Thursday, 30 April 2015

5 Tips for a self drive vacation in Uganda

Uganda is undoubtable one of the most safest and interesting places to go for a self drive vacation. Most of the Uganda roads have been renovated under the current government and this has facilitated a good road network around the country. Though this has been done successfully, its important to consider that Uganda is a third world developing country and therefore wont lack a few hickups, do not expect it to be like Europe or America. Most car rental companies like Auto rental Uganda provide you with very reliable cars vehicles among the fleet that can manouver the Uganda terrain successfully. There fore before you travel for a self drive vacation to Uganda, here are a few tips to get you adventuring Uganda on a self drive safari.

Consider Driving at 80kms/hr to maximum.
The maximum driving speed in Uganda is 80kms/hr on the main roads and minimumly 50kms/hr in the few centres. Forget the 120+ speed in some of the European countries. This in Uganda would get you in trouble or get fined heavly. There are always traffic police on the Uganda highways with speed guns. As well, the limited speed at less than 60kms/hr will give you the chance to look at the country side, scenery and nature than just speedby seeing and having a green blur tour. Plan your self drive distance for the day appropriately so you don’t rush it, if you rush it, you will definetly miss a lot.

Take it slow on the first day.
Considering your selfdriving in a foreign country with different driving behavours, say, the crazy van drivers, you might need to stay close and slow on the first day so you can adjust to your fellow road users, traffic, and all that matters on the road. Plan appropriately to drive less kms the first day for you to adjust. Yes the city traffic in kampala can be annoying but the slow pace the first day will enrich you with ways to adopt the  rest of your Uganda self drive vacation.

Get off the main road to the unbeated routes.
Yes, you have no idea what awaits you on any of the off  main track. Plan an hour or two between your destinations for you to branch off and discover the undiscovered. However its advisable to stop and turn back if the roads end. Don’t continue a lot if you have no GPS or if the small motorway like roads are not on the map. But use the time to discover that other part of Uganda at your own pace.

Know what towns are head of you.
On most of the highways, there are road signs showing how many kilometeres remaining before you reach this big town ahead of you. You could plan well, for your lunch stop and maybe top up your gas. Maybe you need to buy some stuff in the grocery or supermarket, this will be usefull. Plan to always engage in purchase at the big towns. At the gas stations always step out of the car and watch at the gas machine make sure what you asked for is what is put in. notice that the meteres starts from ZERO (0). Don’t let some of the pump attendant take advantage of you.

Understand Ugandas car insurance policies
When you finally decide to rent a car with any of the car rental agency, please take time to read through the terms and conditions of the car policies. Make sure you understand every clause. Some of the insuarace policies will cover upto a given damage, most likely something above USD $ 150. So many clauses to read and understand. Just to be safe with the car.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Travel Tips for solo travellers on self drive in uganda

Get ready to over come trouble before you travel
This should actually be part of your plans before leaving for your trip, make copies of your passport, visas, ATM card, credit cards, birth certificate, driver’s license and other important documents or ID cards. Leave one copy at home with your family or a close friend, and take another to hide somewhere in your bag, away from the originals. This will save you much trouble if anything gets lost or stolen

Always Keep your bag in front of you.
Stick it to your mind how you are alone, and just like any other country criminal minded people will always look out to the “seemingly”lonely people. For women, the answer is simple: bring a purse or bag where the strap crosses over your body and rests on your hip. These can be easily held against the front of your body. For men, I recommend wearing a backpack as a frontpack. It may sound silly, but I’ve had numerous friends have thieves open their backpack zippers and pull out money, cameras and phones without them even noticing. Always have your belongings in sight.

Always avoid Distraction.
Being one of the most common tactics thieves use to pickpocket travelers is distracting them with a chaotic or interesting situation. Some may simply engage you in conversation or have children surround you and starting high-fiving you, try as much as possible to avoid crowded streets as ther could be lots of distractions. And if you are on a self drive in Uganda, still avoid driving in crowded streets like of kampala, preferably put your windows up and use the air condition better way. In traffic jams, thieves will distract you and have your door opened.

Learn How To Defend Yourself
Seems akward but not seemingly akward for single travellers but taking a self-defense class is not only smart for solo travelers, but for everyone. Whether you’re on a trip or at home, violent attacks are possible. Learning how to defend yourself will not only give you skills to get out of dangerous situations, but will also make you a more confident solo traveler.

Avoid a lot of Alcohol Consumption
By being drunk people need to take care of you, you’re making yourself vulnerable to strange people. If you don’t know them and they aren’t genuine then your in for trouible. This is especially true if you’re traveling alone in a foreign country. At least if you’re at a bar you near home, you’ll have some familiar faces and nearby friends to lookout for you. When traveling solo, however, you need to be able to fully take care of yourself at all times. This doesn’t mean you can’t go out for drinks, just always make sure you drink responsibly and not foolishly.

