Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Inland paddling
webbymatt
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Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by webbymatt » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:11 pm

Hi all,
I am after some information on planning a trip to Uganda. I have searched the previous threads and couldn’t find what I was looking for, but if anyone else can, please lead me to them.

I am hoping on going to Uganda this year, and paddling the White Nile. I am after general information on how to plan the trip and costs.
What are the costs of accommodation?
Is it worth getting a guide from KTN either for a few days, or the 10 day expedition, or is it worth heading out there and seeing what the river’s like for our selves.
Should I book the flights through KTN or personally?

If anyone could answer these questions it would be grand, and any other information that people could share would be really appreciated. Or send me the links to the relevant information.

Cheers,

Matt

DaveWortley
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by DaveWortley » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:46 pm

First off, Flights, Book with KTN's contact, you don't need to book with KTN to use this contact as Jarid just wants to make sure everyone gets out there with boats! So Brussels Airlines it is then, You'll fly London Gatwick-Brussells, Brussesl-Entebbe, It costs somewhere around £600-£700 at the moment with this fluctuating exchange rate.

Your best off arranging a taxi to pick you up from Entebbe airport (about £50 if I recall correctly) and booking in a night in dorms at NRE (Nile River Explorers) on the first night. Next morning you'll need to go into Jinja to get Uganda Shillings. Exchange rates are at about 2750 to the pound at the moment so not great but still allows you to live very cheaply.

If you're going with friends and you've all got a comfortable roll and happy in biggish water it's possible just to tag along with others and learn the river that way, or alternatively you can hire a guide from KTN and they'll show you where to go and avoid, and maybe just spend a couple of days with that first.

Day 1 Section

Accomodation: NRE you can Camp or Dorm there, or for quieter times there is the other campsite which's name currently escapes me, which is a bit cheaper and quieter but very nearby. Varrying from £3-£8 a night or £60 a night if you want to stay in the posh Nile Porch luxury.

Travelling around you either sit on the back of a Boda-Boda motorbike for rides into Jinja or shuttle runs back from Silverback, or taxi's are pretty cheap and now oil costs are so much lower they should be cheaper than when I was there last. £1 for a boda-ride back from Silverback, £2-3 for a ride into Jinja, about £40 for the longest taxi ride your likely to take, split this between 4 and it's nothing for the time/distance they cover. The taxi drivers will also wait if you're going for a playboating session, so they'll happily sit around for 4 hours to get the faire back.

Food costs from £1.70 at The Green Lantern to £4 at NRE to £12 for an awesome Ribs meal at the Nile Porch Restaurant (highly highly recommend one night of the Full plate of Pork Ribs, mmm) It's about 50p for a Chiapatti (savoury wrap, local speciality)

Day 2 Section.

Accomodation: Basically just the Hairy Lemon Island. Camp or Bunk of bivvy if you're that drunk. Tiny Island in the Nile at the bottom of the day 2 section, only a bit of a paddle to the Awesome Nile Special and Club Waves and Mu and Mu 2 if the water is high enough.
Bit more expensive but does include all meals.


The Paddling.

Day 1 section - You can start at the first Dam, paddle some Class 3 to NRE, then you've got a choice of III/IV/V/VI for the next 6km ending at Silverback which is awesome! It's then flat for a few miles to Overtime, and then down to Itunda/Hypoxia/Kallagalla for the start of the Day 2 section. From there it's a mix of fantastic big wave trainy big volume white water ending at the Hairy Lemon campsite, with the simply amazing Nile Special Playwave.

Could type for hours about how brilliant it is, but watch Sam Ward's - A Dam Shame video on Google-Video, to try and piece what I'm talking about together. Any more questions just asks.

Dave

tee1
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by tee1 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:57 pm

I went way back in 2003 and that other campsite is called speke camp. I personally prefered NRE though if a bit noisy. Agree with the previous post stay with NRE in jinga first night then go up to bujagali. You can take a taxi or boda boda (moto scooter thingy)

yurperjoe
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by yurperjoe » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:00 pm

Hey,
just got back after spending a great month out there.
All the information in the 1st e-mail is just about bang on.
Although i would probably spend my time at the Eden camp site as it's much quieter, cheaper and a much better place to chill out.
You can spend your days on the river and nights in the Nre bar then head home to get some reasonable sleep(its about a 5 min walk).
Couple of other pointers,
1) if your on a budget food at Nre is expensive (but very good)
2) make sure you get your price set with the boda drivers, ask for steve he's a top bloke
3) try and use the locals for as much as possible there all a good bunch
4) Jamie at kayak the nile is a top fella and will do as much as possible to make sure your trip runs smoothly.
5) On using kayak the nile if you or your group are not used to big volume i'd certainly get the 3 day intro to the nile course, this also allows you to use Jamie's shuttle service for free for the remainder of your trip.
Enjoy your trip, you'll love it.
Any more questions give me a shout.
Joe
What does not kill you only makes you stronger!
He who hesitates is lost!

yurperjoe
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by yurperjoe » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:04 pm

Sorry forgot one thing,
make sure you spend at least a week down at the Hairy Lemon.
As mentioned earlier in post Sam Ward runs the Lemon and is a great bloke and paddler.
Remember to book before turning up though.
Joe
What does not kill you only makes you stronger!
He who hesitates is lost!

