Frank & Astrid’s updates

Camping equipment

  • (p98) ‘Campinggaz’ (canisters + burner) is for sale in the Nakumatt supermarket in Kampala. We have not seen gas canisters for sale anywhere else. As an alternative, cheap kerosene stoves are sold in almost every city for a few dollars only. We’ve tried one out, and it worked well, but do take care to avoid injuries when not used properly.

Car rental

  • (p138) Our experience with Alpha rentals for self drive was a mixed picture. We have had three car breakdowns that we believe could have been avoided if the car had been maintained properly. After the first breakdown, our car was exchanged by the company (they sent over a driver). The third breakdown (after crossing the border to Rwanda) was more serious (lower ball joint broken) and delayed our trip with a few days. On the other hand, manager and owner Douglas has been very helpful after every event, and has settled all garage bills as well as all our additional expenses for lodging.
  • (p107) For self drivers: It needs to be emphasized that in general the Ugandan road quality is very bad.  Short distances may take a long time and trip planning should be made very conservatively. Make sure to bring two spare wheels and some other bring basic spares (like an inner tube). Nevertheless, traveling individually through Uganda is an unforgettable experience.
  • (p107) For GPS navigation on the road, we strongly advise to purchase and download the routable maps from Tracks 4 Africa (website). We found these community GPS maps to be extremely useful for navigating. They are compatible with specific types of Garmin handhelds only.
Around Kabale
  • (p247/249) The road from Kabale to Kisoro is now tarred for a large part (the first half).
  • (p257) The road from Kisoro to Mgahinga national park is very bad. The improvements as indicated in the Bradt Guide have been completely washed away, resulting in bumpy and sharp lava stones, which worsen the steep slopes to take. This small distance took us over an hour.

Bwindi

  • (p272) There is a new Community campsite in Ruhija, right at the beginning of the village. It’s a nice campsite in a beautiful garden. The very nearby pub can be a bit disturbing in the early night. There are plans to extend the campsite with banda’s, for which part of their pine trees will be cleared, that should result in spectacular views on the Bwindi forest. The Ruhija market at Tuesdays is very scenic. Ruhija Community Rest Camp, www.bamboouganda.4t.com,
  • (p272) Mubwindi swamp walk: when we attempted this loop hike, dangerous mountain elephants were reported near the swamp and the rangers did not allow us to approach the swamp.

Queen Elizabeth

  • During our visit in February, several area’s in QE where exposed to bush fires, making the park less attractive in some places.
  • (p.284) The beautiful Ishasha campsite, facing Congo across the river is open again. No safety concerns have been reported for over a year, as a local ranger reported to us. But do keep an eye on the baboons that visit the Ishasha campsite. If you leave your tent and stuff unguarded, it has been reported some baboons will tear your tent open in search for food. Hire one of the camp staff guys to watch your tent.
  • (p293) Mweya peninsula: the two Channel Campsites were very dry, exposed and unattractive in February. We did not see any sign of recent camping activity. We would not recommend those at that time of year.
  • ( p292) At the Mweya Campsite, some of our clothing was stolen from a drying line during the night. Be aware, as Bradt guide also reports of theft in nearby area. At the time we visited in February, the place was almost deserted and was very arid and exposed.
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2 thoughts on “Frank & Astrid’s updates

  1. Gilad says:

    As it was mentioned- it’s possible to find gas canister/cartridge for a camping stove in Nakumatt supermarket in Kampala.
    They have a new branch – small store adjacent to the the Bugolobi market – 10 minutes walk from the Red Chili hostel.
    Over there- they had just pierceable canisters and pierce stoves. I don’t know which type they have at the bigger branch- I tried to find out by phone/E mail- with no success. You can try:
    http://www.nakumatt.net/branch_directory.html

    Cheers
    Gilad

  2. Arttu says:

    Hi there,

    This January I rented a car (toyota rav 4) including all the camping gear by http://www.roadtripuganda.com! The camp gear was really clean and looked new so that might also be a good option to consider instead of buying all the camp gear.

    Also it was a great experience to drive around ourselves.
    The roads might not all be that great, we’ve seen quit some put holes, but it’s a really good experience to drive here yourself.

    Good luck!

    Cheers,
    Arttu

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