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Need help planning a 7 week trip to Uganda (then travel from there)

Need help planning a 7 week trip to Uganda (then travel from there)

Old Mar 9, 18, 9:30 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2018
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Question Need help planning a 7 week trip to Uganda (then travel from there)

Hello,

January of 2019 I will be going to Uganda for a 6-7 week period. I will be working/volunteering in a healthcare facility during the week and wanted to explore on the weekends. In Uganda, we will be staying Kampala.

I am in the initial stages of planning this trip and getting everything together. I was wondering if you all in this forum could help me plan my trip?

We would depart NYC to Uganda then explore Africa (or as much as possible from there). Our style of travel is spending 24-36 hours in a city to see the highlights and get a taste of the culture; then if there was a place we really liked we would fly back in the future to spend more time there.

We would have five weekends to go visit places for the 24-36 hours per city (unless we stay somewhere in driving range from Kampala). Do you have any recommendations on any places we can drive to? Which cities close to Uganda would you recommend?

I was looking at flights from star alliance (using UA miles as prices are very expensive) and they are mostly on Ethiopian. Cities we would consider would be Victoria Falls, Cape Town, Addis Ababa, Kigali, Kusaka, or Maputo. Would you recommend any of these (or against any of these)?

We were hoping to use points for whatever possible; if you have any tips that would be great. I currently have 120,000 AA miles and 200,000 chase points.

I appreciate any help!
internationaltrip is offline  
Old Mar 10, 18, 11:51 am
  #2  
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If your goal is to visit cities and nothing but cities, I can't really help. I've been to most of those you mention, but usually give them a wide berth. I'll make an occasional exception for Victoria Falls, but that's not a city. No tourist visits the place for its own sake.

You may wish to note that (what remains of) Uganda's natural environment is its main drawcard. The country is quite small, and with a number of very diverse game reserves within pretty easy reach of Kampala you could easily keep yourself entertained for five weekends. You could drive almost everywhere without spending a single UA mile.

Uganda's best kept secret, by the way, is called Kidepo Valley National Park. An absolute gem. It's the one place in the country I would recommend you fly to. You would have to buy a ticket, Mileage Plus won't get you there.

Johan
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Old Mar 12, 18, 9:55 am
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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Have a look at a flight search engine (google flights, or kayak or skyscanner and select 'or nearby airports') and you'll see that it is not possible to get to and from a lot of your wishlist in a weekend. There are few places you could fly to on a Friday evening, given how long it takes to get to Entebbe from the centre of Kampala, so realistically you could spend some time in Kigali, Bujumbura, Addis Ababa or Nairobi. I agree with Johan that the draw to East Africa is it's natural environment. Of the African cities I have visited I would only spend time in Cape Town, the rest are functional and generally dirty, noisy with horrendous traffic problems. You can also get to Kilimanjaro (JRO) direct on Sat morning and leave on Sun evening, so you could see some savannah, forest and waterfalls. You should try and visit a safari destination as well, either in Uganda or via Nairobi and a charter flight, even if only for one evening and morning.

I only scratched the surface of Uganda and it was many years ago, but I loved the place and the people and I will go back at some point! Obviously there is gorilla trekking in Bwindi, or across in Rwanda or Congo, but I know it has become prohibitively expensive for most people. But I would highly, highly recommend a weekend at Kibale NP to see the chimpanzees. There are other monkeys and wildlife there too. Travel via Fort Portal is good (the road is sealed) and possible in a weekend from Kampala.
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