Uganda is ranked among the best safari destinations in Africa with over 10 national parks filled with some of the most iconic wildlife species in the world. A Uganda self drive safari through the national parks offer the tourists a chance to explore at their own pace and freedom. Apart from Bwindi forest and Mgahinga, rest of the national parks in Uganda are easy to adventure with well defined game tracks , entrance and exit points that will definitely make your road trip a safe and exciting adventure. Below are some of the tips to follow when driving through the national parks on any safari.
Always drive slowly; this is one of the vital safety driving tips in Uganda which apply to all destinations and roads. All the parks in Uganda require you to drive at a speed of 40km per hour to avoid collisions with the animals or car flips. The other good thing about driving slow is that you also get a chance to see variety of species which you could have missed when over speeding.
Always travel early; many safaris in Africa need you to get up so early as it gives you a chance to see early risers and other wildlife going to hibernate after a night’s hunt. Uganda national parks all open gates art 7am and most lodges serve breakfast as early as 6 am to ensure you can get on the tracks by 7. So when on a road safari, forget about walking up late, you have to get ready by 6 to see many wildlife species and if lucky, watch the sunrise from the fantastic park land scape.
Get a safari Guide; the guide will help you with direction inside the park since you don’t know the game tracks and best route to take, you will always find problems exploring any park if you don’t have a driver guide. You might also not need anyone to drive you to the park but you will definitely hire one to take you around the park. UWA employs many experienced and well trained guides with adequate knowledge about the park routes, wildlife and accommodation hence you will be assured of a safe journey through the wild. He will provide you with the information you need to know about the national park including the history, animal facts, and can help you out in case of a break down. The guide can be hired at $30 per day in the park.
Always avoid night game drives; driving through the park at night might seem like great but it’s so dangerous to venture. The game drives at night disturb the peace of mind of the wild animals resting in the night and chances of colliding with an animal are so high. Kidepo and Ssemuliki national parks offer night game drives but only under the supervision of a trained game ranger.
Always keep on the track; always keep on the available game track when driving through the park to avoid accidents and unwanted fines. The tracks in the park offer nice views of the wildlife and land scapes so there is no need to get off the road and enter the virgin land. It’s one of the most important park rules and should be followed with extreme caution to avoid any problems.
Remember to not blow the car horn; avoid the horn when inside the park as this can scare the animals away killing yours and other tourist chances of seeing wildlife animals which isn’t good. In case another car distracts your view or your way, you just have to shout at them instead of blowing the horn.
Don’t litter inside the park; this is another vital tip not only because it’s a regulation but also because it’s a good environmental practice to preserve the park and also the animals living in it. The used items like the bottles, paper bags and polythene bags among others should not be through outside of the car rather kept and dispose off at the lodge or outside the park.
Always remember to Fuel up; before you start any safari to any destination, it’s important to fuel up and carry extra cans of fuel. Visit the gas station before you hit the road and pay for a full tank to be assured of no interruption when in the park. Getting stuck on a game track in the forest is a very scary adventure and also adds to your expenditure as you have to call police or Rental Company for a backup which is expensive.