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Self Drive Uganda - good experience, great vacations

Berlin, Germany
1 post
1 review
Self Drive Uganda - good experience, great vacations

I rented a 4x4 car from Self Drive Uganda for a 10 days trip in Uganda.

Selfdriving is not so difficult but Kampala traffic is crazzy. OUtisde the towns roads are almost empty. You should not calculate with much more that 60 km/h in average due to many villages and road bumps.

I was picked up in Entebbe and handover went without problems. My first ride went to NE of Kampala MABIRA RAIN FOREST Lodge, a place with excelent service and very good kitchen but higher price. The lodge was veri interesting but I should spend a second night to be adjusted to all the impressions of nature at night around the cottage in the middle of forest.

Next stop to THE HAVEN in Jinja - lovely place, great view to the river, very good cottages...

Then I made a too long trip to RWACKOBO ROCK Lodge, with amazing view to the park, very lovely cottages, and good food. I rented b\icycles over there and even outisde the national park have been Zebras so close to me. The Eagel's Nest was recommended by some friends as well as an good and easy accomodation.

LAKE BONYONI is nice, the OVERLAND RESSORT a not expensive option with good bar and

easy accomodation. I recommend the tent much more than the rooms.

Highlight was the MWEYA Lodge in QueenENP. Great locations and real service but, yes, not cheap. Pool will relaxe you, food is outstanding (book full board) and the trips in the park offer many animals to see. Strongly recommendet and a MUST - drive along the trails to the BABOON CLIFF beside some old vulcano craters and then the Equator Trail for 18 km to the Crater Gate. Great view to Vulcano lakes, loonly trip and pictures of afrtica. After the gate just a few km to the norths and you are passing again the Equator.

On the way back a stop over in FORT PORTAL or MBARA is simply possible.

We enjoyed so much and when first time in africa, this is totally sufficient.

We have been stopped two time by road police, not creating problems but at the end indicating, that we should give back something, while Uganda gives us such nice vacation. We gave some chocolate....

59 replies to this topic
kampala
4 posts
1. Re: Self Drive Uganda - good experience, great vacations

lol great experince u got hope u come back to uganda another time

kampala
4 posts
2. Re: Self Drive Uganda - good experience, great vacations

great.seems u had fun

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
1,459 posts
97 reviews
3. Re: Self Drive Uganda - good experience, great vacations

Thanks for the report!

J F
Timbuktu, Mali
1 post
4. Re: Self Drive Uganda - good experience, great vacations

I highly recommend the excellent services of Self Drive Uganda. Billy Ssali, the company founder, personally drove myself and a colleague from Kampala to the Heritage Safari Lodge at Pakwach to be part of the Walking The Nile Expedition with explorer Levison Wood. We drove in a very well maintained RAV4, and with Billy's expertise behind the wheel we made the journey in excellent time - along with a stop at the epic Murchison Falls - a must see for all visitors to Uganda. Billy came and collected me later in the week and we made the 8 hour journey back to Kampala in the comfort of one of his Land Cruisers. Billy went out of his way to help make a challenging journey very comfortable. Billy is very conscious in catering to his clients needs, he is also incredibly knowledgeable about the region, and great company for a long drive. Two thumbs up!

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,949 posts
448 reviews
5. Re: Self Drive Uganda - good experience, great vacations

<<We gave some chocolate....>>

LoL. Should have been sticky toffee to stop them asking!

missoula, Montana...
1 post
2 reviews
6. Re: Self Drive Uganda - good experience, great vacations

We used a 4x4 from Self Drive Uganda for our trip in January, and had a great experience. They were able to drop off the car in Kigali, and we drove it back over 10 days to Kampala, where they picked it up.

They also helped us get gorilla permits for Bwindi, which was a great help to us.

Overall they were very easy to work with, responded quickly to emails, and pointed us in the right direction when we needed it. I would absolutely recommend renting a vehicle from them without hesitation. We wired a deposit/payment from the US before going, and that worked out perfectly.

