5 Simple Ways to Help You Save on Uganda Car Hire

Are you planning on undertaking a safari and thinking of hiring a car in Uganda to take you around the different destinations? Much as most tourists pay more attention on saving in the safari through booking cheaper airfares and online hotel or Lodge deal, little or no attention is placed on saving on car hire services yet it is possible and paramount during Uganda safaris. Do you believe that hiring cars in this country may turn out to be more expensive than even some budget accommodation facilities? Yeah it is possible, thus it is equally important to save on car rentals and the following are4 the possible ways you can do that;

1. Extend your car reservation

Extend your reservation to save more on your car rental. The more days you rent the car, the lower the rate becomes and interestingly, weekend rates are slightly higher than the weekday rates. Interestingly, numerous car hire companies offer higher returns even when you return the car back earlier than expected.

2. Join a loyalty program

Interestingly, loyalty programs are wonderful because you don’t have to pay anything when signing up yet they have long-term benefits. Some people see these Programs as stressing because of their cumbersome procedures in the start but as the upgrades go on, things become easier and the benefits are immense. If you are a loyal member, you will have the chances of improving or upgrading your status and just like frequent flyers enjoy the benefits that come with an airline loyalty program, be assured of enjoying such when you join a car rental loyalty program thus allowing you to save for car hire during Uganda safaris.

3. Try with different car hire companies and compare costs

Avoid just jumping to book from a particular car hire company before comparing its prices with other companies because you never know they charge relatively low prices for hiring their cars. Therefore, it is important to inquire from three to four companies and compare their prices viz a vie their terms and conditions for renting the car then make the final decision thus you will be able tpo save a lot more on car rentals during your Uganda safari.

4. Avoid the Airport

Because of the convenience that comes with it, most tourists make the grave mistake of paying relatively higher rate within airports yet you can actually save more money during the car hire by avoiding them. Therefore, you can actually give yourself more time to commute out of the vicinity of Entebbe Airport. In most cases, you will come across a number of offsite agencies that will offer you the best rates or maybe you arrange with the car rental company to pick you directly from the Airport thus you will be able to save more on your car rental during Uganda safaris.

5. Always use Coupons

It is always important to look out for deals and coupons related to car rentals prior to booking from any car hire companies in the country. They can be acquired online and the ideal part of using coupons is that you will be rewarded for more and extra in terms of discounts if you get a frequent driver.

In conclusion, you can save more during car hire in Uganda by avoiding the airport rates, using coupons, joining loyalty programs, inquiring from different car hire companies so as to compare their costs/prices and then extending your reservation days.

Discover Mabira Forest

Mabira Forest of Uganda

If you are thinking of taking an ecotour to an exotic location, you should take a Uganda safari to the Mabira Forest, a tropical rain forest home to vast flora and fauna. You may wonder what beauty Uganda has to even persuade the late Winston Churchill to name it the pearl of Africa. There are just a number of reasons as to why tourists opt to make safaris to this great nation. Among the reasons is the huge natural collection of trees confined in a place known as Mabira forest.

Mabira forest is a tropical rain forest located in Buikwe district between Jinja and Lugazi covering an area of about 300 square miles (30000 hectares, 74000 acres) and has been protected as a forest reserve (a home of many endangered species). If i talk about eco- tourism in Uganda, then believe me am talking about Mabira forest. It’s just the place to answer all your pending questions about Uganda’s nature. The word mabira or “amabira” meaning a series of many trees. The forest is under a community organization known as mabira forest integrated community organization (MAFICO).

There is an eco-tourism site located half a kilometer from the main highway after Najjembe trading Centre on a murrum road that leads you to the site.

Attractions

Forest trees

Since it is a forest, what do you expect to first land your eyes on? Of course these are the trees. But when you look at them, they may seem alike but it’s just a collection of various species like the Cordia Millenii, Melilla Exclesa, and the Warbhugia Ugandenesis that are prominent for curing various infections.Some of these trees are medicinal plants and local herbalists frequent the forest to get medicine. There are also vulnerable Prunus Africana which is said to be a good healer of Prostate Cancer and boosting the Human Immune System, the common mahogany and Mivule can’t also miss your eyes. However, there are both hardwood and soft wood tree species and you can just be able to differiciate them with the help of an informed and professional site guide.

Spectacular birds

If you only thought that a tropical rainforest like mabira can only harbor trees, then you are mistaken because you will be surprised to hear and see the beautiful singing birds on the trees. You won’t miss to have a watch of some of the 315 species of birds like the Nahan’s Francolin, Cassin Hawk Eagle, Forest Wood hoope, Purple throated Cuckoo, Tit Hylia, Red Headed Blue Bill, Black bellied Seed Cracker, Shining Blue Kingfisher, White bellied Kingfisher and Blue headed Crested Monarch .Some of these species can only be seen and viewed in this dark forest and nowhere else. These are all seen while on a nature walk with the company of a well trained guide.

