Friday, 22 May 2015

A self drive safari experience to the northern Uganda




Just as always mentioned a self drive in Uganda safari experience is a journey of the body and soul, a venture into the unknown and an opportunity to discover the un-discovered hidden treasures of the wilderness. Uganda is one country endowed with a lot any intrepeed traveler desires. To a few tourists who have done this northern Uganda self drive circuit have given a great praise to it. Yes, this area of the north has been affected by the civil war before but this hasn’t taken its pride away. A drive through the dilapidated structures, the refugee camps gives you an idea what a cruel civil war can be. When you travel through this northern Uganda area, expect to meet a lot of NGO vehicles and camps, many white people (we call Muzungu) around, are always on volunteer missions as well. They have done a great job in having this area regain its lost glory. Now you are a tourist trying to discover this part of the pearl of Africa,

Lets take the north east circuit direction and discover the hidden treasures of this untouched area. Whether you are on a self drive in Uganda tour or guided tour consider having a once in a lifetime safari adventure. However, this is a low attitude area and because of the civil war effects, the roads in some places have been destroyed, and being low and some places in a valley there are rains that destroy this areas. So preferably consider using a 4x4 self drive car hire be it on guided tours with high ground clearance. Most of the car rental agencies like Auto rental uganda have these cars with high ground clearance which will however cost you a little more than the common full time 4wheel suv Rav4s. Your self drive in Uganda shouldn’t turn out a nightmare when you get stuck in the middle of nowhere, remember your in control of your trip. Lets see,

Rhino tracking, Uganda is one of the few countries in Africa where you can go rhino tracking. Rhinos are huge wild animals that are endangered and have almost been extinguished in the national parks. The last Black rhino being porched in the kidepo valley national park in the 1991. However efforts have been done to re-introduce the rhinocerous existancce in Uganda. The ziwa rhino sanctuary was set up to engulf the rhinos first. About 216km from kampala city centre, this sanctuary is about 7kms from the main road inside. At the reception you will have a guide who will take you in the big sanctuary in search of these beautifull huge wild animals. The introduction of rhinos here was first done with one from Kenya, and another from America. These two had a baby and guess what the name was given to it, OBAMA. It is usually a one hour stay with these rhinos and all information regarding them will be given and narrated. The number has raised to about 16 in total.

The murchsion falls national park. About 60kms from the Ziiwa rhino sanctuary is the entrance to the biggest national game park. This should actually take you about 45mins drive to get there. The entrance fees are paid here, $40 per person per day(24hrs) for foreign residents and $12 for the car entrance paid just once for the whole stay. As you enter the murchsion park, you are welcomed into nature, the budongo forest, an eco friendly site. In this forest lies budongo eco lodge, a home to the chimpanzee, monkey and olive baboon primates, rarest bird species. At this lodge you can book for a chimpanzee tracking experience that takes you through the jungles. Visit your closest relatives, enjoy the nature walk and the birds. Different plant species belong to this eco-friendly forest. About 50kms ahead is a branch off to the top of the falls view point 12kms ahead and yes, this top of the falls is one of the most breathtaking sceneries you can enjoy. You witness how the the river nile 50m wide is being squeezed in this 6m wide gourge water falling on a 45m high. The thunder, the water splash and rainbows will get you awing. It is very incredible here. Its said to be the most incredible something to happen to the nile on its 6700km length right from its source in jinja till the mediterenian sea in Egypt. 

About 24kms from the junction to the top of the falls is the ferry crossing the nile. You actually pay for the ferry crossing with your car to the northern bank of the river nile where a lot of wildlife is concentrated.Now when you talk about wildlife then this area of the park is one of the most spectacular places to see wild life in plenty. The game drive takes you about 5 hours and also there is an afternoon boat cruise to the bottom of the falls and also another boat cruise to the delta point where the river nile empties to the lake albert before it continues up north. You will never be wrong adventuring this park. There are nice lodges around this park that seal up a nice adventure. 

Fort Patiko. A site where slave trade took place back in the centuries. About 28kms north of Gulu town is this dilapidated site to tour. There are site tour guides to take you through this tour. They will take you to the chambers, the kings palaces and the stores. Its worth an adventure on your way to the north as well. Gulu is also one of the towns severely affected by the civil war which is gaining back its lost glory. A visit to the markets and towns will give you a clear view of Africa. It’s a true definition of Uganda.

The kidepo valley national park. Named as the best park by Africa geographic in 2013 with the biggest wildlife populations and named as the hidden treasure of the wilderness. Kidepo valley a remote and still untouched treasure lies extreme north east of Uganda in the corner neigbouring Kenya and south sudan. This park is one of the best wild life destinations you must visit on your self drive in Uganda. It is a park you will find the rarerest animal species that can not be found anywhere else in Uganda like the cheteh, ostrich bat-eared fox, caracal. Doubled with the greatest scenery in this park. The hotel accommodations like the apoka lodge and hostel bandas are located on the best view positions on top of one of the hills. Here you can sit and see down the narus valley with a lot of game at your disposal. Guided nature walks are available where you can see the wild on foot. The lions on top of the rocks are just incredible. You can never have enough of this park. 

The karimojong culture. This culture in this remote area of Uganda is just incredible, the attire, the practices and most especially the traditional dance. This culture has tried as much as possible to maintain their cultural practices. They are cattle keepers and you will get involved in their dance. 

The sipi falls.  The sipi falls is one of the most incredible waterfalls located in the north-eastern part of Uganda in kapchorwa district. This is the most sought biggest waterfall ever. The sipi falls is a series of three waterfalls and the biggest being the last one. You need 5 hours time to take a look at this waterfall. Through the plantantions and coffee plantations. There is also a coffee tour in this area if you like to taste one of the freshest and pure mountain coffee. There is a chance to encounter the public male circumcision ceremonies where the male youth get into preparation for a week to get transformed into manhood. They stand brave as the elders get the for skin of the manhood sliced away. It’s a traditional ceremony done every end of year starting August. So if you seem to be here around that time chances are high that you will encounter this. This is one of the practices that make this culture a unique one. You can double this with jinja white water rafting, kayak the nile just at its source.

Choose well informed car rental agencies with vast knowledge like Auto rental Uganda with the best car rental fleets to choose from just to make your self drive in Uganda incredible.

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