LODGES AND CAMPSITES OVERVIEW
Uganda’s tourist industry has grown significantly over the past few years and there are literally hundreds of hotels, resorts, lodges, guesthouses, hostels and campsites scattered across the country. SAFARI DRIVE UGANDA specializes in self-drive safaris and as such, we have put together a comprehensive list of recommended accommodations catering specifically for this purpose.
We know that many of our self-drive clients are interested in a variety of overnight experiences, one night in a comfortable multi-starred lodge and possibly the next night outdoor camping under the African sky. From our experience, most self-drive safaris are put together on limited budgets and so the focus for us has been to offer alternatives that other safari tour companies do not offer, and probably not even aware of. In many instances, our recommendations will be a community-run campsite or guesthouse, enabling our self-drive clients to have a memorable cultural encounter with local people. The feedback that we have received from past clients has reinforced this.
In terms of camping, there are different options available, again depending on our client’s budget and interests. Many camping opportunities are limited to a small section of grassland on the lodge or hotel compound. These provide excellent security and enable the campers to use the washrooms, showers and restaurants on the property. There are also stand alone campsites, some operated or overseen by the Ugandan Wildlife Association, others by local community groups and still others operated by private individuals.
Campsites also vary in terms of the equipment; some have tents with beds all set up, other sites do not, and it requires the camper to provide their own equipment. Still others have both options available for campers. Washrooms, kitchen facilities and small shops selling food and drink will also be available in some locations, and not in others. It’s a mixed bag, and as such one has to be pro-active in terms of investigating each facility if one is fixed on a certain kind of camping.
Bush Camping is very popular, particularly on the Wilderness Parks. In most cases, the campers need to bring everything with them, as there will not be any shops nearby. Such basic items as drinking water will have to be carried to the bush campsite. We can provide you with a list of essentials before you head off into the wilds. Most bush campsites do not have electricity or running water, and care must be taken to ensure that everything one might want is taken in your vehicle. In many cases, bush camping is only an option if a Park Ranger accompanies the campers, as there is significant danger in sleeping in such close proximity to some of the wild animals in the parks.
Public campsites can also be found in some of the National Parks. These are under constant scrutiny by the Park Rangers and in these campsites, water, firewood and other basic essentials are available. These campsites offer the added advantage of park rangers on a 24/7 basis and taking advantage of their presence to acquire additional information about the park and its inhabitants.
HOTELS, GUESTHOUSES AND LODGES:
As we already mentioned, there is the whole spectrum of sheltered accommodation available in Uganda. In the urban areas, such as Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja and Fort Portal, thousands of hotel rooms are to be chosen from; location, price and facilities are of course determining factors. Location of many of these hotels and guesthouses is significant, especially when considering traffic patterns in cities such as Kampala, and we have selected locations that will be easy to get in and out of as you drive yourself in unfamiliar territory.
We have selected a few favorites in each urban setting, the 10 National Parks and the other destinations you as a self-driver may visit; we know you will get good value for your money, as well as good security for yourselves, your possessions and your vehicles, as well as pleasant and helpful staff. We either personally know all these recommended places, or have been informed by our associates and/or clients of their service and value. Evaluations are a key part of our customer service, and getting feedback, especially on accommodation is essential to our continued good service to our clients.
It would be our pleasure to assist you at any time during your safari in obtaining rooms. We are a full service Travel Agency and can make any bookings you would like. We enjoy taking care of our clients and making their self-drive safari as enjoyable and memorable as possible.