Ben Bedingham
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by Ben Bedingham » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:22 pm

Hi
Does anyone know if its possible to rent boats tat the Nile and how much it costs?

Cheers
Ben

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John Kennedy
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by John Kennedy » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:36 pm

Three months, June to September, heading over on my own. Can't fracking wait.
I beat the internet! (The last guy was hard)

DaveWortley
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by DaveWortley » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:13 am

Ben Bedingham wrote:Hi
Does anyone know if its possible to rent boats tat the Nile and how much it costs?

Cheers
Ben
Yes it is possible to rent boats. Email Jamie for more details. If you're not taking a boat you can take the slower/cheaper route via Dubai with Fly Emirates, currently about £450.

madocks
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by madocks » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:27 am

If you contact ERU throught these forums, he has just returned from working in Uganda for 6 months. I know he has local currency that he is trying to get rid of and none of the UK banks will touch it.

Im sure he can help you with general uganda info too

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will clark
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by will clark » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:52 am

Whilst we're on the subject of Uganda - latest update on the Dam is that there will be no more changes to the river itself until April 2010!!

As regards all other info, as everyone else has said - get in touch with Jamie and get him to organise an airport pick up - you won't get it cheaper anywhere else and it will save you any hassles. Great idea to get at least a couple of days guiding so that you know your way around the river and all the different channels.

In terms of flights - Brussells Airlines are great through Jamies agent- mostly because you get 46kg baggage allowance. Otherwise Emirates, Ethiopian are both good, no worries with kayaks and might be a bit cheaper too...

You'll figure everything else out once you're here...

DaveWortley
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by DaveWortley » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:52 pm

will clark wrote:Whilst we're on the subject of Uganda - latest update on the Dam is that there will be no more changes to the river itself until April 2010!!
That's great news, How reliable is the source? Was talking to Sam the other day and he said that Silverback could be lost any time really. Having looked at Google-Earth images of the area seems to me like they'd block silverback off, sending all the water down Junglebook and probably backing the Nile up to 50-50 before they finally put the dam across junglebook blocking the entire river.

I really hope not as planning another trip out there some time in the not too distant future.

Scout

pashky
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by pashky » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:32 pm

Scumbag_Scout wrote:
Ben Bedingham wrote:If you're not taking a boat you can take the slower/cheaper route via Dubai with Fly Emirates, currently about £450.
And what's wrong with taking a boat on Emirates? You have 20kg of checked in limit plus 7kgs of handbag which is pretty enough as you don't need much stuff for Uganda. And in practice nobody cared about 3kgs of overweight. I used this route for this xmas/ny trip and everything was fine. It is long and cound be boring, that's true, but they give you free drinks!

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ol
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by ol » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:56 pm

yurperjoe wrote:
As mentioned earlier in post Sam Ward runs the Lemon and is a great bloke and paddler.
Really? What happened to the Aussie couple?

yurperjoe
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by yurperjoe » Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:59 am

Don't know,
Sam, Emily and Lee seem to be running the joint now.
Sam and Emily running the Hairy Lemon and Lee running the farm side of things.
J
What does not kill you only makes you stronger!
He who hesitates is lost!

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will clark
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by will clark » Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:44 pm

Scumbag_Scout wrote:
will clark wrote:
That's great news, How reliable is the source? Was talking to Sam the other day and he said that Silverback could be lost any time really.
Scout

Pretty solid. The Dam people just held a meeting a week or two ago with all the heads of the Rafting and Kayaking and other tourist businesses down at the dam site, and that was the earliest date - 'as long as everything goes to plan' which it never really does.

They still might stop the rafts going down silverback a little before that but probably not too long - And remember that also means back channels etc have a good couple of years extra on that until the dam is fully completed...

MattC
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by MattC » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:49 pm

Flying with Emirates from Newcastle you get 30kg in the hold (not sure if it's different from London). They have a little tool on their website that tells you how much you're allowed. Plug in the route and print out what it says in case of any problems. I flew out a few weeks ago via Dubai with no worries.

Stay at Eden Rock as well - nice, quiet campsite but only 1 few minutes to NRE.

Matt

jamie kayak the nile
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by jamie kayak the nile » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:30 am

Hi Matt

All info above good
Dam looks like APRil and site looks behind a bit when i went down for an inspection last week.
New manager at the Lemon Pete is back erins brother. Sam is back in the uk fixing his shoulder
If you need airport shuttles, or accommodation bookings contact me it costs just the same.
Brussels airlines only ones that confirm kayaks for free if you book through our guys. Other airlines will take sometimes but up to the check in desk staff. safest option is brussels if you dont want to be boatless.
Look forward to seeing you on the Nile. Also A can of Iron Bru for jamie and davey can be exchanged for two icey cold Nile special beers on arrival........ or so ive heard

see you out here soon its 30 degrees and the water is warm, not a dry top in sight.


