Pros of Ground camping on self-guided safaris in Uganda
There are various ways you can enjoy an adventure trip to Uganda. These can range from; a normal pre-planned Safari package with a tour company to back packing, self-drive safaris as well as outdoor camping.
However, camping is becoming popular and considered one of the cheapest ways one can feel the closer touch to the natural gifts of fauna and flora that the ‘pearl of Africa’ offers. Camping is much popular in wildlife parks of Kidepo Valley National Park, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls among others as well as forest reserves.
It isn’t a must that to get a memorable camping experience, you have to contact a travel agent to organize for you a fully packaged trip. There are other various ways such as planning yourself a self-guided trip either alone or with family and may be friends. The best way here however would be hiring a vehicle for self-drive as well as the necessary camping gear.
A number of Uganda Car hire companies also do camping equipment rentals. However, before choosing a car to hire, you have two decide on which mode of camping you would prefer on either ground or car top.
With Ground camping, you hire a car of your choice for instance a Rav 4, Land cruiser or Safari Van and camping gear separately. This mainly comes with a ground tent that is pitched to the ground plus other stuff required for camping such as Cooking gas, cooking utensils, cutlery, tables and chairs, bedding among others.
On the other hand, camping with a rooftop tent requires hiring a vehicle option with a car top/ roof top tent. This also comes with the same other camping equipment.
With both options, the only difference is in the style of the tent and many have different opinions on which form could be better than the other. Though Roof top camping in Uganda is gradually becoming popular in Uganda, here are some of the reasons why many visitors to the country still stick to the ordinary ground camping option on camping trips.
Advantages of Ground Tents over Car top tents
- In times when you want to set up for instance a week long camp in the same place, camping in a ground tent can be a better option as you would use your car to go for other excursions. This is because you can’t set up your roof top tent and drive away. You have to pull down the tent each time. It also becomes hard if you need to leave something in your campsite to hold your spot since you will be moving with all your essentials along with the vehicle.
Therefore, if you want to set up a tent for several days and move the car in the meantime, a ground tent would be better.
- To some point though minimal, the roof top tent would negatively affect the driving of the vehicle mostly on roads in poor conditions as it raises your center of gravity. This may affect some driving instances such as in high-speed cornering.
- Price of renting a rooftop tent vehicle is a bit higher than that of hiring separate vehicle with camping gear. Taking the same example of a Land cruiser TX or TZ, when it comes with a rooftop tent, it can be hired at around $85 per day whereas renting it with separate camping gear can be at around $75 ($65 for the vehicle and $10 for camping gear). It is also possible to hire a smaller cheaper car such as a Rav4 with camping gear.
- Ground tents can take any number of people at the same time as compared to the car top that are limited. Most Car top tents available in Uganda cannot take more than 5 people; i.e the tent capacity of the Single rooftop tent on a Land cruiser only takes two people while the double roof tented cannot accommodate more than five. With ground tents, you can get any size you want right from the single to one that can accommodate 8 people or more.