Sunday, 24 December 2017

culture is us

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A SELF DRIVE SAFARI IN UGANDA






A self drive safari in Uganda is an exciting way to enjoy your vacation or holiday because Uganda is gifted with a wide variety of flora and fauna, not to mention beautiful breath taking scenery. What you will find even more thrilling is the fact that you can enjoy your holiday or vacation in the driver's seat. All you have to do is hire a car and quality camping gear from a respectable service provider. But, for any safari to be enjoyable, one has to be well prepared so as not to be dragged by worries and small problems that could have been avoided. The last thing you need on your self drive safari is to be frustrated or worried sick because that defies the whole purpose and idea of a holiday/ vacation. Therefore, we shall be sharing some tips on how to adequately prepare for a self drive safari in Uganda and hope you find them helpful as you journey through the Pearl of Africa.


Write your emergency contacts down
It is usually a brilliant idea to save your emergency contacts on your phone and back them up by writing them on a piece of paper in case your battery dies. Your emergency contacts should be made up of your rental car provider, your family and anyone you think is in a position to help you in case you get stranded or have an issue. Alternatively, you can always contact the police by dialing 999 if it’s a serious issue. Similarly, it is also a good idea to keep your loved ones and any concerned persons that matter in the loop, keeping regular communication such that people don't get worried and anxious about what could have happened to you.
Carry a first aid kit
You can never be certain about how smooth a road trip will go and that's why it is very important to carry a first aid kit with you in the car. Don't only stop at that, but also make sure the first aid kit is properly stocked with some painkillers, bandages, and band aids. A self drive safari involves visiting places such as game parks and can involve acts such as mountain climbing which can sometimes result into minor accidents or injuries. That is precisely why you need to carry a proper first aid kit. Unattended cuts, wounds and bruises can get infected during your road trip or safari but with a first aid kit, you wouldn't have to worry about infections.
Book the car in advance
To prepare thoroughly for your safari, it would be ideal to book the car of your choice a few days before your trip. Looking for a car early enough before your safari provides you with plenty of time to look for an affordable car rental service which can save you money. Besides the benefit of saving money, booking a car early gives you time to inspect it before use and ensure it is in the right condition for a safari. To top it all off, you get some peace of mind knowing your means of transport are secured before you even travel.
Insect repellant
While you can never know what to expect during your safari, you can always expect insects all around you. Most of the insects are usually harmless although they can be a little annoying. As you are camping around the campfire, mosquitoes will be the last thing you want to disturb your peace so you should carry some insect repellant to keep away the annoying bites and stings of the insects. Alternatively, you could hire a car with excellent camping gear to keep yourself inside and the bugs outside at the same time.
Get a guide or GPS
If you are not familiar with Uganda's road networks and destinations, you should get a GPS device to help you get around. You can also get a map showing all the different and possible routes so as not to get lost. In case you are going to a game park or touring remote destinations, it is advisable to travel with a guide who knows the area thoroughly. Rangers in game parks are usually available at the entrance and can also help you move around easily to see all the different animals in the game parks without getting lost.
Carry a camera
A self drive safari in Uganda, is bound to awe you with magnificent and breath taking sights and sounds. These sights and sounds would make nice memories, and that’s precisely why you should carry a camera. The pictures you take will not only remind you of your adventures, but will also be souvenirs of your trip in Uganda.3.
Travel light
Uganda is located between the tropics and is crossed by the equator and thus has a tropical climate which can get really hot. Therefore the perfect clothes for one to wear as they self drive and tour Uganda are light cotton t shirts and shorts. In case you are going to game parks filled with savannah grasslands, cargo pants with closed shoes are the ideal gear. However, this does not mean you shouldn’t carry any sweaters or jumpers, as temperatures can drop at night, making them useful.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Gorilla safari in Uganda on self drive.



Undoubtedly known as the pearl of Africa, Uganda is one of a kind safari destination for amazing wildlife encounters. Being one of the few countries still harboring the endangered mountain gorillas and also the home for the greatest chimpanzee encounters, its undoubtedly the best country to track these primates and combine it with wildlife safaris.

