For most first-time traveler to Uganda, the mere thought of doing a self drive Uganda safaris stresses them. With the help of a safari driver/guide, it is easy to navigate the country. This comes along with identifying its wildlife, learning about its culture and history and so on. For the case of self drive safari goers, all this hustle is handled by the adventurers them selves. Though it comes with freedom of exploring and discovering the country’s natural wonders at your own time and pace.
What exactly is a self-drive Uganda safari?
This refers to getting behind the driver’s seat explore the country by ones self without the help of a driver guide. For most Uganda’s safari destinations, a 4WD safari vehicle is recommended for maneuvering through the savannah plains, muddy and hilly slopes, and so on.
With self drive Uganda safaris, there are numerous advantages that include; not having a specified schedule or limit thus if you choose to have up to five hours of watching/photographing wildlife without being stopped. You can as well enjoy the chance of exploring the off the beaten track without inconveniencing the would be driver.
Above all, it costs a percentage of the price of guided safaris. In most cases, non self drive safaris tend to be more expensive than self drive ones. For some on looking at doing an African safari at a shoe string budget, self drive might be a great option.
Best Areas for self drive Uganda Safaris
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda most remote park and suitable for self-drive safaris. The park is more than 9 hours drive from the Capital City which makes it ideal for long stays. It takes a lot of patience to get to this park. However, the results outweigh the effort because other than the diversity of wildlife present, self-drivers enjoy some of the most scenic views on the African continent. It is important to note that several years, Kidepo Valley has taken the awards of Africa’s best picturesque park. Kidepo Valley National Park is famous for its rare animals like Ostriches, cheetahs, jackals, caracals, striped hyenas, Klipspringers, honey badgers and so on.
Murchison falls National Park
Murchison Falls National parks lies with in Murchison Falls Conservation Area which is the largest in the country. It features varying landscapes and its roads are accessible by 4WD Vehicles with lots of accommodation facilities to rest your head after long days of adventure. While on a self drive safari in this part o Uganda, expect to see elephants, giraffes, lions, buffaloes, heart beasts, oribis, waterbucks. You can also take a boat cruise safari on the river Nile to watch the spectacular Murchison Falls. More to say, you can also view chimpanzees in Kaniyo Pabidi on either a morning or afternoon primate walk. The park hosts over 350 bird species including the rare shoebill stalk.
Semliki National Park
Adventure Seekers looking to explore the road less-travelled can take self-drive trips to the exclusive Semliki National Park in Bundibugyo district, western Uganda. We do highly recommend this park to bird watchers since it hosts several bird species endemic to only the Albertine Rift. For instance, the Congo serpent eagle, long tailed hawk and so on.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
In western Uganda 7 hours drive from Kampala lies Uganda’s most popular park, Queen Elizabeth. Named after Queen Elizabeth of England, Queen Elizabeth is a real gem. Wildlife present includes; lions, elephants, buffaloes, hippos, leopards, water bucks, many bird species and so on. We surely recommend a 4WD safari car if you expect to navigate the various parts of this park.
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo is Uganda’s smallest savanna park. It lies just 4 hours drive away fro Kampala, the capital. Its vegetation is mainly acacia and therefore a great place to spot giraffes, zebras, impalas, buffaloes, hippos, and so on. Self drive safaris normally include this park as either the first or last spot on their long safaris due to its proximity to Kampala.
Ideal vehicles for self drive Uganda Safaris
It features 3-5 doors with 1990cc engine and ideal for a small number of passengers. Its a low maintenance car and its low fuel consumption makes it a perfect choice by shoe string budget safari goers.
This 4WD Vehicle comes in form of TX and TZ with seating capacity of 5 passengers in addition to having good fuel consumption. Expect extra space for cargo and camping equipment thus ideal for self-drive safaris in Uganda.
Mini-van or super custom
Are you planning a self-drive safari for a group. The Toyota mini vans carry 7 to 9 passengers. The advantage with this type of car is the huge space for luggage. It comes in both manual and automatic transmissions. All our safari vans have popup roofs for safari viewing and photography.
Toyota Land Cruiser
Many say that the Toyota Land Cruiser was built for Africa. It is no doubt it is most preferred car by safari companies and Non Government Organizations that work in remote areas. It ability to with stand harsh conditions that the world throws to it makes it the ultimate safari car for Self drive Uganda safaris. Our Toyota Land cruisers come in 70,80 and 105 series. They are very robust and can handle the most difficult terrains which other cars can not.
Important guidelines for Self drive Uganda Safaris
Always obey the set traffic rules and guidelines like speed limits during your self-drive safari in Uganda.
Stay alert and aware of crossing domestic animals like cattle, goats and pigs during your self-drive safari in Uganda.
Drive slowly through gravel roads within the National Parks and Wildlife Reserves of Uganda.
Thoroughly conduct checks on the vehicle (tyres, engine, indicator lights and others) before embarking in your self-drive trip in Uganda.
Avoid driving after dark.
Make sure that your fuel talk is filled because there are literally no fuel stations in remote areas of Uganda, to mention but a few.