Top 5 defensive driving tips for uganda self drive safaris

Defensive driving skills are some traits that every driver should learn in particular for people travelling long distances that lead to the national parks in uganda.  there are very many defensive driving tips that a traveler can follow to have a safe self drive safari Uganda.  Defensive driving requires one to be alert behind the wheel and also keep a keen eye on the other road users as he/she traverses on the raged roads of uganda.

Defensive driving is no shame since it helps to minimize the risk of getting accident and save a life too. The tips of defensive driving are no brainer as they are common applications to safe driving.

Below are the top 5 defensive driving tips for a Uganda Self drive safari;

Avoid all the distractions

Many divers have a tendency of focusing on their things while driving yet driving is very fragile engagement which requires one to focus all the time. Many people enjoy using their phones, listening to very loud music or at times eat while driving yet these can easily distract them and get off the road or run over an object since they have removed their sight off the road and do not know what is taking place. It is best to focus on driving and forget about other things that can lead to distraction.

Don’t ignore the traffic signs

This is the main defensive driving tip. Obeying the traffic signs is a very good gesture since it helps the driver follow the right guidelines of the road as he/she keeps in the right speed, avoid wrong turns and follow the traffic lights. Following the road signs minimizes road offences and thus decreasing road accidents.

Keep your distance from other vehicles

There should be a 5 meter distance between vehicles while driving. The gap helps the driver not to run over another vehicle when there is an instant stop of the car or when the turning or parking.

Be familiar with all weather conditions

When driving in unfamiliar territories like the national parks of Uganda, try as much as possible to avoid travelling on the marram roads when it has rained. On a rainy day it becomes so hard for the vehicles to move so well.  It is commendable to drive on a sunny day or try to look for better roads when the season is wet.

Have enough rest before taking a long distance

This tip of taking enough rest when going for a long distance should be known by every driver. Sometimes driving requires lots of energy especially when travelling for a long distance so the driver has to take enough rest to recharge the batteries in that he/she can stay awake for quiet some good time.

4 Ideal 4×4 Vehicles For A Road Trip in Uganda

The self drive safaris are becoming so popular in Uganda due to the presence of a wide variety of tourist attractions that include over ten national parks and wildlife reserves, which makes Uganda one of the best safari destinations in Africa. Even though some of the travellers choose the guided safaris through travel agencies, and others choose to drive their own adventures by hiring a 4×4 car in Kampala. This has led to the organisation of many self drive car rental agencies in the city. Below are the top 4 popular rentals for self-drive safaris in Uganda.

Toyota Prado; this is the most common 4×4 vehicle hired in Uganda for self-drive safaris. This category also includes cars like prado TX, TZ, GX AND 3 litre Turbo. The Toyota Prado carries about 5 people including the driver. You can hire a Toyota Pardo in Uganda from as low as $60 per day without a driver and fuel, and large discounts are present for long period rental and during the low season. This car is so spacious for the luggage and camping gear. It’s also perfect for driving on the poor road conditions often met on the way of some national parks like Kidepo valley. Some of these cars have got a pop up roof that will reward you with excellent game viewing as well as photographing opportunities.

The Toyota RAV 4; this is one of the bestselling compact SUVs in a self-drive rental business with in Kampala. It usually available in manual and automatic transmission, and either three or five doors. It has an engine of 1990cc which performs excellently regardless of the weather. The car has got low maintenance costs and gets great fuel mileage. When its rear seats are folded down, it can offer a cargo volume for the vehicles twice its size.  This type of car is recommended for 2 people and can go as low as $35 per day.

Super custom. Mini bus: this car is suitable and comfortable for large groups and family vacations. However, the space for the luggage largely depends on the number of people as well as the number of days you are to spend on the safari. In case you are having a long safari, you will definitely carry more luggage as compared to when going on a shorter safari. The cars are available in both automatic and manual transmission, some of these cars come with a pop up roof or sun roof.

