Uganda trip report, June 2012

General:

– Maestro/MasterCard can be used with any Stanbic ATM, the limit per withdrawal was 250kS (250’000 Shilling), even if sometimes higher limits were stated on the screen; in my experience only one withdrawal per day per ATM, just try the next one for another withdrawal (mostly they have several)
– Attention: Travelers Cheques are almost useless! Only place I was able to cash one was at the Metropolitan Forex bureau on Entebbe Road in Kampala (close to Kampala Road), but poor rate (2355 S/$ instead of 2476)

Entebbe:
– Taxi from airport to Entebbe Backpackers 10kS
– Entebbe Backpackers was OK, staff not very friendly, 14kS for clean dorm bed

Kampala:
– the Kampala Backpackers is nice, it’s mostly busy, many volunteers; dorm for 18kS
– liked Red Chilli Hideaway better; good (and good value) food, great staff; very nice dorm for 20kS; good budget safaris (can recommend the Murchison Falls safari)

Ssese Islands:
– Panorama Lodge: forget the panorama, but very nice staff and great food; got a bargain with 70kS for two nights in a great bungalow (without breakfast)
– transport from Kalangala in direction Masaka takes a loooot of time! there was one taxi daily, 11h with 12 persons in a Toyota Verso (15kS)

Masaka:
– Holiday Inn was shoestring, but OK; 16kS single with shared bathroom (21kS s/c)
– don’t miss Tuwereza Bakery on Elgin Road, great pastry and bread

Kabale:
– Victoria Inn is quiet, clean, but a bit outside
– food and atmosphere in the Edirisa was very nice, but didn’t check the rooms; good place to meet travelers

Lake Bunyonyi:
– Byoona Amagara is just great! the big dorm was 15kS, but try to get a “geodome” (make a reservation), it’s an excellent experience; 45kS single (30kS with double occupation); good food, try the Crayfish Avocado

Mbarara:
– Baguma Hotel (Mayoba building) is good, 26kS single s/c with hot shower

Fort Portal:
– Tabes Resthouse very nice, friendly staff; s/c double 25kS, s/c single 20kS, shared single 16kS
– Gluepot Pizzeria/Bar is nice, but I didn’t like the “Mzungu night”

Crater Lakes:
– (another) bad experience at Lake Nkuruba: took a cottage in the “Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve”, it’s a great spot with a beautiful lake, but the staff was very unfriendly, I felt like a disturbance and “fled” after one night without breakfast; the food was good and plenty though; I know there are big discussions about this place, but my personal experience was not good; very basic banda with poor shared bathroom for 16kS; attention: the Enfuzi Campsite now has a similar blue-yellow fence outside, seems these two places have kind of a fight (they have signposts at each other’s entrance)
– CVK Resort was great! very friendly and attentive staff; food quite expensive but good (around 20kS); banda with B&B for 25kS

Jinja:
– new Jinja Backpackers is stylish and cosy, but deserted during my visit; recommend it anyway; 25kS for the dorm

Roger

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