More details about our route:

we spend 3 days in Rwanda (careful, names of towns have changed since the genocide, making for a bit of an extra challenge when map reading). Driving there was pretty easy. The main roads are paved and in great shape. Some of the dirt roads are in rough shape, so going is slow but entirely navigable.

We crossed at Kisoro (way SW corner of Uganda) and from there made our way to Bwindi (road is rough, but if you go slow it's fine) then on to QE park, where we saw a herd of elephants roaming free... lions in the grass, and tons more.

After that we drove to Fort Portal, Toro Semliki (which we should have skipped, in retrospect - it was just too much driving) and then on to Kibale (stay in one of the places with a treehouse!!) and then back to Kampala.

Traffic in Kampala is nutty, (jam-packed tight!) but it moves slowly and is relaxed enough that it's not at all scary. We're from Montana, so in our town 5 cars makes a traffic jam. :) But fear not, if you know how to relax when you're wedged in, you'll be fine.

Note: paying for gas is done in CASH ONLY (No credit cards!!) and it's expensive (compared to US prices) so be prepared to spend lots of CASH on gas. We found ATMs in Fort Portal and Kisoro and Kihihi that took VISA (but NOT MASTERCARD) so be prepared for that.

Happy to answer any questions at geraldinedcarter at gmail dot com.

Have fun!!

Athens, Georgia
Level Contributor
8 posts
9 reviews
7. Re: Self Drive Uganda - good experience, great vacations

I would highly recommend Self Drive Uganda to independent travelers. Moses, the owner, was most helpful in answering all my pre-vacation questions and setting up fantastic two week customized trip of Rwanda and Uganda. We had worked out most of the details via email and I was very pleased when every aspect of the trip exceeded our expectations. Everyone associated with this company proved to be honest and reliable. The price was very competitive and there were no hidden cost. Abby, our driver, was outstanding, His English was excellent, his driving safe, his disposition was always pleasant and he was flexible to our route and itinerary changes along the way. He had a good knowledge of the local plants and animals and was superb at spotting wildlife. We journeyed over some very rough terrain on a fast paced trip visiting most of the national parks and historical sites in Rwanda and Uganda. Having a car and driver at your disposal is by far the best way to see exactly what you want in a limited amount of time. For overall satisfaction I don't think you can find a better company than Self Drive Uganda.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
39 posts
13 reviews
8. Re: Self Drive Uganda - good experience, great vacations

We also went with Self Drive Uganda. Great to deal with. Car ran well. Cheap to fill up. Only spent one night camping but all the gear was adequate... I'd maybe suggest a battery operated light to be added to the kit.

The worst road was up to the Gorillas at Nkuringo but that's all part of it isn't it. Loved it!

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,949 posts
448 reviews
9. Re: Self Drive Uganda - good experience, great vacations

Have you done a trip report on your experiences Whoozya? It all helps others.

Suffolk
Level Contributor
18 posts
23 reviews
10. Re: Self Drive Uganda - good experience, great vacations

Wonderfully fun adventure!

We hired a Rav 4 from Billy and his team for a reasonable price. The care was delivered to our Entebbe hotel and we hit the road.

I had something to drop off in Kampala, but kindly Billy offered to deliver it for me, to save driving into the crazy city! which was perfect.

Our adventure saw us driving up towards Fort Portal & Kibale forest, staying in the lovely tree house - The road from Fort Portal to the rainforest was really interesting! Up and down dirt road, that took us nearly 2 hrs!! a real challenge.

Driving back on the main road we stayed in Queen Elizabeth NP and WOW - got a room in a nice lodge for $100 a night with stunning views over lake Albert - simply amazing!

Long drive to Lake Bunyonyi and a long stay at the wonderful Birdnest Resort - I've stayed there before and always super happy with the service.

After working at a local school for a while, we drove to Bwindi and took an amazing Gorilla trek.. before heading back to Kabale.

Billy met us and for some extra $'s offered to drive us across the border to Kigali! Just Great!

It was a super trip and the car was perfect for our needs! Just great service

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