Others Write About Uganda

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Below are cut-n-paste email posts (with some editing) from the Travel Africa news group in response to inquiries about Uganda. My purose is to share the insights of others into the beauty of Uganda and its people.

From Chris, January 2001
I organised the transport requirements for a party of 150 visitors to Uganda this summer and am very familiar with the Country.

Road conditions are relative so comparisons can be misleading. However most roads in Kampala are tarmac and suitable for cars. Side roads are in a reduced state of repair and some roads stone or well beyond repair. Most roads can be negotiated by car depending upon the weather and at a slow careful speed.

Outside of the capital city most of the major roads in the southern part of the country are tarmac but all other roads are murrum in various states of disrepair. A well maintained murrum road can be quite fast and give a good ride in dry weather. In wet weather they can be like driving on an iced pond. Poor murrum roads can reduce speeds to just a few miles per hour.

Roads in Uganda are improving and compared with 10 years ago they are very good. However, the roads can be challenging and a four wheeled drive vehicle always improves the ride and safety.

The country of Uganda is beautiful and the people very welcoming. You will feel very safe even walking around the capital city.

Fuel is widely available but fill up when you can just in case. Bottled water for drinking is readily available in almost all shops. Ugandan food is also readily available with plenty of fresh fruit but don't expect to be able to buy the range of food available in supermarkets in Europe or North America. A good range is available at selected shops in Kampala but again at a price. Frankly if you are not prepared to eat the local food you should not be going outside your home town.

Crime in Kampala is less than many other African Capital Cities and the level of personal violence is low. However, do not be complacent and don't walk down the street with a video camera round your neck, expensive looking clothes and pockets bulging with cash. You wouldn't do that in London or New York as a tourist so do not do it in Africa.

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In April of 2001, Julie R. wrote:
I have traveled extensively throughout most of Uganda so if you have any questions please let me know. It is a beautiful country with sweet kind people. Although there are a few things with rebels going on it is a safe place to travel. As with anywhere you may go just use your brain, be wise about the choices you make don't travel at night, if possible, and you can see some magnificent things.

You can virtually take local transport anywhere you need to go. Yes there have been a couple incidences of problems, but same anywhere you go. Just be cautious, not afraid, and have a great time. There are many Guest Houses where you can stay all across Uganda. They are, clean and cheap. I usually pay between $2 - $6 (US) per night. You may not have electricity or running water but you have lamps and toilets and safe. Staying in a luxury hotel ruins the trip anyway! Get in where the people are and experience the culture. I am a white female and have traveled to many villages alone and never had problems. Matter of fact if men harass me the others stick up for me and tell them to leave me alone and then escort me to my destination. I have found many new friends!

There is so much wildlife to see. Chimpanzees galore on the area bordering Congo. Many wildlife park. Uganda is a tourist friendly country and I encourage people to go have an awesome time.

That was followed by this post from C.W. "I heartily agree with this. Of the East African countries Uganda is my favorite. By the way, the first reason for not traveling at night is the state of the roads. Although they are much improved, there is a risk of decay which can put you in the swamp.

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From Chris, February 2002
Uganda is a great place to visit. As African countries go it is safe and you will get a great welcome. It is an English speaking country as all children are educated in English. Out in the Districts local languages dominate.

August is as good a time as any to go. The north is generally hotter and dryer than the south which can be wet but the weather quickly recovers to a normal warm temperature. Uganda is not a hot country due to its height above sea level and suffers from none of the high temperatures of Kenya and Tanzania. Remember that as Uganda sits on the equator it does not have seasons in the way that Europeans would understand them. They are best described as wet or dry seasons.

Where to stay depends on your budget. You can pay 150 UK Pounds and more for a night in very good hotels or you can stay in local travelers hotels and sleep on the floor. Something a little better than the local hotels suits me better and you should be able to get bed and breakfast for 10 pounds.

The major tourist attractions are the source of the Nile, at Jinja. Lake Victoria, the history of Kampala and the country, the Gorillas, the wildlife in the National Parks and meeting and living with the incredibly friendly people of Uganda.

Car hire is available in Kampala from some of the major international car hire companies. There are some local firms which are very good. Try Phoenix which is run by an Englishman or Vacational Tours. Vacational will allow self drive but it is often as cheap to take a driver.

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