Animal species

Besides the above, you can also have yourself a look at the popular monkeys that are the most prominent ones to be seen among the 23 small mammal species in the forest. These are seen hunting for their prey, playing and swinging on the tress a way one can describe as appreciating your visit to their home stead.

Griffin falls

As you are still trailing through the forest viewing the birds, trees, and animals, you may also get a nature call of the griffin falls, a small fall in the middle of the forest resulting into small water streams that peruse through the forest. Other attractions include butterflies cropping up to 218 species and the 97 species of moths.

Activities in the forest

The forest is a condusive place for forest nature walks covering up to 68kms on well-designed trails. While on these walks, one gets an opportunity to watch the birds, animals and all other wonders with in the forest.

Mountain biking is also another magnificent sport with in the forest where you can ride on a mountain bike and explore the rugged terrain of the forest. However, you are advised to have experience and skills in the sport.

Environmental education and research that is mainly common among students specializing in environmental studies, tourism among other related conservation programs.

Camping and picnics, butterfly identification, primate watching are among the other activities one shouldn’t miss while at the forest.

Accommodation

This is also part of the experience in the forest because there are three bandas that can accommodate at least 10 people at the eco-tourism site near Najjembe trading center. Mabira forest lodge and rainforest lodge is also at your service.

10 Things Airlines Won’t Tell You

Travelers: Prepare for higher prices and fewer perks

1. “We’re jacking up ticket prices.”

It’s not your imagination. Airfare is getting more expensive. The cost for a domestic roundtrip ticket averaged nearly $356 last year, up 3.6% from a year prior, according to the latest data from Airlines for America, a trade group which represents U.S. carriers. And the rate at which airfare is rising is speeding up: The average ticket price spiked 24% from 2009 to 2012. In contrast, during the four years prior to this period, 2005 to 2008, prices increased by 16.4%.

Holiday travel in particular is becoming costlier. The average price of roundtrip economy tickets sold by the end of September for travel between Dec. 21 and Jan. 1 increased 7.5% from last year to $337 before taxes and fees, according to Airlines Reporting Corp., which processes travel agencies’ ticket sales with airlines. (Data is based on purchases made with travel agencies and third-party travel sites.) These prices reflect tickets bought relatively far in advance; holiday tickets bought on shorter notice cost considerably more.

Airlines say they have to increase prices to keep up with the price of fuel and other costs of doing business—and that despite rising prices, airfare has not kept up with inflation. When adjusted for inflation, the average price of a domestic ticket is actually lower now than it was in 2000, says John Heimlich, chief economist at Airlines for America. However, even when adjusted for inflation, prices are increased 10.3% from 2005 to 2012, according to the trade group.

To find the cheapest ticket, insiders say, travelers should compare prices between third-party travel websites and the airlines’ sites. Also, consider booking airfare several months in advance of a trip, especially if it’s for holiday travel. Deals may pop up a day or two before a flight, though those seats require someone who is ready to go without much advance notice.

2. “We sold your seat twice.”

Travelers are supposed to arrive at the airport with enough time to check in luggage and get through security. But even that may not be enough to guarantee travelers their seat on a flight. Airlines commonly overbook flights to avoid empty seats that result from last-minute cancellations. But sometimes those cancellations don’t occur, and that leaves travelers stranded in the airport as their flight takes off. Roughly 43,200 passengers were involuntarily bumped during the first nine months of 2013, according to the latest data from the Department of Transportation. While that’s fewer than last year, it’s still 13% more than during the same period in 2011.

In most cases, airlines will give bumped travelers a credit or refund as well as food vouchers and a free hotel stay to cover their expenses. The DOT says it requires airlines to give involuntarily bumped passengers cash compensation based on the value of their ticket with a cap of $1,300. But these comps can’t make up for the headaches travelers incur after missing their flight. In the worst-case scenario, passengers can be stranded for days during busy travel times like the holidays or after a severe storm, says Tony Polito, an associate professor at East Carolina University who has published several studies on the airline industry.

The airline industry says that the number of people who are bumped represents a tiny fraction of the total number of passengers, about one per 10,000 passengers, according to the DOT. Airlines overbook their flights because no shows happen “way more than anyone thinks,” says Heimlich of Airlines for America. He says airfare costs would be higher without overbooking because airlines would have to achieve the same revenue generation with fewer passengers.

3. “Don’t count on us to get you there on time.”

During the first 10 months of 2013, roughly 19% to 20% of domestic flights arrived and departed late, compared with about 16% during the same period a year prior, according to the DOT. Collectively, the rate of flight delays is the highest since 2008.

On-time performance varies widely among U.S. airlines, according to data from flight-tracking firm FlightStats. But more than 9% of arrivals from January through November from three major carriers — American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and United Airlines — were more than 45 minutes late. Spirit Airlines was the worst offender with roughly 12.7% of flights arriving that late, according to FlightStats. Misty Pinson, a Spirit spokeswoman, says the airline “is working diligently to get [its] customers where they need to go as scheduled.” American Airlines says it has made “significant improvements to [its] performance in recent months.”

