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8 Tips To Stay Safe While on Self Drive in Uganda

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Self Drive Safari in Uganda

A Self drive safari is a newly trending travel experience today in Uganda’s tourism industry. Undertaking a self drive tour in Uganda equally features its own incredible benefits for independent travelers looking to exploring Africa. It comes with maximum independence and privacy that you may wish to enjoy while on vacation while allows you to have the most flexible and comfortable road trip. But this doesn’t mean that you have full ownership of the car hire and especially when it comes to exploring Uganda on own. You have to follow the set guidelines while you are on road trip. Remember, self drive car rental in Uganda does not come cheap and for any damage, the company may transfer the cost to you and that is why you need to be careful and keen while driving.

1. In case of any road accidents while you are driving a car hire, the company might count you liable for any damages caused especially on the vehicles and the other 3rd party property damaged on the road. Note that accidents cause loss of lives and it is a criminal offense in Uganda in case you are found guilty. To reduce on this, you have to pay maximum attention while on road trip especially for visitors who are interested in self drive safaris in Uganda.

2. Check on your speed limit as you drive on Uganda roads. Over speeding has been sighted as the number one cause of road accidents not only in Uganda but also in most countries and this may result into imprisonment of which we do not wish our clients to full culprits that is why we bring to you these tips if you are planning to go on self drive in the pearl of Africa. The recommended speed limit in Uganda is usually 80 kilometers per hour on highways and places where settlements or busy urban areas you can drive 50 kilometers per hour and in the protected areas where most Uganda’s tourism activities are conducted, you can take off at 40 kilometers per hour. However, there are other special cases where you have to drive based on the designated speed limit along the road sign posts.

3. Never drive along the edge of the roads given that most roads in Uganda are narrow and there are usually vehicles parked at the end and pedestrians can be walking on the same road. Driving along the shoulders of the road posses a high risk of road accidents and you have to keen on this while on road trip in Uganda.

4. Pay attention to all the radars and road sign posts while self drive safari in Uganda. They are the best guidelines to take you through safely as they are placed there to serve a purpose of overcoming the unpredictable road accidents. Most of Uganda’s road signs are universal and they are written in English and if you aren’t understand them you can inquire from the car hire agency that will be dealing with.

5. Keep a distance of five meters off from the next vehicle as this will help you to avoid any abrupt stopover without putting out indicators to show that the person is stopping or turning and at end of it all, you get crashed. Avoid driving closely to the next vehicle to stay safe especially during traffic jam.

6. You can drive between six and seven (7) am as this is said to be safe for one to drive in Uganda. Most roads are narrow and some of them have potholes meaning if you drove at night, you certainly find it challenging as you may even lose your sight at night. Avoid driving in new places at night and if you are heading to the national parks, it is not recommended for you to drive in the park at night.

7. Avoid driving a car rental or even your own when you have taken alcohol. This can make you fail to make judgment on which direction to take especially when you in high gear. Drinking while driving is also one of main causes of road accidents today and like any destination, it is a crime for you drink and drive in Uganda.

8. Avoid receiving calls while driving. This will make you lose focus on road and at end of it all; you will cause accidents and loss of property on the way.

In conclusion, besides the unpredictable challenges on the roads, Uganda features among the safest destinations in Africa and the world at large that are safe for visitors to embark on self drive safaris. Self drive safaris are adventurous, exciting and memorable as you have opportunity to explore the destination on your own and at your own pace.

Dr. Stella Nyanzi’s Case Fails to Take Off

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Dr. Stella Nyanzi

The hearing of the case in which Dr Stella Nyanzi is charged with offensive communication has flopped. The Buganda Road Court on Monday heard that the trial magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu and the State prosecutor Janet Kitimbo are sick.

Grade One Magistrate Robert Mukanza adjourned the case to December, 19th, 2018 hoping that the trial magistrate and the prosecutor will all be present. Nyanzi’s Lawyer Isaac Kimaze Ssemakadde did not object to the adjournment.

Dr Nyanzi was arrested last month from Wandegeya Police Station before being arraigned in court on charges of cyber harassment and offensive communication. She allegedly posted the September, 16th rude birthday poem dedicated to President Yoweri Museveni.

The Prosecution alleges that Nyanzi used her Facebook page to post a poem full of vulgar language where she was attacking President Museveni’s late Mother, Esteri Kokundeka wishing that Museveni died before he was born.