4×4 safari Land Cruiser; these include short and extended land cruisers that are suitable for both rentals and wildlife game drives during the safari. These are highly recommended for the off the beaten path drive.

These services ranges from beyond renting a car on self-drive, we also provide you with the perfect safari vacations. We also offer cross border rentals, long term rentals, experienced drivers, airport transfer, Kampala city guides, and much more. We can help clients buy their gorilla and chimpanzee permits and also rent camping equipment (tents, mattresses, cooking utensils, gas cooker, and cutlery).

5 Tips for Driving on Rough Roads on a Uganda self-drive safari

Many travelers in Uganda love driving by themselves while visiting the different tourism destinations but the roads in Uganda are not that smooth like those in the developed countries. Most roads in Uganda are rough, raged and most of potholes and it is very challenging for new drivers especially those that come from the western world who have better roads.

The cause of these raged roads and potholes is the nature of land texture and the water logging that gets on these roads thus leading to the deformation and breaking of the road.

Nonetheless we human beings have a never say die attitude where we improvise and find a way to get the job done. So although most of the roads in Uganda are rough and hard to drive on there are ways on how to drive on them successfully.

And we bring to you the tips of driving on rough roads on a Uganda self-drive safari

Understand the Wheel Drive of the Vehicle

Most of the cars hire out to clients are 4 wheel drive cars due to the fact that our roads are rough and raged to drive on and 4×4 cars are very combative and resilient. Though at a rare occasion the two drive cars are hired out to travelers. Therefore, it is very important the traveler gets to know the wheel drive of the rental car is driving so that he/she can know what its features are and thereby know how to drive when you reach the rough roads.

Get to know about driving on rough roads in Uganda

As soon as getting to the car rental counter or the delivery boy gets to you, you have to tell the person in charge where you will be going and driving so that he/she can advise on how to drive on certain roads. So as a driver it is best to avoid primitive, muddy and rocky roads and use the safer one though they might be longer.

Slowing Down of Car

While driving in road that are rough, ragged and have pothole try to slow down the speed. The speed should be around 40km/hr.  it commendable because any mistake as you hit the pothole or rock on the road while driving at a terrible speed, the car may get a damage or rollover sometimes.

Carry Emergency Equipment

When driving for long distance in Uganda, It is important to have certain tools in the kit so that the strain put on the vehicles while driving on rough roads if causes any problem then, the emergency supplies can be made use of. Some of the tools in this regard that can be helpful are a shovel, spare tire, tire jack, jumper cables, cell phone, and first aid kit.

Drive in the Fast Lane

It is advisable to dudge driving the car in the right lane on a well streamlined highway since most of the heavy and loaded trucks always drive in that lane thus if there is any mistake on the road, one is more likely to crush or make an accident with these heavy vehicles. It is best for you as a traveler to use the fast lane to avoid the fore mentioned problems.

Get The Right Vehicle

Ensure that you get the vehicle that can fight and tussle on the rugged roads of uganda. it is high recommendable to use 4×4 vehilces while going to the remote areas of uganda since most of them are murram yet murram roada are muddy and raged most of the times. It is also required one to get a well modified 4×4 vehicle that can maneuver on the roads.



The Five Destinations to Visit on A Road Trip Uganda

Uganda is the right destination for you to enjoy a road trip. Below are some of the few destinations to visit while on a road safari to Uganda.

Jinja is the first destination when thinking about having a road trip in Uganda. The town is famous as the historic source of the Nile River, and this town is the adrenaline capital of East Africa. you will get a fix of the white water rafting, Kayaking, Quad biking, mountain biking as well as riding in the natural setting with the colonial architecture. You will find the Bujagali hydroelectric project that has reduced some rapids on the river. The activities that can be carried out in Jinja include; White water rafting on the Nile and it’s so famous to the travellers since they get to adventure into the great rapids on the source of the Nile. There is kayaking which is also an alternative to rafting and here you can go solo and kayak through the raging river or take a more leisurely paddle on the flat waters. You can enjoy boating that can be enjoyed on the source of the Nile as you visit the islands along the way.

