Uganda Travel Guide
Uganda is a country in East-Central Africa and home to over 42 million people. It borders to Kenya, South Sudan, Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania and takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country, including the capital Kampala.
Uganda gained independence from the UK on October 9th, 1962 and English and Swahili are the country’s official languages. There are around 54 distinct tribes (this number changes all the time) that exist in Uganda and tribe living is a big part of Uganda.
When it comes to touristing, Uganda is the ultimate destination for adventurers who are keen on exploring an up-and-coming travel destination. A lot of work is currently being done in Uganda to boost tourism including road work, new hotels and lodges. The best way to discover Uganda is through road-tripping and self-driving.
Things to See and Do in Uganda
- Gorilla Trekking
- Boda-boda tour of Kampala
- Lake Mburo National Park
- Queen Elizabeth National park
- Chimpanzee Trekking
- Kidepo Valley National Park
- Jinja Water Rafting
- Eat a Rolex
- tree climbing lion at Ishasha
Typical Costs When Travelling
Accommodation – Lodges near National Parks will cost you around $150 per night for two people with all meals included (and as much as $350), camping in a National Park will cost aroud $10 USD. The cheapest way to travel Uganda is by renting a car with a tent, this way you never have to worry about where you will sleep and save big $$$ on accommodation. Toilets and showers are available at every camping spot and while they are not the fanciest, they are certainly not bad.
Food – Local food is extremely cheap, usually under $1 USD from a street food vendor. A Rolex (a yummy egg and veggie wrap) will cost as little as $0.50. If you are staying at a fancier lodge, expect to pay around $10 – $15 for a three-course meal. A bottle of local beer costs around $1.50 at a bar. Buying food in a supermarket is a lot more expensive than a local market and the prices are very similar to those in Europe. We did some grocery shopping in a western supermarket and spent $50 on food for dinner and breakfast. The day after we spent $1 on vegetables at a local market to feed 3 people for a dinner. So, if you are on a budget, buy local.
Transportation – The best way to get around Uganda is with a car. Hire a 4×4 and drive your own adventure or hire a driver if you don’t feel confident about driving by yourself. Renting a car will cost you around $70 – $150 per day, depending on the type of car you choose. Petrol costs are around $1 – $1.20 per litre, depending on the gas station you go to. In Kampala take an Uber or Safe Boda (app for boda-boda, motorcycle taxi).
Suggested daily budget
$ 150 USD. Note: This is a suggested budget for two people and includes the car hire, local food and sleeping at campsites. Africa is not as budget-friendly as SE Asia since there is still very little competition among the hotels and tour providers, but you can do it on a budget if you know where to look.
1. Eat local Instead of buying food in a supermarket, buy straight from the locals on markets and cook yourself.
2. Travel with friends Everything is cheaper when you travel with more people. You will save quite a bit when sharing the car and gas expenses, as you will spend most of the days in the car.
3. Travel during low season Prices for everything that has with tourism to do rise during high seasons, so travel in low season to save $$$.
4. Camp The best way to save a lot of money when travelling Uganda is by camping. If you have space in your luggage for camping gear, then bring it with you. If not, it’s easy to rent from a tour company,
When to visit Uganda
Uganda is truly a year-round destination due to its location near the equator. The temperatures are steadily around 25°C during daytime. It does get slightly chilly in the evenings in higher latitude areas, so make sure to bring a jumper or two with you.
Rainy seasons run from October to November and mid-March to May, but the rain doesn’t last long and is usually quite light. High season is when most Europeans have holidays – December and July/August.