January 2013 trip report

Anton Summerer writes:

Please forgive my poor english
Recommendation: Touroperator Road Trip Uganda
Couple from the netherlands rents cars with/without driver
Very good, they picked me up from the ariport; I only had to send my flight-dates; no money a priori; it’s a matter of trust!
They are also driving to Ruanda and Kenia
Prices: 7 days 4 x 4 + driver – ca 500 € for 7 days 4 x 4 + Driver; für gasoline you have to pay seperately
But: without a car you will need a lot of time to travel round Uganda
the advantage of a car with driver is evident: the driver knows the whole country, all the hotels, he has the telefone numbers and can call the lodges to get reservation
I was veeery pleased: after the trip the driver is of course waiting for a tip: give him 10 US per day and he will be really satisfied
Shuttle-service by Roadtrip uganda
Address: Grace Musoke Road, Bukoto, Kampala I PO Box 1881 Kampala I
I Tel RTU: +256 773363012 I Okke: +256788925800 I Laura: +256788925799

Some prices
Rwenzori-Water 1,5 l – 2000,–; other pet-bottles-water 1.500,–
Beer: ca. 4000-5000 (in restaurants)
1 € = 3.200,– USh
Important: Rainy season – according to local people – until january 10th ; after this it’s dry

KASESE: Sundton-Hotel, best hotel in town; by far, 3 categories, between 22 US and 99 US, middle priced room: 125.000 Uganda Shillings
Meals are very good! -Try Chicken-Curry and e.g. Spaghetti Bolognese! (12000 bis 15000)
Cold Nile-Special (5000)
Barclays Bank, on the same street, ca 100 meters in direction to the north
You can draw from ATM up to 1.000.000 Shillings
By the way: every larger town has a bank with an ATM; and they are working!
But  You can only use VISA! – In Kampala you can also use Maestro-card

RMS Kasese Office
E-Mail: rwenzorims@yahoo.co.uk
E-Mail: trek@rwenzorimountaineeringservices.com

RRGNA New Ruwenzori-Organisation, they are more motivated as RMS, but also more expensive; but it’s a matter of bargaining
If you want to come in the afternonn for booking and want to go next day, this is possible
If you want to climb one of the summits, you must ask for a climbing guide
If you book the tour in the late afternoon, you can go NEXT day; no problem! – The tour is all inclusive:permit, entrance fee, guide, cook and porters
Tipping: according to Hauser Expeditons you should give 50 US tot he cook, 50 US to he guide and 25 each to the porters
The guide will ask you about tipping at Guy Yeamon hut! They want US dollars!

RRGNA has an new office in Nyakalengiya, where you get a briefing
The entrance-facts are a bit of strange; nobody want to tell me, what’s really going on; they didn’t ask my questions!
There are 2-companys now doing the circuit
the entrance fee is now included with the package you book
You write your name in a book (at the park entrance)
That’s all; after a ½ an hour walking you write your name agian in a book; that’s all you have to do
After retourning your guide brings you to this office, where you must point on your name in this book

RRGN created a new path, the so called Mahoma-Trail; it’s wonderful,1 year old and has the advantage that you do not have to return same way
You spend the 1. night in a tent ( brought by the porters); next day you walk (with boots!) to mahoma-lake and after a break you will reach Niyyabita hut in the afternoon, where the original trail starts!
they will pick you up by car at 08:30 from your hotel in Kasese and bring you to Nyankalagija

On the last day oft he trekk, they driver will wait for you at the RRGN-office in time, as the guide will call them!! – So you do not have to wait here!
By the way: at first/last camp you have mobile-net!
The whole Trekking is now rather easy, as there are a lot of wooden/iron stairs; really muddy it’s only round Bujuku-Lake
In all the huts there are many FLEAS!!

Under all circumstances you need RUBBER Boots! Best to by them from your country. You should use the boots from the first day on, so you need not to bring your mountain boots (if you do not intend to go to Elana-Hut!)
Adress of RRG:
Rwenzori Ranges Guides And Escorts Association (RRGEA)
Plot 120 AK Complex Kilembe Road Opposite Total Petrol Station
After Main Kasese Roundabout Next to Don Petrol Station
Easy to find: direct on Kilembe road, near a huge telefon-Post

P.O.Box 221 Kasese Uganda
Tel: +256 788 523 886, 753 487 866 Operations

0758 483 431 Marketing

0774 365 296 Coordinator

0777 744 300 C/Person
E.Mail:rwenzori2002@yahoo.com + rwenzorimountainguides@gmail.comt
If you send and E-Mail, they will give you the following reply:

My guide told me, the main-season for trekking is in December; from the middle of January there’s almost NO rain; i had three huts for myself!!

