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Self drive report

Lonodn
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14 posts
8 reviews
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Self drive report

We have just returned from a few weeks self driving around Uganda. We hired a 4X4 Rav 4 from Roadtrip Uganda and drove from Kampala to Lake Mburo to Lake Bunyonyi to Bwindi to QENP to Fort Portal to Jinja. We had a driver from Roadtrip Uganda take us across Kampala and point us in the right direction to Lake Mburo and also collect the car from Jinja as we then went on a 3 days horse riding adventure with Nile Horseback Safaris. I just wanted to say a big thank you to Roadtrip Uganda for all their help. They were quietly encouraging about self driving and we are so pleased we ignored all the dire warnings about driving in Uganda and went ahead. Yes you do have to focus on the route as there are few road signs and yes the traffic is sometimes a little daunting but it is all very feasible and we never felt unsafe. We had no mechanical problems not even a flat tire and the car coped very easily - even with the rural back road through Bwindi.

Its a great way to see the country and gives you a real feeling of freedom and escaping the normal tourist route. We ate chicken from the vendors, stopped where ever we wanted and went at our own pace. I'll write a more detailed review in the coming days but just wanted to start by saying it is possible and a real option for folks wanting to see Uganda without a driver all the way.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
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1,988 posts
240 reviews
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1. Re: Self drive report

Right on eating at vendors and driving, I am usually chastised for taking such " risks." I like to see someone else living like to locals do

Isle of Man, United...
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36,615 posts
342 reviews
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2. Re: Self drive report

Well done. Something I would encourage if you have the temerity and resolve. However as a competent driver cost so little extra, over the cost of the car, I find hiring him in as well more than compensates in the increase in satisfaction levesl. After all he can at least change the wheels and leave me with clean hands.

I love African street food especially those 'Mice on a stick'.

Sydney, Australia
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39 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: Self drive report

Great to hear.

I am planning a self drive tour in August.

We are also looking at hiring from Road Trip.

I'm interested to hear a full review of you itinerary as its very similar to ours.

Did you use the camping equipment?

What did you do about storing food during the trip?

Any places you wanted to stay longer or any you would steer clear of?

Uganda
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1 post
5 reviews
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4. Re: Self drive report

You mean thanks for posting those comments by your self Roadtrip.uganda!!! i think some of these comments are posted by your self but under different accounts being opened up by your self.it looks like being a dutch couple living in new destination, it becomes easier for you to ask your friends In Netherlands to post positive comments about your agency.

Edited: 11:08 am, March 26, 2013
Kampala
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3,256 posts
90 reviews
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5. Re: Self drive report

Firstly whoever you are, posting from the IOM (!) I think you are rather off-the mark.

Secondly, if you read YMcC's review of their horse-riding trip, there is no doubt they are bona fide patrons.

Some of what comments? TG is genuine, mf is an old hand, genuinely resident in the IOM, Whoozya is newish and researching still... Only post 4 baffles me, and I don't expect I'm alone in that.

What is really behind your post?

For the record, I hear nothing but positives for this company in the community.

Isle of Man, United...
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36,615 posts
342 reviews
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6. Re: Self drive report

Never feed Trolls.

Lonodn
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14 posts
8 reviews
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7. Re: Self drive report

HI all, no I'm not a troll (did you mean me? ) I live in rainy London sadly not the Netherlands, I don't post an awful lot of reports - only when I am really impressed by a place or organisation. But if you look you will see a few from me, mainly about horse riding destinations as I am a horse owner ( e.g Horizon ranch in South Africa or a riding in Namibia) so I would have to have gone to a lot of trouble to fake my identity on Tripadvisor. I took the time to praise Roadtrip Uganda as they were really good, as simple as that. They drove us across Kampala ( as taking advice from the old hands on here that seemed daunting) and they collected the car from Holland Park in Jinja. They didn't fuss over the car and we had a really freaky moment in QENP where we actually came across the driver Godfrey that had driven across the city, out in the middle of nowhere ( he was driving some other guests in another car). I just wanted to tell everyone that self driving is definitely rewarding and quite possible. i certainly don't want to take jobs away from the great drivers in Uganda, but some like me just don't want someone else in their car for up to 6 or 7 hours in a day.

