveler who loves to be close to nature and can handle the howls of animals at night, personal camping is a great option. The many national parks offer camping options include Murchison falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park among others.

There’s always something exciting to experience on a safari in Uganda. If you can make the most of your Ugandan safari by doing some pre-planning, you’ll have the adventure of your life!

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Gorillas

How to obtain Gorilla Trekking Permits IN Uganda.

To obtain a Uganda Gorilla trekking permit is quite easy since it is the most outstanding tourist attraction in Uganda. They are quite a much sought of commodity and usually a small number of people are allowed to track them since they are an endangered species. To fully participate in this activity, it will take you some good time to plan as you will need to ensure an opportunity by securing a gorilla tracking permit in advance. If you wish extend your tracking session to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Mountain Gorillas there are not very stable because their movements while the republic it easy to track because it at the border with Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Many registered tours and Travel Company do arrange Gorilla tracking safaris and to participate in this activity, you will need to secure for yourself a Gorilla permit.
As a tourist, the best, the best bet for obtaining a Mountain Gorilla is through booking with a registered and genuine tour company in Uganda. The activity will however be done with other wildlife safaris including bird watching, Chimpanzee viewing, butterfly watching and visiting the Batwa people within the Bwindi forest. Presently, the cost of a Gorilla permit is US 600 and for you to participate in this activity you should be above 15 years of age. These permits can be obtained for two national parks of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla national park. However, in Mgahinga Gorilla the mountain gorillas are not stable since they keep on moving from back and forth from Rwanda to the Republic of Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo.

The mountain Gorilla trip organized by a genuine and registered tour operator will give you an opportunity to meet and spend time with the Mountain Gorillas. After this experience, you will be issued with a certificate by Uganda Wildlife Authority. A fee of $ 600 is seen as a step towards Gorilla tracking though it worth and upon completion there is no mention of the money. Only a satisfaction of having seen these magnificent and rare animals is rewarding to the activity.

There are discounted Gorilla permits in Uganda for low seasons which is during the Months of April, May and November. You should note that off season prices for discounted gorilla permits in 2017 is at USD 450 per person for foreign none residents and USD 400.00 for east African residents who do hold work permits. The Uganda Wildlife Authority in conjunction with the Association of Uganda Tour Operators will persistently continue to offer discounted Gorilla permits in Uganda during low seasons. Residents of East Africa will save up to USD 200.00 since Uganda Wildlife Authority Charges them USD 400.00. This idea has been welcomed since the country looks to improve the tourist’s inflow. Voted by lonely planet as one the best destination, Uganda has got the highest tourist growth in the whole of Africa in 2012. The president of Uganda has sighted tourism as the as a sector that will drive the country out of poverty in the coming years. With the discount of the Gorilla permits in Uganda especially on the low seasons; you will only increase on tourists inflow. Uganda giving discounts to Gorilla permits; it gives a challenge to Rwanda to do the same as it persistently increased its permits from USD 500.00 to USD 750.00. Based on the fact that Uganda has a number of attractions like beautiful National parks, source of the Nile, Rwenzori and Elgon Mountains, Lake Victoria among others coupled with relative stability, infrastructural development, things seem to be going in a positive way.

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Travel Tips

Experience the Culture of Uganda

Uganda as commonly referred to as the pearl of Africa is a land locked country on the equator and surrounded by the great lakes of central Africa, Uganda was one of the last parts that the foreigners reached, these where Arabs who came first spreading the gossip of Islam, slaves and ivory in the 1840s. These were followed by white’s British nationals who came to meet the king by then Mutesa the kabaka of Buganda.

The existence of the Kingdoms in Uganda had a great impact on tradition. All the ruling was done the old way from food, clothes, trade and behaviors’ and lot is still in place and preserved as we could. Given the fact that Uganda was scrambled in the 1880 not only Uganda but Africa at large. The existence of these wars and new behaviors in Uganda brought too much change that up to date Uganda has taken up the western life style as their daily life but embrace tradition as much as they can.

Categorized into the batwa and Nilotic ethnic groups, who are believed to have originated from west Africa in Cameroon. Migrated, divided and settled in Uganda, the batwa who are the “twa” speaking people settled in West, central, south and East of Uganda. It is of great surprise that the divided ethnic groups scattered around the country speak up to over 40 different languages.

