Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19 - Page 2





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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Ljubljana, Slovenia
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    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Enjoy! We are expecting a trip report, when you return.
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog: Our African Ramblings (https://safaribug.wordpress.com/)

  2. #22

    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Quote Originally Posted by ortelius View Post
    Enjoy! We are expecting a trip report, when you return.
    Will definitely make one! Owe it to this great community!
    Last edited by DutchieGoingAfrica; 2019/09/25 at 07:15 PM.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Hey all!

    Sorry for the delay, I've bin quite busy but at least started writing day 1 and 2!

    Uganda – 2020

    Day 1 – Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – Gulu (Travel time: 7h)

    Finally, time to travel to the Pearl of Africa!
    After some delay on the flight from Amsterdam to Cairo and running through Cairo Airport to make it to the connecting flight and a stopover in Kigali, me and my 2 friends eventually made it to Entebbe Airport. Our luggage was less fortunate and didn’t make it past Cairo. Mr. Billy from Selfdrive Uganda suggested to just follow our travel plan and he would travel north when the luggage made it to Uganda. Great Service!
    At 11:30 we mounted ‘The Muzungu Express’, a Land Cruiser V8. A thirsty, but strong and unbreakable machine which would show us all of Uganda without any hassle.
    First stop: Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
    After 2-3 well entertaining hours through the heart of Kampala we managed to escape the city and found ourselves on the long road north. Around 15:00 we arrived at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The plan was to do a Rhino Trek and continu towards Gulu but staying at Ziwa after a broken night/long flight also seemed quite attractive. So the plan changed and we would spend the night there after a late afternoon Rhino Trek. Unfortunately the Weather Gods had different plans and it started raining like crazy, and since we didn’t have any spare clothes with us, doing a walk in the bush didn’t seem very attractive. So we discussed and agreed on travelling up North towards Gulu. No rhinos but at least we had some dry clothes for the time being.
    Around 1945 we arrived after a 3,5h drive at Nich Hotel Gulu. A nice and clean hotel, perfect to spend a quick night.

    Day 2 – Gulu – Kitgum – Kidepo Valley NP (8h 20m, lot of stops)

    After a short night in Gulu, we quickly hopped back in the beast and moved north towards Kitgum for an emergency no luggage pack; socks & underwear. After picking up some groceries and filling up at Total Kitgum it was time to go off road. After some stops we arrived after 4h 20m at Kidepo Valley NP. We entered at the gate near Kidepo Savannah Lodge but there was no one at the gate, we moved onto the Apoka Rest Camp area where the UWA HQ is and we registered and booked the Kakine Campsite for our first night. They told us they would drop off a ranger around 19:00. It was already late afternoon so we decided to just drive around a bit and explore the Kakine area. After some looping we ended up around the campsite around 1840. The Kakine campsite is located on a hill, so you have an amazing 360 degrees view of the surrounding areas. There are ablutions but there was no water. When we drove towards the campsite, there was one other car on the track and they told us, the lions were not far away, resting on the rocks (kopjies). It was only 10-15 minutes away from the campsite but it was already getting dark so unfortunately we couldn’t go there. So we started building our camp which was quite easy, because we had those throwing tents you use at festivals. Almost as soon as we started building, the lions were roaring loudly and were moving in our direction. Would we see them after all? In the meantime our ranger for the night Gilbert arrived at camp together with his ak47 and a small tent. We built a nice fire and enjoyed some cold beers and amarulas. Unfortunately the lions only decided to roar a lot but join us for a small nightcap. When we were in our tents, we could hear lions roaring from our left and right so hopefully tomorrow!
    Last edited by DutchieGoingAfrica; 2019/11/08 at 01:09 AM.

  4. #24
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Dank je wel .

    Please keep it coming.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  5. #25
    Join Date
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    UK
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    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Thank you, Dutchie, for a great start to your report.

    What bad luck that your luggage didn’t arrive with you. I am eagerly waiting to hear if it did ever catch up with you!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Carrigaline
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    Thumbs up Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Every time I see the words Entebbe Airport I'm reminded of that film I saw in my youth which I think was titled 'Raid on Entebbe' and the day our Iocal airport here in Ireland was closed down and surrounded with police and army as there was a rumour that Idi Amin was going to make a surprise visit. I don't know a lot about Uganda so will be great reading about your trip and seeing any photos you might post.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Thank you DGA for wetting our appetite for the next installments. Just hope you got your luggage in time!

    AP

  8. #28

    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Day 3 – Kidepo Valley NP – Kidepo Savannah Lodge

    After waking up several times dreaming about lions grabbing me in the tent, it was time for our first full day in Kidepo Valley NP. So quickly packed up the camping gear and off towards the rocks were the lions were seen the day before. Unfortunately for us, no lions anymore. The noisy ones from last night probably moved on. After dropping of ranger Gilbert back at his HQ, it was time for us to get lunch. We drove to Kidepo Savannah Lodge, a stunning place that is bordering the park. It has fantastic views from the restaurant and tents, great food and good beds. The plan was to do a lot of camping but in the late afternoon it was common to have a buildup of nice rainy clouds and we could ‘Bless the rains down in Africa’ once again. So we spend the majority of our trip at lodges. After a nice lunch, we went back into the park but no special sightings. But we still enjoyed the huge buffalo herds and lots of general game. So back to the lodge for a nice 4-course dinner and a good night of sleep.