The increase in delays is largely due to growing incidences of storms and inclement weather, says Tom Parsons, CEO of BestFares.com, which tracks flight discounts. JetBlue says that congested airspace in the Northeast U.S., where 70% of its flights pass through, is the cause of delays. United says air-traffic-control constraints are also part of the problem. There are also mechanical setbacks and delays that result from crews, such as when flight attendants who are scheduled to transfer to another plane are stuck on a delayed flight and thereby also delay the flight that’s waiting for them, says Heimlich of Airlines for America.

4. “We’ll make you pay to check in baggage—and we may lose it too.”

Increasingly, even if you make your flight, your luggage might not. More than 1.5 million passengers filed mishandled baggage reports — for luggage that didn’t get delivered on the same flight as the customer — during the first 10 months of the year, up 6.4% from the same period a year ago, according to the DOT.

Among the major U.S. airlines, Southwest Airlines had the largest number of incidents, with nearly 352,900 travelers filing reports of mishandled baggage reports through October, up 23% from the same period last year. Delta Air Lines also ranks high on this list: Nearly 183,400 customers submitted reports during this period, up 6.3%. Southwest says it carried more baggage during this time period compared with a year ago and notes that most of its customers’ bags are delivered on schedule. Delta says more than 99% of its delayed bags are reunited with their owners within 24 hours.

What’s particularly surprising to some critics is that claims are rising even as airlines are charging travelers more to check in their luggage. Many airlines charge $15 to $100 to check in luggage and those costs continue to rise each year. Between 2008 and 2012, the average cost to check in luggage per domestic roundtrip increased 212%, according to Airlines for America.

The airline industry says rising baggage fees are needed to help boost airlines’ revenue streams. Fees including those from checked-in bags are the difference between making or losing money, which helps airlines to offer more flights to customers, says Heimlich of Airlines for America.

5. “Carry-ons may not be free much longer.”

Ever since baggage fees became the norm, more travelers have been packing everything into their carry-ons, which they can bring on the flight at no cost. That freebie now appears to be on its way out as well. Some airlines are starting to charge passengers for their carry-ons, with fees ranging widely. Travelers who pay for their carry-on when they book their airfare incur the smallest charge, while those who pay at the gate pay the most.

So far, three major U.S. carriers have instituted such fees. Frontier Airlines began charging passengers for carry-on bags in August. Frontier passengers who book “basic” airfare (those are the cheapest seats on the flight, with fewer amenities than economy) have to fork over $25 to $100 for a carry-on bag. Allegiant Air rolled out its carry-on fee in 2012, charging travelers $10 to $75, depending on the length of the flight. Spirit was the first major carrier to introduce this fee, which ranges from $25 to $100, back in 2010; with Spirit, the price range depends on when travelers inform the airline that they have a carry-on with earlier notification resulting in a lower fee.

Passengers can still bring on a free personal item, like a purse or backpack, as long as it fits under the seat in front of them. Frontier, Allegiant and Spirit say the charges coincide with their aim to offer cheaper, no-frills airfare that charge passengers for the services they choose to use.

6. “Our rewards programs aren’t so rewarding anymore.”

It used to be that airline rewards programs actually rewarded frequent fliers with perks on flights. Those freebies are disappearing on many airlines. For example, rewards members were often given free upgrades to first or business class, but now those upgrades are given to travelers who are willing to pay a few hundred extra to get out of coach, says George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com, which tracks the airline industry.

Even worse, airlines have implemented frequent-flier fees over the past few years. These fees kick in when rewards members try to redeem their points for a free seat on a flight. American Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways charge some members $75 for redeeming points or miles for a flight within 20 or 21 days of departure. Separately, many major airlines will charge a fee of $50 to $150 if they reschedule a flight they booked with their points. The three airlines say the fee does not apply to members in the upper tiers of their rewards programs.

In the worst-case scenario, frequent fliers can lose their points: Should a Delta passenger need to reschedule or cancel a trip booked with points within 72 hours of departure, that person will have to forfeit all of those miles, based on a company policy that went into effect in August 2011.

7. “We’re devaluing your miles.”

For years, airlines have been marketing their rewards credit cards to travelers, touting the benefits of accruing miles or points per trip that they can redeem for free airfare. But starting next year, at least three major U.S. airlines — Delta, Southwest and United — will enact changes to their rewards programs that hurt frequent fliers’ bottom line. These travelers will need more points — and therefore will have to spend more — in order to get the same free flight or seat they could have previously gotten with fewer points.

Currently, Southwest rewards members can trade in 60 points for $1 worth of its lowest-cost airfare, but starting March 31, it’ll take 70 points to get $1 of travel. With Delta, rewards members will need more miles — specifically, an extra 25,000 roundtrip miles — to fly in so-called BusinessElite from U.S. to Europe beginning in February. (From the U.S. to Asia, 20,000 more miles will be needed.) Separately, United will require travelers to redeem more points for a flight on many of its partner airlines starting in February.