However, Nyanzi has since denied the charges. In the Previous Court session, Nyanzi told Court she instead used the poem and metaphors to protest against the oppression resulting from the leadership of National Resistance Movement.

Police Records Statements from 57 MV Templar Survivors

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MV Templar Boat

Up to 57 survivors of the tragic MV Templar boat that capsized in Lake Victoria more than two weeks ago have recorded statements with police.

The survivors, some of whose identities had not been captured during the rescue mission have been flocking Mukono Police Station for the last one week. Only 27 people had been initially captured as survivors during the operation that lasted six days.

According to the Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire, most of them have been showing up mainly to claim recovered properties. But in the process, police recorded statements on the events that preceded the tragedy.

“We made a call for all survivors to come to the police and record statements. At first, they were few but now we have more than 50, most of them coming to pick found properties,” Owoyesigyire told URN.

A number of them are searching for their National Identity Cards, Driving Permits, motor vehicle keys, house keys, wallets, handbags and phones. Most survivors have also reported a loss of properties to help them get police letters to help renew SIM cards and Identity Cards.

It is estimated that MV Templar which capsized on November 24th & Meatballs, 2018, was carrying more than 100 merry makers who were heading to K Palm Beach for a party. But the journey turned tragic about 150 meters from Mutima County Haven in Mukono District when the boat capsized.

Police had only recovered 33 bodies and a record of 27 persons who had been rescued alive. Police, however, say that many of the survivors had run from the scene in shock.

Quiin Abenakyo Crowned Miss World Africa

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Miss World Pageant Africa

Miss Uganda, Quinn Abenakyo has made it! She is the only African making it among the top 5 finalists of the Miss World Pageant in Sanya, China.

The 22 Year Old Uganda’s representative at this year’s Miss World pageant made history, becoming the country’s first ever contestant to finish in the top five. At the 68th edition of Miss World 2018, which took place in Sanya in China, Ms Abenakyo was crowned Miss World Africa in the Miss World Continental Queen of Beauty finals.

Quiin Abenakyo

Also finishing in the top five was Kadijah Robinson (Jamaica) who was crowned Miss World Caribbean, Maria Vasilevich (Belarus) who took the European crown, Nicolene Pichapa Limsunkan (Thailand) who became the Miss World Asia and Vanessa Ponce De Leon (Mexico) who topped the contestants from the Americas.

Ms Vanessa Ponce De Leon was later the eventual winner of the Miss World Crown, and was crowned by Manushi Chhillar of India, now her predecessor.
A total of 118 contestants from all over the world took part in the competition for the grand crown.

2018 Miss World Continental | WINNERS

Here are the winners of the Miss World Pageant

Maria Vasilevich of Belarus | Europe
Vanessa Ponce De Leon of Mexico | Americas
Quiin Abenakyo of Uganda | Africa
Kadijah Robinson of Jamaica | Caribbean
Nicolene Pichapa Limsunkan of Thailand | Asia and Oceania

Mukono Kidnapped Boy Found Dead

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Crime Scene

A 12-year-old boy who went missing on Sunday in Mukono has been found dead and his body dumped in a swamp. Shafik Kimera, a P.4 pupil at Ngobere Primary School, disappeared last week while playing with his friends.

The Kidnappers then demanded a ransom of 2 million shillings from the parents to release the boy. However, the parents failed to raise the money. Kimera’s body was on Saturday found dumped in a swamp in Ngombere village, Mpungwe Sub County, Mukono district.

Sylvia Namiro, one of the relatives said that they received a telephone call from unknown people demanding 500,000 shillings to show the family where Kimera’s body was dumped.

The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Luke Oyowesigire says that three people have been arrested in connection to the murder of Kimera. They include Livingstone Kiwanuka 19, Swaib Zinda 40 and Abdallah Ssengendo 26. He says that the suspects were arrested after police tracked the telephone on which the family had sent the 500,000 shillings. He explains that the owner of the phone led detectives to Kiwanuka, who had received the money.

According to Oyowesigire, during interrogations, the suspects managed to direct the police where they had dumped the body. An angry mob destroyed Kiwanuka’s property which includes houses, shops and plantations.

Ruth Nandawula, Chairperson of Ngobere village says that since last week they have been receiving phone calls from the suspects demanding for a ransom.

Gaagaa Bus Accident in a Few Kilometers to Migera

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Gaagaa Bus Accident

Gaagaa bus registration number UAU 805F hit a trailer registered 6689AA22 from the back as both vehicles were moving towards Kampala at about 3:20 am this morning.

