Brian & Celia’s updates

Brian & Celia Lea recently returned from a 16 day visit to Uganda (late July-early August 08) and forwarded me the following info:

Page75 : June ‘08 Visas cost £25 each. We had to wait 3 days before it was ready to collect from the High Commission in London. We received polite and courteous service from the staff.

Page 80 : ATM’s seem to be widespread. I used my UK debit card (which has no loading for overseas use) at a provincial ATM and received a good exchange rate. The maximum available cash withdrawal per transaction was Ush 400,000, but there was no problem using the card twice to get more cash than this. Armed guards were on duty outside most banks (and large supermarkets) in places we visited.

Page 92 : We had some problems withdrawing our Money Gram cash : the system was down for two days at our nominated bank.

Page 98 : Matatus—three passengers per row and seat belts? You must be joking. The most we counted in our taxi the two journeys we undertook was 22— and definitely no seat belts!

Page 99 : The Boda-boda drivers we saw had no helmets, a lot of enthusiasm, nine lives and a penchant for driving very close to all other road users.

Page 134/5 : The northern by-pass round Kampala is still under construction (August ‘08).

Page 155 : We used City Cars & 4×4’s to hire vehicles and drivers. Our drivers were excellent (skilled, protective, informative and friendly) and the service good.

Page 159 : The Uchumi supermarket at Garden City was well stocked and had a very useful pharmacy.

Page 159 : Ush 1,600 stamps were readily available from our local Ugandan Post Office for postcards to the UK. Posted at the local Post Office, they arrived in the UK within a fortnight.

Pages 164-167 : We paid Ush 10,000 each for a guided tour of the Kasubi Tombs (now a World Heritage Site). Our guide was knowledgeable, very informative and friendly.

Page 366 : The Kampala—Masindi road is being upgraded. We were held up briefly by major reconstruction work through Kawempe and, in sections, through to just S of Bombo. Other sections of road all the way through to Kitego have been upgraded. Recently resurfaced sections were protected with speed bumps every few yards, which made travelling through these sections very tiresome. All told, the road was in good order, and much of the road from the Kafu River turnoff to Masindi was in very good condition, with a recently resprayed tarred surface.

Page 368 : We found the murram road from Masindi to Paraa via Kichumbanyobo in good condition.

Page 374 : We stayed in the newly completed log cabins at Kanyiyo Pabidi for a couple of nights and found them clean and comfortable.

Pages 379-392 : Arriving in time for the first ferry crossing at Paraa, just after 7am, we had the advantage of being amongst the first vehicles that day using the Delta game viewing circuit, with largely undisturbed game to view. Our armed guide was knowledgeable and helpful, directing our driver to good locations and offering valuable advice and information throughout the drive.

There is a toilet block with washbasin on the S side of the ferry crossing : useful after a long drive to catch the ferry.

No snack meals were available at the Paraa Safari Lodge—only 3-course meals for a set price of Ush 45,000.

The Nile launch trip to the Falls is well worthwhile : the launch nudges up close to the bank to observe the riverside wildlife at close quarters—but be prepared for calls from the crew to “balance the boat” when everyone rushes to one side!

Page 401 : We used the Kampale-Jinja road on a Saturday morning in August and found the traffic quite light. Returning in the late afternoon the road was busier, but not that busy.

Page 408 : A large group of 13 of us enjoyed a good, reasonably priced meal at Ozzies, with friendly and efficient service. The proprietor hails from New Zealand, in spite of the name! Definitely recommended, as is The Source craftshop, opposite Ozzies.

Page 415 : The attendants warned us that the steps down from the car park to Bujagali Falls were very slippery—and were right to do so.

Page 474 : We did quite a lot of walking and were often greeted by cries of muzungu from the local children, who were pleased with a wave and a hello in return. One or two of the bravest came close enough to see whether the “white” would rub off! All very good natured : as were the vast majority of the Ugandans we met and talked to.

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One thought on “Brian & Celia’s updates

  1. Benard says:

    Hi every one, am glad to come across this interesting site.

    Am in Gulu and i do offer transport services to Kampala, Entebbe,Jinja,Within Gulu and the rest of the interesting tour sites at a subsidize price.

    So for your travel while in Uganda or Gulu please contact me on +44774525273 or on Otim@hotmail.co.uk

    Thanks

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