United says the change is necessary to offset the increased cost of providing travel rewards on partner carriers. Delta says its regularly evaluates and adjusts award pricing, while Southwest says its change only impacts one type of fare it offers passengers.

Travelers who are not loyal to an airline might want to consider forgoing airline rewards credit cards, since it’s now tougher to accrue enough points to get a free seat. Instead, consider swiping regular credit cards that have generous cash-back programs, which can help fund big-ticket purchases like airfare.

8. “It costs us nothing, but you’ll have to pay for a good seat.”

It used to be that travelers could sit anywhere in coach — an exit row, aisle seat or by the window — and not have to pay extra. But over the past few years, many airlines have been charging passengers extra if they want pretty much any spot except the middle seat. What’s worse, critics say, is that this fee doesn’t reflect any underlying costs: Airlines don’t incur additional expenses based on whether their window or aisle seats are filled (unlike how more baggage can lead to greater expenses in fuel that impact their bottom line), so these charges result in full profit for the companies.

The fees vary significantly by carrier and seat. For travelers who choose the exact seat they want on a flight in advance, AirTran Airways charges $10 to $30, Allegiant Air charges up to $75, and Spirit Airlines charges up to $50. The airlines say travelers can avoid these charges by waiting until the day (or with some companies the day before) a flight leaves to choose a seat for free. Some require extra payment for specific seats like the window or aisle seats or those towards the front of the plane, though they waive those charges for certain frequent fliers and full-fare tickets.

Also, most major U.S. airlines charge travelers for seats that provide an extra three to seven inches of legroom. These are typically the first few rows in the plane but in some cases they’re in the exit rows or front seats of the economy section. The price tag for a bit more comfort ranges from $9 to $300 depending on the airline and the length of the flight. Some airlines waive the fees for travelers who don’t book discounted airfare.

9. “Fuel costs aren’t just our problem.”

When oil prices rise, airlines offset the cost of fuel by raising ticket prices. Over the past two years, they’ve been passing on a greater share of this cost to travelers. Up until two years ago, they worked 60% to 70% of oil prices into their airfare within a year, but now most U.S. airlines pass on 80% or more of the price to consumers, and they adjust the prices sooner, says David Fintzen, senior airlines analyst with Barclays.

When one airline raises fares, the others typically follow, which makes finding a deal challenging. In 2012, for instance, half of the fuel-related fare increases attempted by U.S. airlines were deemed “successful,” according to Barclays, since nearly all major airlines quickly followed by raising their prices as well. Even if booking demand is not strong enough among travelers to cover the higher cost of fuel, Fintzen says airlines will recover those higher fuel costs by lowering supply — meaning flying fewer planes than they originally intended.

The airline industry says that fuel is its largest cost and that it’s eating up a growing share of its revenue. Without passing on costs to customers, the industry would have to cut back on service and it would be unable to replace aging planes or invest in new airport terminals and better technology, says Heimlich of Airlines for America.

10. “Our mergers are hurting your wallet.”

Mergers between domestic airlines have been accelerating. Twelve mergers occurred in the past decade, up from six in the decade prior, according to data from Airlines for America. Since 2010 alone, Continental Airlines has merged with United Airlines, AirTran Airways has joined Southwest Airlines, and US Airways merged with American Airlines. Experts say the spike in mergers is resulting in higher prices for consumers.

The federal government expressed similar sentiment. This summer, when the Justice Department moved to block the US Airways-American Airlines merger, it said the deal would result in higher fares and higher fees. In its complaint, the Justice Department said the merger would “make it easier for the remaining airlines to cooperate, rather than compete, on price and service.” The Justice Department changed its tune and approved the deal in November, however, after the two airlines agreed to give up some of their market share in several U.S. airports.

The airline industry says several airlines went out of business because they couldn’t cope with changes in the marketplace and that many more airlines would have shut down or shrunk if they didn’t merge, which would have resulted in fewer choices and service for travelers. Heimlich of Airlines for America says the rising cost and volatility of fuel prices has been one of the biggest drivers for mergers as airlines try to cope with those costs.

AnnaMaria Andriotis covers real estate and consumer credit for MarketWatch in New York. Follow her on Twitter @AAndriotis.

Visiting Bwindi Gorillas

Within South Western Uganda, lies the great mythical forests of Bwindi that are home to the endangered mountain gorillas. The famed Bwindi Forest National Park is one of the best protected and well conserved national  parks in Africa. This is one of the only three UNESCO world heritage sites in Uganda.

Located in South Western Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the four conservation areas protecting the endangered mountain gorillas. Gazetted in the 1990s, the park is host to half of the total remaining population of the mountain gorillas. The park provides a thrilling experience of gorilla trekking; a wonderful journey to see the endangered gorillas in the wild. The trek leads you through undulating hills and small-scale farmlands. It provides a memorable experience when you spend time in the jungle viewing varieties of primates, birds and the giant mountain gorillas.