Reports from eye witnesses and also passengers of the bus say, the driver of the bus in an attempt to overtake the trailer lost control after suddenly realizing that there was a slow moving trailer.

No death cases and serious injuries sustained by the passengers of the bus, by press time the passengers aboard the Arua Gaagaa bus were disembarking through the windows on top and were boarding sister Gaagaa buses to Kampala

Lake Victoria Boat Death Toll Rises

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Ferry Accident on Lake Victoria

Update on Lake Victoria incident: 32 people have been confirmed dead and 27 rescued from the boat the capsized in Lake Victoria. This is according the Uganda Police Spokesman Patrick Onyango.

He added on that the Marine team are doing whatever they can to find more bodies.

The Mutima Beach in Mukono District is filled with occasional screams & cries from relatives & friends waiting for news of their loved ones. It’s alleged that over 120 people were aboard the boat before the sudden incident.

The boat owner, Templa Bisase’s body was retrieved this morning. His wife’s body was retrieved last night.

NO MORE HOPE TO RETRIEVE ANY SURVIVORS

Deputy UPDF Spokesperson, Lt.Col Deo Akiiki says that so far they have retrieved 9 of the trapped bodies who adds to the 13 recovered last night and that Air Force and Police helicopters have been deployed to do air surveillance to locate possible floating bodies.

“We have lost hope in retrieving survivors since the boat capsized more than 15 hours ago”

UPDF says their Marine divers located and marked the wreckage Sunday morning at 7:00am and that they are working with the Uganda Police to rescue bodies trapped in the wreckage.

Fatal Boat Accident on Lake Victoria (Over 100 Feared Dead)

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Recovered Dead Bodies

As many as 15 people have been confirmed dead after a luxury boat reportedly capsized on Lake Victoria on Saturday, Police said.

Several others were rescued by local boats and the marines. In posts on their Twitter and Facebook pages, the Police said that 40 people had been rescued. “Our marine unit teams have rescued over 40 people alive. Ten confirmed dead. The rescue mission is still on to find others. Details to follow.”

It is not known yet how many people were on board at the time of the accident, which reportedly occurred in Mpatta sub-county in Mukono district, central Uganda. However there are reports that there are over 120 people who were onboard.

Prayers to the victims and families of the boat cruise party goers that capsized in lake Victoria. Among the survivors is Prince Wasajja who was among the group. He was rescued alive by the local boatmen who tried to save people.

Iryn Namubiru was there too and she has been reported safe.

Top Things to See on a Uganda Safari

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Uganda is a small landlocked country in the east of Africa; neighbored by Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo with Sudan in the North. It’s a naturally endowed country with abundant tourist attractions like lakes and rivers, rainforest mountains, national parks and wildlife, local communities, etc. which all make Uganda a must visit country for many travellers. There are those specific tourist centers in Ugandathat must not be ignored / excluded while on a visit in Uganda and these are discussed as follow;

Primates

In Uganda, there are basically two primates ( the close relatives of human beings with about 98% DNA), that is the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest and Mgahinga National Park together with the chimpanzees of Kibale National game park.

In East and Central Africa, the largest concentration of chimpanzees is at Kibale National Game park. It’s therefore the best place for those planning a chimpanzee racking trip. At Kibale National Park, there are trails usually followed during the tracking exercise ; used by many tourists and they help simplify the tracking process as they lead you to the ultimate location of the chimpanzees within the forest. While in the forest, you can get a chance to know more about these creatures as you watch he in their natural wilderness.

Mountain gorillas are yet another interesting piece of primates that one should not miss while on a primate watching tour. These are located in Bwindi Impenetrable tropical Rainforest and Mgahinga National Park. They are sad to be an endangered species of wildlife and as per now with only 900 left in the world but half of this total population is settled within Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest and Mgahainga National Park. The tourists interested in mountain gorilla trekking adventure; are advised to come during the dry seasons as they are the most conducive conditions for this exciting adventure.

The Source of the Great River Nile

The Nile source is on Lake Victoria inJinja. It was discovered by an European Explorer John Speke in the 19th Century. He discovered that this River Nile waters start flowing fromlake Victoria, and then proceeds through Sudan at Nimuleupto Egypt to the Mediterranean sea where it later pours its water. Since its discovery, the River Nile source at Jinja became an interesting tourist spot for many travellers in the entire world where some come to simply just be at this great spot, others for study purposes, others for entertainment while others make it here for research reasons. And for whichever reason you may visit the Nile source, it’s a very exciting experience being at the spot / point where the longest river in the world starts its flow out.

