Planning a Self Guided Uganda Road Trip

Road Trip in Uganda

Always when looking at blog write-ups about planning for a safari, in most cases it’s all about guided safaris. Limited information is available to help you find the best practices you need when planning the self-drive road trip. A self guided road trip is currently among the amazing modes of exploring Uganda. Travelers take a choice of Uganda car rental and then remain with the responsibility to decisions.

Uganda is not a bigger country, so it’s one of the countries where travelers can go for an ease and rewarding adventure. However, you can’t drive from border to border in just one day when decided to drive across. Also as far as exploring is concerned, you can’t wrap up two major tourist destinations in just one day.

All this means a lot of things which have to be witnessed prior and during. So, planning for your self-drive safari when want to drive in Uganda becomes very important. What you need? Best time to drive in Uganda, best places to visit, best car rentals for self-drive safaris and many factors. It’s very important to explore these factors these factors before you take the self-drive safari in Uganda.

Best car rentals to use for self-drive safari

A safari in Uganda means driving to remote protected areas whose accessibility is always questionable. Uganda top safari destinations are national parks, reserves and sanctuary. When undertaking arrangements for a self-drive to Uganda’s top safari destinations should always consider capable vehicles.

Safari vehicles are customized to drive through all road conditions in all weather conditions. Safari vehicles are customized with either a rooftop pop-up for perfect game viewing or rooftop tent. Depending on the nature of your safari, press the best button of the right vehicle to hire. With safari trips, we say 4×4 safari customized is the only deal.

The 4×4 land cruiser series suggest several selections among which include 4×4 land cruiser TX/TZ, and the VX8, then Nisan Patrol and the 4×4 safari land cruiser (land cruiser 70 series). The land cruiser TX/TZ, and the V8 are great for rooftop tent camping.

The 4×4 safari land cruiser and V8 are great deals for luxury drives and the economy. The mid-range selection is working greatly with the 4×4 land cruiser TX/TZ, Nissan Patrol. And when wishing for maiden budget rental the 4×4 Rav4 offer greater rewards.

Securing a car rental for a self-drive safari means to book prior to the traveling date. It’s best idea to take bookings at least three months before. Last time bookings should be terminated always from your traveling planning. It disguised and embarrasses to start searching for a car rental.

How to experience a self-drive

There are two ways to experience your self-drive safari in Uganda. The rest of the modes are almost the same. The current traveling trend which is mainly used by most of travelers on a self-drive safari in Uganda is the hiring a car with rooftop tent. Hiring a car with a rooftop tent comes along with a number of benefits. Limited costs, flexibility, freedoms of driving among others accommodate your drive. Taking a car with rooftop tent means a pop-up as the roof space is occupied.

Hiring a car with a rooftop pop-up, this means travelers hire car nd accommodation. This is perfect for photographing trips. The rooftop pop-up is great idea when wishing for a game drives especially in the savannah parks.

Best time for self-drive road trip safari

A self-drive road trip safari is possible in Uganda throughout the year. The warm weather condition features two conditions of dry and wet seasons. Driving in the dry months of December to February that also double a year in the months of June to September. During the dry months roads are intact and can drive through at all times. Dry seasons are perfect for wild game viewing especially in the savannah parks.

However, the wet season is a bit hectic. Roads are slippery, grounds are wet and sometimes takes a full day raining. All tourist destinations are open to visit, but travelers are few. And for travelers wishing for traveling in the less crowded seasons, the wet months are perfect. Wet seasons surface from March to May and from September to November.

Best way of traveling on a self-drive                              

Traveling in a group; solo traveling is not advisable for travelers on a self-drive. Traveling in a group gives a chance of sharing memories and interactions. Members traveling in a group always form a bond and they tend to take care for each other. When planning to reduce costs of traveling, have a chance to experience nature in a new way. Traveling in a group is a fun, amazing and gives that mesmerizing moment.

Best places to visit on a self-drive safari in Uganda

There are several amazing places which indeed offer great travel rewards on a self-drive safari. Uganda also called the Pearl of Africa is among the continent’s best places to visit. Let discuss the best places to consider when planning for a self-drive safari in Uganda.

Kidepo Valley National Park

For an authentic nature encounters, taking this remotest route of self-drive in Uganda can suggest a great reward. Kidepo is located in northeastern Uganda and considered the remotest among all tourist destinations. It’s termed as “the True African Wildness.” The Kidepo Valley National Park in a unique way offers the widest opening of the savannah landscape.

