Exploring Uganda with a Rooftop Tent 4X4 Land cruiser Jeep
With the amazing wildlife, stunning landscapes and vast culture, Uganda is becoming an enticing destination for travelers from across the globe. With 10 national parks and more than 11 game reserves, the pearl of Africa has some spectacular features to keep you entertained on your road trip adventure.
The distances and uniqueness of each of these destinations make a perfect road trip for those that have enough time to explore this amazing East African destination.
Since Uganda is a developing country, some of the roads leading to these top destinations are poorly maintained with only the highways that are tarmacked and the rest are dirty roads. This coupled with limited accommodation facilities in some less traveled destinations especially game reserved would call for a 4×4 vehicle with a rooftop tent in case you plan to go self-drive. The most common jeeps available for rooftop tent camping in Uganda are in model of Toyota Land cruisers such as Prados, V8s, VX, GX and Lx commonly known as hardtops.
Driving a 4×4 Land cruiser with a roof tent not only brings a unique experience filled with adventure, but also saves a whole lot of money on food and accommodation. In case you are new to this adventure, here is what you need to know about rooftop camping in Uganda on self-drive.
Getting the car to use
First of all you need to get a 4wd car to use and the rooftop tent. The easiest way is renting from a trusted individual or car rental agency. There are a few individuals that do car rentals of this type in Uganda that is why you will need to get a car rental agency to hire a car for a perfect self-driving adventure to explore Uganda. There are various car rental companies that serve this thriving travel demand with the biggest percentage basing in Kampala – the country’s capital or Entebbe – the main entry point by air for this landlocked country.
This means that it is cheaper to receive your car rental in these two cities than in any other as pick up and drop-off usually comes at a free cost.
For couples or two people, renting a car with a rooftop tent in Uganda would be a perfect choice. This includes all other camping equipment for two people. All 4×4 Land cruisers are suitable for this option. The rooftop tent usually weighs 50 – 80 kgs and supports thrice its size. The most affordable vehicle for single rooftop camping is a Toyota Land cruiser Prado TX, the most comfortable is the Land cruiser V8 while the most reliable is the Land cruiser LX hardtop.
For travelers that wish go camping in groups of 3 or more, a double rooftop tent vehicle option would be much better. This either comes with two tents each for two people of one family tent available in 3 and 4 sleepers. The most recommended option for this kind of camping is the Land cruiser GX or Land cruiser V8 due to its power and comfort ability yet the best option would be the Land cruiser LX though it’s a little bit more expensive. The double rooftop tent option would also be fine on a Land cruiser Prado TX but this should be done with caution. Since these tents are heavy and the Prado relatively weaker than the previous options, they limit speed due to exertion of much weight to the car and can only be recommended for longer rental periods with short drives.
What else is included?
Even though Land cruisers are comfortable and the way they are built makes them perfect for the remote and harsh Ugandan roads. This does not mean that you won’t encounter any difficulties. As the road conditions are poor, you should be prepared for car problems. This means that you should be equipped with the basic car tools to replace the tires in case of flat tires and always keep in contact the support staff contact address.
Back to the rooftop tents, these tents are relatively comfortable as they are equipped with foam mattresses with sheets, sleeping bags, and pillows. These thick bedding are definitely a must when camping as it cools down at night! The roof tents themselves are easy to build up and break down and usually takes about 5-10 minutes to set up.
Other camping equipment typically consists of Camping table and chairs, a complete kitchen set (with cutlery, plates, mugs, water kettle, etc.), Gas cooker, jerry can, storage box and an electronic Fridge where necessary.
Renting a Land cruiser for rooftop camping can be pricey but worthy. The least you can get one with a single rooftop tent is $75 per day and the highest is $150 per day. Daily rates can fluctuate on the nature of the season, length of the rental and the type that you chose. Renting a Land cruiser with two tents in Uganda ranges between $100 and $160 depending on the type of the vehicle.
On the bright side, you will save money on accommodation and food while camping. Most parks and tourist attractions have a range of lodges and other accommodation facilities, which are somewhat expensive. It is not uncommon to pay $US100 per person for a room in a lodge. This is a big difference with the price of the campsites, typically ranging between US$15 to US$30 per person. With a lack of other cheap accommodation options, rooftop camping can be a better option in case your budget is limited.