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GEEKS: Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP), Ishasha Sector, Ishasha River Campsite No 2. Sunday 9 August. Week 16, Day 118.

For those using T4A I believe you will find your way to QENP from Bwindi without too much difficulty despite the GPS program becoming lost at times, probably due to some alterations in the routes of the forestry roads. For those without T4A perhaps it would be best to proceed on the Buhoma route. However please allow me to attempt to give a blow by blow account of the route we followed.

• Enter Bwindi again by travelling east on the road used to traverse Bwindi Impenetrable NP when originally travelling to Ruhija Community Camp.

• The Ruhija entry Gate is 2km down the road. This is a public road and you do not have to pay any park entry fees.

• The Ndego Gate at the eastern end of the park is reached after 13km and about 25min. Lovely drive on good dirt road through the park. Fill in their book.

• Continue down this road and reach tar 13km after exit gate.

• Turn left down tar road (the same one used to travel from Kabale to Bwindi) and continue for 3km.

• Turn left onto dirt road signposted Kanunga (50km). Road in moderate condition.

• After 10km turn sharp left, sign painted on rock face to Kanunga. At this stage you are on forestry roads and T4A is dithering.

• A little later you strike a more formal road through the forests and T4A is happier.

• Pass through village of Rutenga after 17km and then Kayonza after a further 11km.

• At the town of Nyakatare 8km later drive straight over a cross-roads.

• The road forks after 4km, take the right hand fork.

• After a further 9km take the right hand fork, the left is signposted Buhoma 30km.

• The town of Kahini 7km on has fuel, continue straight.

• After 12km a T-junction is reached, turn right as sign posted to Ishasha.

• You are now actually within the park on a dirt road that is a public road. (Note that further north there is also a public road going north through the park to Fort Portal, but that is tarred).

• The Katookye Entrance Gate for the Ishasha Sector of QENP is 12km down this road. PHEW!

Distance travelled and time taken.

Ruhija Community Camp, Bwindi - Katookye Gate Ishasha QENP. 121km, 4hr 30min.

Ishasha River Campsite is about 10km further on.

COSTS.

Foreign Vehicle Entrance Fee – US$150, once off, pay only once for the entire duration of your stay.

Park Entry Fee – US$40 pppn.

Camping Fee – US$5 pppn.

Note: Ishasha seems to take cash, for the rest of the park you have to use a smart card. These smart cards are only purchased in 2 places in the park. At the sign posted park HQ situated near where the dirt public road from Ishasha joins the tar east-west public road in the north and also at the most northern entrance gatewhich is just off this tar public road in the north, sign posted Crater Drive Gate and Queens Pavilion. At Mweya office, Kasenyi Plains office and the gate at Ishasha, Katookye Gate, you can purchase more points for the smart card and have them loaded, but not purchase the card itself. Confused? So were we.

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