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  #1  
Old 12 May 2008
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2WD to Uganda

Hi,

My partner and I have just moved out to Uganda. We're planning on being here for a few years and are wondering whether anyone knows of a 2WD-able route from the UK to here. We've done a few banger rallies (Plymouth-Banjul, London-Tashkent, T4 Challenge) so are pretty experienced and don't mind difficult routes.

Any help gratefully received.

Thanks,

Rich
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  #2  
Old 12 May 2008
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Route

As far as i know you will have to cross sand whether you go east or west. There is no road from CAR to Uganda....well tarred! and there is no tar through sudan....and north ethiopia....you could ship to Mombassa and drive all the way.....jyst watch the road from Nakuru north...its basically gone and the pothole are in the millions!!!!!!
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  #3  
Old 13 May 2008
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I'd suggest its quite doable, particularly given your experiance. Easiest is probably out through Eastern Europe, down through Syria, Jordan, Saudi (probably on a transit visa), ferry to port Sudan then Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya. Yes conditions would be harder in northern Sudan, northern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya - coincidentally the south of each of those countries has good tarmac. All three will be fine providing you aren't trying to cross in the rainy season. Dependant on choice of vehicle, how much clearance, etc but lots of local vehicles pottering round are 2wd. Harder route could be Tunesia / Libya / Egypt although as far as I'm aware, these would only be hard if you choose to go out in the desert, I think there are tarmac options nearly all the way, but would limit how much you see. Hardest route would probably be through West Africa, mainly because you would have to look at something like CAR to get across to Uganda. Relationships are deterioriating further between Chad and Sudan, so you would be lucky to get across there. Your alternative on that route would be to go all the way down to Namibia then loop back round and up.

Good luck
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  #4  
Old 13 May 2008
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2wd will battle with Cameroon. Those potholes will rip it to shreds. Also Mauritania tared all the way now?

Port sudan good option. Ethipia may be a bit tricky 2 wheel drive.

Also that vehicle will not make it north of Nairobi. Just back from there in a Mog and we barely survived. Until the new road is finished u asking for trouble.
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  #5  
Old 13 May 2008
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A 2WD should be no problem...
The locals all drive 2WD, unless they work for the UN/tourist co's/AID agencies.

Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt -all tar is possible
N Sudan - rough dirt, but certainly possible in 2WD, as far as Abu Dom, then tar all the way to the Ethiopian border.
Then good dirt, unless muddy from border to Gondar in Ethiopia. All the rest is tar to the Kenyan border.

Then a really rough dirt stretch from there to Isiolo. This is the stretch Surfer is talking about. I'd guess that a Mog would be tougher to drive over the corrugations than a Mazda B1600. If it is raining, you will have problems here.

Then the rest of the journey would be tar...

HTH.
It really depends on the car chosen.

Graham
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  #6  
Old 14 May 2008
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Thanks for all your responses.

I got this from another source :
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The other route; which is your best option is the route we are following down from Egypt. It can be done in a 2WD – last time we came through there was a mad Swiss couple who drove to cape town in a VW campervan (very low, very old and only had about 20 horses!) but they made it … eventually! There only incident was in Namibia when an ostrich got pissed off with them driving next to it and smashed their windscreen.

The trick is to stay near the railway line (Sudan) which is a bit more solid – however at one point you must cross the railway line and drive on the other side but I cannot remember which station this is …….. It is one of those places I know when I see it.

The biggest factor for you guys would be crossing Lake Nasser – the barge costs around 2000 quid; it is possible to sometimes get your vehicle on the passenger ferry (towed behind the ferry on a barge) a little unstable but usually does not capsize – although I would not want to put my vehicle on it! This costs around 300 – 400 quid.

Take it easy through Northern Kenya and don’t try and do it in the wet season. The rest should not be a problem and the easiest way to get to Uganda from the UK. Basically straight through Egypt, Sudan to Khartoum and then into Ethiopia down to Nth Kenya to Nairobi and then the usual route to Uganda.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My knowledge of the area is not that good so I don't know anything about crossing Lake Nasser. Is this the only option? We're looking to drive a car worth around 800 pounds so paying 2000 to cross a lake stuffs the finances. Would I avoid this if I took the Saudi-Port Sudan option?

Toyotas and Nissans are very popular out here so we'd probably go for something like a Starlet, Micra, Sunny etc. Between us we've managed to get an 88 Fiesta to Djenni, Mali plus a Morris Minor to Gambia and stuff like that so we're well aware of the dangers of massive potholes, muddy roads etc. We could go for something like a Subaru Justy but getting bits for that out here and en route would be a major headache (we're planning on staying here 2-3 years).

What do you reckon?!
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  #7  
Old 14 May 2008
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yes you would miss it. We put our vehicles on the barge and it was 800 dollars each. If you hire the entire barge it costs that...but then you only use 1/3 of it and they still fill it up with other peeps stuff....and you cant stay on the barge.......scam buggers

I was refering to north of Nairobi Graham. That road is the worst i have ever seen. It can be done, but at 10 km/h or less. Also south is pretty bad especially around isiolo and mombassa.

Interested to see the state of the vehicle by the time it arrives in Uganda
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  #8  
Old 14 May 2008
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Straggler - a Sunny would be a great vehicle to use.
Should be pretty good for parts too.

Cheers
Graham
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  #9  
Old 14 May 2008
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hmmm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfer View Post

I was refering to north of Nairobi Graham. That road is the worst i have ever seen. It can be done, but at 10 km/h or less. Also south is pretty bad especially around isiolo and mombassa.
Not that it matters but Uganda is a long way from Nairobi. Guess it depends which way you go.
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  #10  
Old 15 May 2008
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Thanks for your help guys. We're going to look at the Saudi route as it looks like the cheapest option plus takes us through some funky countries. Unless some helpful overlander does it first and the offers us their car!

Btw, we work at a budget rest camp in Uganda. Are we allowed to plug it here?
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  #11  
Old 23 May 2008
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Would still like to hear about it even if you're not.
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  #12  
Old 23 May 2008
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Ok then!

My partner and I manage this place in Kampala :

Welcome to the Red Chilli Hideaway website Uganda's No 1 Backpackers' Hostel and Campsite

Very overlander-friendly. Loads of parking and we don't mind you doing a full engine rebuild on site.
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  #13  
Old 23 May 2008
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Thanks - I'll tuck that away for future reference. Should be in Zim in August but will hopefully make it next time we are in BEA.

Have you got GPS co-ords?
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  #14  
Old 23 May 2008
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GPS coords for Red Chilli -
0deg 19'14.08''N
32deg 37' 50.79''E
or
0deg 19.235'N
32deg 37.847'E
depending on what units you want.
That should get you to the main entrance, from there you'll have to find your own way via the bar.
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  #15  
Old 23 May 2008
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Funky second set of co-ords (S0 19.235 E32 37.847): puts you in the middle of Lake Vic! Can you double check them for me?

Last edited by Bundubasher; 11 Jul 2008 at 16:09.
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