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Tips For Self Drive Safaris In Uganda

Tips For Self Drive Safaris In Uganda

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Driving In Uganda
In Uganda driving is on the left side of the road. Main roads in and around Cities are usually in good condition but can be congested. Kampala the capital city in particular is a traffic nightmare with gridlock for much of the day. You can drive on the licence of most countries for up to 3 months after which time you need an International Driving Permit, though some websites make reference to getting your license endorsed by the Uganda Road Traffic authority before you can rent a car in Uganda. Minor and rural roads will generally be in a worse condition but are usually passable without a 4WD in dry seasons only.

Speed
Most road accidents in Uganda are caused by over speed. It is not always easy to manoeuvre a vehicle on a gravel or dirt road, especially if there are any sudden and unexpected obstacles like rocks, animals or fallen trees on the road. Vary your speed according to the road signs and conditions, always be alert and make sure that you have total control over your car.

Stock up with supplies
Always make sure you have more fuel than you need. When you enter any of the game parks, there are no fuel points. Carry extra, but not inside the vehicle.
There are no supermarkets near or around the park so remember to stock up on supplies from big cities such as Kampala, Masaka, Mbarara. Firewood can be bought off the sides of the road as you leave the city. Remember you are not allowed to collect firewood inside any of the protected areas.

Stay inside your tent
Do not sleep with any part of your body protruding from your tent. Campsites in the game parks are unfenced, lions and hyenas do enter these areas. Don’t keep food or citrus fruit in your tents at night as wild animals have a powerful sense of smell.

Do not walk alone in national parks or wildlife areas
The regulations are clear: do not walk, or wander away from your vehicle or tent in wildlife areas. If you do break down, stay with your vehicle. Walking at night or early mornings are the most dangerous times as this is when wild animals, snakes and scorpions are most active. Remember that hippos can run fast and a hippo attack can be fatal.

Do not drive off the road
Off-road driving is prohibited in national parks in order to keep wilderness areas in a pristine condition and to protect the wildlife from harm. Note if you are caught driving off the road, you will have to pay a total of $150. A broken sump or axle is also the last thing you want in a remote area.

Do not feed the animals
Never feed wild animals, as this will only encourage them to become less afraid of humans. This is true of any carnivore, such as hyena, but the same goes for other wild animals like monkeys. If you are bitten you will need a tetanus shot and if you are miles away from a clinic, you will have a serious problem which will even lead to death because are so poisonous.

Treat officials and bureaucrats with respect
Never lose your temper and become aggressive when dealing with police at roadblocks or game rangers in the parks. This will get you nowhere. Remember the 3 Ps: politeness, patience and perseverance.

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