However tracking these primates requires you to book in advance. Gorilla tracking permits go for $600 in the high season and the low seasons with effect from 1st/ Jan/ 2018. This applies as well for the chimpanzee encounters in the kibale and this goes for $150.

Tracking the gorillas of the Bwindi or Mgahinga, is a once in a lifetime ultimate wildlife encounter. The permits can be arranged for you by tour agencies, or your car rental in Uganda agency. If you are planning on going for a self drive in Uganda, the car rental agencies like Auto rental Uganda will absolutely help you in securing the gorilla permits, scanned copies sent to you and all that remains is encountering the great apes. Reservation is required because of the high demand for the permits given that one family is visited by 8 people to max at a time. So a need for booking in advance is advisable so you never miss out on the day tracking.

The gorilla tracking in Bwindi and Mgahinga starts in the mornings and usually the briefing is done by the park rangers at 8am at the park headquarters. Whether you are doing a self drive on on a car rental in Uganda with no guide, always endeavor to find a lodge/hotel that is closer to the starting point. After the briefing, you will head out to the jungles to find these great apes. The time spent in the jungles looking for the gorillas depends on their movements from their previous day sighting. Usually the first team of rangers will head out in the jungles at about 6am and start looking for the gorillas. They head and start from where they saw the gorillas the previous day. They look out for the signs of them, new nests, paths, and dung for the gorillas until they find them. They then communicate with the ranger guide on walkie tokie who is to lead you in the jungles at 8am. If they have moved a long distance then you will trek the same distance. Always advisable to go with packed lunch and enough water for the whole day. Sometimes the trekking takes a long whole day so better well prepared. When you eventually find the gorillas, you actually advised to stay 7m away from them but this is broken by the gorillas as they sometimes come closer to you and even could touch you, kick you or lick/smell you. The gorillas sharing 98%of DNA with humans  are lively, friendly the act just like human.

The one hour spent with them is another to keep for the rest of your life. Always advisable to take the camera flash off, the disorganization  of the gorillas and could charge at you. They could also starting moving away and miss the time with them. After the one hour with the gorillas you return to your starting point and certificates awarded to you for doing the trek. Usually some tourists never make it, or they are later carried on stretchers out of the jungle. A mere writing will never tell the whole experience even in the heart.
Still enjoying Uganda self drive safari, a lead upwards to the queen Elizabeth national park is another experience on its own. Through the ishasha plains are the tree climbing lions in the southern sector. There is nothing so interesting and incredible as seeing a pride of lions hitching and resting on top of the fig trees. It is another experience, a feeling for the heart to decide. Incredible wildlife to encounter and the leopard easily seen here. Being the southern part/sector of the queen Elizabeth national park, there is another northern sector of the park called the kasenyi with incredibly lots of wildlife. This also an area to see more cats. It is an 80kms stretch road up to the northern sector and this takes you about 2-3hrs drive in case you are on a self drive in Uganda. 


 This park contains two lakes (L.George and L.Edward) separated by the kazinga channel with another flood of wild life to see. The Uganda wildlife authority and Marasa/mweya safari lodge run boat cruises in the morning and afternoons. Its a relaxing cruise and you get to see a lot of more wildlife like the water buffalos, crocodiles, hippos, water birds, bucks, lions, leopards, fish eagles, hummer cops and much much more. Whatever nature will offer, is appreciated. Its never the same again after this experience. There are great lodges like the Bush lodge for budget and Mweya safari lodge for upmarket that will spice up the safari experience make it real. Hippos, elephants, buffalos roam the compound in the night feeding and you could absolutely hear the lions roar in the night. There is more than just Gorillas and wildlife for Uganda. Its more than just that.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Car rental safety tips in Uganda.



Car rental is one of the leading partners of tourism in Uganda. It is through car rental that most travellers are connected to various tour destinations that have attractive and educative features to share with the society like the national parks, game reserves, museums and hot springs. When you wish to travel around the country and you would not want to be inconvenienced by the havoc of the taxis and other public transport around town. Renting a car should be an item on your travel budget thus helping to plan your day on privacy and do most of the activities with car rental in Uganda. As you plan to have a rental car in Uganda, safety should be your priority and below are safety tips for car rental hence a successful journey.