The other destination for a road trip is the Eastern Uganda; not only the great scenery, eastern Uganda is a must visit destination especially for a road trip safari in Uganda. Here the mighty Nile begins its epic journey north. You will enjoy mountain Elgon which is famous for mountain hiking as well as the viewing of the Sipi falls. This region also offers a charming and friendly base on the shores of Lake Victoria where the travellers can spend a few days or more as they enjoy the chilled atmosphere. The main attractions in this region that you will enjoy on your road trip include;  Ngamba Island common for the chimpanzees, Source of the Nile, Mpanga forest reserve, Mountain Elgon national park, Nyero rock painting as well as Makanaga wetland.

The road trip to Uganda won’t be complete without visiting the Northern part of Uganda. This is mainly a journey to the Karamong people who live in Kidepo National Park. This is a two to three day journey that takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the country. You get to enjoy the plains filled with tall jagged peaks and fields ablaze with the sun flowers. You will enjoy the karamonjong people. This is the main highlight of the journey for most of the pastoral herders that are known for their traditional dress.

As you drive from Kampala or Kidepo, the best spot to have an overnight is in Moroto which is the biggest and most prosperous of Karrramoja towns, with leafy streets and many NGOs. There are many activity options here like pastoral villages or traditional herder’s camps, the outdoor adventures as well as the great cultural immersion with the Karamajong through the great programs. You can as well enjoy the guided hiking. Further on is Kotido, a gritty, downtrodden town with a large NGO presence. You can stay at the Kotido Resort, with clean rooms in a secure compound, but it’s best to time it so you can push on. Just outside Kidepo, the village of Kaabong can be an interesting stop to take in the bustling roadside market and perhaps to purchase a plaid blanket to steel you against the chilly evenings of the north.

The western part of Uganda is so great for a road trip, you will get chance to drive to Bwindi impenetrable national park famous for mountain gorilla trekking. The park has got half the world’s surviving park which is one of East Africa’s most famous national parks. The park also contains famous primates and over 120 species of mammals. you get chance to see the forest elephants, 11 species of primates, duikers, bush bucks, the African golden cats as well as the rare giant forest hog, as well as the many bird species and insect species.

You can as well have a road trip to Queen Elizabeth national park; this national park is always included on the Ugandan itinerary. You are guaranteed to see very many wildlife species including; the giraffes, lions, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, elephants as well as the buffaloes. The famous tree-climbing lions in the remote Ishasha sector of the park are a fascinating highlight, but many people also come specifically to see some of the amazing 611 bird species that can be found here. Again in the west, you can enjoy Kibale National Park which is famous for chimpanzee trekking, Ssemuliki national park for birding, Rwenzori Mountains for mountain climbing, as well as Lake Mburo National Park.




Hire a 4×4 Rental to Visit the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Gone are the days when tourists would want an all-inclusive tour package. Nowadays, all they do is a hire a car and explore the several tourist attractions on their own. It is such an adventurous and interesting experience where one hire a car to wander the unrelenting green landscapes enchanted with amazing wildlife by oneself in a foreign land like Uganda. Uganda has so many attractions to visit but what beats the odds are the mountain gorillas.

The mountain gorillas are endangered species of animals that are only found in the east central African regions. These animals are one of the most sought species in the wild by eco tourists and Uganda is one of the only three lucky countries to have them. In Uganda, the mountain gorillas are found in the tropical rain forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga within the Virunga massif.

Mountain gorillas trekking is wonderful and spicing it up by traveling on your own can make the trip a lifetime experience as excitement is combined with adventure and freedom. Hiring a car in Uganda has become so much easier since there are several car rental companies in the country. The car rental companies are found in online and online shopping is the order of the day in this day and age generations.

All you have to do is get to google and a book with a car rental company that has the best 4×4 rental that would suit your mountain gorilla trekking expedition. If you are a sole traveler, a Toyota rav4 or a Toyota land cruiser Prado can be your ideal 4×4 rental car for the business.