Lonodn
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14 posts
8 reviews
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8. Re: Self drive report

Whoozya we didn't use the camping equipment ( I am a bit of a camping wuss, although we did a camp out riding in Lake Mhburu) I loved it all, of course the place I really loved was the horse riding Nile horseback safaris, but I also loved lake Birdsnest at Lake Bunyonyi - just a stunning setting and a fun couple of days drinking with other guests around the fire and dancing with the staff. We had a bit of a scary moment when we took the wrong route through Bwindi not around it. At the park entrance the rangers asked if we wanted a guard to accompany us for "our comfort" I thought he said do you want a "comfort brake" ( i.e. the toilets). So we drove along a very long dirt road right by the DCR border for a couple of hours. The only other westerners we saw in a vehicle seemed to have an armed guard! It was beautiful though if a bit of an off road challenge at times. The other tricky bit was driving around the Northern by pass over Kampala to Jinji. There was a massive thunder storm and we literally couldn't see in front of ourselves. and it was a bit like a crazy video game trying to deal with the traffic. On that subject the Bismarken coach drivers are complete maniacs and at one stage got out to thump on our car cause we refused to drive through the lady with the reg flag controlling the road works. Tell me your route and I will see if i can add any comments! Y

Sydney, Australia
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39 posts
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9. Re: Self drive report

Thanks YMcC,

We are commited to doing the self drive.... Did it in Botswana 3 yrs ago.

We aren't sure about whether to stay in Entebbe or Kampala when we arrive. We will need a few days to get over the jetlag and arrange some stuff like simcards etc... I'm not sure if I can do that in Entebbe? I'd rather stay out of Kampala if we can, and just get the car dropped off at Entebbe. Do you have any suggestions about this?

So from either Entebbe or Kampala we head down to Mihingo Lodge for 2 nights and the horseriding safari. Then on to Lake Bunyonyi for one night. Bwindi to see Gorillas staying at Nkuringo Camp for 3 nights (we will do some game driving here ourselves and probably get a guide to come with us) On to QENP staying in the Ishasha area for 2 nights, Mweya (camping) for 2 nights, and then Kibale NP for 3 nights to see the Chimps. We will then drive back to Jinja. I'm not sure if we will need a car there as we will be staying at Holland Park. Horse Riding is next door and my partner wants to go rafting. Should we drop off the car in Kampala and just get a tranfer to Jinja? After 3 days in Jinja we will go back to Entebbe for one night before we fligh home.

Any suggestions would be appriciated.

Edited: 6:35 pm, April 05, 2013
Lonodn
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14 posts
8 reviews
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10. Re: Self drive report

We went on a very similar trip so I have a few suggestions / observations. I don't know what time you arrive but our plane to Entebbe arrived about 11pm and I wish we had taken a cab across Entebbe and Kampala and stayed somewhere west of Kampala. That way you travel across town at night and avoid the traffic jams and are on the right side to set off for Mihingo Lodge. Road trip uganda will deliver the car to wherever you want. Also our driver Godfrey was great at helping us find stuff in Kampala that we needed. Get him to drive you onto the road to Mihingo so you are pointing the right way. The journey to Mihingo is on not too bad a road but about an hour or so on a rough road through the park. How are you planning to navigate? We had maps and a Garmen loaded with sat nav for East Africa - that was great!. The horses at Mihingo are well loved but nothing special, not like Nile Horseback safaris, but its fun riding with the zebra etc, we were charged a little bit by a water buffalo - just enough for a bit of a thrill! The road to Bunyonyi is a bit of a nightmare due to the roadworks and crazy traffic - buses etc. Don't get disheartened - its the worse bit and its also the scruffiest bit of Uganda - I thought there is nothing pretty here to see - but I was wrong! you turn down a track and Bunyonyi

is gorgeous. Stay at Birdsnest - its really worth it - ask for a room on the first floor with a view.