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Tips for a budget friendly trip to Uganda

by Laura

It’s easy to spend thousands of dollars when travelling to Uganda – but did you know that Uganda is easy to visit on a budget as well? With some planning and preparation, you can have a fun and comfortable road trip while limiting your spending. Here are our top money-saving tips for visiting Uganda on a budget.

Money-saving tips to visit Uganda on a budget

Budget tip #1. Travel with friends

Don’t let those back seats stay empty! Invite friends or family along for your roadtrip in Uganda. The more people you can split your vehicle with, the more money you’ll save on your vacation. Group accommodations tend to be more budget-friendly as well - another great reason to travel to Uganda with friends. 

Budget tip #2. Go camping in Uganda

Uganda’s starry skies and beautiful views are good reasons to grab your tent and go camping. Another great thing? It's easy on your wallet too! Lots of places in Uganda offer camping grounds right on their property. This way, you get to enjoy all the luxurious amenities (pool, cocktails, common areas), without spending extra money for a fancy room you’ll only use to sleep.

Check out our camping guide for camping tips in Uganda. 

Budget tip #3. Skip the gorillas

Gasp! Did we really just say that? It might sound crazy but yes, it’s ok to skip the gorillas. There are many other wildlife viewing opportunities in Uganda involving rare chimps and primates.

If you're planning to see chimps, keep in mind that Budongo Forest, Kalinzu Forest and Kyambura Gorge are cheaper alternatives than trekking in Kibale Forest. Another great budget-friendly tip is the golden monkey trek in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park – you will be able to see many different types of primates for less than the cost of going on a gorilla trek. 

Budget tip #4. Cook

Eating out in Uganda is not expensive. But cooking can still save you a considerable amount of money. Before you embark on your roadtrip, visit a supermarket and stock up on snacks, canned goods, and other non-perishable things. Entebbe and Kampala have well-stocked supermarkets. Once you’re on the way, you'll encounter various fruit & veg stalls as you go. You'll read more about this topic in our blog 'Camping in Uganda'. 

Budget tip #5. Don't visit too many national parks 

National Parks quickly become expensive because of the entrance fees. However, much of Uganda’s natural beauty also exists outside of the park boundaries. Make sure to visit Fort Portal and the crater lakes, Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Mutanda, Jinja and the Sipi Falls for natural beauty without an entrance fee.

Budget tip #6. Make sure to visit Uganda in low season

Uganda in low season (rainy season) means better deals for flights, car rental, accommodation and certain activities, whilst you have the beautiful lush parks almost all to yourself.

In Uganda, the rainy season usually spans from March to May and October to November. There's no need to worry about endless days filled with rain. Rains can be heavy, but are typically short, followed by bright sunshine. Peak season is from December to January and from July to September. Although the parks won’t feel crowded whatsoever, you will have to reserve your rental car, gorilla permits, and hotels well in advance to avoid disappointment. 

Last important piece of advice

When travelling through East Africa, the only thing we don’t recommend you skimp on is your car. Although main roads are well-paved, you’ll hit the occasional muddy patch or pothole-ridden road, or you find the treks in the national parks washed away after heavy rains. In those key moments, you’ll be glad you rented a reliable car with good roadside assistance

Apart from that, following our budget-friendly tips can really help you save some money. From carefully choosing accommodation to picking certain destinations over others, you’ll leave Uganda with lots of unforgettable memories (and some extra money in your pocket).

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