One might wonder, how you going to acquire a gorilla permit or accommodation for your trip. Most car rental companies in Uganda book gorilla permits for their clients as long as the client sends the money for the permits. They also advise and suggest the ideal accommodation to stay in while in Uganda.

Visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda on your own is terrific as you are able to encounter various attraction while driving to the southwest of the country. There are wonderful green hilly landscapes to watch that will make a tourists appreciate and enjoy nature.

More to the driving on your own is viewing the mountain gorillas in the wild. It is not being endangered species that makes the mountain gorillas such special animals to watch but also their eye catching social behavior while interacting amongst themselves in the jungle.  Mountain gorillas somehow relate like human beings in their social circle. They have the head of a family in an alpha male called the silverback of which he is the Centre of all the daily works that takes place in the family. The mountain gorilla family normally involves around 10-30 individuals. The mountain gorillas have the ability to use tools like stones and tree branches while gathering food and also build their nests. These amazing animals also have a very interesting communication sounds that would make the onlooker think that it is some kind of language with a special dialect. Apart from enjoying their social antics in the jungle, you are also able to take photos and videos of them and also not forgetting the interesting stories about them that you get from the commentaries of the gorilla ranger who guides while trekking.

Therefore when you are out their interested in traveling on your own and you would love to visit the mountain gorillas in the wild, Uganda is the place to be. Just get to to hire a car, hit the road to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla Park and have a trip of a lifetime.

Car battery Damaging Habits to Avoid on a Uganda Self Drive Safari

Have ever been in the middle of the jungle and then the rental car jams to move? We all know what can happen right from there, the first thing is to develop panic attacks due to the fact that you may not know how to move of out the jungle where there are no people to come to rescue. As a car rental experts we ascertained the problem being car battery failure. Car battery failure are normally caused by bad driving habits.

Here we try to bring the terrible habits to avoid that can kill the car battery;

Driving with a Loose Battery 

Sometimes car batteries get loose from their clamps and they cannot perform to the maximum potential and in the end weakening. So as a traveler always check on the battery to see whether it is in its right position.

In case your battery is loosely clamped or not properly secured in its place, the vibration, on driving becomes one of the major causes of car battery failure. It gets even worse if it is an uneven terrain you are driving on. It causes damage to the components inside it, resulting in the formation of cracks. The ultimate result is corrosion and failure down the line.

Leaving Lights and Cooling on while the Car is Stationary

This act is one of the most common cause of battery failure in the long term. Leaving radio, lights, air conditioner or electronics charging when the car is not at operation or being driven leads to the drain of the battery and thus killing it in the long run. So you have to ensure that all the systems that use the battery to run are turned off while the car is at station.

Lack of General Maintenance

It is important to check the battery every few months, especially at the time of service. Check whether the level of water is full. Water loss takes place because of the normal gassing caused by high temperatures. Simply go for a battery in which you can maintain the water level, and the battery can last much longer than usual.

Driving only Short Distances

If you did not know about this then it time you know. The car battery charges whenever the car is being driving. Therefore when you drive the car for a short period or distance, the battery does not completely charged. In most cases when the battery is not completely charged regularly and is used, it dies out.

So always make sure that you driving the car for a reasonable distance.

Turning the Headlights on before the EngineI

It is something that a lot of us do without realizing that it can be fatal for the car battery. When you put the headlights on before you turn the ignition on, it exerts extra load on the battery. Though it is incapable of causing battery failure in the short term, it surely shortens the life span of even the best batteries.

When you rent a car in Uganda for a self-drive safari make sure you avoid the above bad habits that may kill the car battery. And when the car battery is dead, there are problems of car breakdown that you are definitely going to face on your trip

6 Road Offences to Avoid While Driving in Uganda

Nowadays most tourists who come to Uganda wish to drive on their own to visit the various tourism destinations. However, many of these tourists are foreign to the lands of Uganda and therefore some of the road rules and policies are unfamiliar to them. Many of them have been convicted by the traffic officers for road offences, they clearly do not know about.