For your visit whether on a self drive car hire in Uganda or guided trips with Auto Rental Uganda, you can be able to see how we lived, the ancient life style and behavior and more interesting when with one of our resourceful driver guides. Uganda is still privileged to have people who like tradition much and live it as their life style every single day. Be sure to enjoy Uganda’s tradition to the fullest in real life not only in the museum. In the northern Uganda lives and settles a tribe the Karamajong who decided to stay as our great grand fathers typically. Rarely will you find them here in the central but many will be in the villages who are the Batwa and Bagishu.

On your guided trip to Uganda you can ask your resourceful driver guide at Auto Rental Uganda to not only schedule for you the wild life but also the ancient Uganda. It can be seen in many ways around Uganda in museums and in real life style, food in all delicacies highlighting the ancient Uganda like we used not cook in saucepans but clay made pots that are still in place up to-date, traditional dance and attires, kingdoms and the process they go through to be a king, where they are buried. The ancient Uganda is better than the modern Uganda, for comparison you must visit Uganda. For some reason the Kampala city tour that takes you through the biggest tribe of the Buganda, highlights the long history of Buganda and the long chain of the kings. This doesn’t stop here but proceeds to the tombs where they were buried and also the first of its kind in Africa huge grass thatched huts. Unfortunately that was brought down by arsonists and still no trace of the criminals has been found.

In Uganda everything is a must see, just mention it and it will be served to you on a silver plate with that mouth-dropping dessert of course; this is the time you should plan your trip to Uganda. It’s one of the few places in Africa where you have value for your money to the maximum with a bonus.

As they say traveling is discovering the wrong perception others have about the others. Lets travel and take away the perceptions.

Categories
Reviews

Uganda Road Trip

Our car shuddered to a standstill beside a wooden sign on a deserted western region part of Uganda road. “This is fountain of the pearl of Africa”, I read as I stepped from the car into the shimmering mid day heat. We’d been heading through Queen Elizabeth National Park towards the Uganda-Rwanda border, to a town called Kisoro which boasted of a very conducive climate for a night. Unfortunately as we rounded a bend I was faced with a rock slide in progress and totally misjudged the clearance of my rented car from Uganda Self Drive a reputable car renting company in Uganda opting to try and drive over the bouncing debris. There were a series of sickening thuds and bangs which caused my partner and I to cringe, and the car to grind to a standstill after around a hundred yards, with an alarming flow of unidentified liquid pouring onto the road surface.

We both looked under the car at the damage, then at each other then down the long straight road ahead of us. On average we’d been passing another vehicle about every half an hour and we were around an hour’s drive from our isolated hotel. Around ten miles back down the road, we’d passed a small garage at a cross roads, with a sign which read ‘this shop protected by a sawed off shot gun 3 days per week. You guess which days’. We’d also seen a hand painted sign pointing to the hills reading ‘Ghost Town Road’. That was the only sign of life and it looked like we could be waiting for some time to be rescued.

After about 20 minutes, with my partner berating me for my lack of driving judgment as we sat in the now roasting car, the air conditioner having failed with the engine, I notice a speck on the horizon, tailed by a large dust cloud.”Told you we wouldn’t wait long”, I said, trying to sound optimistic. It took around 10 minutes before I noticed that I had to do some thing very fast. I reached for my mobile phone, called the car rental company from which we had hired the car. This company is so generous that it contacted it’s area agent and with in a blink of an eye a rescue car was at our footsteps and we were 0ffered another car and off we proceeded with our journey.

Archie the mechanic suggested we call the rental company and we were eventually put through to the nearest outlet, In Midland, which was about 250 miles away. It took us some time to convince the rental company clerk that there was no Chevrolet dealership nearby who could recover the vehicle, and that in fact there was very little at all between our location and where he was, around 5 hours drive away. He agreed to send a vehicle transporter which would recover our car and deliver a new one, though providing an address was something of a challenge – ‘From the crossroads, over a hill, round a bend, through a rockslide, along the road a few miles, by a sign. Yes the sign says something like ‘Beware of Mountain Lions…’

Try the Ghost Town’ suggested Archie, pointing us into the distant hills. ‘A Few of the people who live up there have no water so they go to the hotel to fill up. You might get lucky.’ And so we set off into the hills under a blazing sun, remembering the Mountain Lion sign and jumping at every snapping twig.

Eventually we arrived Kabale town which is at the border of these two countries for at least a night before embarking on our journey. Reclaimed by a hardy bunch of artists, musicians, loners and eccentrics. Today, Kabale boasts a couple of eating options, some shops and lodgings and as we trudged, sweating into town we were greeted by the site of a graveyard with tumbledown tombstones, a few scattered dwellings in various states of disrepair…and the Starlight Theatre. An incongruous sight in this far flung corner of western Uganda, the Starlight had once provided entertainment for the miners and their families. Now it had been converted into the Ghost town’s only bar, and its appearance was so unexpected I almost expected it to fade, mirage like, from view as we approached.

