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Visiting Uganda / Tanzania

London, United...
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Visiting Uganda / Tanzania

Hi, currently planning a trip to Uganda and Tanzania in June 2014 for about 2 and a half weeks. I'm considering whether I fly from London to Entebbe and return this route or whether I fly into Entebbe and back from Kilimanjaro(vice versa also)? Any thoughts? I think the difference in flight prices is about £100 higher for the into Entebbe and out of Kilimanjaro option.

For information, in Uganda we'd probably visit Entebbe, Jinja (mothers birthplace) and then perhaps do a safari and then go into TZ and do the Serengeti and Ngoro National Park. Obviously visiting places along the way.

Obviously time is an issue and I don't want to be spending days getting back from Serengeti / Ngoro to Entebbe as this is where our flight is from. At the same time would like to not have to pay for the uplift in the flight if internal travel is fairly easy and provides a cheaper option.

Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: Visiting Uganda / Tanzania

I would definitely recommend going into Entebbe and out of Kilimanjaro. Unless you take the direct flight from the Serengeti back to Entebbe (which costs considerably more than £100) you are going to spend quite a long time getting in between the two. Others will be much better placed to advise on the land route than I am, but I would think it's a good day's journey at least. Getting from the crater back to Kilimanjaro on the other hand takes around 4-5 hours and is likely to be relatively inexpensive as most safaris end up in Arusha anyway.

Alexandra Matts- Travel Director- Extraordinary Africa.

Kampala, Uganda
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2. Re: Visiting Uganda / Tanzania

I agree with Extraord_Africa

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Visiting Uganda / Tanzania

I am doing similar but in reverse. Flying into JRO/Kili. I use a Tanzania TO who often arranges trips to both countries - and it can be done various ways. Mine is using the same car and drivers from Arusha through Serengeti, around Lake Victoria, around Uganda and then ending in EBB.

This gives just the two flights, but things to consider is that it takes a really full day to drive from Mwanza, Tanz to Bukoba, Tanz (closest to UG) and then a half to full day from there to Kampala. When your trip is done, you will have to still pay the TO for the 3 days it takes for the driver to return empty to Arusha.

I would recommend flying into EBB, do your visiting; get a Uganda TO to arrange your UG safari. Fly to JRO from EBB with Kenya Air or such (about $250US and some direct flights), pick up a new car and guide and do the Tanzania circuit you want. In this case, I would recommend doing a drive there and back circuit. At times it makes sense due to time to drive to Serengeti and fly back to Arusha but for costs, perhaps not....as you also still pay for the guide to return empty that last day anyway. You can get a morning flight fromEBB and be in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania in the afternoon.

London, United...
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4. Re: Visiting Uganda / Tanzania

Thank you Extraord_Africa.

Quiltingmamma - very helpful. So you think it would be better to do all of Uganda and then fly to JRO? Interesting. I was imagining that I would get a car from Kampala and drive around Lake Victoria via Bukoba towards Mwanza and then towards the Serengeti and then to Ngorongoro. Once done head towards Arusha and JRO? Or alternatively vice versa, not fussed whether I start from UG or TZ. But is the drive between both not worth it in your opinion? Are you suggesting its bets to have a UG TO deal with the Ugandan safaris and a TZ TO deal with the TZ safaris?

Any idea how much a car, driver would cost a day? Do you pay for his accommodation as well?

Edinburgh, United...
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5. Re: Visiting Uganda / Tanzania

I'd have to say, I'm definitely with QM in terms of saving time and money that would be the way to go. In terms of a driver- if you literally just hire him and his vehicle you would be expected to pay for his accomodation on top of that. However, most people would book via a tour company as QM mentions above, booking driver, accommodation etc all together, in which case it is general practice for the tour op to include the cost of the driver's accommodation as part of the daily charge for driver and vehicle. This will vary hugely according to the company you book with, broadly speaking depending on the type and quality of vehicle and the experience of your driver, or probably driver-guide, which will be what you need at least in the bush.