 Ensure that the car is in good condition. Before you drive the from the office, make sure that the car is mechanically in good condition and does not have any sign of mechanical breakdown on the road. This is done through checking various parts of the car system especially inside the car bornate. Check for the fluid levels like the engine, sterling, brake and the radiator water if it is enough. Check if there is a leakage of any of the fluids mentioned above. Further check the pressure of the tires or any puncture around before you start your journey. Lastly have a road test with the car to find out whether the  car  brakes  function well.

 Ensure that you possess the required documents for car rental in Uganda. Though this has been neglected much, it carries a significant purpose when you hire a car. Before you have finished the road test, make sure that you have a copy for your car rental agreement.  On safer side you’re driving permit should be near for presentation in case you were asked by the police man while you are a self drive trip in Uganda. A permit is an important document that needs to be carried always when you want to self drive and experience the journey on Uganda’s roads.

Ensure the rules of the roads are observed. Self-drivers in Uganda should take care on the road. They are a lot of things to meet like other road users- pedestrians, and cyclists. However, with all this in mind, the road rules should be kept live while driving. Do not over speed, do not over load, do not drive while telephoning and others that are very common to  drivers. While you ensure the road rules and regulations, then you are safe with car rental in Uganda.

 Ensure the parking slot is safe. Most of the travellers have sometimes faced a challenge of parking car rental in the city. The space for parking being limited and require parking fees both along the streets and recognized parking locations. Before you the park slots, make sure that all the car doors are locked and valuables are removed from the car like the money pass for the safety of the car rental in Uganda.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

HOW VALUABLE IS A DRIVING PERMIT WHEN RENTING A CAR IN UGANDA.




When you feel like you want to rent a car and go self drive to exercise, you’re driving skills on Ugandan roads, a driving permit is necessary. Like any country, a driving permit is said to be the only international recognized document that allows us to drive on the roads. Not only driving, it’s also assumed that the person holding the permit is a skilled and professional driver unless put on the road test. It is used in substitute of a passport or a national identity card for other official purposes like opening up financial accounts, registering for a Tax Identification Number (TIN) due to its similarity in information presentation. Travelers planning to self drive in foreign countries are required to possess an international permit or a country’s recognized driver permit.  Not all driving permits allow drivers to drive every type of car due to its classification and specialization. The Face Technology a body that is responsible for issuing different classes of driving permits in Uganda. The classes include class A, B, CM, CH, DH, E, F, G, H, DL and I.
A.      Holders of class A are allowed to drive motorcycles only.
B.      Class B holders are allowed to drive cars  of carriage capacity of 5pax and can also drive class A 

Procedure for obtaining a new driving permit for first time applicants
 Obtaining a permit requires a series of steps to be followed, which include; 

Love and motivation.

Driving in Uganda is regarded as professional job and to be motivated is someone’s inner feeling to learn a new skill. With the motivation and love, you have for driving, look for a trusted trainer who is more trained to give more technics and basics for driving.

Training school.

 Before the training, obtain a learner’s or provisional driving permit from face technology at fee of shs 30,000 to allow the trainee access to the roads. Go for the basics and techniques of driving through a driving school or a permitted person to train.  Be attentive while learning to the basics of the training. The training is always hands on skill that takes an average period of 3-4 weeks. During the training period, the trainer should indicate an “L” sign on his vehicle the trainee must move with a learner’s permit while on the road in case the police asked for it. The L sign indicates that the trainer and the trainee should keep left while on the road.

Police test.

The instructor or trainer forwards the trainee to the police for eye testing and other practical testing like the reverse parking, box parking and through the road signs and rules that were previously taught by the trainer.

Permit issuing.

Collect all the necessary documents that include the learner’s permit to forward them to the face technology that is responsible for issuing the permits. The body collects all your bio data information into the computer and onto your card. A cash fee amounting to shs 60,000 is giver to the issuing officer. On paying the cash fee, the officer issues a temporary driving permit that is inform of a paper that has a validity of 3 months. Within a fortnight, the face technology calls or messages the applicant that his/her driving permit card is ready for collection. 

At this time, you are ready to pick your driver’s permit and order for a car rental hence self driving and improving your driving skills