If you want to make a launch ride to Kazinga-Channel, it’s best, to overnite in Kasese, as the drive is only 1,5 hours
start at 12:00 midday
the UWA- Launch starts at 1500 and costs 25 $; you can also pay in T Sh: – 67.500,–

A lot of animals, especially birds (kingfisher); many hippos, a few elephants and so on
You can buy picture post cards at Mweka-lodge; 2000 TSH per piece (!)
There are NO appropriate cards in Kasese
Next to UWA-Office there is a good restaurant with some menus: fish is very good, not cheap!
Entrance fee to QE NP: 35 US, additional 20.000 USh for the car and 10.000 for the driver!
Post to Europe is very fast
Fort Portal: Garden-Restaurant; very good value; all drivers bring their clients to this restaurant, because their meals are „covered“
You can taste here some meals from Uganda (buffet) for 12000 USh
food is good

Kibale-Forest (Tschibale pronounced)
Chimps Tracking is 150 US, 100 percent chance to see them !!
come at 0730 in the morning; the tour starts at 0800; you can come buy the same day; you will need NO reservation!
the tour lasts appr. 4 hours, you shouldn’t be out of shape, because sometimes you have to walk long, to see the chimps: all guides have walkie talkies, so they can communicate; there are unfortunatley a lot of tourists; but the chimps are used tot he people, they keep cool
you will see the animals sometimes at a distance of 3 meters!

Hotelsuggestion: Chimpanzee Forest Gutest House & Camp
120.000,– incl. breakfast

ca 20 Minutes drive from UWA- Headquarter; wonderful bandas with nice views ofer the hills around, the stuff is very friendly, good food
E-Mail: chimpgueste@yahoo.com
Tel.: 0772-486415, 0772-482673

Crater-lakes: From the socalled Worlds-End-viewpoint (entrance 5000 USh) you can see 3 lakes; wonderful landscape
don’t forget to visit Ndali lodge; you can have a drink here (beer is 5000 USh), they will show you round, it’s a fantastic place, but veeery expensive; at least 200 US $
you can sit on a terrace, with a wonderful view to the lake
On your way to UWA-Office (Chimps tracking) you can see morning/evening a lot of baboons
They are used to people: I think, some oft he tourists feed them

Semliki NP:
Entrance fee 40 US, 10000 USh for Uganda people; by far too expensive for what you will see; two or three Colobus-Monkeys and hot springs, where you can broil an egg (!)
Very disappointig! And it’s very hot there (40 degrees)
From here the drive to Murchison Falls is 10 hours or longer; very bad street (dust-shower & African massage, so my driver)
Wonderful view to Lake Albert – Go to the lake: there are a lot of palm-trees, but you can’t swim, because of bilharziosis

In the evening you will reach Murchison NP
„Nile Safari Lodge“ ist closed for repair (Business language: we are fully booked)
Nearby is „Red Chilli Rest Camp“ where they serve during lunchtime wonderful menus for approx. 12.000 USh; beautiful riverview, very nice people, full of tourists
Nearby ist he wonderful „Murchison River –Lodge“; 140 $ (if you bargain they will give the banda for 100 US Dollars; fullboard, very good food
From the restaurant the view is incredibile
there are also some tents, where you could sleep
luanch drive to the falls : the Highlight of the park : hundreds for Hippos, many animals, crocs elephants (very shy) and so on
25 US! – and it‘s worth every penny
the boat stops at a point not too far from the falls; from here you can walk up to the majestic falls; if you have a driver, this guy will pick you up from the top; the path is ca 45 miuntes with a lot of viewpoints on the route, you are directly looking into the gorge with all the white waters; after the path, they charge 10 US from you!
Ferry is now 10.000,– USh; for this amount you can cross the river same day as often as you need
first ferry is at 0700, last ferry at 1900!
if you go on the game drive, you should cross the Nile with the first ferry
Fort he Launch ride to the Falls, you have to cross the river again: starting at 1400, US $ 25
If you want to do the game drive mor than one time, maybe it’s better to stay in the northern part oft he NP
There’s the „Bwana Tembo Safari Camp“; all Drivers know this lodge
70 US$ with fullboard; wonderful italian food, no wonder: the owners are Italien
E-Mail: davide_francescotours@yahoo.com
Wonderful Nile-view
The town Pakwach is near: there you can get fuel
Also the northern entrance oft he park is near

If you want to drive from Murchison NP to Sipi this is a very rough street
SIPI is a ncie village, where one can relax
If you are only coming because oft he falls, forget it
Sipi Falls Resort costs 140.000,– USh, but it’s not worth, the people seems uninterested in tourists
Dinner (three courses) is in the above mentioned prices included
The view to the fall of course is very nice


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