There are some meals that stick in your memory. Sometimes because of their quality, but often because you were so hungry that whatever you ate would seem like a sumptuous banquet. Similarly with drinks. On an occasion where your mouth is parched and dry and you feel that you’ve perspired every last bead of sweat from your body, an ice cold beer can live as long in the memory as a bottle of the finest champagne. And so it was with the icy bottle of Shiner Bock which I threw down in one gulp in that strange little bar.

The room was populated by a number of bewhiskered characters who all looked strangely similar to the mailman… in fact one of them was the mailman! He raised an arm in greeting, while some of his drinking buddies glanced in our direction but barely raised a bushy eyebrow. It seemed that two sweaty, red faced, stranded travelers stumbling into their local bar was a regular occurrence. We sank a couple more cold beers and began to consider how we’d get back to the hotel to await delivery of the replacement car. It seemed that no one was making a water run that day so we headed back to the Main Road.

After around 20 minutes, a VW Beetle of late 60’s vintage, rounded a bend and chugged towards us. It was driven by a middle aged woman with matted hair, accompanied by a scowling teenage girl in the front seat and a snot nosed toddler and two exuberant dogs in the rear. As is the custom in the middle of nowhere, the car lurched to a halt, and the woman leaned out to ask where we were heading. She shook her head at being told our destination, telling us she was heading to ‘a rock’ around half way along the road. “I can take you there if you like” she drawled “you could even walk from there it’s only about 15 miles”. Intrigued by the prospect of visiting a rock in the middle of nowhere we climbed aboard and she introduced herself as Jessie. Noticing us scratching after a couple of miles, she looked in the rear view mirror and shouted ‘The dogs have got fleas and they sleep back there’. The toddler beside us, Marvin, grinned a toothless smile and scratched away beside us.

After around 20 minutes we rounded a bend surrounded by low cliffs and Jessie stopped the car. The family disembarked and we followed. Jessie opened the boot and produced three bouquets of flowers which she thrust into the arms of the still scowling, nameless teenage girl. We all headed towards a large rock which threatened to encroach onto the carriageway. It was decorated with paint from a number of vehicles and at its base were a scattering of long dead blooms which Jessie brushed aside with a once white training shoe. “My man wrecked his truck here last year”, she explained. “We’ve just popped by to say hello”. The teenage girl held her younger brother and squatted by the curbsides as her mother placed the flowers whilst singing an unidentifiable Country and Western tune. Feeling uncomfortable at being present at such a private moment, we thanked Jessie, bid the family farewell and set off walking along the road in the direction of our hotel which, as had been pointed out, was only about 15 miles away.

We’d been walking about 20 minutes when a distant rumble heralded the arrival of our final lift of the day- a battered blue pick- up truck with a white haired, mid 60’s woman at the wheel. The flatbed of the truck was full of water canisters so we squeezed in the cab alongside her. Her name was Margaret, and we were in luck, she was going to the hotel to top up her water supplies. She was wearing two odd boots, a pair of dungarees that had obviously belonged to a giant, and a pair of John Lennon style spectacles. She was also drinking from a can of beer and had a carrier bag of ‘refreshments’ in the foot well of the cab. She handed us a beer each and we set off, with Margaret entertaining us with tales of her freewheeling life. A true Hobo, she’d lived all over the world and now lived in a shack in the hills with a large hole in the roof which she told us “Don’t matter anyway, ‘because I sleep out on the porch all year round”.

Margaret approached driving as she approached life- with a ‘devil may care’ attitude, and we flew round corners on the wrong side of the road, with Margaret struggling to turn the wheel as she hung onto her tin of beer. She’d swig off the last remnants of the can with a slurp, hurl the can from the window and retrieve a replacement from the bag at her feet. Bumps in the road didn’t seem to register with this aged rally driver and we regularly seemed to take off, car chase style, and land with a bang as beer sloshed onto the wind shield from our 3 cans. It was a relief as we finally screeched round a bend and onto the hotel’s gravel car park in a cloud of dust.

We helped Margaret fill her water cans and limped to our room to await the delivery of our new car. We were hot, hungry and dusty and ached all over. We’d trashed a car in the middle of nowhere, drunk in a ghost town bar, been bitten by fleas and driven home by a drunken pensioner. But we’d had a classic road trip day – meeting interesting characters who helped us out of a tricky situation. The only disappointment was that we never did get to see that beer drinking goat!