    Day 4 – Kidepo Valley NP – Kidepo Savannah Lodge

    Time for the second full day in the park. We choose to hire a ranger to guide us around, people recommended it and Gilbert was a nice guy our age so also a nice travel companion. You can easily do it without a ranger and it really depends on the ranger if it increases your chances of sightings. (tracking skills etc). Today was a day with no real special sightings, just the general game. I still really enjoyed the landscapes with great views. Day ended again with heavy rains so back to Kidepo Savannah Lodge for the night. Again we heard the lions all night, even close to camp, so hopefully tomorrow......


    Day 5 – Kidepo Valley NP – Kidepo Savannah Lodge

    Allright, after hearing the lions roaring and hyena’s calling all night, it was time to find some predators. So we went back towards all the kopjies to finally get lucky but again…no one home. So back for lunch and make plans for the afternoon. Other guests saw 1 lion at a waterhole, an area we didn’t explore yet. So we decided to leave early for an afternoon game drive and explore that side of the ‘main road’ between HQ and Kidepo Savannah Lodge as well.
    First we found an elephant, normally nothing special but around Kidepo they are quite scarce. They seem to migrate in and out Kenya. Eventually we made our way to the waterhole. Found a big group of Defassa waterbucks, a really pretty antelope species. But something wasn’t right, they were all focused to one certain direction. Even getting out for a quick nature call couldn’t disturb them. So we decided to slowly move into that direction to see if there was someone lurking at them. When we passed the corner, there was something that looked like an old riverbed with a lot of trees and bushes. I noticed something in a tree, I quickly checked with the camera which I use as a binocular and indeed a predator. A leopard looked at me and immediately went down the tree and we lost it in the high grass and bushy area. Luckily my friend was able to see it, even it was only for a split second. Now my other friend felt kind of sad since he missed he because he was behind the wheel. We had the high ground. So we hoped for it to come back, stayed quiet and moved a bit back and forth. YES, there it was again, looking at us from behind a bush, but it moved back into the lower part. Our friend missed it again haha. So, forward once again and wait, then suddenly we saw movement, the leopard went up the hill on the opposite side….wait….it were two leopards. Two leopards and finally we all saw them. But it looked like they wanted to cross the road in our direction so we moved back and followed the road. Saw them again and into hiding. This happened a few times until we just stopped and waited. Than the biggest surprise came when they crossed the road. It weren’t two leopards but 3! 3 big leopards together? Amazing sighting, probably mother with 2 subadults. Sorry for this long summary but I was just reliving the moment when I type this story haha.
    After a while, the guided game drives also made their way towards us and asked us about sightings, when we told them they just missed 3 leopards they were probably thinking we were liars, but the photos confirmed it and they started searching immediately. Well we had our prize so moved on past the vehicles. Then another surprise popped up, 20m of where the leopards crossed the roads, was a male lion sleeping next to it. So finally we had our predators! For my friends, it was the first time Africa and a leopard was high on the wish list for everyone, but 3 was simply amazing. So you can imagine we drank a few nice Nile beers and Amarulas on this great day.

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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Dutchie, thank you for this trip report. I'm enjoying it very much. And whow, three leopards, seen together, in Kidepo!? Whow!

    Funny enough, you were saying elephants are scarce in Kidepo. We've seen huge herds of them there, in their hundreds even, on every game drive. But of course, we haven't seen a single leopard. This is just to prove that every visit to the same park is different. And that is the sheer beauty of trips to Africa - they never cease to amaze!
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog: Our African Ramblings (https://safaribug.wordpress.com/)

  10. #30
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    Cape Town
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    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Amazing thanks three leopards together!!! I have been to Kidepo what an experience. Will make a plan to go back.

  11. #31
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    Braunschweig
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    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Would exchange luggage for three leopards any time...
    Thanks for sharing this amazing trip!

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Wow! Three leopards! What a thrill for you.

    Our abiding memory of the beautiful Kidepo is also of huge herds of elephant - and the famous huge herds of buffalo.