To give you a (very) ball park figure, a well-maintained 4x4 (landcruiser or landrover), plus an experienced English-speaking guide, and including his accommodation & unlimited mileage costs around US$300 per day. Super fancy vehicles will be a lot more (upto US$500 per day), 4x4 minibuses, and 2x4 minibuses, and vehicles that limit their mileage- less.

Hope this is useful.

Alexandra Matts- Travel Director- Extraordinary Africa

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Visiting Uganda / Tanzania

Alexandra spells it out better than I can. You may find some other kind of independent driver and car, but as a tour company not all have recipricol agreements that allow them to guide in all countries. I am doing it with same car and guide, but I know I am responsible for paying the 3 days return which given Alexandra's scenerio is an extra $900 to return the car.

If you are talking about self drive, you will have to determine what countries you can enter and from past details on TripAdvisor, there is no such thing as one way....how do you get the car back? Also, one has to do a lot or preparation to ensure their direction and safety in the Serengeti. Tanzania infrastructure is not great and there is a lot of National Park there with a lot of dangerous animals.

Serengeti is the size of Switzerland, by the way. So some would find it a waste of safari time to drive around the Lake.

I realized another option. You can have one TO in Uganda, and there is a overnight ferry from EBB to Mwanza. You can do a 'walk on' to the ferry and arrange a Tanzania TO to pick you up there and do your safari from Mwanza. This would be a pretty efficient drive from there to Arusha visiting all the key parks along the way. In this scenerio, you would only pay one day of empty car (which is to cover the driver getting from Arusha to Mwanza) and no flights. There is also a ferry from Bukoba to Mwanza for vehicle, but my TO prefers not to use it. The drive around the Lake appears to be uneventful. Some, therefore, would think it not 'worth it'.

You have a choice of using a TO for each country, but some Tanz TOs do both (I know them rather than UG TOs) and from some websites, it looks like UG TOs can do both as well. Even if you fly or ferry, one TO could arrange it all by subcontracting a car and guide in the other country if you want to go that route.

I suggest arranging two separate safaris as you discussed visiting Jinja and 'perhaps' a safari in UG. Visiting Entebbe, Kampala and Jinja can all be done with local transport and don't require the expense of a TO. Tanzania, on the other hand is big and complicated and is best done with a TO.

I think do in EBB and out JRO, but reverse would work too.

Do some enquiries to some of the TOs here, and visit the TA Tanzania forum. On the main forum page, there are Frequent Questions on the right. Bullet four discusses some of the companies TA users know are reputable. I am using EASTCO for my two country trip. On the Tanzania forum list is a 'sticky' for trip reports. You will find a number that combine countries use EASTCO....just saying, but the choice is yours.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Visiting Uganda / Tanzania

My partner and I have done both Uganda and T.Z and we found it cheaper finishing the activities in one country, moving to the next and flying back home from the last destination. Our trip was organized by Wild Excursion Safaris and they handled our itineraries in both Uganda and T.Z. You may contact them if you need to arrange your safaris ahead of time. info@wildexcursionsafaris.com

Kampala
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8. Re: Visiting Uganda / Tanzania

I think that is plenty of recommendations for that company, thanks. Readers always value comments in routes and lodgings though.

Calgary, Canada
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9. Re: Visiting Uganda / Tanzania

We just came back from a safari in Tanzania and Uganda and if you want to do just a safari in Uganda (No Gorillas), it's probably best to do it as you mentioned, first Uganda and then Tanzania. Reason being, there is way more wildlife in Tanzania and if you do it the other way around, you may be disappointed in Uganda!

We had two different TOs in the two countreis and it worked out pretty well. We used the ferry from Mwanza to Bukoba. QM, just to make sure, the ferry going from Mwanza to Port Bell in Uganda is not really a passenger ferry. You could travel on it but it won't be super comfy. We were dropped off at the ferry in Mwanza by our Tanzania TO and picked up in Bukoba by our Uganda guide.

It worked out pretty well for us and we were happy that we had our departure at the final destination rather than going back. The difference in price really wasn't enough to go back to the original destination.

Good luck with the panning

Kampala
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10. Re: Visiting Uganda / Tanzania

Hey Haleh! How did it go?

Can you write us a trip report when you get the chance?

Many thanks

Shelly