Sleeping in a luxurious lodge and cruising in an extended safari land cruiser is not a must for everyone looking forward to exploring the “Pearl of Africa”. You can plan for a Uganda safari on budget basis and make the best lifetime memories. This does not mean that the traveller will consume low quality services, no!! A budget Uganda safari involves getting the appropriate services and great value for money. With your fixed budget, you can visit any national park and go up close the wild animals that you always wished to spot in Africa’s wilderness. However, this requires a high degree of flexibility and compromise to opinions such as the best time to travel among others.
To make your budget safari in Uganda a success, we decided to highlight the tips that will guide you;
Carefully select your destinations
Uganda has got a number of beautiful places to visit for safari and some of these can be combined to make a more interesting adventure. However, you need to consider a number of things when choosing which places to add to your itinerary. Parks like Bwindi and Kibale are prime primate trekking destinations with park permits of relatively higher costs. Therefore when you chose to visit such parks, ensure to have few destinations on your list.
In addition, don’t combine destinations that are far apart from one another like Bwindi or Queen Elizabeth national park with Kidepo Valley national park. This kind of trip is possible but it rises the cost of the safari high because of the transit days and fuel to connect from one park to another.
The kind of tour; self drive or guided safari
Self drive tours are mostly considered cheaper than guided tours. This is because they eliminate the costs of hiring a driver. Uganda is one of those African safari destinations which you can explore on self drive tour.
However, if you have few days for your safari, a guided safari can be cheaper because it provides you with an experienced guide who gets you to the destination on time. This saves you from missing out on some activities which could force you to stay an extra day at the destination. Guides also advise on the best places to get quality services en route such as good restaurants and souvenirs.
Choose cheaper accommodation
Just like at other safari destinations in Africa, Uganda also has popular high end lodges dominating at major national parks. They are known to have higher prices. However, there is also a variety of other options to offer midrange and budget accommodation services. If you want to dramatically reduce the cost of your trip, you are advised to compromise on accommodation by staying at budget lodges, camping or outside the park.
Travel during the low season
Uganda has two seasons in regards to the tourism sector; the high and low seasons. The high season comes during the dry season in December – February and June – August while the low season happens during the wet periods of the year in March – May and September – November.
During the low season, travelers are few and prices of some services are normally discounted, for example hotels and lodges. It is also a good idea to switch to luxury accommodation because it is already at a cheaper cost in the low season.
Focus on few destinations
As earlier said, Uganda has various destinations including the ten national parks, Jinja, Kampala city, Ngamba island, Entebbe city and Mabira forest among others. You can combine two or more destinations for an ultimate exploration but make sure they fit in your budget. Simply know the attractions you really want to see and choose the best places to spot them. Instead of having multiple destinations, you can add a few simple but interesting activities that are done en route of the trip.
Use a local operator to book for your safari
The list of Local tour operators in Uganda is quite long and these people offer better rates compared to international companies. If you are travelling to Uganda exclusively, book with a Ugandan based tour operator so that the costs are kept low.
As you book for your Uganda safari with a tour operator, a quote for the trip will be offered. Feel free to ask for a discount. If you are organizing your trip by yourself, you can also request for a discount from the hotel especially if you are staying for many days. Fees for park entry and activities there are non-negotiable.
Travel in a group
If you have friends or family members who can join you for the safari, it will help you save a lot because of shared costs like the car, safari guide and fuel and sometimes accommodation room. You can also ask tour your operator to add you to the available group that could be travelling in the same period as your trip.
These are the top tips that will keep your safari cost low, so you can now start planning for your vacation and let these help you if you want to travel on budget. We offer customised budget tours to different destinations in Uganda. Book for your safari through firstname.lastname@example.org or call our travel consultants on +256-700135510/ +256-414699459.