We found out the missing gap that many of these foreign travelers we rent cars in Uganda sometimes are not aware that they are making offences on the road. So as a traveler, we bring to you the most common Road Offences to Avoid While Driving in Uganda

Not fastening your belt while driving; This is a common habit among drivers, they tend to forget to fasten their belts. fastening the belt is not only done for the sake of avoid a road offence but it is also a good driving deed as the belt protects from hitting the sterling or windscreen in case of an accident thus sometimes saving from getting severe inquiries. Anyone caught by the traffic officer without fastening his/her seat belt is given a fine of around ugx 10000shs.

Over speeding in settlements/urban areas; the major causes of road accidents in Uganda is over speeding that is normally done in the urban areas. Many people drive at a terrible speed in areas where people are dwelling and doing their business yet there are always people crossing the roads and also building and other stuff just near the road. So in case of any hiccup while driving the driver is likely to run over the people or building or stuff around the road due to over speeding. The maximum speed of driving on roads where there are settlements or towns is 50km/hr. therefore if you happen to go beyond that it is an offence.

Taking over in corners; this must be a renowned offence worldwide but still drivers still do commit it. Taking over in a corner is a very dangerous act since you may not a clear vision of a car coming from the opposite and hence colliding with it. Traffic officers are always near the corner to curb down offenders who over take in corners.

Driving at the shoulders of the road; Driving at the ending of the road is an offence in Uganda. The space left at the road side is normally for pedestrians but some drivers use the space in order to bit traffic jam which is an offence.

Driving without third party insurance; it is mandatory for every vehicle in Uganda to have third party insurance as this protects the vehicle in case of causing any social hardship like knocking the building, animals or any other stuff.

Driving without a driving license; sometimes travelers tend to carry their driving license while driving in Uganda yet it is the only document that reflect that you are eligible or qualified to drive.  So as a traveler you should always carry your driver’s license when you are going to drive in Uganda.

Tips For Booking 4×4 Uganda Car Hire Services

Most of the vehicles hired out in Uganda are 4×4 in context four wheel drive cars due to the raged roads of the country. It is somehow challenging to drive in Uganda on the raged roads so thereby calling for combative vehicles like 4×4 vehicles that can waiver all sorts of challenges on the road.

Most travelers who hire 4×4 vehicles for reasons of visiting various tourism destinations in Uganda, family and friends, for business transfers, social occasions like wedding ceremonies and also for political conferences.

Booking 4×4 Uganda car hire services is no-brainer since there are plenty of car rental companies operating the business and their booking systems are very user friendly. However like any other business that involves very many entities, there are always black spots that one has to be critical of so that he/she can overcome them to get the exact service.

So while booking 4×4 Uganda car hire services, there are various tips/criteria one has to adhere to get a very genuine and affordable services so that one can have a very wonderful traveling and driving experience in Uganda.

Here are tips for booking 4×4 Uganda car hire services;

Book online

There are very many car hire companies that are found on the internet. The internet is the best place to book 4×4 Uganda car hire services. It is more convenient to book car hire services on the internet as you can do it anywhere you can be using your tablet, smart phone or computer. More to that the services that are booked on the internet are tend to be cheap due to the high competition and also you can get all the necessary travel information about Uganda on these car rental websites.

Shop around

You should not commit to the first car rental company you land on online. Make inquiries to different car rental companies and compare and contrast their services and prices. Out of the very many companies you inquire to, you are likely to get very good car hire services that will make your traveling experience in Uganda.

Book in Advance

This is one trick of getting affordable and proper car rental services. Car hire services in Uganda are on a very high demand thus leading to scarcity of cars to rental in some periods of time or at times prices soaring up. It is best for you to hire a car in Uganda at an early date so that the car provide has enough time to reserve for you the exact car and also give it to at a normal price.