Jamie

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Tuomas
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by Tuomas » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:42 am

Check out my blog post about White Nile, might have some useful info:

http://roimeloo.net/blog2/?p=29

DaveWortley
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by DaveWortley » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:11 am

Tuomas wrote:Check out my blog post about White Nile, might have some useful info:

http://roimeloo.net/blog2/?p=29
Really nice video, nice to see a Nile video not just full of Playboating, lots of nice Silverback footage, makes me want to go back now!

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tom fyall
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by tom fyall » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:37 am

Very nice video, good music, bit different to most vids. Couple of my paddling buddies are going to Uganda this Summer, really bummed I can't due to lack of funds.

Phil Connell
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by Phil Connell » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:43 am

Tuomas wrote:Check out my blog post about White Nile, might have some useful info:

http://roimeloo.net/blog2/?p=29
What happened to the guy who ended up in the Pencil Sharpener at 1:30? (Or have I got the wrong bit of river?)


Emirates were awesome when I flew out with them last summer. The official weight limit was 20kg hold plus about 7kg hand luggage. My boat was about 23 kg on the way out, and about 29kg on the way back - no extra charge. They didn't even look at the hand luggage I had.

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Tuomas
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by Tuomas » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:13 pm

Phil Connell wrote:
Tuomas wrote:Check out my blog post about White Nile, might have some useful info:

http://roimeloo.net/blog2/?p=29
What happened to the guy who ended up in the Pencil Sharpener at 1:30? (Or have I got the wrong bit of river?)
It's the bad place. The curler feeding to it tends to caught you when getting too close... but no problems as you will flush far on the backwash :)

edhunter
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by edhunter » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:40 pm

Tuomas wrote:Check out my blog post about White Nile, might have some useful info:

http://roimeloo.net/blog2/?p=29
That is the best Nile video ive seen. Mainly because i want to go out there to run the river more thani want to go playboat. brilliant tho.

webbymatt
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by webbymatt » Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:54 am

Thanks for all the comments so far, they have been really helpful.

We are planning on heading out this september now, hopefully be able to save up by then!

So excited, just want to get back in my playboat after all this DW training :D

Matt

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flea
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by flea » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:47 pm

Emirates are taking 30Kg at the moment (from Heathrow). I don't know anyone who hasn't had their boat taken with them and although they often don't weigh the boats in the UK they do in Uganda - and they can be after bribes there if you're over the weight limit. Our boats got stuck in Dubai for a day though! If you go through Emirates make sure you look at the flight times to avoid the mega-long stopovers in Dubai.

SN Brussels flights are in dollars so are relatively quite expensive at the moment due to the poor pound.

DaveWortley
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by DaveWortley » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:26 pm

Another note to the wise, SN Brussels, the flight from Entebbe to Brussels gives you about 50mins to catch your connection to Gatwick, which based on a few persons experience doesn't happen, or at least doesn't happen with boats and bags! I was lucky got my boat flown over on the evening Brussels flight whilst I was flown BA to T5 in the morning of course minus one boat. Just had to nip down to Gatwick and pick it up. But one of my friends couldn't track his boat down at Gatwick and had to wait several days for it to be delivered to him.

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John Kennedy
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by John Kennedy » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:16 pm

Can anyone give a ballpark figure as to how much a month's living expenses would amount to?
I've been focused so much on flight costs and transfers, that I haven't really figured on how much to live there, for camping, food, lifts etc.
I beat the internet! (The last guy was hard)

MaxC
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by MaxC » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:30 pm

Speaking of missing your connection:

When I went last summer our flight from Gatwick was delayed so we missed the connection to Uganda in Brussels. Brussels Air were champions. They organised us new flight - back to Heathrow then flying with BA to Uganda the same day direct so we didnt have to kip overnight in the airport. They also sorted ouy all our kit on to the flights and it even all arrived. Apart from one chaps bag of clothes. I was concerned that BA wound not take kayaks as I have heard rumours before. We think they got on the BA flight as we didnt need to check them in again so the baggage handlers just threw them on anyway..which was nice of them. Also we got loads fo free booze with BA that we would not have got with Brussels so everything worked our very well indeed.

The moral of the story is stay positive when flying to Uganda as you will eventually get there in the end. Also Jamie at Kayak the Nile and the deal with Brussels air he sorted makes life easier..plus the shuttle guy emplyeed by Jamie is a legend.

Oh Uganda..I must return soon!!
Have an awesome time all who are going..its a place you'll never forget.

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WideBoy
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by WideBoy » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:06 pm

When's the best time to head out there? Or is it all good?!

I'll likely be busy all summer, but Oct/Nov could be good. Although i'll miss cold UK water then...
..if it was easy, it would just be the way

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ERU
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Re: Planning for Uganda - any advice?

Post by ERU » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:49 pm

madocks wrote:If you contact ERU throught these forums, he has just returned from working in Uganda for 6 months. I know he has local currency that he is trying to get rid of and none of the UK banks will touch it.

Im sure he can help you with general uganda info too
I do indeed have local Ugandan money i'm trying to get rid of - give me a shout if your interested.
The best boater on the water is the one with the biggest smile

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