One of the quintessential Uganda experiences is tracking the giant mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and nothing quite prepares you for the first glimpse of black fuzz amidst the dense foliage. The adrenaline kicks in when you’re up close to the imposing figure of a silverback pounding its chest and it’s all very Dian Fossey-like when curious babies peek through leaves and twist, turn and somersault for your entertainment. Gorilla permits will set you back a hefty US$500 but don’t think twice about forking out for this genuine once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Bwindi being a tropical rain forest will also provide an amazing experience to you all nature lovers.

Keep in mind that a portion of the fee goes to the park and gorilla conservation initiatives, helping to ensure these giant mountain gorillas survive. Also experience the beautiful and hospitality of the local community who showcase their culture.

Planning a Visit to the Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

    • In order to track the mountain gorillas, one need to secure gorilla permits. It is advisable to book your gorilla permits atleast 3 months before tour desired tracking date. Remember gorilla permits are available year round but do sell out fast during the peak season. Many travelers book their permits a year in advance and some even reserve them 2 years before.
    • If you are looking to a smooth travel experince, it is advisable to book your trip through a tour operator or travel agency. There are several companies that specialize in organising gorilla safaris in Uganda and the neighbouring countries of Rwanda and Congo (former Zaire). Some of the recommended tour operators include Go Gorilla Trekking, Gorilla Encounters, Gorilla Expeditions, Gorilla Tours, Budget Gorilla Safaris and more.
    • When tracking the mountain gorillas, always follow the steps outlined by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, ORTPN or Virunga National Park. These rules are aimed at protecting the mountain gorillas and as well guide the experience of watching the mountain gorillas (Gorilla Tourism) so that it can be a win-win situation.
    • Remember children below 14 years are not allowed to track the mountain gorillas.

Driving in Uganda: Important Things to Know

Many travelers would like to at least explore Uganda, the Pearl of Africa! You can take a road trip to take a self drive safari in Uganda,and from our experience we discovered that exploring the country on a self drive vacation is not easy. Though most travelers would like to take a self drive safari, i would advise first time visitors in Uganda against driving yourself given the nature and experience of driving in Uganda. Not only because of the often still bad roads, but also because of the necessary local knowledge and a high degree of “Individuality” other road users. I want to make an example of a “hierarchy” of road users in Uganda clearly:

    1. Heavy vehicles (trucks, buses …)
      Remain always in the middle of the street. Who comes to meet or want to overtake, must find a way (eg, along the ditch or over the top stripes) themselves.
    2. Normal vehicles (cars, SUVs, mini-buses …)
      Individual advancement is in the foreground. All others – vulnerable road users – avoid the road or stop, get off and go off the road. On the bad roads is always a danger for pedestrians with mud and slush to be splashed.
    3. Taxis and motorbike taxis
      Always looking for an ideal line. Many taxis probably only put on “divine tool” which makes the glued Proverbs, and especially the behavior of the driver suspect. The tailgate is marked clearly visible in taxis as “Emergency Exit”. Problematic it can be to get on and off, especially in the cities, or if they stop unexpectedly to passengers.
    4. Pedestrians and cyclists
      Are holding at the approach of a motor vehicle or to stay and leave the roadway if possible. Their motto: “He who stands in your way is your own fault.”
    5. Children
      Stand and play anywhere along the roads. Race unexpectedly onto the street to wave to passing tourists vehicles. Nevertheless, even the smallest seemingly a natural “respect” for the road to find and almost never enter the roadway.
    6. Animals
      Are the best anywhere and stay off the road if they want to survive.

5 Reasons To Road Trip In Uganda

Explore the verdant Uganda’s landscape and relief on an exhilarating road trip. Uganda is blessed with incredible relief, dotted with scenic plateaus, rolling hills and scenic valleys which are pleasant to the eyes of viewers. Only one can discover these while on a relaxed extensive road trip in Uganda to quench their travel thirst. Unlike other countries, Uganda is from one end to the other a country of amazing terrain, ranging from the towering Rwenzoris to the low basins of Lake Kyoga. View the Rwenzori ranges which is home to the country’s highest point at 5,109m above sea level at Margherita peak. The south western boarder with D.R. Congo is covered mostly by the Ruwenzori Mountains while Mount Elgon marks the eastern border between Uganda and Kenya.

Culture and people; discover Uganda’s numerous tribes and warm people during a sensational road trip to the country side. Uganda is a multi-cultural country with over 56 different tribes, presenting a varied culture with rich heritage, norms and warm people. Explore their unique traditional dances, cuisine, diverse languages and cultural songs. There are indigenous tribal communities in Uganda, notably the Batwa Pygmies in Kigezi region and IK in Karamoja. Batwa are originally forest dwellers that now live on the margins of Bwindi and Mgahinga forests in south western Uganda while the Ik people live on the fringes of Kidepo national park on the lower slopes of Morungole Mountains. The Ik are known to be the smallest tribe in Uganda with about 150,000 members only. Undertake a road trip in Uganda and explore these indigenous people who will offer you a glimpse into the history and memories of ancient Africa.

