My travel dates:
13 November – 28 November 2018
Flight Berlin -> Entebbe: 6,097 km
Entebbe -> 124 km Jinja -> 416 km Moroto -> 200 km Mbale -> 55.5 km Kumi -> 55.5 km Mbale -> 145 km Jinja -> 82 Kampala -> 43.3 km Entebbe
Flight Entebbe -> Antananarivo: 2,668 km
Altogether: 7,220.96 km
Flight one way: €397.02 / $446.34
Travel costs for 15 days: €889.41 / $1004.87
Visa: €47.00 / $50.00
Population: 42.86 million
Currency: Ugandan Shilling
Papyrus Guesthouse Entebbe
This is a very calm place near the Entebbe airport. They have lovely rooms, each with a little terrace. You have hot water and showers with good water pressure, which you won’t find often in more simple guesthouses. The mattress was comfy, the bed spacious and the room clean!
It’s really peaceful and you can hear the birds chirping all day long. They have proper WiFi so it was a perfect place for me to work in peace. There weren’t many guests during my stay, many people just stay here for a night on arrival or before departing from Uganda, which I did as well. The staff is very nice and the food is good although it’s more expensive than in other parts of Uganda but still the prices are very reasonable. Breakfast is included: eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, toast, butter and jam. Thank you so much for sponsoring my stay! It was lovely!
Info: I got a pick-up for €17.60 / $20.00
Double/Twin Room: €48.00 / $55.00
Double/Twin Garden Room: €57.00 / $65.00
Single Room: €75.00 / $85.00
My stay was sponsored. Thank you!!
Casa Mia Balida
I stayed here twice. Once in a single room for €19.00/ $22.00 and the second time there was only a more expensive room free but it was larger and I enjoyed having the space to spread out a bit. It cost €23.00 / $26.00. The rooms are really clean and the beds are comfortable, plus you have your own bathroom. I had a bit of a problem with the toilet flush but then I learned how to deal with it — there is always a trick;) And like everywhere I stayed in Uganda, the water is hot but the pressure is low. They serve a yummy breakfast with good coffee, eggs, homemade bread, jam, and fresh fruit. The owner is Italian, so the food is Italian too. You can eat pizza and pasta and fish and meat which is all very good but I just found it a bit expensive knowing that you can eat in Uganda very well for around 2-3 Euros. Here, you will pay more than double the price. The staff is very attentive and very nice. All in all, a really nice place to stay and good value for your money.
Small single room: €19.00/ $22.00 a night, incl. breakfast
Large single room: €23.00 / $26.00 a night, incl. breakfast
This is a camp and a guesthouse. It has big nice tents outside that cost between €50.00 – 80.00/ $ 60.00 – 90.00 and guest rooms that cost €12.00 – 18.00 / $13.00 – 20.00. The tents are new and spacious, the guest rooms are small, a little old with the usual water problems (no pressure ;)) but just fine for the price and you have your own bathroom. A simple breakfast is included: toast, eggs and fruit. They have a nice modern restaurant with good food from pizza to local dishes and good coffee at a very good price. This is where a lot of foreigners who work in the area also meet, as there are not many places to go in Moroto—it’s quite a poor town but perfect for people who want to see something else than mountain gorillas and safari sites. The Karamoja area has a totally different culture to the South of Uganda. Here, they say it’s “Uganda’s best kept secret.” One of the best parts about staying here was the staff and the tours that you can book, discovering the Karamoja area and the Karamojong tribe. There are all sorts of tours, from hiking the Moroto Mountain to visiting the villages of the Karamojong. If you want, you can even stay overnight in a village with the Karamojong tribe. I did, although it might not be something for everyone, there were some surprises and I can’t say I really slept, but it was an adventure and an experience. Especially getting up with the tribe at sunrise and watching the men leave the village with the cattle to graze in the fields. You won’t experience this if don’t sleep in the village. I didn’t sleep in a hut, but in a tent that we brought with us and my guide, who also lived in the village, built it up for me in the middle of his village. I then stayed at Kara-Tunga for two nights. Thank you Theo for helping me get the most authentic experience with the Karamojong and sponsoring my stay! When in Uganda, go north! For more information check out the links below!
