Solo trips in most new destinations can be adventurous and fascinating, but can also be challenging for some other travelers especially those who never been there before. Many travelers whop opt to travel alone prefer hiring a car and taking self drive tours in Uganda.
In order for you to enjoy your solo trip in Uganda; we have developed a list of tips that can guide appropriately while in your next vacation.
- You need to be social
Vacations are exciting especially when you are with many other people together. Although this won’t happen with solo travelers unless you open up and be with the rest of members. Never be shy with any one you meet while on safari. Even if it is interacting with the person who sells fruits in near by hotel or restaurant, it is good to keep the interaction. Get as many local friends as you can. It is easy to go along with crowds when you are alone but if you know someone who knows you back along the streets you certainly enjoy the amazing stories in your life. But make sure that you respect the customs and norms of the locals.
2. Safety in numbers
Even if you are hanging out, there is need for you to ensure that you do not behave like a criminal or scam artists to see. For solo travelers, they have the advantage of mixing into crowds and at the same time they do not have confidence. Walking in such crowded areas without anyone’s knowledge that you are a visitor may not be safe for you.
3. Avoid getting shortages in cash
The hardest thing in travel is when you encounter shortage of cash while in a safari and usually happens with solo travelers. Make sure you keep some money at least $100 by your side or somewhere safer it can be sneakers. This is to protect you in case of any robbery or you can miss calculate and the budget doesn’t come as planned. The little cash that you will keep will be of great help to you and it will be a memorable experience for you.
4. Have a credit card
Whereas we like carrying cash on shoes, but your credit card is worth carrying for any emergencies. The most important thing is for you to keep track of the phone number of the credit card agency in case the card is taken away from you. You can cancel the card as soon as possible and may be given a new one given to you while on safari. This also helps inform the company that you are going abroad and purchases can be made.
5. Leave breadcrumbs
Solo traveling is interesting but ensure that you not traveling absolutely alone. At least inform the family member or friends at home what you travel plan is, or send a copy of the travel plan where possible. Check in with a family member while on the road through an internet café or by Skype using your mobile device. For most US citizens and nationals, they can sign up for Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for free to enroll their safaris with the next US Embassy. Do not forget your passport and ID for security purposes.
6. Eating alone is good
Some people may not feel well eating out in crowds and prefer having a meal alone. It is not bad, you can book and sit outside a good café and have your meal. You can interact with the servers as they can keep you with some information about the area. In case the area isn’t accommodative to your side, you can request for room service in the hotel of your choice. You may not feel the cost compared to the local restaurant.
7. Travel light
Your trip is entirely for you to navigate to most parts of Uganda. And you need to have something that you can easily carry with you. Avoid large suitcases and if all your staff can fit into the backpack then let it be your choice. At least do not come with a rolling suit case for holidays of one or two weeks and given the fact laundry can be done at the hotel.
8. Avoid over drinking
While in a safari, everyone needs to have fun for him or herself. You can take some beer or two provided you remain stable while walking back to the lodge or hotel. Check if you can walk back to the hotel alone when you are in town that you may not know.
9. Walk along street light
This applies to all travelers. Darker areas may not be safer for you as solo traveler. Walk through streets with better lighting. Preferably, public areas are better as you can be easily sighted.
10. Trust your instincts
This trip may sound usual but most people do not follow it. You are advised to know the point where you are. In case something seems to go bad leave and go some where else safe for you.
11. Stay the night
You have been watching almost the rest of your life and while in your safari, you need to explore a lot more new things. Do things depending on your interest especially where need to spend a night. But not every evening you have to go out to tour a city. You may need to recharge a battery or lounge around the room and order something to eat do it with no fear.
12. Do some planning
There is no need to plan the whole vacation in a minute. At least have some guideline. Block parts of the day for the big sightseeing spots and all of the surrounding sites including those where you are living. Try as much as you can to reach to the destination during daylight time as this can easily help find where you can be and even get what is available outside. Try to be organized.
13. Road Tripping Alone
If you are looking to road tripping alone, it is important make enough research before hitting the road. Look out for a reliable car rental in Uganda for your travels and always book well in advance. Avoid last minute checks for a rental car so that you can get the right vehicle for your trip. Plan well your trip itinerary so that you can enjoy the freedom of traveling alone with little stress.
14. Learn a bit of the language
A solo trip to a new destination may mean you will be at a place that you do not know even a local or any language. It is not a problem. At least learn some words using your computer or phone. Check on Duolingo, a free program to use on your phone or PC which can teach you many different languages. Get the basic phrases at least to help you from one point to another. Do not forget to learn how say no as that is going to save you from purchasing items that you do not budget or interested.
15. Book Your Accommodation
Travels involves stays in places where you have never been. It is very important to book your accommodation well in advance so that you can avoid surprises. Look out for accommodation that suits your budget and do enough research about the location of the safari lodges or hotels where you are looking at staying.
In conclusion, there are several guidelines that you need to bear in mind while on a solo safari. Others may include, you need to be insured, double your documents at least have photos or scan all your travel documents and email to someone else you trust, get a GPS.