Budget travelling around Uganda is very possible especially if you are running on a tight budget. Certainly you will miss out on the luxurious hotels in Uganda but who cares if you can still get all the fun to make a perfect holiday - and yet spend less!
Yes! It's possible to spend less but again, take extra caution because ironically even cheap stuff can turn out to be expensive in the long run. It is therefore worth taking time to carefully look through your travel plans and what you exactly want to do with your holiday... sadly even the cheap stuff still cost money!
But your tight budget shouldn't stop you from travelling around Uganda and enjoying the remote and beautiful country side of the country. You will possibly see quite a lot more than what a guided tour would give you.
Here I have looked at some of the possibilities of saving up on your holiday in Uganda. This will be particularly interesting for people on working holidays; those with more time than money, the backpackers and also for everybody else who would love to do some travelling around Uganda.
On hiring a car, I would say yes and no - this will entirely depend on how long you plan to stay. If you are looking at a short holiday travelling around Uganda, then this is the better option. Find the right car hire (very reliably a full time 4x4); at the right price and off you go...
However, just one thing to take care of, if you have not driven in Uganda before (especially on the up country roads), I would rather you took an experienced local driver with you - as a caution, some of the roads can sometimes turn out to be so challenging; some with potholes as deep as little fish ponds, let alone the goats and chickens you find along the way.
... But if you are made of steel and confident enough to take on the anxiety that comes with it, then why not self drive! - You will love the freedom of driving and camping in Uganda while you enjoy every bit of your vacation. And as a bonus - If possible, have some one with mechanical knowledge on board ... it helps the budget!
And then the option of buying a car - on the onset, this might not look like a cheaper option for travelling around Uganda and indeed if not well thought through; 1. It might turn out very expensive and not worth it and 2. You can never trust buying a used - third hand car for that matter in Uganda, you might end up with all sorts of mechanical problems even from a trusted friend. And that's not the sort of story I love to hear from you...
However, buying a car for travelling around Uganda is a cheap option that is used by many and has worked successfully especially by those on work holiday. Obviously this would only make sense if you plan to stay here for several months, as buying a car and selling it before you leave would take some time - especially the selling before you leave which can be distressing...
If your planned long holiday is with a group of friends, then buying a car should be a smarter cheaper option if you pooled funds together. You only need to take care of a few things;
Ask a reliable trusted car dealer - preferably one who imports second hand (reconditioned) cars from Japan, to find a good, speck free car (a 4x4 would be highly recommended). Find time to visit the car sale warehouse/bond and see the collection.
Also find out from your embassy in Uganda - they will usually have advice on this and they could also have a notice board where people who are leaving post ads for items on sale. You could land a bargain!
With a group of friend, you could also stay at the backpackers hostels to save up on accommodation. Hostels are a great way to meet new friends and make connections and also meet people who are leaving and selling their cars. Such people will also be reliably informed on how to find a good car and point you to a few places.
... And before you buy, find out if the type of car you want to buy is one of the kinds that are usually sort after and would substantially retain a good re-sale value. You don't want to put money into buying a car that would be hard to sell later on.
Also take note before you start driving in Uganda, whether your driver's licence can be used in Uganda. You might have to acquire a temporary Ugandan driver's licence or exchange yours for a Ugandan one for the time of your stay. Your embassy should be in position to advise you on this as well.
And with that you will only have to work out how much fuel you will need.
If you can't do the buying or hiring - probably because you have no time and/or money, or you just don't want the hassle and risk then sharing a car will come in handy.
A lot of people with cars are always looking around for passengers to help with the cost of fuel and the driving (given the long distances involved). Again, check the notice boards; at the embassy, at the hostels and anywhere else frequented by budget travellers. See some of Kampala's favourite night spots - these could be good meet-up places to find such information.
... And if you still can't find, don't hesitate to put up your own notice in these places; make it simple and clear on what you are looking for and be flexible with your dates.
This also helps if you bought a car and you are looking for company or passengers to share the cost but also when you finally need to sell the car before you leave.
You could plan your Ugandan vacation and come to Uganda on your own but surely there is no need for you to do the travelling around Uganda on your own - link-up and share the fun!
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