On your Nile source visit, there are some tourist activities that you can enjoy such as boat rides and boat cruises,bungee jumping for example, white water rafting, watching the waterfalls, fishing from the fresh waters of lake victoria, among others. Here you can relax in the green environment of Lake Victoria shores, taking pictures and interacting with each other. Still you can go to the local markets within Jinja where you can get some souvenirs.

The boat trips and boat cruises provide tourists with an extra ordinary ride over the fresh waters of lake Victoria- the largest fresh water lake in Africa enjoying the beautiful sights of bird species as they sing and fly out in the blue sky. It’s an interesting experience to ride through the River Nile source , taking photographs here and there though the best moment is taken in the evenings while you watch the sun setting off over the lake in the west.

It’s generally very interesting to be in the same place as the early explorers and experience what they went through at that early time.

The Big Five Mammals

The big fives in Uganda are the lions,elephants, leopards, rhinos and buffaloes. There are several national parks included in the big five safari including the Murchison Falls National Park, and the Zziwa Rhino’s Sanctuary in Nakasongola.

Leopards are nocturnal animals and can be best viewed during night game drives or very early in the morning when they are coming back from their major hunting areas.

Generally, Uganda offers the best tourist experiences since it offers visitors a variety of tourist attractions minus wildlife safaris such as birding, community cultural visits, city tours , among others. They can all be enjoyed any time of the year though the dry season is the most preferred time.

Cheapest Uganda Trips in Uganda for 2019 Season

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The start of a new year means the chance to add to your travel bucket list and while many tourists will be flocking to trending activities elsewhere, others will be looking for more budget-friendly trips yet still get the real feeling of nature at its best.

In order to help you identify the places that will get you the most bang for your buck in 2018, we teamed up with Gorilla hub tours a reputable safari company the does cheap gorilla trekking tours along with other wildlife to Uganda Rwanda and DR. Congo.

Gorilla hub tours limited has come up with 10 top destinations staying at the lowest overall budget accommodation. The travel dates and search dates that Gorilla hub tours looked at fell within the one-year period. Keep scrolling to see the most wallet-friendly trips you can plan for this year.

  1. Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National park is Uganda’s closet park to Kampala Capital and is one of the beautiful savannah parks with lots of wildlife species including large herds of zebras, Impalas, Water and Bush bucks, Buffalos, Giraffes, Eland, Leopards and Lion. Primates include Olive baboons, Vervet Monkeys and lots of birds. All these can be spotted while on a game drive but the night game drive is the most captivating since it enables you view big cats like leopards on hunt. The boat cruise along the lake Mburo exposes you to lots of water birds, Hippos, Crocodiles along the banks. Other activities include nature walks, bird watching. Night game drive among others

Cheapest time to go: February April, May, October, November

Cheapest time to book: three or five months before departure

  1. Jinja Tour

Jinja is Uganda’s oldest city, found in the eastern part of the country. The route to Jinja starts with a visit to Sezibwa falls to see the beautiful waterfalls and the surrounding natural beauty, visit Mabira forest Uganda’s largest eco rain forest here you can do nature walks and first class Zip lining, visit the source of the Nile river, the longest in the world where its waters starts a three months journey to the Mediterranean sea in Egypt. Do Bungee Jumping and white water rafting which are among the thrilling adventures of the Nile River.

Cheapest time to go: January, April, May, October and November

Cheapest time to book: five months before departure

  1. Sipi Falls and Mt Elgon Hike

Watch the spectacular Sipi falls up close from 100m high Far East of the country. The beautiful white waters that originate from mountain Elgon, walk up to the top of the waterfall, if you are a hiker enjoy Mt Elgon 4 day hike to wagagai peak. Enjoy the unique gishu cultural dance; eat the traditional food staffs (malewa)

Cheapest time to go: January

Cheapest time to book: six months before departure

  1. Murchison falls National Park

Murchison falls is Uganda’s largest reserve park, and the trip here is always a big five expedition. The trip always starts with a stopover at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to trek Uganda’s only rhino population before you continue to Murchison falls national park where you expect to see the rest of the big five like Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Buffalo. Other mammals include Uganda Kob, Jackal, hyena, Hipoos, Olive Baboons always seen while on a game drive. The optional Chimpanzee tracking can be done in Budongo forest which is part of the park.