Casa Lodges Mbale
This is a simple place but it’s clean even though it has the same shower problem with the water pressure as every place I’ve stayed at so far. (I always disinfect the toilet seat at every place I stay before using and never use the flip-flops that are there in the room. You never know who’s used them before you and can be sure they will not be disinfected, this applies for all hotels. Always have your own pair of flip-flops with you to use in the shower. I never shower barefoot in simple guesthouses.) There is a rooftop terrace where you can sit. In the evening there is no light up there but still it’s nice. The hotel restaurant serves a variety of food all of which I found quite okay: very large servings for around €2.50 / $2.80 a plate. They might not always have cold beer but they will do their best to solve that problem, even if it means bringing you ice. But again here, I don’t recommend having ice in your drinks unless you can drink the tap water where you are staying; then you can be sure it’s okay. The guesthouse had WiFi which worked pretty well, so I could work properly. It’s a very central place and I slept here twice.
Once I booked through booking.com and paid €12.30 /$14.00 a night and the second time I called and reserved a room, it was a bit smaller than the first one but I paid only €11.25 / $12.80.
This is a difficult one for me to rate, because the manager, Robert, was the person who accompanied me to my story at Lake Bisina. He organized the story and was my translator and guide in the village. I would never have found this amazing story so easily without him. He also organized the boda boda (moped taxi) that we used, the driver, him, and I together. All this saved me a lot of time and organizational stress.
For a normal tourist, the prices for a tour are okay, for me I had to bargain things down a bit. You can go on a boat tour in a fishing boat or eat with the locals in their homes. It’s all very authentic and worth seeing. Calculate around €30.00 / $34.00 per person for a day tour plus transport costs. I was the first muzunu (white person) he took on a boda boda, usually he books a car, which is more expensive. I recommend a boda boda. With a car, you will not be able to reach the villages I went to, as there are no roads to get there by car and it’s a definitely much more adventurous with a motorbike taxi. Robert is a nice man who gave me a lot of information and was helpful in any way he could. For that, I give him a high rating! Definitely 5 points. Unfortunately I can’t do the same for the guesthouse. Robert wanted to charge me €88.00 / $100.00 for rooms that are not worth more than €13.00 – 18.00 / €15.00 – $20.00. I told him how I felt and he understood and said he would change that. He gave me a “good price” of € 25.00 / $28.00. In my first room, the toilet flush didn’t work, so I changed rooms and the bathroom was so dirty I had to ask them to clean it. He was apologetic about this and I wouldn’t mention it if he wasn’t asking for so much money for a room. The place is a 15 minute drive from Kumi, the next big city, so it’s not even central. You’re kind of forced to eat there. They severed me a huge lunch and dinner, which I didn’t order—I was served enough for 4 people, Robert ate with me. They just placed lots of food in front of me and didn’t tell me how much it would cost (even though I asked) until the end. It ended up being around €8.00 / $9.00. That sounds like little, but that’s a lot in Uganda. You can buy three meals for that amount. I told him after the first meal that it was too much and I didn’t want to order all that food. But the same thing happened the next day. I know their intentions were good and a tourist might not notice these things, but for me it wasn’t right and I told him so, too. Again, he understood why I felt this way and I have a feeling they will change things. If you go to Kumi, contact Robert at Akalabai for the tour—it will be a great adventure. As for the guesthouse, you can stay there, I’m sure improvements will be made over time.
I paid: € 25.00 / $28.00 a night, incl. breakfast
I booked this place as a last minute solution. It was cheap and looked okay on booking.com. I have to admit, the surrounding area did not look that safe, but the hotel is safe. There was a guard at the gate that checks your car before entering, even the trunk. Because the hotel is so big, I don’t recommend leaving valuables in the room. The rooms were clean, I had a balcony with a nice view of Kampala and an avocado tree in front of my room. The breakfast was basic but just fine: Nescafé, omelet, chapatti, and fruit. In the evening, I wanted a drink. There was a bar but they only served beer and there was no one there, that was quite funny. The next day, I needed a place to work in peace until my next appointment, so they built up a table for me, after seeing me working with my laptop on my lap in the lobby. What I can generally say about Ugandans is that they are so friendly, helpful, and nice! It’s a totally okay place to stay a night!
I paid: € 22.00 / $25.20 a night, incl. breakfast
*Please note that prices may differ or fluctuate. Please contact the Hotels/Lodges directly for more information.