HOW TO TRAVEL IN UGANDA ON BUDGET
Uganda is incredibly cheap but your trip can as well be expensive especially when you don’t know what to do. The cost of safaris, wildlife viewing, and all other adventure activities like white water rafting, zip lining, and gorilla and chimp tracking are what get the trips so expensive.
Before travelling to Uganda, you will need to plan exactly what parks you want to visit, the activities to do, and what your everyday budget should be. For a budget trip, you will have to give up on the luxuries the country has and do more of the activities it’s famous for. Well, below are some of the things you can do to keep your Uganda trip budget.
Avoid travelling during the peak season
In Uganda, December through March and June through mid-September is peak season. October-November and April-May is low season. Prices for most things like accommodation go high during the peak season. To keep your budget low, I would advise you to travel during the low season when everything is negotiable since there will be few clients and you will get fair prices. You will even see a lot since tourists are few in most destinations.
You will choose to hire a 4×4 car such that you can drive yourself. Instead of taking flights from one destination to another, you will drive yourself to the respective destination and this will also give you a chance to see various things along the way. This will help you save the money you would pay for the driver. Having a GPS or an Uganda travel map will be of great help. Most people in Uganda at least understand and can speak English, so in case you lose your way, please feel free to ask any locals around.
Cook whenever you can
When you hire a car, you can as well hire camping gear such that instead of buying food, you can decide to cook yourself something fast to eat at the campsite or anywhere possible since you will have all your cooking equipment. This will help you with some of the money you should have spent on restaurants.
Ugandan campsites cost between $1-$5, when planning to travel budget in Uganda, do not forget your camping gear such that on certain days, you can spread your tent and then enjoy your night. You can travel with your tent or hire one or hire a car with a rooftop tent.
Get a local SIM card
The commonly used lines are Airtel, MTN and Africell. To acquire one, you will need to go to any of the above company’s major offices with a passport-size coloured photo and a photocopy of your passport. Having a local SIM card will help make communication so easy and cheap. You can as well easily access the internet.
Download maps. me
This app is so helpful because it works even when you are not connected to the internet (it works offline). It will help you find various destinations and accommodations in different parts of Uganda. So, while on your Uganda road trip, remember to have the app on your mobile or gadget as you travel.
Everything is negotiable
Apart from major activities in national parks, any other products are negotiable like food stuff and accommodation in other wards anything in the market. The first price is not always the best. Just like any African country, Ugandans also believe that foreigners (muzungu) have money and so they try to raise the price but do not always settle for that. Always try to negotiate for a better deal.
Buy souvenirs in small towns
Major towns in Uganda are always expensive. While travelling budget, avoid buying souvenirs from major towns as the product price will be high. As you travel through smaller towns, make stopovers at some craft shops and purchase some there. You will be able to get them at a fair price and the products will be the same.
Buy foodstuff at markets
Foodstuff in local markets is relatively cheaper compared to supermarkets or malls. As you travel with your cooking gear, choose to buy them in local markets because besides being cheap, they are fresh as well. In every town you reach, always ask the locals where the major local markets are such that you can easily have access.
Use public transport
While on a budget safari, using public transport will help you save a lot. You can use public buses, taxis and Boda Boda which are much cheaper as compared to car hire. In major towns like Kampala, Boda Bodas are commonly used because they are fast and can take you up to the door of where you are going.