When my bus arrived back in Kampala after being in Moyo, Uganda for two weeks, I still had a few days left before I flew back to the United States so I decided to do a quick two-day safari!
I mentioned this to my taxi driver one night and he immediately offered to take me. I figured it would be a lot cheaper than the company I was originally planning to go with so I agreed. Maybe not my smartest decision to go with a strange taxi man for two days, but I’m still alive and that’s what counts, right? His name is Ruben and his phone number is +256-782-784-016. Give him a call if you ever want to go on a Ugandan safari because I guarantee it will be cheaper than going with a formal tour company. Here’s a price breakdown.
Gas: 262,000 ($72.77)
Rhino Park Entrance: 162,000 ($45)
Car Rental, 2 days: 380,000 ($105)
Lodge: 167,000 ($46)
Ferry to Game Drive: 25,000 ($7)
Game Drive Guide: 75,000 ($20)
Game Guide Tip: 15,000 ($5)
Food: 72,500 ($20)
Total: $320 for two days and one night
Our first stop was the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary which is right off the main road on the way to Murchison Falls National Park. For $45 we got a guide who took us on a 45 minute walk to see different sets of wild rhinos. In my opinion, the coolness of this tour was very low compared to price. Not worth it! I would have been better off saving that $45.
After a few more hours of driving we arrived at Murchison Falls National Park. The first hour of driving in the park was full of bamboos on the side of the road, like in the photo below. They literally just sit on in the middle of the road until a car comes and then just watch you drive by. So cool!
We got to Red Chilli Rest Camp around 7 pm and slept in this cute little jungle house for the night. I went to bed super early because we had to be up by 5 am the next day for a game drive through the park. Breakfast was at 6 am which was perfect for watching the sunrise. Red Chili has a nice restaurant with an amazing view over the park so it was a beautiful sunrise breakfast.
The game drive consisted of driving through the park with a guide who pointed out all the animals and directed Ruben to the hard-to-find animals, like lions! Even though I had seen most of these animals before (thanks, Henry Doorly Zoo), it was so cool and different seeing them in the wild. If you come to this part of Africa, a game drive is a MUST DO.
The drive ended around noon and we went back to Red Chili for lunch. At 2 pm there was a boat ride that took passengers to the bottom of the waterfall, where they then hiked an hour to the top and their driver picked them up. I was planning on doing the boat ride and hike but then found out I would have to extend my park permit which would be an extra $40. The permits are only good for 24 hours at a time so if you want to do the boat and hike, you will either need to pay the extra money, or just stay in the park for two nights instead of one. I was in a time crunch, but if I had the time to stay two nights I totally would have. This park was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. Looking back I wish I had skipped the rhino sanctuary and gone straight to Murchison. If you get there in the afternoon, you will have time to do the boat ride and hike the first day and then the game drive the following morning, allowing you to do both activities with only a 24-hour permit.
I left Uganda a few days ago, was back in Omaha for 12 hours, and am now on my way to Costa Rica for the rest of the summer. Africa has been a crazy-fun adventure but I’m SO excited to be back in CR and see all my friends. Hope you all are having a great summer too!