    Thank you for this excellent report.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Day 6 – Kidepo Valley NP – Kidepo Savannah Lodge

    Last night was the first night the lions were quiet, did they move out of the area? Also, we heard that the lions which we heard really close around Savannah Lodge were actually on the veranda of the ranger post at the gate. So they were inside doors locked with some lions roaring all night, too funny! The plan was to sleep at Nagusokopire but heavy rains in the afternoon literally washed those plans away. So last day in Kidepo, after those 3 leopards, what can you wish for? So we picked up Gilbert for the last game drive together and headed towards the waterhole again. You pass straight through Nagusokopire campsite. The campsite itself is surrounded by big rocks, an open rondavel and some ablutions with probably no running water. Great location, so if you are ever traveling to Kidepo. I suggest you try both Kakine and Nagusokopire! Well back to the game drive. We end up at the waterhole, no leopards nor lions, too bad. So we headed back. Meanwhile I got a text from an Aussie couple which we exchanged numbers with that there was a couple of lions at Nagusokopire. We were already en-route so all good. We found out we missed an exit and were taking a long detour around the area but in the direction of Nagusokopire. Well, it is lions we’re talking about, they’re probably there until the late afternoon. So we took the detour and I was looking at this weird big thing. Too big for a warthog, too low for a buffalo calf…..Lion! It was a big male but it was looking down so at first we only saw it’s back. So pretty cool sighting. After enjoying this big boy we turned around and headed towards Nagusokopire Campsite. And yes, the couple was still there. Enjoying the sunshine on the rocks of the campsite. Probably a good to choice to sleep at the lodge after all haha. The festival tents vs curious lions would be very interesting at least. Pretty cool to watch them with the amazing views of Kidepo in the background. Around 11 we drove Gilbert back to UWA Apoka HQ and got a nice meal at the HQ. There’s a lot of bandas, a reception and a small restaurant. For the restaurant you have to order in advance. They served us a great beef stew with rice. 10/10 would recommend. After saying goodbye to our new friend Gilbert we moved back to Kidepo Savannah Lodge, chilled for a while and did one final game drive. Just general game but one ‘special’. There was a buffalo that had a snare around his horns which was already grown into his horns and skull. So it was part of him now. He looked ok and was really relaxed. You would expect him to be dangerous and they are culling these animals sometimes just to avoid any dangers.
    Conclusion; Kidepo Valley NP is an absolute treasure. Amazing views, great sightings (I think it’s hard to miss the lions if you stay around 3-4 days since they spend a lot of time on the rocks) and great people (all the rangers were too nice and also Kidepo Savannah Lodge has great, great staff.)
    Kidepo Valley NP – 10!
    Kakine Campsite; great overview, nicely located on a hill. Ablutions didn’t work, but personally I don’t care. 10/10
    Nagusokopire Campsite; great location amidst a lot of rocks. Possible hideout for lions so can save a lot of fuel looking for them. 10/10
    Kidepo Savannah Lodge – 10! Great food, amazing view from rooms and restaurant and the most friendly staff you can wish for.
    Day 7 – Kidepo Savannah Lodge - Fort Murchison – 0700 / 15:30h 8,5h (2 stops)

    The final sunrise in Kidepo was magical and it was time to say goodbye to this beautiful place. We left around 0700 for Fort Murchison, a lodge located on the shores of the Nile just 10-15 minutes driving from Tanghi Gate (Northern Murchison Falls NP). En-route to Kitgum, the road was ok, even after heavy rains. Between Karenga town and the park gates, they were improving the roads to get it even more accessible. (adding drainage etc.) It took us 3h and 30 minutes to get to Kitgum. We got some money at the bank (you can use Barclays, Stanbic but also others will probably work), filled up the tank at Shell Kitgum and moved towards Fort Murchison near the town of Pakwach. The Aussies also headed to Fort Murchison and they left just before us. We drove from Kitgum straight through Gulu. In the meantime, we passed the Aussies before Gulu. Mrs. Muzungu had no problems with the annoying low speed bumps but the Extended Land Cruiser they used was thinking differently about it. After Gulu according to Maps.Me there was a shortcut. And guess who took it? Yep, we did! A nice sandy route straight through the fields, plantations, and other no man’s land. It was bumpy, sometimes wet and narrow but we made it. From there we had a tar road and we made it to Fort Murchison around 15:30. Guess who was already there? The Aussies of course. They didn’t use the detour (local driver knows best ) and they were already chilling by the pool while we arrived thinking we had the quickest route. Well, we didn’t but it was a nice adventure with a lot of waving, smiling and shouting hellos to the local kids. After a dip in the pool, we met up with our friend Billy from Selfdrive Uganda. He brought our luggage which we were so happy to see. He could probably smell us because he found us at the pool instead of the restaurant. So nice of him to bring it. Fort Murchison is also a part of NatureLodges and has the same meal plan like Kidepo. Also great food and nice staff. They offer rooms and tents. We slept like babies after the long tour and with fresh clothes we were ready for Murchison Falls NP!

    PS: I will add photos of the lions at Nagusokopire and the snared buffalo later!

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Thank you for this terrific further instalment on your adventures in Uganda. What luck you had with lions in Kidepo.

    Hallelujah! You were reunited with your luggage.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Uganda Selfdrive Trip '19

    Great read and adventure to match. Keep it coming! Thank you again for the report.

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