Book direct

You should always do car rental booking by yourself direct to the car rental provider to cut the costs. When you use the middleman, you incur more cost as he/she has to include his/her commission in the price quotation.

Interesting Facts About Car Hire in Uganda

Car hire services in Uganda are the best traveling options though they are new in the country. This scheme is still at its infant stage but it is a lifesaving traveling options to various people of different reasons of travel. People use car hire services in Uganda to visiting various tourism destinations, family and friends, for business transfers, social events like wedding ceremonies and also political occasions.

Many people would love to take up car hire services but do not know how to go about and here are some of the interesting facts about them that will enlighten the would-be customers of the services.

Most companies that offer car hire services in Uganda operate online. They do most of their operations internet and it is the place to book the services. There are a thousands of companies that provide car hire services on the internet and the competition is so stiff thereby the companies renting out rental cars at fair prices.

The payment for services is done by either cash or electronic transfer through bank, online channel payment like pesapal or credit card. Furthermore, most car rental companies ask for a security deposit fee upon booking the vehicle to ensure that the client is committed and willing to take up the reserved rental car.  The payment is normally made in us dollars, euro pound sterling, Uganda shilling and any other that can be easily be converted into Uganda shilling provided the tour operator can accept it.

While acquiring the rental car, the hirer is supposed to be present his/her driving license and passport or national identification card to know whether he/she is eligible to drive the car and also verify whether is the real person renting the car respectively. In additional, the client must endorse on the car rental agreement which consists terms and conditions of hiring the car from the operator.

Most of the rental cars that offered to travelers are four wheel drive cars. This is because of the raged roads of Uganda that need terminator cars to maneuver through. Also most of the rental cars given out are Toyota brand of cars due to the high demand of them through the country. They are also ease to maintain.

The biggest market for the rental cars are travelers visiting the various tourism destinations in Uganda. Nowadays, tourists hire vehicles and explore on their own without a safari driver guide.  These tours are called self-drive safaris.

Why You Should Go to Murchison Falls National Park on a Uganda Self Drive expedition?

Murchison Falls National Park is located in the north of Uganda and it is the largest biodiversity conservation in Uganda. This wonderful game park has become the power house in Uganda’s tourism industry as it receives hundreds of thousands of tourists to enjoy its attractions. Of lately tourists love exploring different tourism destinations on their own and this is commonly termed as self-drive expedition. These kind of expeditions are tremendously exciting as the tourists enjoy and explore a wide range of biodiversity without any restrictions.

A Uganda self-drive expedition to Murchison falls national park is very amazing and many travelers who have undertaken have had a lifetime experience and here are the reasons as to why you should go to Murchison falls national park on a Uganda self-drive expedition

Murchison falls national park has one of the most powerful and scenic waterfall in Africa. These powerful falls are a beauty to watch and encounter. As you hike to the top of the falls, you witness the Nile forcing its way out of a narrow path to a loud sound as it settles down at the bottom. Top of the falls is a good place for photography.

At Murchison falls national park, you have the opportunity to see the big five animals except the rhino that are only found at Zziwa rhino sanctuary which can also be visited on your way to the park. So it is best for you to have a stopover at a sanctuary to sum me it all as a big five time. On the game drive around the park you see these amazing animals grazing, running around while others resting getting rid of satisfaction. There are also some other incredible animals to see on the game drive such as giraffes, elands, warthogs, antelopes and hyenas.

You can also have launch cruise at the Victoria Nile where you are able to see interesting and special aquatic lives. While on the afternoon boat ride feeling the sea breeze, you are able to see hippos, crocodiles, variety of bird species and also land animals mostly elephants and buffaloes at the banks of the river.

Murchison falls national park is one of the kind biodiversity, it is so unique with very special species of animals and plants and also interesting physical features that cannot be found anywhere in the world. It would be a very memorable experience if you would take up a Uganda self-drive expedition to Murchison falls national park.