The best way to explore destinations in Uganda is by a road trip. This is not just about getting to a site, but rather a journey that bonds companions together with detours and adventures summing into lifelong memories.
Probably all Uganda safaris have taken visitors for gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park or wildlife viewing in Queen Elizabeth national park. Perhaps some lucky tourists have also visited Kidepo national park in the northern sector of Uganda. Yes all these are amazing safaris that stimulate curiosity nerves, but what about a road trip Uganda? That without specific planned destinations?
With the improving road network in the country, the possibilities for road trips in Uganda are increasing too. Almost all parts of the country can now be accessed in at least a day. However, before you start the adventure on the road, or pack that suitcase in the boot, to drive off towards the horizon, a few simple things should be considered.
Planning ahead. If you are to use a local tour operator, this is the time to choose the best tour operator in Uganda. And if it’s an individual operated tour in Uganda, plan the road trip route, that with the attractions that are likely to catch your attention. Consider the distance and the travel time on the various routes and confirm that the vehicle to be used can handle the road conditions.
Pack appropriately. It’s very vital to carry essential tool kits containing all tyre changing tools, engine coolants, emergency cone and a flashlight torch. It’s also important to pack personal things like simple clothes for changing, shoes and containers to keep some spare food and water that would be needed on the way. A backpack is preferably recommended to ease the frequent loading and offloading each time you are getting off the vehicle.
Travel with essential travel documents. Ensure that you move with your national identity card if you are a Ugandan residence, if a foreigner, move with a valid passport and other important identification documents. Also make sure that that you have all the car papers; vehicle insurance, driving permit and car registration documents before starting a road trip in Uganda. If it’s a cross boarder trip, you are required to have the cross boarder documents to allow you cross to another country.
Start early. The fact that night driving is usually challenging, it’s always better to travel during day time. This gives travelers to drive at their own pace without speeding that may cause unnecessary risks. This also gives visitors all the flexibility to explore all the destinations that catch their eyes even if it wasn’t originally on their plan.
Keep cash handy. This is to clear the small bills that would be necessary on the trip. The toll booths, small restaurants, and tips to local guides cannot be done on an electronic card. This is why you need cash handy for small change and balance.
Pick the best stopovers. What would be a road trip without any stop overs? They are the adventurous stops that sum into a memorable trip in Uganda. Don’t ignore the en route destinations in the bid to reach the final destination early. It’s the small sites that hide the most beautiful treasures of the country. So if in the way to Bwindi impenetrable national park, don’t ignore visiting Igongo cultural center in Mbarara, the experience here also counts a lot on your gorilla tours in Uganda.
Travel time. It’s advisable that travelers on road trips in Uganda should drive by sunrise and park at sunset. Experience the special moments of watching the world wake up while on the road. Early movements beat the traffic jam and also reduce the risks that would come with riding at night like the thugs, wildlife attacks plus fatal accidents.
Choose the appropriate accommodation. On any road trip, you need a comfortable room for a nice sleep yet on a budget basis. It’s better for trotters to stay along the way to avoid long distance branch offs from the main road.
Number of hours to travel or drive each day. Just like earlier written, Uganda is not yet safe to the extent of driving safely at night, its better you travel during day time. Predetermine the number of hours you will drive in a day. Most road trip trotters prefer driving one long day and followed by a short day before driving another long journey. But the most important aspect is being flexible once the trip starts.
Try local guides. In any strange land, local guides are always better since they be with all the reliable information that all travelers would need about a destination. Yes, the internet has helped to locate all the beautiful destinations, but local guides know all the hidden spots, use them for a funnier and more memorable safari in Uganda.
Doubtlessly, a traveler can never be fully prepared for a Uganda safari, however such small tips can guide you on how to have the best road trip in Uganda.