Going on a road trip through Uganda, the pearl of Africa is undoubtedly one of the greatest joys any nature lover will ever experience.
The name “Pearl of Africa” was born in the 18and century when Britain’s prime minister made a remarkable trip through East Africa. At the end of his journey through Uganda, Sir Winston Churchill recounted Uganda’s unique treasures in his book, referring to the country as the pearl of Africa.
Uganda’s greatest strength is contained in nature and its jungle is a magnetic attraction that still attracts many tourists including trekkers, adventurers, trekkers, backpackers.
With an increasing number of car rental operators, travelers today have more options to go self-driving Uganda and explore its incredible attractions, sights and sounds.
Current travel trends in the country and on the continent indicate a growth in the number of independent travelers turning to self-guided travel. A number of agencies offer 4×4 safari jeeps at varying rates to independent travellers.
Self-guided trips allow travelers to explore Uganda on their own while sitting behind the wheel. Luckily, rental cars come with budget considerations, straight from luxury, midrange, and economy class fleets.
Having your best comfort with everything that matters makes for one of the best events in the jungle, in the pearl.
When is the best time to drive the Pearl?
Joy comes after being in the right place at the right time. Good timing is very important to consider. Uganda is a nation blessed with the best weather conditions that make travel possible throughout the year.
However, it should be noted that the country experiences two weather seasons; the rainy season and the dry season. With many expectations that create a moment of joy on the face of any traveler, good timing must be taken into consideration so that you can create incredible encounters.
The dry season, which falls from December to February and June to September, is an ideal time for a number of travelers to experience wildlife viewing safaris.
During this season, the savannah grasses are shorter and therefore ideal for wildlife viewing, the main activity in Uganda’s national parks.
The rest of the months fall during the rainy season, a time when the rains can make remote tourist destinations a bit difficult to reach. Seasonal roads get slippery, bumpy, bumpy and muddy! However, these roads can be challenged with 4×4 jeeps.
The most suitable rental cars for self-driving in Uganda?
There are a number of car rentals offering custom cars used for self-driving programs. The rates for these vehicles range from budget to super luxurious considerations.
The most popular self-driving options among these include the 4×4 RAV4 SUV, the Toyota Prado 4×4 Land Cruiser TX, and the TZ which is best for budget travelers.
The Land Cruiser GX, VX and V8 as well as the Nissan Patrol and Land Rover Defender, all these fleets can carry up to 5 travelers and the hardtop 70 series is ideal for luxury travellers.
For group travelers, super customs and Toyota Hiace minivans are great options.
What to expect on a road trip through Uganda
A road trip will meet the expectations of travelers leaving to venture into Uganda’s national parks and tourist sites. Some of the major jungle activities performed in the Pearl include;
The hospitality of the people
Uganda has various ethnicities with different cultures. With more than 50 ethnic groups that have different customs and standards (practices), but all have a common practice, hospitality, which manifests itself from north to south.
Apart from their hospitality, they have very interesting lifestyles, which contribute to what Uganda has to offer tourists interested in learning about new cultures. Many experiences await you on a safari in Uganda including;
- Experience authentic Batwa life in southwestern Uganda on a gorilla safari.
- Stay with the Karamojong in their traditional manyattas in northeastern Uganda.
- Stay with Ankole pastoralists while in Lake Mburo National Park
Visiting these communities and people is another joyful moment of your vacation. You’ll get involved in a number of activities, listening to storytelling and tasting local food and beer.
Real wild African jungle
The real African jungle is a compact of untouched nature, which stretches across the country.
The first taste of the real African jungle that almost rivals the Amazonian forests, lies in the shadow of the Western Rift Valley (Albertine Rift Valley) with thick volcanic rainforests that continue from Central Africa and other rainforests that stretch across the country.
There are a number of activities one can do in the forest; birdwatching, primate tracking and counting, nature hikes and walks and many other thoughts are a joy in the Pearl Jungle.
While on vacation, see some of the endangered chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, the forest with the highest density of primates in all of Africa. You can also see chimpanzees in Bugoma Forest, Budongo Forest, Kalinzu Forest and Kyambura Gorge.
Another treasure of the forest are the rare mountain gorillas found only in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. You can see mountain gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park in southwestern Uganda.
Before anything happens, the first consideration must be hiring the 4×4 fleet that can negotiate the unclassified terrain of the Pearl. The terrain ranges from the relatively flat lands of the eastern region, with gentle slopes in the center to the steep slopes and highlands of the western region.
The terrain is also accompanied by a number of unsealed roads that stretch through the countryside and these roads are muddy and slippery during the rainy and patchy seasons, an adventure one dares for their final destination pre- planned.
The terrain overlooking tea plantations and volcanic views are all for the delight of a self-drive through the jungles of Uganda.
Wild catch (wildlife)
The main reason many travelers decide to spend some time in the Pearl Jungle is the vast wildlife to choose from for the main catch of the trip.
Several travelers visit Uganda to see various attractions that nature is home to, the main ones being the Big Five, Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Trekking, Birds, other primates, flora among others.
Other must-see wildlife sightings include tree-climbing lions, large hippos, a high concentration of antelope, giraffes, zebras, foxes and hyenas.
Moreover, there are many things to do in Uganda. Go on a gorilla safari is the most popular adventure that attracts tourists from all over the world.