Drive from Fort Portal to Masindi, 45 min to turning at Kyenjojo, 3 hours to Hoima then another hour to Masindi. Road in moderate state, very bumpy but managed average of 45 kph. Recently graded, narrow in parts.
Lunch at Call In Pub/Restaurant at Hoima, shaded veranda with breeze. Instant 6000Ush buffet. Good value.
Stayed at New Court View Hotel. Very pleasant. Reasonable comfortable bandas. Good food. Double 60,000.
Masindi Hotel. Extensively renovated. Looked very pleasant to stay in, almost no guests
Could not find Stanbic bank but Barclays on main road (SW side next to Yebo tours)
Had working ATM.
Road to Bulisa via Budongo Forest is the main road out of Masindi NW and the road to Hoima is a left fork. No signposts but has a sign to the Sugar Company. Slightly confusing at a few junctions but we chose the right ones. Road in reasonable condition. Took us 4 hours to Paraa as we went to see Polish church and failed to find Royal Mile. A lovely trip.
Sambiya River lodge. Pleasant location with well designed communal area. Cottages Band B $70 pp
S/c Bandas were fairly basic but adequate. However at 150,000Ush double BandB I thought they were overpriced. (Bandas not s/c 110,000Ush double) Even more disappointing is that the hotel would only take cash at its head office in Kampala or bank transfer. On making the bank transfer I found that they had used an exchange rate of Ush to $ that was at least 15% in their favour from current rates. They sent an inadequate reply about making predictions about rising costs in 2010 etc. This is sharp practice.
Red Chilli Rest Camp.
Very adequate and comfortable tents for 35,000 for tent only. Good restaurant serving a basic variety but tasty food. It has a cheerful happy feeling about it though some grumbled about queuing for the shower!! (Cold water only…. welcome in the heat.) Good value.
Paraa Safari Lodge did not seem to welcome our request for a snack between morning and afternoon game drive. Not allowed to use pool for any price (unlike their sister lodge down at QENP which welcomed visitors for lunch and a swim for a fair price)
Our Guide round Murchison Falls Park says that there is no present concern about bandits and the whole of the park is open to tourists.
Some sad evidence of animal poaching.
The river trip was a little disappointing, as we could not approach the Falls as close as the advertising photos suggested.
Lovely drive out back to Masindi, did not see any game except Abyssinian ground Hornbill but loved the forest at the end. Roads generally in good condition.
Sealed road all the way to Kampala. Back road to Jinja has major road works at the Kampala end, which should make a good exit from Kampala. Generally a good road, occasional potholes.