The people of Uganda are notably hospitable and hail from a diversity of rich cultures and life styles with interesting traditional performances and dances, including Kitaguriro dance for Banyankole, Banyoro have Runyege, Bwora and Otole for the Acholi, and the famous Imbalu circumcision ceremony for Bagisu in eastern Uganda.

Enroute tourist destinations; Uganda’s highways are not just roadways but interesting places where strategic destinations of tourism importance are located. The Ziwa rhino sanctuary can be visited easily on a road trip to Murchison falls national park. This wildlife and Rhino sanctuary is the only place where one can encounter the southern white rhinos in Uganda. It is a good place to trek rhinos on foot and the fees paid help in conservation of the highly endangered mammals in the world. It is found in Nakasongola district along Gulu high way. So far the place accommodates 22 white rhinos, but Ziwa sanctuary also offers other activities like nature walks, canoeing and birding watching.

Culinary and food; one of the best ways to discover Uganda’s organic and nutritious traditional dishes is by taking a country side road trip. Uganda is a land of fertile soils where food grows naturally without application of manures and fertilizers, therefore be sure of eating that healthy organic dish you’ve been craving for. Different tribes and people in Uganda have their different traditional staple foods which are unique only to them; such delicacies include the common Luwombo for Baganda, Banyankole have the Eshabwe; enjoy Matooke in the western region – (green bananas which are steamed (mashed) or boiled and served with a sauce of peanuts, beans or fresh meat. The Malewa from the gishu land in the east is another famous delicacy in this part of the country; prepared from shoots of bamboo plants, Malewa is a delicacy enjoyed in most parts of eastern Uganda.

Feel the freshness of Uganda’s climate, atmosphere and verdant vegetation cover on a road trip; Uganda’s climate and weather conditions are ideal for travelers, ranging from the warmth of the lowland plains of Karamoja to the coolness of dense highlands in the South Western region. Uganda is blessed with cool and prefect climate all year round making it the best destination to visit without hesitation. The country experiences 2 rainy seasons, during the months of March, May and April and October to November, therefore the best time to travel to Uganda is during the months of December to February and June to September. Within this period, Gorilla trekking is so easy with the jungles not so muddy and compact as it is usually during wet seasons.

5 Benefits of Renting a Vehicle for Your Safari in Uganda

In case you are planning a safari to Uganda, you will find that owning a vehicle is not that a better idea as there are so many transport models that are running in and out of Kampala city centre. They range from motor cycles, four door sedans to big cars like buses or coasters that take travelers at pocket friendly prices. Local residents and foreign visitors hire vehicles for many reasons some of which include sight seeing tours, business safaris, family holiday, city tours, picnic, special ceremonies and many more. There are many car rental services in Uganda and in most cases visitors may find it challenging to even make the right choice on which company to deal with. However, each car hire services have its advantages and disadvantages but for now we have sighted some of the advantages of renting a car for a safari in Uganda as explained below.

Wide range of car hire options

Most car hire agencies provide varied kinds and models of vehicles to visitors giving them several options to select the best choice which suits within their travel interest and budget. Due to this, travelers can save themselves from being stranded with one vehicle and with dissatisfied travel journeys. For visitors who planning their family tours in Uganda, instead of squeezing yourselves in small car they can opt for the bigger sized safari vehicle that can accommodate all the family members at once. We have options ranging from 4 wheel drive safari vehicles with pop up roofs, roof top tents, air conditioners and many more.

Never maintain costs

This will help save you from wearing out your own car while on business safari in Uganda and thus reduce the cost of maintenance and repairs incase you opted for your own car. Some car rental agencies hire out cars with comprehensive insurance and this means that any big damages that comes due to road accidents, they can be covered.

Drive newer types of cars

Hiring a car gives you a chance to drive that latest model that you do not need to buy in order to drive it. There are several new models of vehicles that you may not necessarily buy but can hire and take a safari and you save a lot more of money and time and allow you meet your travel interest whether for business or safari trip.

Free break down services

In case of a breakdown or minor accident on road, there is no need for traveler to doubt or worry about anything as car company covers this. The car hire company can send a mechanic or replacement and you still continue to destination of your choice at no additional costs unlike your own car that you may have to park and stay for many years for you to attend and you fail to meet your dreams in Uganda.

Rent a car with driver

Clients can hire a vehicle with or with no driver but if you feel like visiting newer destinations that you are not familiar, a driver can also be hired at a pocket friendly price and you will have the most comfortable and convenient safari in Uganda. Drivers are aware of the routes that where most of the national parks in Uganda are located and they are also aware of the shortest routes to follow as well as which places to make a stopover and at end of the day you will have the most exciting safari. Besides most of them are trained and they can fix some minor mechanical problems rather than again you bothering yourself.

The other benefit is that car rental services come with additional equipments like GPS and there are some special offers t hat are given to clients in most case.