The boat cruise to the bottom of the falls is one of the most captivating activities as it gives opportunity to view a pool with the highest population of hippos in Africa. See crocodiles, lots of colourful bird species, elephants, Buffaloes along with other animals that come to draw water from the river banks.

Hike to the top of the falls as you follow the path Winston church hill used while currying his boat to bypass the falls on his way to Sudan and Egypt. At the top of the falls see how the Nile River forces its self through a narrow gorge 7 meters wide forming spectacular waterfall scenery

Cheapest time to go: April may, October and November

Cheapest time to book: four months before departure

  1. Fort Portal tour

Fort portal found in the south western part of Uganda is among the major tourist destination the country boasts of, the major attraction being Kibale forest national Park with the highest population of primates in Africa, recorded 13 primate species the highest of any eco forest in Africa. The birding experience is so excellent. Primates include chimpanzees, Olive baboons, Red tailed monkey, and Black and white colobus. Chimp tracking being the highlight of any trip here, other activities include nature walk to bigodi swamp, bird watching

Visit the King’s palace; get on Crater Lake experience up the top of the world. Visit Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru (Nyinamwiru breasts), Kalambi tombs (Kings burial grounds) or golf course tour.

From here you can also choose to visit Semuliki National park to see the biggest male and female hot springs as well as a view of variety of wildlife while on a game drive. The night game drive here is another amazing experience.

Cheapest time to go: January

Cheapest time to book: six months before departure

  1. Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National park is Uganda’s most popular national Park and second largest reserve park. It’s the most beautiful and most endowed with biodiversity stretching from the beautiful mountain Rwenzori ranges in the north, through the spectacular savannah grasslands up to the thick remote rainforests in the west. The park got its name after the visit of her majesty the Queen of England in 1950s from Kazinga Channel National park. The park boasts of big mammals that include big Elephants, Leopard, Lions, Buffaloes, Hippos Uganda Kob along with other antelope species. For bird lover its heaven for bird watching over 600 species including the migratory ones from Europe.

The Boat cruise along Kazinga Channel is the most rewarding activity of the park as it takes you up close to the highest concentration of wildlife. The channel stretches from Lake Edward to Lake George and it’s the convenient location where numerous wildlife to come draw water

The Ishasha sector south of Queen Elizabeth national park is where you can meet the rare tree climbing lions, the king of the jungle is always found along with queens roaming in tree branches resting after probably a tough hunt at night or early that morning.

Cheapest time to go: January

Cheapest time to book: five months before departure

  1. Mountain Rwenzori National Park

Also called mountains of the moon, mountain Rwenzori with its peak margarita is the 3rd highest point in Africa with 5,019 m above sea level behind Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya respectively. The snow caped top is one of the most amazing. Take 7-10 days hike to this beautiful and most challenging hike of the mountains of the moon. A 5 day hike can take you half of this beautiful mountain which is also a wonderful experience.

Cheapest time to go: January

Cheapest time to book: six months before departure

  1. Kidepo Valley National Park

One of Uganda’s finest National park, located in the top most right corner of the country borders Kenya and South Sudan and the furthest from Kampala, Uganda’s capital. The uniqueness of this park is believed to have the largest herds of cape buffaloes in Africa. If lucky you can spot a cheetah other big mammals always spotted while a game drive include Lions, Hyenas, Giraffe, Eland, Leopard, Elephant and zebras

Cheapest time to go: January

Cheapest time to book: one month before departure

  1. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

The less known Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s oldest and smallest park covering 331 sq km. Is one of the very few places in the world where you can meet the world’s rarest and most endangered species the mountain Gorillas, the park is part of the Virunga Volcanoes that harbour Uganda, Rwanda and DR. Congo. The park has a rich biodiversity apart from gorilla trekking you can do Golden monkey trekking, Cultural experience to Batwa community the original forest people, hike either of the 3 extinct Volcanoes, Sunset canoe ride at bilharzia Free Lake Mutanda up to the punishment island.

Cheapest time to go: April May, October and November

Cheapest time to book: four months before departure

  1. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

While in the impenetrable jungles of Bwindi, a world heritage site by IUCN since 1994, enjoy activities like Gorilla Trekking Adventure, also the highlight of any trip to Africa, Nature walks, Cultural and Community experience, hiking, bird watching, Tea and Coffee plantation experience

Cheapest time to go: April, May and November

Median hotel rate in May: $150 full board

Cheapest time to book: at least four months before departure

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