A road trip self-drive takes about 10hours on a scenic drive. There are two sections of Kidepo Valley and the Narus valley that persist with water even in driest season. These two sections have the highest concentration of wild animals. The eco-biodiversity of Kidepo Park consists of over 74 mammal species includes some of the big five mammals, antelope species, zebras, cheetahs, wild dog.

There are about 470 bird species including ostriches, secretary birds among others. In 2019, CNN named Kidepo Valley National Park among the best attractive destinations in Africa. And in 2021, the park featured in the World Tourism Awards list of best safari parks in African and safari booking in 2019 listed the park 11 among the best 50 national park in Africa. Adventures to engage in mainly include; game drive, nature walks, birding, mountain climbing, Karamoja cultural visits experiences.

Jinja city

The East African capital of adventures with greater rewards. Jinja located in the eastern from Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The adventure capital is globally known for hosting the world’s longest river Nile. When visited Jinja can take adventures like boat cruise, white water rafting, bungee jumping, nature walks, hill hiking, quad biking among others.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Uganda. It offers one of the best road trips on a safari to Uganda. A road trip safari at Bwindi National Park leads to watching some of the remaining endangered mountain gorillas. Located in southwestern Uganda, seated in lines of Albertine Rift valley, seated on an area of 331sq/km. It’s characterized by tropical rainforest covering volcanic landscapes favoring the existence of the mountain gorillas.

With about 1 habituated gorilla families, the park offers the highest opportunities trekking. Also gorilla habituation is available for trackers done at Rushaga sector. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has 4 tracking sectors of Nkuringo, Buhoma, Rushaga and Ruhija. Gorilla trekking at Bwindi is the best experience and relatively possible for all classes of travelers.

Besides being an endemic destinations for mountain gorillas, the park home to various species of flora and fauna. These include about 300 species of birds, elephants, buffalos, other primate species including red tailed monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, chimps, bush bucks, about 400 species of plants and many others.

Adventure activities done at Bwindi include, gorilla tracking, nature walks, bird watching, mountain biking, Batwa cultural experience, etc.

Sipi falls

These magnificent waterfalls are set just at the foothills of Mount Elgon in Eastern Uganda, in Kapchorwa district on Sipi village. The villages are split into three phases and distanced from each other.

Sipi falls are astonishing features that have amazingly attracted several travelers from across the world. The best part of the falls is the cool and warm climate, and a walk through the coffee and banana plantations.

The three overlooking splashes right 100m below, the next falls at an elevation of 85m and the other falls at 75m below. The breathtaking sipi waterfalls are raised at an elevation of 1600m above sea level.

The Sipi falls is an en-route to travelers going to hike Mount Elgon and even those driving to Kidepo Valley National Park through the eastern route.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

The Queen Elizabeth Park is Uganda’s most popular tourist destination attracting a reasonable number of travelers. The park is located within the western arm of the Great Albertine Rift Valley. Queen Elizabeth National Park has the longest list of adventure experience done than any other park in Uganda. It highly features the savannah, woodlands, and the tropics. The only park to find the rare tree climbing lions, highest concentration of birds with over 600 species of birds.

Special features of Queen Elizabeth National Park include; the Kasenyi savannah open for game viewing, and Kazinga Channel that connects Lake Gorge to Lake Edward it’s for game viewing on a boat cruise. Ishasha sector popular for tracking tree climbing lions, Kyambura Gorge tropical unique for accommodating chimpanzees.

Adventure experiences done on a safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park include Wild game viewing on both game drive and boat cruise, bird watching, tree climbing lion tracking, chimpanzee tracking, community visits, visiting Lake Katwe a salt mining lake. Also hippo census, mongoose tracking, lion experiential among others.

Kibale National Park

The breathtaking tropical forest is the East African capital of chimpanzees and the world capital of primates. Kibale National Park houses is famous for housing the highest number of primate species in the world alongside chimpanzees.

The Kibale Forest Park is located in western Uganda about 26km from Fort Portal city. This eco-biodiversity forest is as well home to various wild animals besides several primates. This is the finest tourist destination in African to track the endangered chimpanzees. Chimpanzees at Kibale National Park are fully habituated for a superb close up encounter for trackers.

It’s only at Kibale forest in Africa where tourist as well can take part in the habituation process. So, tourist at Kibale can do either tracking or habituation. Chimpanzee tracking here costs $200 and chimpanzee habituation costs US$250 and spend the almost a full day with these giants.

Kibale National Park has two chimpanzee tracking sessions a day; the morning session starting at 8am and the afternoon session starting at 2pm.


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