Always Carry The Hotel’s Business Card
Immediately you check in to your hotel, make sure you keep a broncure, card or the hotels address with you at all times. The card idea is a great one because you won’t have to struggle to speak another language; simply hand the driver the business card and they’ll understand. Furthermore, in any case of theft or loss or robbery, it is a good starting point to report to police. Always endeavour to search for the tourism police contact as they will be the immediate institution to help you out in case of trouble.

Never Assume Your Hotel Room Is Safe
Being enclosed in a five star or cottage thing doesn’t give you the right to assume the hotel/lodge room is rilly very safe. Don’t leave your valuables lying around the hotel room, only to have money, passports and electronics go missing. Furthermore don’t always trust the front desk with your things, either. To keep your things safe, make use of in-room lockers and safes, where only you know the combination.

Avoid telling everyone you’re alone
Telling other backpackers/travellers in your hostels and guesthouses that your traveling alone when trying to put a group outing together, it’s something you try not to make obvious when exploring. If a stranger asks you who you’re traveling with, tell them your husband/wife/friend is in the bathroom and will be out in a minute, or he went out to buy something.

Avoid Bringing anything you wouldn’t mind losing
While you may love your wedding ring, designer purse and MacBook Pro, do you really need to bring these with you on your trip? My advice is to leave anything you would be devastated to lose at home. Forget about your expensive laptop and bring with you that cheap ipad, don’t bring any jewelry or any item with a designer label. The most valuable thing you bring is your point-and-shoot camera, and if need be, carry and protect it by keeping an eye on them.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Five Packing Tips for a Ugandan safari

Uganda is a small country compared to some of its neighbouring states like Kenya and Tanzania. Coming third and estimated at 236,040 km²  with over 56 tribes and an estimated population of 36 million poeple uganda is one of the most undiscovered treasures of this world. A lot of adventure it has to offer for the most memorable adventure  experience. Talk of being the primate capital of the world, harbouring half of the remaining endangered mountain gorillas, the chimpanzees, with over 10 national parks and game reserves, water bodies with the source of the longest river in the world where white water rafting and kayaking is done. The lush green vegetation, spectacular scenery not forgetting being the most friendly country with the most friendly people in the world. 

However it is very much advisable that before you headout to this pearl of Africa, nomatta how accommodating it can be, consider packing a few most esscencials to give you a good start. Whether your on a self drive in Uganda or guided safari.

1. Clothes: Looking the part in uganda makes the experience of a Safari that much more exciting. Think neutral colored clothes, light and airy fabrics but also layers depending the time of year. long sleeves button up shirt to cover up in the hot sun but to also keep you warm for the early mornings and late evenings before and after the sun is up when it can be a bit colder out. The climates in Uganda are so much unpredictable, expect it to rain at anytime of the day and shine at the same time any any time of the day. So any particular to match the weather will do you a great deal.

2. Boots/Field Shoes: Usually your safari can include bush walks where you will walk with your ranger and tracker by foot looking for animals and learning about the smaller things on Safari like the plants and insects, boots are a must for this. I doubt you would want to find a snake on your bush walk wearing just flip flops or sneakers, or rather sliperly grounds with the flip flops. The gorilla tracking experience requires you to wear boots, long pants and long stocks. Tucked in to avoid the safari ants. There is more than just siiting confortable in your 4WD from car rental agency like Auto Rental Uganda, more experience involves walking into those bushes. Most imporntant on your Ugandan safari.

3. Bug spray: On Safari you usually don’t have much of a problem with bugs when the sun is up but once the sun is down they are always everywhere. You can never be bitten if you carefully apply your bug spray and I’m sure depending on the season you go on safari to Uganda, they could be worse or not so bad so always be prepared. In the chance you do get bit by something look into also bringing an after bite type medicine with you to remove the itch so you don’t spend the rest of your trip constantly scratching the hell out of you. Mosquitoes are a common insect bite but most are non malarial tramsimital. They just suck the blood out of you. It leaves your body itching.

4. Camera: You obviously need to keep memories of your safari. The camera is one item you shouldn’t forget. Expect to take photos and videos left, right, and center while on safari. If you are trying to make the decision to upgrade to a fancier camera than a normal point and shoot, definitely make that decision before going on a Safari. If it means borrowing or renting, do whatever it takes to have the awaited memories captured. Pictures say a lot, same pictures will inspire you for your next move. You have what vto show friends and families back home.

5. Binoculars: For first adventures, strong and still very healthy, looking at taking binoculars on safari will look like a budden but in some cases you will need them. Animals don’t sit there and wait for you to come see them just right there. What you have to understand is its nature and these animals wonder everwhere in the park. I don’t think you would want to miss seeing a lion hunting in a distance. Most of the parks/infact all parks don’t allow going off track and it is a penalty of $150 for off tracking. So the binoculars or else the zoom lens will give you that opportunity to mingle the sighting. There are good sizable binoculars pocket friendly. They will do you a great deal on your safari in Uganda. Also surprisingly there are some amazing birds that you will see on safari like the papyrus gonolek and you are going to want some binoculars to get a closer view of them. Trust me, on Safari everything in uganda you see is exciting, even the birds, you will wish you had binoculars with you too.