In conclusion, renting a car for a safari in Uganda comes with lots of benefits that travelers enjoy depending on reason of visitor’s travel in the destination. With our wide range of cars for hire we believe that you will have the most enjoyable safari holiday in Uganda. Our fleets range from Mini Vans, family cars, coaster buses, Rav4 self drive cars, saloon cars, Super customs to 4 by 4 land cruisers Contact us and you won’t regret in life!

 

Visit Bwindi Forest & Leave with Full Experience

Discover Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the most famous and most visited gorilla safari park in Africa where the highest population of mountain gorillas live. In the local language the word Bwindi means something very thick and beautiful and alternatively the name of the park refers to the wonderful mix of vegetation. If you have always wanted to travel to Africa and see gorillas the time is now. If you find yourself in Uganda in Uganda capital–Kampala, just spare three days and head south west to Kabale district a surprising place to explore the impenetrable jungle forest of Bwindi.

Though hundreds of tourists pass through Entebbe international Airport, 80% of the total number is into the country to see the endangered mountain gorillas. Some of them use Kigali international airport for short drive distances and time management. However all of them end up in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for gorilla safaris in Uganda which is the most top affordable primate adventure in the region.

Awesome Gorilla Experience

It’s no secret that Bwindi forest is a pretty magical gorilla safari destination in Africa with all affordable treks for everyone. The park offers the finest gorilla trekking experience found nowhere else and it is something every tourist to Uganda should try out. The genuine thick hilly forested jungle in Uganda is your next place to be if you planning to see mountain gorillas soon. You can’t imagine how beautiful and amazing your gorilla trekking tour will be but a trip to Bwindi Impenetrable forest will show you how attractive gorillas are and even take you through their jungle life style any time of the year and this is a true reason why you need to come more than once and experience silverback times as a top male giant gorilla.

Year Round Destination

Whether you are escaping winter or just want to avoid   hot summer temperatures overseas, Bwindi forest in Uganda provides the best Africa safari temperatures escape that you have always had in mind. Expect to enjoy your trip under the warm sun all day with cooler mornings before sunrise and also evenings after sunset. The beautiful impenetrable jungle has a lot of tour activities that keep everyone busy all day. If resources allow why not track mountain gorillas twice, take a forest nature walk to see other primates and also to the Bwindi forest waterfalls, spend time with the forest people also known as the Batwa,Bird  watchers its paradise and those who like hiking , you just in the right place.

Get more out of your vacation

Once you visit Uganda for gorilla gorilla trekking, it’s a perfect time to also check out other famous Uganda national parks and attractions like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison falls National Park, Kibale forest National Park, Kidepo Valley national park and many others. Exploring more interesting places and attractions on your Uganda safari tour makes your holiday more meaningful and exciting since great things and moments never cease to come. As you still recalling how the silverback gorilla plays with the little gorillas in the jungle, a park ranger shouts on top of his voice “see the tree climbing lions” .After having a very great smile on your face, hippos, crocodiles, birds and other wildlife take your a tension on the Kanzinga channel plus a fleet of elephants crossing the road for more food hunt. Above all if time and money permits, just discover the best of the Pearl of Africa.

6 Tips to Improve Your Safety While Driving on Uganda Roads

Driving becomes more enjoyable when you are safe plus other road users. Driving in Uganda can be heard for not only foreign drivers but also local drivers traveling to unusual places. Michael from Drive Uganda shares with us the 6 amazing tips to guide both local and local drivers on how to stay safe on Ugandan roads. Please follow the tips below for a safe drive in Uganda.

1.Extend your vision

One of the most important things you can do to be a safer driver is to look well ahead of you when you’re driving, so you can pick up potentially dangerous situations before its too late. The earlier you spot a potential hazard, the more time you will have to take evasive action.

Rather than looking only as far as the vehicle in front of you when driving, you should actually be scanning the road in front to a distance of at least 12 seconds ahead of where your car is – that is, the place you will be after driving for 12 seconds.

2. Keep your eyes moving

Many people only look ahead of them when driving. This means they’re not getting the full picture of what’s happening on the road.

As well as looking ahead, you should also use your mirrors to look to the sides and behind often enough to be aware of surrounding traffic.

Moving your eyes regularly and concentrating on what going on around you will also help you to stay alert on long journeys.

3. Create a safety cushion

You should create a ‘cushion’ of safety around your whole vehicle by making sure there is a safe distance in all directions between you, other vehicles and potential hazards. This will give you and other road users more time and space to avoid any hazards.

  • Create a cushion of safety ahead of you by maintaining a safe following distance.
  • Create a cushion of safety behind you by maintaining a safe distance between you and any following vehicles. If a vehicle is following you too closely, slow down, move over and let it pass as soon as you can do so safely.
  • Create a safety cushion to your sides by keeping a safe distance from any hazards on your sides, such as driveways, parked vehicles, cyclists or children playing on the footpath.

The cheapest insurance you can have is space around your vehicle. The more space you have the safer you will be.

4. Don’t get distracted

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re driving. Things like music, talking passengers, passing scenery and roadside advertising can all divert your attention from your driving and the road.

You must learn to ignore distractions and concentrate on your driving when you’re behind the wheel. If, for any reason, you must look away from the road, follow the pointers below:

  • Check well ahead and behind for any potential hazards. Don’t look away if you can see potential hazards.
  • Remember if you do look away from the road make sure you don’t go off course.
  • Never take your eyes off the road for longer that is absolutely necessary. For example, while driving at 90km/h, if you took your eyes off the road for two seconds you will travel 50 metres.

5. Identify escape routes

Following the tips above will help you avoid many potentially dangerous crashes. However, despite all your best efforts, there may still be occasions when you find yourself on a direct collision course with another vehicle or other hazard.

For this reason, it is wise to identify possible escape routes all the time while you’re driving. That way, if you find yourself in danger of a crash, you’ll be ready to take quick evasive action. Most escape routes will be to your left, so take note of what’s on the left-hand side of the road as you drive. Ask yourself questions like:

  • ‘Is there a wide shoulder I could steer onto?’
  • ‘Can I steer off the road safely if I need to?’

If there are no safe escape routes, reduce your speed and increase your following distance so you can stop in plenty of time if a crash situation develops.

6. Furthering your driver education

As a driver, you never stop learning. You should always be looking for ways to improve your safe driving skills.

Practice, combined with the right attitude, will help you refine your skills, but there are also courses you can take to help you become a safer driver.

There are many companies in Uganda offering good driver courses.try them.

Top 5 Most Popular Places to Visit in Uganda

Uganda the “Pearl of Africa” is great country in many ways which is why many travelers enjoy vacations each day. The country is adorable for all kinds of holidays including family, sole, private and group. Did you know it’s also perfect for both luxury travelers and backpackers who are interested in taking safaris in Uganda. With improved access to the country’s most remote areas, Uganda is steadily improving tourism. The country is now well connected with good road networks from the city to main tourist attractions! Whether you’re seeking for wildlife, mountain gorillas, birds, chimpanzees or culture, just pick a perfect tourist attraction or national park and you will find it all. Here are the most popular destinations to visit in Uganda.

Source of the Nile

There is no relaxing place for a weekend gateways or short day trips in Uganda like the source of the Nile in Jinja. The Nile has variety to offer beyond its origin like bird watching, fishing, local cultural dances, souvenirs and historical stories that guides narrate during the boat ride around the lake and at the start point of the Nile. Perhaps this is one of the incredible places that every visitor should explore on any trip to Uganda. The scenic ride from Kampala the capital is another tourist attraction itself because of what you see on the way. Mabira forest, Sezibwa falls, Owen falls Dam, sugarcane plantations etc. is all that will take you’re a tension.

Murchison Falls National Park

Uganda is a land of lakes which makes it hard to escape lakes, rivers and waterfalls in various tourist attractions. Murchison falls is another amazing place to enjoy for those seeking for superb game viewing places, chimpanzee trekking and bird watching. The park is ideal for family trips, honeymoon, and group tours. Murchison falls is Uganda’s largest game reserve and a home to all the big five. While here you will feed your eyes  on many  mammals, wildlife, birds, primates and the might falls beauty. The park is accessed by road but a ferry is used as you approach the park main area from Masindi. A wildlife safari to Murchison falls is one you will never forget about your wonderful holiday to Africa.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Found in Kasese district in a five hour drive distance from Kampala, Queen Elizabeth National Park is a place to visit for those seeking to see tree climbing lions, hippos, crocodiles, bird life, primates and wildlife. All the park attractions can be explored by morning and evening game drives, boat cruise on the Kazinga channel the water that joins Lake Edward and Lake George, Chimpanzee trekking and nature walks. Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most visited places in Uganda and a place to include on your Uganda safari holiday.

Kibale Forest

There is no shortage of primate species in the Chimpanzee capital of Kibale forest the most populated chimpanzee trekking ground in Africa. Chimpanzee habituation is another experience that tourists enjoy in this park provided if one want to spend a all day in company of different primate species with chimps as the main species of the day. Kibale forest has the perfect rain forest that holds over 13 primate species. However, primate lovers make it a point to explore this beautiful park.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

A superb gorilla trekking safari destination in western Uganda and place to experience a life of mountain gorillas in the wilderness. This is paradise for many tourists to the country and it’s a home to Uganda’s main tourist attraction that is shared with Mgahinga forest, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Congo. Now days Bwindi Forest is part of the great examples of wildlife conservation that shine to the world and the best gorilla safari destination in Africa. However, give it a try for great gorilla safari experience.

Lake Bunyonyi Island

The Island is magical with something for everyone no matter what you looking for. The top tourist activities include, boat ride, swimming, hiking, bird watching, sun bathing, community walks and the eye catching views that keep following you everywhere. Among the 29 islands, four are the most visited due to their unique features, and wildlife. Some have safari lodges that make your trip awesome. Imagine spending a night in the middle of a Lake surrounded by lake water and nature. Make sure you spend one to three days on this island and forget all the life worries.